Our liposomal turmeric elixir Synchro Gold was released in October of 2014, and to date it has dramatically improved quality of life for thousands of people (as many of you know well...) by reducing or eliminating the chronic inflammation that underlies joint pain, low energy, brain fog and so many other conditions.
Interestingly though, fixing chronic diseases was not necessarily my motivation when setting out to design the most bioavailable turmeric formula possible.
There are thousands of studies showing the ability of turmeric to reduce joint pain symptoms (generally better than prescription and OTC drugs) - so it was a safe assumption that such a formula would have profound effects for people suffering from inflammation-driven conditions like chronic joint and muscle pain.
Instead, it was the potential for mental and physical performance enhancement with turmeric that got my attention and drove me into the R&D for Synchro Gold.
In my research I'd come across a number of recent studies that examined the biological activity of the "secondary" compounds in turmeric.
A bit of background here: most studies (and products) done on turmeric use only a single isolated compound (curcumin) because, in isolation, it delivers the most powerful anti-inflammatory effect. What is missed in this strategy, however, is the synergistic effects between the various bioactive compounds in turmeric that produce an anti-inflammatory effect greater than any single isolated compound.
Also missed are the unique effects of the secondary compounds. When the effects of full-spectrum turmeric extracts are studied, in addition to superior anti-inflammatory activity, we also see additional effects like stimulation of antioxidant enzyme production and neural stem cell proliferation not present when using curcumin alone. 
It was these secondary characteristics of turmeric that caught my attention as potentially hugely valuable for improving mental and physical performance in healthy people, and particularly in athletes.
While thousands of studies done over the past 20 years have looked at turmeric's ability to treat various diseases, very few have looked specifically at its ability to enhance athletic performance. So while I could make an educated guess that full-spectrum turmeric extracts would be of particular benefit to athletes, it was largely just that - a guess.
Never content to simply speculate, I started looking into conducting my own study examining the effects of Synchro Gold on various markers of athletic performance.
In August of last year, I was fortunate to partner with a pair of biochemistry students from Brown University who also happened to be elite collegiate athletes - ideal candidates for conducting this study.
Here's what we designed:
- We collected a group of highly-trained elite male collegiate rowers and divided them into a test and a control group.
- The test group consumed 1.5oz of Synchro Gold immediately following their daily workouts every day over a 2 week period.
The control group followed the same protocol, but with a placebo in place of Synchro Gold. (The placebo was designed to be as close in taste and appearance as possible to Synchro Gold, simply without the inclusion of turmeric.)
- 3 markers of athletic performance and recovery were tested - (1) muscle soreness, (2) muscle fatigue and (3) power output (a measure of strength) - on consecutive days at the beginning and end of the 2 week period.
- Data was analyzed to determine the differences, if any, in the performance of the test group vs. the control group.
If supplementing for a 2 week period with Synchro Gold had any affect on these markers of athletic performance, we would see this in the data.
Figure 1 shows that, on the day following a workout, the athletes who had used Synchro Gold immediately following their workout the previous day were significantly less sore than the athletes using the placebo. This decrease in soreness was most pronounced when athletes performed a workout with an intensity rated as "hard".
Figure 2 shows that athletes consuming Synchro Gold following their workouts had a lower level of perceived fatigue the day following a workout. Again, the reduction in perceived fatigue was most pronounced when the intensity level of the workouts was rated as "hard".
Figure 3 shows the data I find most revealing. By measuring the total watts produced by the athletes over the course of a standardized workout, the researchers were able to measure the the strength and fitness of their subjects. In Test 1, conducted at the beginning of the research period, we see that athletes in both groups performed more poorly the day after a difficult training session, producing about 12 watts less on average. This type of power decrease is typical for athletes on the day following a difficult workout.
In Test 2, conducted at the end of the two-week research period, we see the same pattern of decreased watts output in the control group. In the Synchro Gold group, however, we actually see an increase in the power output between the first and second day.
At this point, the athletes in this group had taken Synchro Gold every day for 2 weeks. Previous studies have shown that many of the effects of the secondary compounds (antioxidant enzyme stimulation, for example) occur only after days-to-weeks of continuous use - so we can assume that any performance-improving effect of the secondary compounds would be present in the second test but not the first, thus offering an explanation for the performance increases seen in the Synchro Gold group at the end of the 2 week period.
Based on this data, we can infer that continuous use of Synchro Gold significantly improves recovery, allowing for higher training intensities and possibly even aiding in myogenesis (muscle formation).
What It Means
The three markers tested for - soreness, fatigue and power output - are hugely important for any athlete, regardless of discipline.
Reducing soreness and fatigue allows an athlete to train at higher intensity, which can be a huge advantage if utilized properly, particularly for endurance athletes.
Training intensity is only part of the equation however, recovery and rebuilding after a workout is perhaps the most essential. You can do all of the intensity you want, but if your body is not rebuilding effectively following a training session, performance will not improve.
This is why the observed increase in power output is potentially such a revelation. This is indicative of the possibility that Synchro Gold not only allows for higher training intensity, but also aids in the rebuilding of muscle and cardiovascular tissues.
Further study is certainly warranted here, as the participant pool in this study is not large enough to draw any concrete conclusions from. The potential implications are revolutionary enough to justify further research, so we're in the process of exploring options for conducting a larger study looking specifically at athletic recovery. More to come...
Read the full study here.
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