Does Oatmeal Increase Inflammation?

Does research really show that oatmeal increases cardiovascular risk? Here's what the study found and what it means for your diet.

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Soreness solution

  • The war against oatmeal

  • Does coffee make your blood boil?

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The Soreness Solution

Research suggests that taking anti-inflammatory medications to help you bounce back from your harder workouts could slow muscle recovery. But a chill pill could be just what your body ordered. 

Research suggests cold exposure is one of the best ways to speed muscle recovery and reduce extreme soreness.

Recovery research has mixed results and limited studies have compared different recovery methods. We know from one review of 20 studies that cold water helps your body bounce back, but that study didn’t look at other methods, which made this massive review so helpful. 

Scientists examined 28 studies and assessed cold water immersion, warm water immersion, active recovery (like walking or stretching), and massage. 

Cold water immersion was as good or better than other methods at improving recovery and helping your muscles bounce back faster. Spending time in cold water reduced soreness, inflammation, and muscle damage.

Water around 10 degrees Celsius (about 50 degrees Fahrenheit) for 10 to 30 minutes within 48 hours after exercise appears to be the best approach.

Our favorite cold water immersion tool is The Plunge. We’ve tested them all, and The Plunge offers the best mix of helping you hit the perfect temperature with minimal effort. 

The Plunge features powerful cooling down to 37°F, smartphone connectivity for ultimate control, and a sleek exterior designed to inspire. The all-in-one design offers a truly plug-and-plunge set-up and makes maintenance a breeze thanks to an easy access filter. 

As a member of the positive corner of the internet, use the code Pump150 for $150 OFF your purchase.

As Seen On Social: The War Against Oatmeal

“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” 

The line is from The Dark Knight, but it unfortunately applies too often to nutrition. Year after year, perfectly acceptable foods get inaccurately called out for being dangerous because nothing drives engagement like a controversial take. 

In this video, the “Glucose Goddess” references a study that she claims determined that oats cause a “glucose spike” and that switching from oats to eggs makes “all your inflammatory makers go down and reduce heart disease.” 

One problem: this isn’t true and is not what that study found. 

Thankfully, Dr. Idz did the right thing and reviewed the study. The researchers found that switching between eggs and oatmeal didn’t change weight, body fat, cholesterol, HbA1c, or the primary markers of inflammation. In other words, eating oatmeal was just as good for your heart as eggs. 

The next time you see a study referenced on social media, remember it helps not to overreact, especially if it’s something that doesn’t have any red flags (oatmeal is low in calories and high in fiber). It’s good to review a wide variety of studies on a topic. (That’s why we try to reference other research to help you see the big picture). And if there’s only one or a few studies, it’s a sign that it’s too early to draw any conclusion with much certainty.

Most research has found that eating oats is associated with lower heart disease, lower cholesterol, lower body weight, and better overall health. In fact, one review of 21 randomized controlled trials found that oatmeal reduces inflammation, and another study found that it reduces blood sugar in type-2 diabetics. 

You can avoid oats if you don’t like them or your body doesn’t respond well to them. However, they are a great addition to any diet, and you don’t need to fear that oatmeal causes heart problems. 

Does Coffee Make Your Blood Boil?

You know that coffee boosts energy — but does it also put too much strain on your heart?

New research suggests that coffee does not negatively influence your blood pressure if you drink it regularly. 

Scientists took participants and assigned them to one of three conditions: coffee, decaf, or water. Then, their reactions to each condition were measured so scientists could determine how their bodies reacted to each beverage. 

The scientists found no difference in blood pressure or flow in any conditions. The one thing to keep in mind is that all of the participants were habitual coffee drinkers. It appears that coffee’s impact on your body depends on your tolerance. If you usually drink coffee — or have within 1 cup of your normal intake — your body doesn’t experience any adverse reaction. 

And, as we’ve shared before, research suggests coffee does not cause dangerous fluctuations in your heart rate. 

If you enjoy coffee or have wondered about its safety, this is just one more reason to believe you drink it safely, assuming you don’t drink in a way that exceeds your normal behaviors.

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell