Ginger: properties and uses to boost your sports goals
For Asterix the Gaul, the secret of his strength was contained in a mysterious potion, whose only repository was Panoramix, the venerable druid of the village. For Samson, his mythological hair imbued him with superhuman power.
In short, every self-respecting superhero, whether it’s the imagination of cartoons, comics or history, has had a secret ingredient ready to help him in times of need. For the sportsman of the new millennium, this property seems to ginger. That’s right.
The same ingredient with which we flavour our Moscow Mules on Friday (and also Saturday) evenings, or with which we flavour Christmas biscuits as in the North European tradition. The very spice (dissociated from cooked carbohydrates and alcoholic calories), seems to have become the new must-have of any sportsman or aspiring one.
Let’s find out why
First of all, we need to state that ginger is a root, famous above all for its perfume, freshness and that vaguely sparkling aftertaste that often embellishes our appetizers. The aspect with which it presents itself, to tell the truth, is not really inviting and the only reference to exotic flavours is perhaps limited to its tropical origin.
Indeed, ginger is an elongated and twisted root, with a colour ranging from brownish to pale yellow. In short, anything but appetizing. Yet its properties are revolutionizing not only the kitchen, but also the sporting and healthy habits of all of us.
Ginger’s nutritional properties
Ginger, increasingly used as a spice in various dishes or drinks, is rich in vitamins (A, B6 and C, to be precise) and mineral salts (mainly potassium and magnesium, but also calcium, sodium and iron). Furthermore, its components have an important antioxidant action and protection from free radicals.
The combination of all these properties has turned ginger into the new avocado of spices, a.k.a. the spice you never give up and fits every meal.
The essential ingredient in the diet of every health professional. As with all foods that suddenly seem to become the panacea of all evils and begin to appear in the cookbooks of each table, however, it is good to dispel false myths and focus on what is scientific and verified there.
All around Wellness
It is true that ginger itself has valuable qualities that enhance the well-being of the body. Among these, it is suggested to use it in cases of nausea from seasickness, severe stomach pains after surgery or post-pregnancy. The reason is simple: it seems that thanks to its properties it can accelerate the digestive processes, protecting the stomach’s gastric mucosa and, therefore, reducing its acidity.
The use of ginger has found wide theoretical and practical dissemination also in cosmetics. The sector could not escape the effect of ginger on free radicals that, as every anti-aging advertisement reminds us, are responsible for cellular aging.
Furthermore, ginger acts on the immune system. Indeed, it helps our body to prevent the periodic seasonal ailments typical of the influences. For those who can conceive of its uses only in a cocktail glass, just replace alcohol with boiling water and you have an excellent remedy for colds, sore throats, fever and bronchitis.
It is also scientifically proven that chewing ginger helps people who often suffer from headaches. The root, in fact, is one of the best natural anti-inflammatories in circulation. Indeed, its antihistamine molecules act as analgesics and, consequently, decrease the perception of pain.
Finally, these are the three properties that have made ginger the food myth of all sportsmen: its action is perfect for combating stress; it has a strong slimming action and it reduces the intensity of muscle aches.
Ginger helps to burn fat
People say that ginger is ideal for those who have the ultimate goal of their sporting approach to lose weight. Therefore, if summer approaches and our vices have far surpassed our sporting virtues, this portentous root could be a valuable help. Obviously, ginger is not a miraculous spice, nor can we think of drinking ginger herbal teas will make us either slim or ripped.
However, if placed in a balanced diet, in between training sessions, preferably either at the end of a Boost class or a Group Cycle Class, it might be useful to dive into the wonderful properties of this root. Ginger has a thermogenic effect. This means that it produces heat and, as a result, allows you to burn calories more effectively and quickly.
So if we belong to the science fiction category of those who can not lose weight “because of big bones and a belly full of air“, know that among the infinite beneficial properties of ginger there is also the reported ability to eliminate disorders that cause intestinal gases (thanks to gingerol, which is an excellent carminative). Specifically, ginger facilitates digestion, including the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates. This is another reason why it is perfect and particularly loved by sportsmen.
Finally, for those with a sweet tooth, it is important to remember that our root is also able to limit the stimulation of hunger. For this reason, ginger has entered by right into any low-calorie diet.
Ginger soothes muscles soreness
How many times, after a Mighty class or a weightlifting session, would we like to go to the mechanic to ask for a pair of new calves, a little oil to the knee joints and change the quadriceps with the same speed at Formula One’s speed? Well, maybe the remedy for our joint and muscle pains could be soothed by ginger.
Exactly. Already widely used in Chinese medicine in the form of compresses for its heating processes, ginger is gaining credibility in the medical field also in the West, because it can promote tissue reoxygenation and reach deep into the painful areas of annoying muscle contractures. The secret to an ever more powerful snatch?
Technique, training and… ginger!
Ginger relaxes your body and mind
Another property seems to blend sport and ginger perfectly: both are excellent natural remedies to combat stress. So, if you want to do justice to the cardio-vascular labors of your tennis sessions or your Fast class. Nothing seems to relax our body like a sports session followed by a good dose of ginger.
If all this was not enough, we can always remember the primordial use we made of it before all these scientific studies were made explicit the above-mentioned horizons, namely: cedar, ginger ale, fresh mint, a shot of lime juice, one chilled deejay set and ladies and gentlemen … aperitif is served!
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