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The #1 Best Supplement to Take If You Exercise, Says Dietitian

Your exercise regimen will thank you.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

When it comes to your exercise routine, knowing exactly what kinds of foods boost your workout can give you a serious leg up. According to The Mayo Clinic, a solid breakfast that features a banana, yogurt, juice, and whole-grain cereals can get your workout starting right, while a smoothie, peanut butter sandwich, or some more yogurt after the workout can help your muscles rebuild and replenish lost nutrients.

Knowing exactly what to eat can seriously boost your exercise game, but even with the right eating plan, athletes can benefit from something extra. A ton of workout supplements have hit shelves over the years, ranging from creatine and protein powder, all the way to green tea extract and simple multivitamins. While you have a wide variety of supplements to choose from, one particular nutrient can work wonders after you exercise.

"Endurance athletes are at risk of joint damage, pain, and oxidative stress," says Trista Best, RD at Balance One Supplements. "This requires some antioxidant-rich foods and supplements to help reverse oxidative damage from natural wear and tear that can affect performance."

"Turmeric is an antioxidant that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries for a wide variety of ailments," Best continues. "Turmeric can be taken in powder or capsule form and added to a daily supplement regimen of the endurance athlete."

turmeric supplements

When it comes to choosing a post-exercise supplement that can get your body moving right, you can't go wrong with turmeric. According to Harvard Medical School, turmeric contains curcumin, the active antioxidant ingredient in the supplement. Some research shows this nutrient alleviates inflammation in the knees, in addition to boosting one's cardiovascular health.

A study found in Annals of Internal Medicine discovered that turmeric reduces joint inflammation better than placebos and doesn't have the toxic side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like Ibuprofen. These results were verified in a separate study published in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine where scientists found doses of turmeric to have similar effectiveness to doses of NSAIDs.

While turmeric supplements can provide some post-workout relief and help your joints recover after high-impact exercise, you still need to watch out when it comes to the right dosage. Another study found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that too much turmeric can lead to the buildup of kidney stones. Although, another article found in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine revealed that participants could generally handle high doses of turmeric without dangerous side effects.

If you need to boost your workout regimen, you can always talk to your physician about taking a turmeric supplement for boosting joint health and recovery. Especially if you love jogging, swimming, or other endurance exercises.

To take your workout diet to the next level, don't stop at just turmeric supplements. Try incorporating 14 Best Foods for Better Workout Results for a supercharged routine.

Erich Barganier
Erich Barganier is a health and food writer. Read more about Erich