The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of oral consumption of curcumin and piperine in combination on the recovery kinetics after exercise-induced muscle damage. Forty-eight hours before and following exercise-induced muscle damage, ten elite rugby players consumed curcumin and piperine (experimental condition) or placebo. A randomized cross-over design was performed. Concentric and isometric peak torque for the knee extensors, one leg 6 seconds sprint performance on a non-motorized treadmill, counter movement jump performance, blood creatine kinase concentration and muscle soreness were assessed immediately after exercise, then at 24h, 48h and 72h post-exercise. There were moderate to large effects of the exercise on the concentric peak torque for the knee extensors (Effect size (ES) = -1.12; Confidence interval at 90% (CI90%): -2.17 to -0.06), the one leg 6 seconds sprint performance (ES=-1.65; CI90% = -2.51to -0.80) and the counter movement jump performance (ES = -0.56; CI90% = -0.81 to -0.32) in the 48h following the exercise. There was also a large effect of the exercise on the creatine kinase level 72h after the exercise in the control group (ES = 3.61; CI90%: 0.24 to 6.98). This decrease in muscle function and this elevation in creatine kinase indicate that the exercise implemented was efficient to induce muscle damage. Twenty four hours post-exercise, the reduction (from baseline) in sprint mean power output was moderately lower in the experimental condition (-1.77 ± 7.25%; 1277 ± 153W) in comparison with the placebo condition (-13.6 ± 13.0%; 1130 ± 241W) (Effect Size = -1.12; Confidence Interval 90%=-1.86 to -0.86). However, no other effect was found between the two conditions. Curcumin and piperine supplementation before and after exercise can attenuate some, but not all, aspects of muscle damage.
Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; anti oxidant; nutrition; team sport.