The benefits of cinnamon are innumerable and this ingredient is one of those that cannot be missing in the athlete's pantry. This is a natural remedy that perfumes and gives a special taste to sweet and savoury dishes. Cinnamon is a powerful spice: it relieves muscle pain, lowers blood sugar levels, and has antioxidant properties.
It is also an excellent vasodilator. It helps increase nutrient absorption and, for those who play high intensity sports, it helps improve gain during and after training. Here are some of the main advantages of its consumption:
Benefits of cinnamon for those who do sports
The anti-inflammatory effect of cinnamon is one of the most important properties that is related to sports.
Adding cinnamon to any dish multiplies its antioxidant power. It is perfect for reducing the level of oxidation during and after physical activity.
It is a perfect spice for athletes who have problems with glucose metabolism and diabetes, because it lowers glucose levels very efficiently and keeps them stable for several hours afterwards.
Ideally, add cinnamon powder to dessert dishes, fruit salads, smoothies, breakfast cereals, or make infusions directly from the twig, although it also tastes great in savoury dishes, you should try in which combinations it is best for you.
As we already mentioned earlier, cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity, that is, it helps the body absorb and reduce the insulin spike when, for example, a simple carbohydrate is consumed.
It's great for transitioning from "sugary" to "sugar-free," for its powers to increase the natural sweetness of sugar-containing foods. Try cinnamon in coffee, with slices of fruit, like apples or bananas;
It is antimicrobial: it is effective in preventing the proliferation of fungi and bacteria.
Supports Heart Health: A diet rich in spices, including cinnamon and saffron, can neutralize some of the negative effects of a greasy meal.
Increases activity and brain function: its regular consumption helps improve cognition and vasomotor responses, as well as helping the brain to recover from injuries.
It is good for bones and tissues: It is a source of manganese and other minerals that are essential in the construction of healthy bones and tissues.
How to use cinnamon?
For its ability to improve muscle pain, do good to the heart and its antioxidant properties, cinnamon is a great natural remedy for athletes of all sports.
Consuming one tablespoon a day helps ensure its myriad benefits. Try it: add it to your smoothies, juices or other post-workout food. Frequent use can reduce muscle soreness from intense training and speed recovery.
Studies showing the benefits of cinnamon
Anti-inflammatory: Researchers at the University of Medical Sciences in Isfahan, Iran, studied the effects of ginger and cinnamon on muscle pain in 60 Taekwondo practitioners, aged 13 to 25 years. The women were divided into three groups. For six weeks, each group took three grams (1 teaspoon = 4 grams) of powdered ginger, cinnamon, or placebo each day.
In the study, an indicator of inflammation and an indicator of muscle pain were analysed in women. The results were published with the conclusion that the two spices contain compounds that help reduce inflammation. They also help reduce oxidative and modulating stress and other healing mechanisms within the body.
Antioxidant: Two previous studies conducted in test tubes have shown that cinnamon can be effective against fungal infections and bacteria. Compared to 25 other herbs and spices, cinnamon surpassed them all in terms of antioxidant activity.
Weight loss: In this study, the researchers added a small amount (6 g) of cinnamon to the rice pudding. Doing this has been found to reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from the small intestine and can help you lose weight.
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we're sleeping.