Ideal Foods and Supplements for Sports Injuries
Sports and athletics, injuries are an unlucky part of the game. Luckily, certain foods and supplements could help lessen the amount of time your body needs to recover from a sports injury. This informative article mentions 14 foods and supplements you should consider adding to your diet to help recover from an injury more quickly.
1. Protein-Rich Foods
Protein is a necessary building block for a lot of tissues in your body, including muscle. After a sports injury, the injured body part is usually immobilized. This frequently contributes to a decline in strength and muscle mass. Nevertheless, getting enough protein might help minimize this loss. Additionally, a protein-rich diet may help prevent inflammation from getting too bad and slowing down your recovery. Furthermore, just a little increasing your protein intake once you start training the injured body part again helps you rebuild any lost muscle. For all these reasons, be sure to include protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, poultry, tofu, beans, peas, nuts or seeds in your daily menu. How you distribute these foods during the course of the day also appears to matter. Research shows that spreading your protein consumption equally over 4 meals might encourage muscle growth even more than an uneven distribution. Experts also state that having a protein-rich snack before bed can help increase your body’s muscle-building process while you sleep.
2. Fruits and Vegetables Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C assists your body make collagen, which helps maintain the strength of your bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. For that reason, getting an adequate amount of vitamin C from your diet is a good way to help your body rebuild tissue after an injury. Additionally, vitamin C possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory attributes, which may help accelerate your recovery by preventing excessive levels of inflammation. Thankfully, vitamin C is among the easiest vitamins to get enough of through your daily diet. Foods that contain best amounts of vitamin C are citrus fruits, red and yellow bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, berries, tomatoes, mango, and papaya. However, it’s currently not clear whether supplements give any benefits for the people already getting enough vitamin C from their diet. On the other hand, the small number of individuals who can’t consume enough vitamin C-rich foods may choose to use supplements.
3. Zinc-Rich Foods
Zinc is a component of numerous enzymes and proteins, such as those required for wound healing, tissue repair, and growth. Actually, research has shown that not getting enough zinc from your diet can delay wound healing. For that reason, consuming zinc-rich foods like meat, fish, shellfish, pulses, seeds, nuts and whole grains can help you recover better from an injury. Some individuals might be attracted to simply take zinc supplements to be sure they meet their recommendations. But zinc competes with copper for absorption, so getting high doses of zinc from supplements could increase the chance of copper deficiency. Generally, if your zinc level is great, extra zinc from supplements probably won’t accelerate wound healing. However, getting sufficient from your diet is important.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
After an injury, the first phase of wound healing usually involves some inflammation. This inflammatory response is helpful and needed for appropriate healing. Nevertheless, if this inflammation stays too high for too much time, it may slow down your recovery. One great way to prevent excess inflammation from delaying your recovery would be to eat enough omega-3 fats. These fats, which are present in foods like fish, algae, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds, are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally you can prevent excess or prolonged inflammation by decreasing omega-6 fats, which are generally found in corn, canola, cottonseed, soy and sunflower oils. Consuming too many omega-6 fats could promote inflammation, particularly if your consumption of omega-3 fats is also low. Additionally, a number of studies report that omega-3 supplements could help increase the creation of muscle protein, reduce the loss of muscle throughout immobilization and promote recovery from concussions. Even so, high intakes of omega-3 fats from supplements may possibly reduce your body’s capability to regain muscle mass when you return to training. Therefore, it will be best to increase your omega-3 intake from foods instead of supplements.
5. Fiber-Rich Foods
Recovery from injury frequently includes immobilization or limited use of the injured body part. To prevent this from leading to fat in the body, it’s important to compensate by eating slightly less. One good way reduce your calorie intake would be to consume a diet abundant in fiber. This, in addition to consuming the protein-rich foods mentioned previously, will help you eat less without feeling hungry. That’s due to the fact that fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains help boost feelings of fullness after meals. As an additional bonus, fiber-rich foods are usually high in a few other nutrients essential for your recovery, including vitamin C, magnesium and zinc. Nevertheless, keep in mind that restricting calories too seriously may reduce wound healing and promote muscle loss, both of which negatively affect recovery. Therefore, those who were trying to drop the extra pounds before the injury should consider postponing their weight loss efforts. Instead, pay attention to maintaining your body weight until recovery is complete.
6. Vitamin D and Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium is a valuable component of bones and teeth. It’s also associated with muscle contractions and nerve signaling. That’s exactly why it’s worthwhile to ensure you always get enough calcium — not just when you’re recovering from an injury. Foods rich in calcium are dairy products, leafy greens, sardines, broccoli, okra, almonds, seaweed and calcium-fortified tofu and plant milks. Vitamin D also works an equally important function since it helps your body absorb the calcium present in the foods you eat. Together with calcium, it has an instrumental role in recovering from a bone injury. Additionally, getting as much as necessary vitamin D may improve the chances of a good recovery after surgery. For example, studies have discovered a good vitamin D status can enhance strength recovery following an anterior cruciate ligament ( ACL ) surgery. Several foods naturally contain vitamin D, still, your body has the potential to make vitamin D from exposure to the sun. Those living in northern climates or spending a limited period of time outdoors may need supplements to get enough vitamin D.
Creatine is a substance naturally present in meat, poultry, and fish. It helps the body produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity training. The human body can also generate about 1 gram of it daily. Creatine is now a well-known supplement widely used to boost muscle mass and improve performance in various sports. Surprisingly, it may also help you recover from an injury. One study reported that creatine supplements enhanced the gain of muscle mass and strength lost during a two-week immobilization period more than a placebo. One more study discovered that people supplementing with creatine lost much less muscle in their upper body during a week-long period of immobilization than those given a placebo. Nevertheless, only some studies found these outcomes. Both of the studies showing successes provided the creatine supplement in 4 doses of 5 grams daily. It’s necessary to note that there is currently no consensus about creatine and sports injury recovery. Having said that, no studies to date find any unwanted side effects. Creatine remains one of the most-studied, safest supplements around, so it may be worth giving it a try.
Glucosamine is a natural substance found in the fluid that surrounds your joints. It is involved in the creation of tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Your body naturally produces glucosamine, but you can also increase your levels through supplements. Supplements are generally made either from shellfish shells or fermented corn. Research in individuals with arthritis shows that glucosamine may be useful in decreasing joint pain. Also, studies in healthy individuals show that supplementing with 1–3 grams of glucosamine per day may help reduce joint deterioration. One recent animal study also showed that taking glucosamine daily after a fracture may speed up bone reformation. Based on these findings, some people take glucosamine supplements to help reduce pain after joint and bone injuries or speed up recovery from fractures. However, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made. It’s worth noting that glucosamine supplements may pose a risk to those who are allergic or sensitive to shellfish or iodine, pregnant women and those with diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma or high blood pressure.
Along with getting an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D, good intakes of the following nutrients can bring about a faster recovery from bone fractures.
Promotes bone strength and firmness. Found in almonds, cashews, peanuts, potato skins, brown rice, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, and milk.
Plays an important role in the early stages of bone formation. Best sources include whole grains and cereals, carrots and green beans.
11. Vitamins K1 and K2
Directs calcium toward bones and helps improve bone strength. Best sources include leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, prunes, sauerkraut, natto, miso, organ meats, egg yolks and dairy products from grass-fed cows.
Promotes bone health by increasing calcium and magnesium retention and enhancing vitamin D’s effect. Prunes are the best dietary source.
Helps improve calcium absorption in bones. Found in cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, and prunes.
This amino acid is needed to produce nitric oxide, a compound necessary for fracture healing. The best sources include meat, dairy, poultry, seafood, nuts, and oatmeal. Those recovering from bone fractures should consume foods rich in these nutrients daily.
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