Myths are abundant in the fitness industry, word of mouth in gyms and on social media leads to a lot of nonsense being spread around. This, unfortunately, leads to many people believing things which are not true, and often the misinformation leads to no improvement in someone’s health and fitness or even worse can lead to injury.
With these articles, we have themes on training, nutrition, supplementation and so on, but a very important one is on myths in the industry. The purpose of this is that you get information which actually works, but also so you know what things to disregard which are actually just ineffective and won’t be of benefit to you. If you know what is folly and what is valid, then you are going to get results much quicker.
To start the myth bust series, we will firstly look at the turmeric latte, which is increasingly popular in coffee shops and in supermarkets, while it is not necessarily bad it is certainly not as good as some people would have you believe. So let’s address this.
Turmeric is a spice which contains a compound called curcumin, which is a great potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can help remove toxins from the body, reduce inflammation associated with joint pain or body fat, and prevent damage to cells.
Getting Enough of What You Need?
The trouble with a turmeric latte is that by using turmeric as a spice and not as an extract you miss out on a great deal of the curcuminoids, which are arguably the most essential part.
Turmeric extract can contain around 95% curcumin, whereas turmeric as a spice can be as little as 3%. So by using the spice, actually you miss out on the main thing (1). So if you took 1000 milligrams (mg) of turmeric you may only get 30mg of curcuminoids, which is a very inefficient delivery of curcumin to the body.
This extends to any ingredient or supplement in fact not just turmeric, knowing the quantity and quality of what you are taking is essential, otherwise, you may be expecting results which are not going to come.
What’s the Solution?
The solution is simple, use a product which does what it says, provides adequate doses of the thing you need, and is of high quality. The increasing trend in turmeric latte’s (and for that matter a range of other spices in coffees), means we should ask the question…does the consumer know what they are getting from it?
For example, Designs for Health have a product called C3 Curcumin Complex, which is designed to have 95% curcuminoids (2). When this is compared with a turmeric latte it is hands down the winner, because you know the amount you are getting and it is standardised, a coffee shop is unlikely to do this.
Additionally, the Turmeric Latte has milk, which for some may not be a good combination with their stomach and potentially be slightly inflammatory.
A Turmeric Latte is not in the grand scheme of things bad for you as such, but don’t believe that it will be the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health boost that is going to be a revelation in your health. If you want to get a good dose of turmeric or curcumin to go for an extract or a specific supplement which specifically targets this.
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