How Curcumin Changed My Fitness Game
In January 2019, it became apparent during a routine physical that the consequences of my office job, stress-levels, and sedentary lifestyle were finally catching up with me. My doctor urged me to start working out in order drop some pounds and lower my cholesterol—and I’m proud to say, I went for it!
I started out just by walking thirty minutes each day, and very quickly I noticed results—not just in my pants size, but also in my energy levels and sleep quality. Determined to go further (and maybe re-live my proud high school track moments), I joined a local running club. As any serious runner knows, it’s an addictive and wonderful hobby. In no time, I was celebrating my forty-sixth birthday: twenty pounds lighter, much happier—AND training for my first 5K!
However, even though the 5K went very well, that was when I hit a real “speed bump” in my progress. I started to experience joint stiffness and pain from routine workouts. My new dreams of training for a 2020 marathon suddenly seemed unattainable, as I found myself increasingly turning to ibuprofen at night after my run, and even felt stiff waking up. Obviously, given the epidemic of addiction facing our country right now, I really hated the idea of being codependent on any kind of painkiller; but more importantly, I did not want to give up the serious gains to my health and well being that my running regimen had created.
Running for My Life: My Quest for a Holistic Solution to Pain
I knew I needed to come up with a way to let my body bounce back from post-exercise inflammation that did not involve pain pills (which often become less ineffective over time). I got into gentle yoga and used my tax return to invest in a bigger bathtub for Epsom salt soaks – and those measures helped, but only to a point.
I felt so frustrated: my inner-self wanted nothing more than to keep on running and being healthy, but here I was stuck in a body that ached and seemed to “fail” me—before I was even “old.” When I brought my concerns to my doctor, he just shrugged and told me to keep taking ibuprofen—but I wasn’t having it.
After doing some research online, and speaking to friends in the wellness community, I kept hearing the same word over and over: “Turmeric.”
“Include some turmeric spice in your cooking.”
“Try eating more curry.”
“Turmeric has so many benefits.”
“My mom swears by turmeric for her arthritis.”
“I’m taking a curcumin supplement now.”
You get the idea! But as someone who has always had a sensitive stomach and not the best tolerance for spicy food in general, hitting up the local Indian buffet at lunch was seriously the last thing I wanted to do. Nevertheless, I began to read more about turmeric and could not deny the real benefits of this incredible root.
Did you know: Turmeric is actually the rhizome, or root, of a plant known as Curcuma longa. Turmeric spice, which has that lovely golden yellow color, is derived directly from the plant’s roots. However, as I discovered, if you want to reap real benefits from this incredible plant, what you really want to hone in on is the curcumin compound that exists within the root itself.
Now, if you’re going, “What’s the difference between turmeric and curcumin,” let me back up here and explain:
Every turmeric plant in existence has curcuminoids in its root structure. These are all naturally occurring compounds in the plant’s genetic makeup. Of all the curcuminoids present though, curcumin itself is the most powerful—and thus really the most important for anyone looking to benefit.
How Curcumin Benefits the Body
If you’re like me and you enjoy high impact exercises like running, or you struggle with post-exercise aches, or you’re on your feet hustling or standing all day at work (hello wait staff and retail people!), then it’s time to clue in to the power of curcumin.
Curcumin is a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory. This means that once it’s inside your body, the compound works to counteract the inflammation response, so you don’t feel stiff or swollen in your joints. Naturally, this is also a huge pro for people coping with arthritis flare-ups and other conditions that make moving more challenging.
But that’s not remotely where the benefits end. If you know a little history, then you know that Turmeric has been prized for centuries for various medicinal properties—and it’s no wonder. Besides addressing inflammation, curcumin also boosts the immune system and helps your body to fight infection. Ergo, due to its combined anti-inflammatory/antioxidant properties, studies have shown that curcumin also has the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer's, and cancer.
Lastly, curcumin is good for your gut. Whether you are trying to lose weight or not, curcumin helps boost metabolism and aids in healthy digestion (more on that below). And if you’ve followed the emerging science on the relationship between gut health and depression, then it is really no surprise that curcumin can keep both your belly and brain feeling good.
Want to Start Taking a Curcumin Supplement? Here’s What to Look For…
In spite of all the benefits curcumin poses, one of the major issues with curcumin is that the body often lacks the capability to absorb enough of this beneficial compound.
You’ll see many supplements out there that are straight-up “Turmeric in a capsule” – or ‘curcumin with piperine’ – but the truth is, the former is often not concentrated enough to produce significant changes, and the latter is often marketed incorrectly. Many company sell ‘curcuminoid’ supplements, which do not, as such, contain high concentrations of pure curcumin.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what piperine is, that’s just a fancy word for the compound behind your every-day black pepper—that’s right—it’s the same stuff on your table next to the salt! Piperine is frequently added to supplements because it can naturally help the body to process Turmeric better. In fact, pairing curcumin and piperine increases the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%. If you’re worried about “junk science” or “Frankenstein pills,” don’t panic: this is not unlike when doctors tell you to take certain vitamins or medications with meals simply because they better digested that way.
Now that doesn’t mean some companies are not trying to “patent” new ways of making curcumin more digestible, but it’s truly hard to argue with a> nature, and b> consistent results. Taking a curcumin supplement that contains a bit of piperine is infinitely more effective than you downing curry every night for a week (assuming your stomach is game). Oh, and if you’re worried that your guts will still “explode” with gas or bloating, don’t stress! Again, research shows that curcumin can actually soothe and improve your digestion and even address metabolic syndrome, so if you’re like me and can’t really do curry, you can still take curcumin supplements without an issue.
A Mighty Root and a Big Journey…
After mulling over all the options and clever marketing gimmicks out there, I eventually settled on a supplement that I continue to take today: NutraPrice’s Pure Curcumin.
NutraPrice Pure Curcumin is a high-quality supplement that truly makes an impact and does so quickly. Their exclusive formula uses the highest quality Turmeric root, which is paired up with just enough piperine to immediately begin working. You don’t have to wait months, or even weeks to see only a subtle change. I noticed my pain decreasing after runs within the very first week—and several weeks in, I felt completely recharged from the inside out. Of course, I continue to eat smart and use appropriate warm-up/cool down stretches, but Pure Curcumin gave me the boost I needed to kick inflammation to the curb.
I know I’m obviously biased, but I can say that my experience on Pure Curcumin is down to the science behind the formula. Pure Curcumin gives you the bioequivalent of 42,000mg pure curcumin—just as the name states. Again, unlike others who just broadly include ‘curminoids,’ NutraPrice Pure Curcumin gives you more actual concentrated curcumin than any other product on the market.
Needless to say, I was able to resume my running regimen with gusto—a couple of my running buddies are now taking Pure Curcumin too—just so they can keep up! My marathon dream is also back and better than ever.
I turn forty-seven in May, and I’m training for my first marathon the same month. I really can’t think of a better way to celebrate another year around the sun than going for a big dream on my bucket list. But no matter what happens, I’m excited to be so much healthier and happier than what I was—the progress you can make in a year is nothing short of amazing, if you stay focused.
If you’re on the fence, or are just starting out, I really encourage you to keep taking those small steps for your health—you won’t regret it! And should you need to make your steps literally less painful, or you want to optimize your performance all-around, don’t hesitate to add NutraPrice Pure Curcumin to your wellness routine.