You can’t sling a gym bag these days without hitting a wellness shot at your local juice bar. But are they really all they’re cracked up to be?
Here’s what the experts said:
Wheatgrass is a powerhouse of antioxidants with a high concentration of chlorophyll [70%]. But what’s so magical about it? Well, “chlorophyll is analogous to hemoglobin, the only difference is the nature of the central atom magnesium in chlorophyll and iron in hemoglobin. The structural similarity is the reason behind the increased oxygen supply to all cells. This allows for the limited use of chlorophyll as a blood substitute.”
Personally, I’m not a fan of wheatgrass, I prefer to maximize my chlorophyll intake with a daily Electrolyte Green drink.
Montmorency Tart Cherry juice. Published research suggests that supplementation before and after intense training improves performance and reduces muscle soreness in anterior and posterior quadricep leg muscles. But no evidence is cited for long-term supplementation.
Ginger has a long history steeped in Eastern culture that has garnered attention in Western alternative medicine over the past thirty years as a homeopathic remedy to relieve nausea related to morning sickness and chemotherapy. Other reports cite it as an aid to reduce blood sugar, and for overall immune health. Due to its antioxidant content, research indicates ginger may protect against certain types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer.
Turmeric (curcumin) “may help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery and performance in active people attributed to its anti-inflammatory effects. Ingesting curcumin by itself does not lead to the associated health benefits due to poor absorption. But when combined with piperine, a major active component of black pepper, bioavailability increases by 2000%.”
2000% Hmmm. That got my attention. But my primary interest was its anti-inflammatory properties and analgesic effect. As a former athlete, I’ve put my body through punishing workouts and experienced muscle soreness due to lactic acid. “Lactic acid occurs when there’s not enough oxygen in the muscles to break down glycogen and glucose,” i.e., muscle fuel.
Post-workout tension is a natural biochemical reaction, and that post-workout burn is your body recovering from the exercise. Exercise+Nutrition+Rest=Muscle Growth. And I wanted to accelerate the recovery portion, naturally. So I used ginger and turmeric [as prescribed with pepper] in combination to see if it could slow the lactic acid buildup during workouts and alleviate post muscle soreness. After 14-days, I noticed a substantial improvement during my workout and decreased my recovery time from 2-days to one.
Turmeric & Ginger Shot:
- 1-cup chopped turmeric with skin
- 1-cup chopped ginger with skin
- 3-cups fresh lemon juice or water
- 3-tbsp honey
- Freshly ground pepper
What you’ll need: blender, strainer, and glass container.
Blend the first four ingredients. Strain and pour into Mason jar. Take one 2-oz shot with a dash or two of freshly ground pepper 2-hours before a workout and one after. It may take three days of continuous use to benefit from the effects, but thereafter, you should notice marked improvement during your workout along with decreased recovery time.
Yields 16-2oz shots. Store leftover and refrigerate.