Bodybuilders have two primary goals. The first, and most obvious, is to build muscle. This is the goal of most people who are first picking up a weight, and this is the goal of those who have been training for twenty years. But the second goal is equally important – maintaining a low enough body fat percentage so that the muscle weight gained is actually visible.
The metabolism is the body’s mechanism, which burns a flat number of calories each day. People with a high metabolism typically have low body fat. People with a low metabolism tend to carry a body fat level of 15% or higher. Anytime the body fat goes higher than 10 or 12%, a bodybuilder stops looking like a bodybuilder and starts looking like a powerlifter, or worse, overweight.
The metabolism can be boosted in several ways. Aerobic exercise, such as daily cardio, can result in a slow but steady metabolic rise. Use of thermogenic products like ECA stacks (ephedrine/caffeine/aspirin) can result in a 2 to 5 percent rise in daily metabolic rate. And there is one food, which has been proven to raise the metabolism. That food is ginger.
Often erroneously referred to as ginger root, ginger is another name for the plant Zingiber officinale. Some benefits of ginger root include anti-inflammatory effects, as well as relief for those suffering from nausea, toothaches, motion sickness. But bodybuilders are most interested in the thermogenic effects of ginger. Ginger causes muscle cells to utilize more oxygen. It also causes increased levels of lactic acid (which stimulated GH release in the body), and increases the flow of nutrient rich blood to the muscles.
Bodybuilders can consume ginger in two ways. First, it can be eaten with food after being stewed or boiled. However, this is impractical for the levels of ginger required to positively affect a bodybuilder’s metabolism. For this reason, ginger is preferable in supplement format. Ginger supplements are available at any grocery store or pharmacy. Recommended dosage of standard ginger extract is 250 mg, three times per day. It can also be stacked with 400 mg of garlic supplement, for a synergistic effect (As in, 1 + 1 = 3). Together, they provide a greater metabolic boost than ginger alone.
Remember that a supplement like ginger will only add a 2% advantage to your efforts – the other 98% has to come from proper nutrition, training, and supplementation. But when that last 2% matters, ginger (preferably coupled with garlic) might be the edge you’re looking for!