Daily curcumin supplementation may support muscle health, reduce soreness and bolster power in young adults, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19390211.2021.1875101).
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 22 healthy young adults—5 females, 17 males aged 19-23 years—ingested capsules of either curcumin (500mg) or placebo supplementations twice a day for ten consecutive days, and performed drop jumps exercise on day 7. Blood sampling and recovery tests were carried out pre-, immediately after exercise ended, and at 24-, 48- and 72-hours post-exercise. Blood sampling involved analysis of serum creatine kinase (CK) to asses muscle damage and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), which reflects inflammation.
Results showed increased CK and ESR levels in both groups, reflected that the drop jumps exercise induced muscle damage and inflammation. Curcumin supplementation significantly lowered soreness levels 24-, 48-, and 72-hours post-exercise. Further, curcumin also increased exercise performance compared to the placebo group.
Exercises with repeating movements such as running, spinning, push-ups, and weightlifting contribute to muscle fibre tears and damage. "Therefore, supplementing with curcumin, especially during times of heavy training or unaccustomed exercise (i.e., pre-season, short rest between competition, etc.) may help support training by decreasing perceived soreness and maintaining power,” the researchers concluded.