I recently completed a six week cycling training plan at the Altitude Centre and I learnt alot. I shared the majority of what I learnt in one blog post but the side I didn’t touch on in that post was nutrition, particularly the supplements I used during the time which I actually think contributed to seeing me through the plan. The supplement I’m gonna be talking about in this post is Bioglan Active Curcumin.
What is curcumin?
Let’s start with the basics; what is curcumin? You can’t have missed in recent times how much turmeric is in the spotlight as a superfood. Everything has gone turmeric crazy in the Western world when the Eastern world have been using turmeric in cooking and medicinally since time began. But personally, I don’t think turmeric lattes are gonna save anyone.
So curcumin is a bright yellow chemical (curcuminoid) which is the active ingredient found in turmeric.
In order to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin it’s reported that you need 500-1000mg per day yet when you use fresh or ground turmeric, there generally is only 200mg in each teaspoon (this can of course vary).
How I Used Bioglan Active Curcumin
For the six weeks during my training, I took one Bioglan Active Curcumin* tablet per day. This usually varied between morning and evening, depending on when I remembered but the main thing was that I took it every single day.
Each tablet contains 632mg of curcumin which is within the dosage recommended to reduce inflammation and promote good gut health.
Although curcumin itself is regarded as being quite powerful, it should be noted that it’s not easily absorbed on it’s own by the human body. However, if you couple curcumin with black pepper (of all things!) it increases your body’s ability to absorb the nutrient.
Bioglan Active Curcumin also contains a trademarked black pepper extract called BioPerine™ to enhance the absorption so you know that you will get the most out of each pill you pop!
I know some people shared with me that they took turmeric supplements in the past and never saw a benefit so I guess it could come down to reading the packaging to ensure the dosage is correct and to ensure its coupled with other foods / nutrients that increase the effectiveness.
I guess another reason I would choose a supplement over a latte is that firstly, the latte most likely does not contain enough of the active ingredient to make a difference, but most importantly, the other ingredients in the latte (or other concoction) probably contains a few other undesirables such as a high sugar content. Don’t be fooled by the buzzwords on packaging and labels.
What the research says
So honestly, when I scrolled through Google Scholar and read some of the articles, they were just so academic and medical. All we wanna know is, is it worth taking a supplement? Based on my own understanding, inflammation in the body can cause a wealth of issues so I’m all for trying to reduce it in any way I can. And as for eating everything that you need? …well, sometimes, or quite often for me, it just isn’t possible.
According to Chattopadhyay et al (2004), Curcumin has been shown to have a wide spectrum of biological actions including, but not limited to, its anti- inflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antifertility, antidiabetic, antibacterial and antifungal effects.
My Final Thoughts
Over the six weeks, I have to say I rarely ever experienced any DOMS even after high intensity / impact exercise. It meant that on the (rare) weeks when I needed to train on consecutive days, it was possible.
Despite a few knee niggles (which probably were down to alignment on the bike) I managed to stay well and injury free.
So I guess the question is, would I continue to take curcumin? …I think I would give it the benefit of the doubt in future when training hard, when feeling unwell or when injured.
What’s your thinking when it comes to supplementing with curcumin?