Zingiber officinale, commonly known as ginger, has analgesic and antiinflammatory properties. The acute effects of ginger on muscle pain, inflammation and dysfunction induced by eccentric exercise were examined. Twenty-seven participants performed 24 eccentric actions of the non-dominant elbow flexors. In a double-blind, cross-over design, participants ingested a 2 g dose of ginger or placebo 24 h and 48 h after exercise. Pain intensity (0-100 mm), arm volume (water displacement), range-of-motion (goniometry) and metabolic rate were assessed before and 45 min after ingestion of ginger or placebo. Eccentric exercise induced moderate arm pain (39 ± 20 mm; mean ± SD) and dysfunction (14% decrease in ROM) and an increase in volume (1.8%). Overall, ginger consumption demonstrated no effect on muscle pain, dysfunction, or metabolic rate compared with placebo. In the sub-set of participants who consumed ginger 24 h after exercise, arm pain was reduced (13%, -5.9 ± 8.8 mm) the following day, 48 h after exercise. Participants who ingested placebo 24 h post-exercise exhibited no change in pain the following day (0.0 ± 14.7 mm). In conclusion, a single 2 g dose of ginger does not attenuate eccentric exercise-induced muscle pain, inflammation or dysfunction 45 min after ingestion. However, ginger may attenuate the day-to-day progression of muscle pain.
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.