Who doesn’t love the spicy, zest flavour that ginger brings to the table? Ever so slightly sweet, and not-so-subtly pungent, ginger is one of the most versatile roots getting around these days. And it offers more than what just meets the eye — or nose and mouth, shall we say. Ginger is one of the best known superfoods for its host of health benefits, and athletes should be taking note.
- Alleviates muscle soreness: Thanks to gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, this super-root not only possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but it also can help reduce muscle soreness and pain. A 2010 study showed that consuming about 2 grams of ginger per day can help lessen the day-to-day progression of muscle pain — and that sounds like all gain to us!
- Aids in digestion: While this can of course benefit anyone, endurance athletes can really take advantage of ginger’s stomach-settling properties. Whether you’re experiencing vertigo, dizziness or just queasiness during a lengthy race (or bumpy row), ginger can help ease those dreaded symptoms. To boot, it also works to help bloating, upset stomachs and other digestive issues within the gut. In other words, you should start your ginger regimen now.
- Lowers risk of infections: Maintaining a strong immune system is a priority for any athlete, which is one of the many reasons why we’ll keep pushing this magnificent root. It contains high levels of vitamin C, calcium, zinc, sodium, and phosphorus, helping you ward off whatever bugs are going around this season.
If you’re not already on the ginger train, we hope you find this convincing. To make things easy, there are literally hundreds of way to consume this wonder-root. You’ll find it popular throughout Asian cuisine, but you can also throw it in soups, dressings and juices. Not only will you be adding a peppery burst of flavor and contrast to your plate or cup, but you’ll also be consuming one of the world’s oldest and most powerful superfoods.
And if you’re looking for an easier way to add this to your pre or post-workout, take a look at the following options: