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I recently started a new exercise routine. I want to stick with it, but I have been experiencing some pain and stiffness.

Q. Dear Terry, “I recently started a new exercise routine. I want to stick with it, but I have been experiencing some pain and stiffness. I usually get sore a couple days after my workout, is that normal?” — Taylor K., Medford, OR

A. Dear Taylor, Curcumin is one of the world’s leading natural pain medicines. By fighting inflammation in the body, it can greatly reduce muscle pain, including the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) that I believe you experienced several days after exercising. In a clinical study using curcumin to assess curcumin’s ability to reduce DOMS and muscle damage, the curcumin group experienced less pain and less muscle injury. Also, the inflammatory markers and muscle damage were lower in the curcumin group as well. Because curcumin is poorly absorbed, I recommend curcumin blended with turmeric essential oil. Not only does the turmeric essential oil increase the absorption of curcumin, it also provides health-promoting compounds, like turmerones, for even greater benefits.

Boswellia is also a very potent anti-inflammatory that targets the 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) enzyme, thus decreasing the amount of inflammation-inducing leukotrienes produced. A recent clinical study found that people had a greater pain threshold and pain tolerance when taking boswellia. Boswellia is a great alternative to conventional options for reducing inflammation, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can damage the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems. I recommend choosing a boswellia extract that is standardized to 70% or more of the beneficial boswellic acids, including at least 10% AKBA (acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic-acid) – the most beneficial compound in boswellia. While most boswellic acids are healthy, there is a compound called beta-boswellic acid which can actually promote inflammation (the last thing you want when recovering from activity), so make sure the boswellia you choose is also standardized to less than 5% beta-boswellic acids. 

DLPA is a combination of two forms of the amino acid phenylalanine. This combination can prevent the breakdown of the brain’s natural pain-killing substances, which helps to promote the body’s own pain-fighting mechanisms, and improve mood at the same time.

Many people know of enzymes for digestion, but when taken on an empty stomach, enzymes play a role in reducing inflammation and improving recovery time. Bromelain, from pineapple, relieves pain and helps heal small tears in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Pancreatin is an animal source of an enzyme complex (protease, lipase, and amylase) that is outstanding for muscle pain relief and recovery.

I would take these ingredients on an empty stomach three times per day.

For more information, you may also want to check out the Terry Talks Nutrition YouTube page for our previously recorded webinars, specifically Dr. Holly Lucille’s webinar on “Recovery from Injuries, Exercise & Surgery”.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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