Nutrients and Active Compounds

Curcuma : a powerful antioxydant

Par Nicolas Aubineau — curcuma - 3 minutes de lecture

Curcuma, an interesting spice

curcumaCurcuma (Curcuma longa) or Indian saffron is a yellow spice that has been very popular in Asia for more than thousands of years. Originating from the South East, it is grown for example in China, Indonesia, India or Sri Lanka.


This spice is widely used nowadays in many different cuisines (in a single unit or in a mixture like curry). It perfumes, colours (in yellow), corrects acidity but is also used as an active ingredient in food supplements and dietetic products and in the health field, the well-being field and in sports environment. Indeed, its virtues are numerous and it acts on different spheres: cardiovascular, articular, intestinal, hepatic (detoxification) … muscular.


This spice has two interesting properties for the body: anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.


Qualitatively, one can distinguish the turmeric powder used for cooking and the extract of turmeric titrated. In the former, active molecules, curcuminoids (phenolic compounds), including curcumin, account for between 5 and 8% of the total powder. Conversely, an extract of titrated turmeric is an extract whose curcuminoids are found in greater quantities following an industrial process (obtaining extracts titrated in curcuminoids to more than 80%) with the advantage of increased and significant effects on the body compared to the powder.


Note: Ground turmeric is a source of iron and manganese.


Advantages for a sportman

Intense exercise can provoke muscle damage and inflammatory phenomena. Their degree depends on the duration, intensity and type of exercise. The sustained and important eccentric forces (downhill races, important downhill vertical fall on ultra-trails for example, strength efforts, plyometric in strength training) cause the most damages.


A culinary intake of curcuma during meals before or after the race but also complementary (titrated in curcuminoids) during such exercises is very interesting because it helps to decrease the muscular damage during the effort and optimize the processes of recovery. This spice is also interesting because it modulates any digestive disorders.


Advice for intake

It is interesting to bring a minimum of 200 to 300mg of curcuminoids per day during exercise and recovery days. This can be done via turmeric in powder form (in food ), dietary products of the effort (energy diet drinks and / or recovery drinks containing it) or specific food supplements (tablets containing extracts titrated in curcuminoids).


Piperine, an active pepper, increases (20 times more) the bioavailability of curcumin and potentiates its action, combining these two spices in your dishes. 4 to 6g turmeric powder per day, a teaspoon, corresponds to 200-400mg of curcuminoids; In the form of a dietary supplement: 200mg to 600mg per day of curcuminoids (curcumin essentially).


Sports Dietitian Nutritionist



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