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Phytother Res. 2015 Jun;29(6):887-93. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5328. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

The Effects of Pre-Exercise Ginger Supplementation on Muscle Damage and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

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Human Physiology Laboratory, Marywood University, Scranton, PA, 18509, USA.
Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, 19102, USA.
Department of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 40292, USA.
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 40292, USA.
Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, High Point University, High Point, NC, 27268, USA.
Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, High Point University, High Point, NC, 27268, USA.


Ginger possesses analgesic and pharmacological properties mimicking non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs. We aimed to determine if ginger supplementation is efficacious for attenuating muscle damage and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) following high-intensity resistance exercise. Following a 5-day supplementation period of placebo or 4 g ginger (randomized groups), 20 non-weight trained participants performed a high-intensity elbow flexor eccentric exercise protocol to induce muscle damage. Markers associated with muscle damage and DOMS were repeatedly measured before supplementation and for 4 days following the exercise protocol. Repeated measures analysis of variance revealed one repetition maximum lift decreased significantly 24 h post-exercise in both groups (p < 0.005), improved 48 h post-exercise only in the ginger group (p = 0.002), and improved at 72 (p = 0.021) and 96 h (p = 0.044) only in the placebo group. Blood creatine kinase significantly increased for both groups (p = 0.015) but continued to increase only in the ginger group 72 (p = 0.006) and 96 h (p = 0.027) post-exercise. Visual analog scale of pain was significantly elevated following eccentric exercise (p < 0.001) and was not influenced by ginger. In conclusion, 4 g of ginger supplementation may be used to accelerate recovery of muscle strength following intense exercise but does not influence indicators of muscle damage or DOMS.


Zingiber officinale; antiinflammatory; exercise; gingerol; nutraceutical

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