Ginger, the Superfood, for Athletes
My favorite cookie is a gingersnap, my favorite tea is ginger tea and I keep ginger mints in my bag for indigestion, so I guess it is safe to say that I am a firm believer of the properties of ginger! What I did not know and must confess is what a benefit ginger is to athletes! Read on and you may find yourself viewing that ugly root in the basket in the produce section in a whole new light 😊.
The traditional use for ginger, that has been practiced for centuries, it to calm a queasy stomach (the ‘mints’ that I keep in my purse have even converted my Tums hoarding hubs to the joy of ginger). Many expectant mothers have discovered this secret for the morning sickness blues but then some genius athlete decided to apply this spice to their workout with great success. When performing an aggressive or strenuous portion of a workout, like swimming or running, consuming ginger pre-workout (or in transition as a triathlete) and the potential for post workout dizziness and nausea has been shown to be less likely. To reap the benefits of ginger consume it in a natural form (candied, dried, ginger powder) and NOT a product that has ginger flavoring. Unlike a non-food product that can be consumed for digestion discomfort ginger does not harm kidneys or your stomach but like any good thing limit is key! Do not consume over 4 grams of ginger a day or it can have adverse effects.
For an endurance athlete a lack of post workout appetite can have detrimental consequences. After exercise, don’t wait to eat. You’ll want to refuel within 30-45 minutes with a combination of complex carbohydrates and protein. Carbs provide the glucose that you need to replenish your muscles’ glycogen reserves, while the amino acids in protein are necessary to rebuild your muscle tissue. Carbs also will help you feel more energized after your workout. Eating in a timely manner helps support a healthy inflammatory response as well as healthy levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Wait too long to eat, and your body could slow your metabolism and shift into a catabolic state, which can lead to muscle breakdown instead of building.1 Taking in ginger has shown to increase post workout appetite in athletes and by consuming the right post workout foods an athlete can also prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
To be considered a superfood ginger must have even more benefits for athletes, right? RIGHT! Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties therefore has been shown to reduce post-workout muscle and joint soreness and aid in recovery. This root has been beneficial to arthritis patients as well. I challenge you to add ginger to your routine twice a week and track your post-workout soreness and let us know of any change in the comments!
BUT WAIT…. THERE IS MORE!!
Ginger is an antioxidant. Antioxidants is such a ‘buzz word’ right now that I did a bit of ‘antioxidants for dummies’ research for myself and would like to share my finding. (If you a super smart science-y person skip this part OR read it and correct this dummy’s version in the comments).
So here it is: Our bodies are machines. Machines need fuel to function. The machine also takes what it needs from the fuel sources and discards the bi-product or the waste. Okay, that is fact. Here is where these fact are applicable it this occasion: One of the fuels our bodies, aka super machines, need to work is Oxygen (O2). We take in O2 from the air, process accordingly, and the bi-product of this fuel are free-radicals. When free radicals roam aimlessly about our bodies, they can cause oxidative stress which can be super harmful (oxidative stress is obviously not good, but details are a lesson for another day). Taming and destroying free-radicals is where ANTIOXIDANTS come in! Antioxidants are brought in to fight free radicals trhough our food, vitamin and minerals (like ginger)! Our bodies are amazing machines and with proper maintenance of antioxidants found in vitamins and minerals they will service for a long time! Knowledge is power even on a dummy level. 😊
As an athlete ginger is showing up to provide multiple benefits but be warned (as mentioned in paragraph 2): excessive ginger consumption can have adverse effects. The amazing news is that the benefits of ginger have been realized with even a minute consumption amount (I guess that is why it is called SUPER?). B-LINE natural energy provides you with just the right amount in each pouch of our ginger flavor which also has the punch of pineapple, the benefits of pure maple, as well as rice protein… how can you go wrong?? Its okay, you can thank us later!