Which supplements are tucked in your gym bag? Maybe protein powder, BCAAs, glutamine and a multivitamin? Chances are, herbs aren’t part of your daily regimen—though there are plenty of reasons why they should be. Support from Mother Nature herself, herbs offer a variety of unique benefits for athletes and active individuals. Whether you take them in capsule form or sip an herb-infused tea, here are three top picks to consider:
Well known for its ability to settle the stomach, ginger is a spice with soothing properties that’s popular for digestive and motion sickness support. What most people don’t know is that ginger also promotes a healthy inflammatory response, which is an important part of the recovery process when you exercise and work your muscles regularly. Compounds in ginger also act as free radical scavengers, or antioxidants, meaning they seek out and neutralize harmful compounds that can be generated during exercise.*
If you’re looking to support healthy energy levels without consuming stimulants or caffeine, ginseng may help. An herbal extract that’s been used for thousands of years in Chinese health practices, ginseng promotes both physical and mental energy, while also acting as an adaptogen, or a substance that supports the body’s ability to cope with stress.* In addition, ginseng may offer immune and cardio support support. If you decide to give ginseng a go, it’s recommended that you take it for only two weeks at a time, followed by a two-week break.*
Think turmeric and a plate of bright-yellow colored Indian food and a strong, curry flavor probably come to mind. But like ginger, turmeric (which is from the same family of plants as ginger) offers both antioxidant and inflammatory-response support. Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin, which is thought to be responsible for the health-promoting properties of the root extract. Turmeric can be taken in supplement form, but it’s easy to add to your diet as a powdered spice, or try sipping turmeric tea.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.