Healthy Eating for Sport Injuries
You’ve been putting your all in the training for a big race or an important game and in an instant and injury can have you sitting on the sidelines. As an athlete, you may think of injuries as just another part of the sports lifestyle. If you’ve been following a diet based on specific amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, and calories with little thought of other nutrients, your injury could indicate a nutrient deficiency or imbalance.
Many athletes lack the patience, and sometimes the time, to allow their injuries to heal completely. The result of this is often pain, inflammation, and even long-term damage. However, it is possible that with smart training, balanced fitness routine, and good nutrition you may be able to prevent injury or heal more quickly when it occurs. Athletes who round out their training with good quality whole foods are less likely to become injured, or experience muscle strains or tears. When these things do occur, these athletes recover far more quickly.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition for athletes, as each individual is unique. Here are some tips that are near universal and should be helpful for nearly any athlete.
Joints and tissues that are dehydrated are more likely to be injured. Dehydration puts added strain on the body and can lead to imbalance. Drinking plenty of water is vital to improving your performance as well as preventing injury. Aim for 1-2 glasses a couple of hours before you exercise, another glass about 15 minutes before exercise, and another glass every 15-20 minutes as you go.
Vitamin C is a vital component in the production of collagen, which strengthens bones and lends strength and flexibility to the connective tissue such as ligaments and tendons. Besides citrus fruits, dark leafy green vegetables, broccoli, and strawberries are all great sources. Add a squeeze of lemon or orange to your water to both give it some flavor and get an extra vitamin boost.
Bone health triple punch
Be sure to get plenty of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D to keep your bones super strong. You’ve always been taught that calcium is important for your bones, but magnesium and vitamin D are just as important, as the body is unable to absorb and assimilate the calcium as effectively without them. However, if you’ve been focusing on dairy products for calcium, you could actually be doing more harm than good. Opt instead for leafy green vegetables, raw nuts or seeds, fish, and whole-grain foods. And the best source of vitamin D is always sunshine.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a vital component in your body’s defense against inflammation. Oily fish are among the best sources of omega-3s, but seeds and raw walnuts are also great sources. Adding these foods to your diet can keep your joints and tissues healthy and also give your immune system a boost.
You’ve probably heard of zinc is a good immune booster, but it’s also important for healing tissues that of been injured. Good sources of zinc include red meat, turkey, brown rice, and lentils.
For more information on how you can prevent injury, or recover more quickly if you’ve been injured, call Chatfield Chiropractic in Roxburgh Park (03) 9303 9952 or Sunbury (03) 9746 3977 to arrange an appointment for a personalized nutrition plan based on your individual needs.