Eating Ginger Relieves Exercise Pain
New York Times' health answer man Anahad O'Connor tells us that ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds and volatile oils called, appropriately, gingerols, that have been shown to provide analgesic effects in animal studies. Now humans want to know: what about us? Can ginger make us hurt less? O'Connor reports on a study, published in The Journal of Pain, for which 74 adults did exercises meant to induce muscle pain and inflammation. Over 11 days, the subjects ate either two grams of ginger a day or a placebo. The researchers believe the ginger groups experienced 25 percent reductions in exercise-induced muscle pain 24 hours after a workout. O'Connor advises that other studies were less persuasive; some suggest that if ginger does have any benefits, they may be limited to reductions in soreness in the days after a workout.