These 5 spices have the best health benefits for runners

1/ Cayenne pepper

Capsaicin, which gives cayenne pepper its heat, has been found to curb the appetite and modestly increase energy expenditure and circulation. It also binds to receptors in the brain, nerves and blood vessels associated with pain relief.

Try: Nature’s Garden Cayenne capsules, £6.99, Holland and Barrett

2/ Ginger

Ginger is well known as an anti-inflammatory, but recent research suggests it may also help to boost the production of mitochondria, the energy factories in our cells. A 2011 study also found it enhanced immune function.

Try: Natur Boutique organic ginger tea, £2.99, Fito

3/ Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been shown to improve glucose sensitivity and lower blood sugar – key in the prevention of diabetes. It also plays a role in lowering blood pressure. The spice also helps combat exercise-induced oxidative stress.

Try: Solgar Cinnamon capsules, £13.99, Solgar

4/ Turmeric

Curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric, plays a role in recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage. It’s also effective in combating pain. One study found it eased the symptoms of arthritis as effectively as ibuprofen.

Try: Better You Turmeric oral spray, £17.95, Better You

5/ Black pepper

Piperine, a compound in black pepper, has been shown to enhance the absorption of nutrients from food. It may also aid pain relief: one study found it enhanced the analgesic effects of ibuprofen when consumed at the same time.

Try: Natruflex Turmeric and Black Pepper capsules, £19.95, The Naked Pharmacy