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What Supplement Is Good for Inflamed Muscles?

by
author image Jaime Herndon
Jaime Herndon has been writing for health websites since 2009 and has guest-blogged on SheKnows. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and women's studies, she earned a Master of Science in clinical health psychology and a Master of Public Health in maternal-child health. Her interests include oncology, women's health and exercise science.
What Supplement Is Good for Inflamed Muscles?
A woman is holding her leg muscle. Photo Credit mheim3011/iStock/Getty Images

Muscles can become inflamed form overuse or an especially strenuous workout, but when the condition is chronic, it may be a condition called myositis. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons describes myositis as an autoimmune condition in which healthy muscle tissue is chronically inflamed. There is no cure, but some supplements may ease muscle inflammation. Before using any supplements for muscles that are inflamed, see your doctor to confirm you do not have a more serious injury, and talk with your physician about whether supplements are safe for you to take.

Glutamine

Amino acids help build proteins, and glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in your body, the University of Maryland Medical Center says. Your body usually produces adequate amounts of glutamine, but more may be necessary after strenuous workouts or in the case of an injury. This amino acid is mostly stored in your muscles. Glutamine helps reduce inflammation and may help boost the immune system in athletes, because prolonged athletic training may lower overall glutamine levels. This supplement is typically taken in dosages of 500 milligrams, one to three times a day, the UMMC states. Before using glutamine, talk with your doctor to ensure it is safe for you to consume.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are substances that your body needs but cannot produce on its own. These fatty acids are found in fish like herring, salmon and tuna, as well as algae, some plants and various nut oils. There are also omega-3 fatty acid supplements, also called fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and can help reduce your risk of developing conditions like heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer and arthritis. Talk to your physician about how much omega-3 you should consume for your inflamed muscles; it is typically not safe to take more than 3 grams a day, unless your doctor recommends otherwise, the University of Maryland Medical Center advises.

Bromelain

Bromelain is a supplement made from pineapple extract. It has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, although not all studies have shown significant effects. The American Cancer Society states that bromelain has been described as a possible alternative to traditional anti-inflammatory drugs for sports injuries or muscle pain, although more research is needed to make a definitive recommendation. Drugs.com recommends taking 40 milligrams of bromelain, three to four times a day. If you are pregnant, allergic to pineapple, or taking any antibiotics, check with your doctor before using bromelain supplements.

Turmeric

Turmeric, a flavoring typically used in Indian dishes, is also a strong anti-inflammatory herb. The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, helps lower amounts of two enzymes that cause inflammation, called COX-2 and LOX, and stops platelets from sticking together and causing blood clots. The UMMC suggests you take 400 to 600 milligrams of standardized curcumin powder capsules three times a day. Bromelain can help your body better absorb curcumin, so the two supplements may be combined. Ask your doctor whether curcumin is an appropriate supplement to help treat your muscle inflammation.

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