On Inflammation and Recovery

In Health-Mastery by Logan ChristopherLeave a Comment

Got a great topic for today that there seems to be some debate around.

Ville asks:

I’ve read some of your work on deceptive strength, testosterone and muscle control but mainly I’ve read your articles and emails. It’s good stuff.

I’d like your opinions on some things that been floating around in my mind.

I do intermittent fasting and it seems to suit my needs and in the mornings I usually take some turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. I feel they suppress the overall inflammation in my body. I try to move first thing in the morning with some breathwork and the original strength style work. A couple times a week I do hard static contraction combined with very slow basic bodyweight workout for muscle and tendon development. In addition I do kettlebell basics here and there mainly because I like it. My usual fasting window is 6pm to 10-12 am.

The main thing in my mind is about the daily turmeric etc. and development. Do you have any ideas about it hindering or otherwise affecting muscle or tendon development. I don’t care very much about gaining a lot of muscle as in I’m in a place where my usual weight stays in place without giving it much thought. Instead I do care a lot about tendon and bone strength.

I have some difficulty forming my thoughts into a clear question but I hope you got what I’m after.

Sure, I’ve come across some things in relation to muscle size and that you’d want to avoid antioxidants or antiinflammatories right after a workout as it could possibly negate some of the effects thus impairing recovery.

My feeling is that is looking at things too reductively. Maybe if you’re aiming to compete at the highest levels, something like this could make that 2% difference that could be the difference between winning and losing. I’ll grant that as a possibility.

But if your aim is to be healthy and strong, like my goal is, then I wouldn’t worry about it.

Even if that effect is real I think this would affect tendons and bones even less than muscles.

So let’s look at a bit of research…

In one paper, Krentz et al. found that “a moderate dose of ibuprofen ingested after repeated resistance training sessions does not impair muscle hypertrophy or strength and does not affect ratings of muscle soreness.” 

And that’s ibuprofen, a drug that specifically lowers inflammation.

With herbs such a turmeric, you’re even less likely to have as direct of an action (some difference between turmeric and the isolated curcumin that can be extracted from it).

Tart Cherry has some research behind it in helping with muscle recovery due to it’s anti-inflammatory and other properties. A small study by Levers et al. found the cherry supplementation ” to attenuate muscle soreness, strength decrement during recovery, and markers of muscle catabolism in resistance trained individuals,” while not significantly changing inflammatory markers.

Looking at this research seems to confirm my initial ideas.

In short, good nutrition will support your health and therefore strength, not hinder it.

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