Ginger Love

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While ginger isn’t the most popular bodybuilding supplement, it’s never quite been considered a redheaded stepchild by muscleheads, either. New research, though, indicates that ginger should not be overlooked by those seeking to build lean muscle mass. Here are a few of the specific benefits you can achieve by consuming supplemental or whole-food forms of the root.
It increases the thermic effect of food.
When paired with food, ginger, also known more technically as Zingiber officinale, has been shown to increase metabolic rate. This means that if you consume it with a meal, your body will naturally burn more of the calories in that meal for energy than it would if you didn’t eat the ginger. The net result is that you’ll store fewer calories as body fat, creating a leaner, meaner physique.
It promotes a feeling of satiety.
In addition to burning more calories, consuming ginger also makes you feel more full. You’ll be less likely to crave bad calories at the wrong time of day, making it easier to keep body fat in check.
It decreases DOMS.
Because of its anti-inflammatory effects, ginger helps reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. (See Page 20 for more about DOMS.) In two studies, raw ginger and steamed ginger were given to exercisers who performed biceps curls with heavy negatives to incur DOMS. Those who consumed ginger had up to 30 percent reduced muscle pain and better range of motion. The people who consumed ginger also experienced less inflammatory swelling.
Ginger comes in many forms. If you’d like to go the supplemental route, take 500 to 2,000 milligrams of ginger before meals. Otherwise, the spice version — ground ginger — contains 17 calories per tablespoon and can be cooked into foods or added after the fact. Two ounces of raw sliced ginger has 19 calories and is considered a great palate cleanser. Ginger also comes in many beverages, but read the nutrition label to make sure you aren’t getting unwanted calories.