Does Turmeric Give You Energy?
Turmeric has become an incredibly popular spice in recent years. Known for its bright golden color and earthy, slightly bitter taste, turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Indian cuisine and natural medicine.
- What Is Turmeric?
- What Gives Turmeric Its Medicinal Properties?
- Does Turmeric Give You Energy?
- How Can You Take Turmeric for Energy?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Turmeric and Energy
- Does turmeric give you energy and make you happy?
- Is turmeric a stimulant?
- Can turmeric increase blood flow and circulation?
- How long does it take for turmeric to kick in?
- What’s the best way to take turmeric?
- Can too much turmeric be dangerous?
- Putting Turmeric to the Test
These days, turmeric is best known for being one of the main compounds in curry powder. But did you know that it’s also gaining a reputation as a potent medicinal herb?
Proponents claim that turmeric can do everything from easing arthritis pain to preventing cancer. And recently, some people have started touting turmeric as an energy booster.
But is there any truth to this claim? Does turmeric really have energizing effects, or is it all just hype?
Let’s take a look at what science has to say about using turmeric for energy.
What Is Turmeric?
Before we dive into turmeric’s effects on energy, let’s start with the basics. What exactly is turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. The plant is part of the ginger family and is closely related to cardamom and galangal.
Native to Southwest India and Southeast Asia, turmeric has been used in these regions for thousands of years. It’s a key ingredient in many types of curry powder blends.
In addition to its culinary applications, turmeric has also been widely used in the Indian Ayurvedic medicinal system. Traditional Ayurvedic healers have employed turmeric to treat a wide range of ailments.
These days, turmeric remains a staple in Indian cooking. But due to rising interest in natural remedies, turmeric has also gained popularity in the West.
You can find turmeric powder in most grocery stores these days. The powder is made by boiling, drying, and grinding the roots of the turmeric plant.
Fresh turmeric root, also sometimes called fresh turmeric, is increasingly available at natural food stores and specialty grocers. The root has light brown skin and bright orange flesh.
What Gives Turmeric Its Medicinal Properties?
So what exactly gives turmeric its supposed medicinal superpowers? The secret lies in its compounds:
Curcuminoids - The most important group of compounds in turmeric is curcuminoids. The main curcuminoid in turmeric is curcumin, which gives turmeric its characteristic golden color. Curcumin has been studied extensively for its health effects.
Volatile oils - Volatile oils, like tumerone, atlantone, and zingiberene, contribute to turmeric’s distinct aroma. They’ve also shown bioactivity in studies.
Other nutrients - Turmeric also contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For example, it’s a good source of iron and manganese.
But out of all these compounds, curcumin is the one that’s been the most extensively researched. Many experts believe it’s the curcumin content that gives turmeric the majority of its health benefits.
Does Turmeric Give You Energy?
Now, let’s get to the million dollar question: can turmeric give you an energy boost?
Some initial research seems promising. But the evidence is still early when it comes to using turmeric as an energy supplement.
Here’s what science says so far about turmeric for energy levels:
It may reduce fatigue
Some research indicates turmeric could help reduce mental and physical fatigue.
In one 8-week study in people with chronic fatigue syndrome, those who took 1 gram of turmeric per day reported less fatigue than those taking a placebo. The turmeric group also had less anxiety and depression.
In another study, curcumin was shown to reduce mental fatigue and improve performance on cognitive tasks.
So the research is still limited, but early findings suggest turmeric may have anti-fatigue benefits. More studies are needed to confirm the link.
Curcumin may influence neurotransmitters
Some research shows curcumin, the main active compound in turmeric, can impact neurotransmitters in the brain.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that nerve cells use to communicate with each other. They influence many aspects of health, including energy, focus, motivation, and alertness.
Studies indicate that curcumin may boost levels of dopamine and serotonin. These are “feel good” neurotransmitters that play key roles in energy regulation.
By influencing neurotransmitters, curcumin could potentially have mild stimulant-like effects. But more human research is needed.
It’s an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can sap your energy levels and leave you feeling tired and run down.
Curcumin displays strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. By combating inflammation and free radicals, it may promote overall health.
In turn, this could support energy production and help avoid fatigue. But clinical evidence directly linking turmeric to increased energy through these mechanisms is still lacking.
Early evidence is promising, but limited
Some preliminary studies suggest turmeric may reduce fatigue, partly by interacting with neurotransmitters. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects could also support healthy energy levels.
But the research is still in early stages. Few clinical trials directly examine turmeric’s effects on energy, fatigue, and alertness. More rigorous human studies are needed before strong conclusions can be made.
At this point, there isn’t sufficient evidence to confirm whether or not turmeric can effectively boost energy or act as a stimulant. The existing research shows potential, but the science is not definitive.
How Can You Take Turmeric for Energy?
If you want to give turmeric a try for its potential energy and fatigue-fighting benefits, here are some options:
Add it to food
One easy way to work more turmeric into your routine is to use it as a spice. Try adding it to curries, rice dishes, eggs, roasted vegetables, soups, and more.
You can purchase ground turmeric powder or, for a more intense flavor, seek out fresh turmeric root. Keep in mind fresh turmeric is more perishable.
Aim for 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder up to three times per day, which is about 150-500 milligrams of curcumin. Combining black pepper with turmeric can boost absorption of curcumin.
Take a supplement
For a more concentrated dose, you can take a turmeric extract supplement. These contain a higher level of curcumin than you could get just from eating turmeric as a spice.
Look for a supplement standardized to contain at least 95% curcuminoids. The recommended daily dose is typically 500-1000 milligrams of curcumin.
Be aware that curcumin is poorly absorbed on its own. Formulations combined with piperine or phospholipids tend to have better bioavailability.
Drink turmeric tea
Sipping on turmeric tea is an easy way to enjoy its comforting flavor and potential benefits. Steep sliced or grated fresh turmeric root in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
You can also simmer turmeric powder in milk and add warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper to make a masala-style turmeric tea, also called golden milk.
Potential side effects
When used as a spice in food, turmeric is considered very safe. Mild digestive side effects can sometimes occur at supplemental doses.
Call your doctor if you experience any negative symptoms. And consult them before taking turmeric supplements if you have bleeding disorders, diabetes, GERD, or are taking certain medications.
So what’s the verdict? Can a daily hit of turmeric really give you an energy boost?
The potential is there thanks to early research on fatigue and curcumin’s influence on neurotransmitters. But more clinical studies specifically looking at turmeric’s effects on energy and alertness are needed.
For now, science hasn’t confirmed definitively that turmeric will give you an energy kick. But including it as part of an overall healthy lifestyle just might help you feel a little more bright-eyed and energized.
Turmeric is safe, affordable, and delicious when used in moderation as a seasoning. So there’s minimal risk to giving it a try. Just don’t expect it to replace your morning cup of coffee.
When it comes to turmeric for energy, science does show promise. But the link still needs more high quality research before we know anything conclusive.
Frequently Asked Questions About Turmeric and Energy
Still have some questions about the potential energizing effects of turmeric? Here are answers to some common questions.
Does turmeric give you energy and make you happy?
Some preliminary research indicates turmeric may boost "feel good" neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. This suggests it could potentially give you an energy and mood boost. But more studies are needed to know for certain.
Is turmeric a stimulant?
Turmeric is not a stimulant in the classical sense like caffeine. But early findings suggest its curcumin content may influence neurotransmitters involved in energy regulation. So in theory, it could have mild stimulant-like effects, but more research is required.
Can turmeric increase blood flow and circulation?
Curcumin shows anti-inflammatory effects that could theoretically support healthy blood flow. But data directly linking turmeric to increased circulation in humans is lacking currently.
How long does it take for turmeric to kick in?
Most studies use turmeric or curcumin dosages for several weeks or months to allow effects to build up. Benefits are not immediate. Allow at least 2-4 weeks when using turmeric supplements to evaluate any impacts on energy.
What’s the best way to take turmeric?
Consuming turmeric in meals provides all the benefits of the whole spice. For higher concentrations, supplements or turmeric tea can boost your intake. Combining with piperine (black pepper) improves curcumin absorption.
Can too much turmeric be dangerous?
Turmeric is very safe when used in normal culinary amounts. At supplemental doses, potential side effects like upset stomach can occur. Very high amounts may interact with some medications, so talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
Putting Turmeric to the Test
As the research stands now, the connection between turmeric and energy boosts is promising but preliminary. More rigorous clinical studies in humans are still needed.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t put turmeric to the test yourself through dietary sources.
Try working this golden spice into your own routine. Focus on using turmeric in moderation as part of an overall healthy lifestyle for a month or more.
Pay attention to any effects on your energy levels, fatigue, mood, aches and pains, and overall wellbeing.
Make sure to keep a record of how much turmeric you consume each day. This will help you evaluate whether any benefits you notice seem dose-dependent.
While adding more turmeric to your life likely won’t provide an energy miracle, it just may give you a modest boost. And you have nothing to lose, since turmeric is safe, affordable, and tasty.
It’s still too soon to say for sure whether turmeric lives up to all the energy hype. But the only way to really know how it affects you is to give it a try yourself.
Turmeric contains compounds like curcumin that display antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some initial studies suggest it may lessen fatigue and influence neurotransmitters involved in energy regulation. By combating inflammation and free radicals, turmeric could also support energy production indirectly. However, human research directly linking turmeric to increased energy, alertness, or focus is still limited. The existing studies show potential, but more rigorous clinical trials are needed to establish clear connections between daily turmeric intake and boosted energy levels. Current evidence is not definitive enough to confirm turmeric as an effective stimulant or energy supplement, though it shows promise. While turmeric is safe and healthy when used in moderation as a spice, those looking for dramatic energy improvements or a replacement for stimulants like coffee will likely be disappointed. However, incorporating more turmeric into your diet just might provide modest energy-boosting benefits over time.