A Dash Of This One Spice In Your Pre-Workout Snack Will Help You Feel More Motivated

by Georgina Berbari

Superfoods are having a moment lately, and it seems like everywhere you turn, someone's advocating for some kind of health trend that will magically improve every aspect of your life. While you may not buy into the positive effects of all of the fancy (and low-key extra) health products and powders hidden on grocery store shelves, there is one that promises some awesome benefits. Turmeric has been around for literal ages, and it's known for its distinct golden hue and incredible medicinal properties. But does turmeric give you energy? You might be surprised by all the sneaky ways in which this little herb can boost your mood and improve your workout.

In case you've never heard of turmeric, it's basically just a ground-up spice that originates from a yellow, seedless plant native to India. If you've ever ordered takeout and indulged in a curry dish, you probably were unknowingly consuming turmeric, so you're actually way ahead of the trend, girl.

Turmeric is an incredible natural alternative to many modern-day medications, as it contains a substance called curcumin that offers extensive mental and physical benefits.

If you often feel tired or lethargic before your workouts, adding some turmeric into your meals could be the simple solution you need for more energy.

Research shows that taking a turmeric or curcumin supplement can significantly lower your levels of fatigue, and in turn, boost your overall energy. Turmeric boosts brain power in general because it increases the levels of growth hormone in your brain and therefore increases your mind's ability to function and focus efficiently — which might be exactly what you need to power through those last few reps during a difficult workout.

Another awesome benefit that comes with turmeric is its ability to soothe sore muscles. If you've ever endured that post-leg-day struggle, then you might want to reach for this golden spice next time instead of your usual dose of ibuprofen. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the curcumin compound found in turmeric actually provides an equivalent amount of pain relief to ibuprofen. Mind. Blown.

In case you're wondering whether it's better to have turmeric before or after your workout, it honestly doesn't matter; you'll be able to reap the benefits either way.

As long as you're including the spice in your diet in one form or another, your muscles will feel great, your mind will be clear and focused, and even your joints will feel healthy, which is an especially great benefit for anyone who runs a lot as part of their workout routine.

The only real downside to turmeric is that, in terms of figuring out how to ingest it in a way that doesn't involve a supplement or capsule, you can't necessarily sprinkle the spice into or onto anything, because it does have a pretty strong and distinct flavor.

Rest assured, there are so many yummy turmeric recipes out there that you can experiment with for improved focus at the gym, amazing energy levels during your workout, and quick and effective muscle recovery. Try throwing a dash of turmeric atop your ever-so-basic avocado toast, scrambling your morning eggs with a sprinkle of turmeric and black pepper, or including a teaspoon of the spice into a delicious golden milk latte with honey for a sweeter treat.

No matter how you choose to indulge in this Indian plant's mystical properties, you'll certainly feel the incredible benefits it brings to your active lifestyle. Remember, just a little dash goes a long way. I don't know about you, but I'm getting myself a tiny little turmeric shaker ASAP.