Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.
And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.
Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her subject.
She recently wrote an item Let Ginger Be Your Medicine which I thought would interest you.
With an average 80 revolutions per minute on the bike, knee flexion and extension occurs about 4800 times an hour. That’s a lot of joint use. Perhaps joint overuse throughout an entire season. It’s estimated that 50% of cyclists experience knee joint pain as an overuse injury, in addition to other joint overuse pain in the back, hands, and shoulders.
As you head into the on-season, you can plan to protect your joints. In fact, you can do so with your foods.
This week, we’re heading into the kitchen to whip up a wonderful dip for vegetables, meats, sandwiches, and more. It’s loaded with foods that protect, heal, and reduce pain in joints.
Recipe of the Week: Delicious Spicy Ginger Dip
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
6 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp. liquid aminos or soy sauce
1 teaspoon white vinegar
5 Tbsp. fresh ginger (finely chopped) or 2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 dash habanero garlic hot pepper sauce
First, mix all ingredients of avocado mayo until smooth in food processor (or by hand if okay with more coarse mix). Then, add in the remaining 5 ingredients to make ginger dip. Use as a dip/sauce on chicken, beef, seafoods, vegetables or kale chips.
***Ginger tip: If using fresh ginger, easily remove the skin of ginger by scraping it with the edge of a spoon.
To a cyclist, joints are supremely important. They are what make the pedals go round. And when they hurt, they put the ride to a halt fast. Revolution after revolution, you need healthy, happy joints. And, believe it or not, some foods are pro-healthy-joint. This week, we’re reviewing the benefits and research on ginger and joints.
First, ginger is loaded with anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and phytochemicals (trust me, all good things!), and specifically it has benefits for joint pain and joint health. Additionally, studies in the last few years show that it’s effective in reducing muscle soreness in athletes. In fact, in one study, participants took either 2 grams ginger or placebo each day for several days before strenuous exercise, and the ginger participants had a 25% reduction in soreness indicators vs. those on placebo.
To use ginger to reduce soreness (along with rest days, l-glutamine, recovery snacks, hydration, and activities like foam rolling), aim to get 2 grams per day. You can choose 4 ginger pill supplements per day (check out the label, but most are 500 mg each), 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger each day, or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
Reduced muscle soreness is great, but what else do you get from ginger? You’ll get strong anti-inflammatory nutrients with (anti) inflammation score of +129, slightly better than garlic. Since inflammation plays a role with almost every chronic disease, oxidative stress, obesity, and fatigue, it is very beneficial to include as many anti-inflammatory foods in our diets as possible. Ginger also promotes gut health, may be anti-cancerous, is immune boosting, and anti-inflammatory.
Bonus: Find additional ginger recipes here.
Bonus: More joint health with dark cherry juice here.
You can keep your joints feeling great, and rotating smoothly this season. You can proactively nourish them. Let your food be your medicine.
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.