Acute effects of ginger extract on biochemical and functional symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness

Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2015 Sep 12:29:261. eCollection 2015.


Background: Inflammation and pain induced by delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) as a result of eccentric exercise (EE) or unaccustomed activity cause some difficulties in exercise for athletes. The purpose of this study was to survey the effect of ginger extract on biochemical and functional symptom of delayed onset muscle soreness.

Methods: In a quasi-experimental study, 36 healthy female subjects, who were recruited by intra dormitory calls, randomly divided into 3 groups, including: ginger intake 1 hour before exercise (GIBE), ginger intake immediately after exercise (GIAE) and placebo group (PL). Subjects consumed capsules contain 60 mg of ginger extract (equivalent of 2 g dried ginger powder) or placebo before and after exercise. The exercise protocol consisted of a 20 minute step test using a 46cm step at a rate of 15 steps per minute. The blood samples were taken before, 1, 24 and 48 hour after exercise to assay creatine kinase (CK) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Muscle pain scores, isometric strength and circumference of thigh muscle, and hip range of motion were recorded at mentioned times. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measure was used to determine the differences between groups.

Results: The results showed a significant reduction of pain in GIBE compared to GIAE after 24 and 48h of EE and GIAE compared to PL (p<0.05). IL-6 changed significantly in GIBE compared to PL (p<0.05) after 1, 24, and 48h after EE. The other factors didn't change meaningfully.

Conclusion: The finding of this study suggests that 2 grams of ginger may have anti-inflammation and analgesic effect on DOMS.

Keywords: Creatine kinase (CK); Ginger; Interleukin-6; exercise; muscle soreness.