Nutrition and the foods you eat play an important role in preventing and recovering from injuries. Minimizing muscle loss during injury recovery can be impacted largely by the composition of your diet. Inflammation and weight management can also be attributed to the nutrient density of the foods you eat.
The first step of the injury recovery process is an inflammatory response that helps with healing. This is a normal and necessary healing process for bone and tissue injuries, so temporary inflammation in this case isn’t bad! This process begins immediately after the injury occurs, and swelling may be a common result.
The second step of injury recovery occurs when the athlete starts to resume movement on the injury and it can become weight bearing again. In this situation, calorie needs for the athlete are increased because the body is working harder to recover. Caloric needs in this stage may be closer to someone who is trying to gain lean mass as the athlete is both training and working through an injury.
Increased Calorie Needs
It is often overlooked that athletes have increased calorie needs that can range from 15-50% more calorie needs depending on the severity of the injury. This means increased calories, more protein, and an emphasis on micronutrients and antioxidants. As your body is working harder to heal, it needs more energy through foods. It is better to slightly overfeed an athlete during recovery than it is to underfeed or under nourish them.
A common thought that occurs to athletes who have decreased their training load during injuries is that they need to drastically decrease calorie intake so they do not gain weight or change body composition. Our main goal with nutrition during this time is to prevent deficiencies while providing optimal nutrient needs to prevent muscle loss.
Increased Protein Needs
Muscle degradation is another common result after injuries due to less training, being in a cast, etc., which is another area where purposeful nutrition can help in recovery. Studies have shown that limb immobilization can result in muscle atrophy and loss in lean mass, which is where nutrition intervention comes in. Make sure to incorporate leucine into intake by consuming foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and beans.
Free Radicals & Antioxidants
Oxidative stress comes from exercise and injuries, which releases something called “free radicals” that increase inflammation and can damage cells and tissues. These terms may sound intimidating, but have no fear- we have nutrients to help reduce long-term inflammation!
You may have heard that antioxidants help reduce inflammation, but it’s important to know when to increase antioxidants vs. when inflammation is actually helpful in the recovery process. What is the best way to limit inflammation through eating habits? Following a well-balanced diet. If you don’t like seafood or don’t typically eat at least 2 servings per week, or have many sources of omega-3 rich foods in your diet, supplementation may be helpful to ensure adequate intake of the omega-3s EPA and DHA.
Collagen is a protein found in every single joint, tendon, bone, and ligament in the body… and is crucial to strengthening and keeping all those tissues healthy! Not only that, but it also helps support our skin health, elasticity, nail strength, hair health, and strong joints … among many other things!
Our Low Temperature Processed Hydrolyzed Collagen powder is high quality and bioavailable! We sourced 5 different types of Collagen from 5 different sources to provide you with the most diverse amino acid profile. Enjoy it in a shake, a smoothie, a cup of coffee, or even just a glass of water! contains 50mg per serving of Dermaval™. Dermaval™ is a revolutionary phytonutrient-rich complex that increases and helps maintain healthy levels of elastin in the body.* Collagen is great at building structure, while elastin is responsible for elasticity and firmness of the skin.
**These statements have not been evaluated by The Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.