The intensity and frequency of your trainings may form free radicals, inflammatory substances and release catabolic hormones, which are elements that damage the defenses of your immunity system. These factors contribute to muscle fatigue and to the appearance and aggravation of injuries and infections. A joint injury, a sprain or something similar can become a serious problem for someone who intends to improve his performance.
It is true that our organism is prepared to self-regeneration, but if you consume the correct ingredients you will speed up the recovery process. The adequate nutritional values combined with the correct workout will contribute positively to the maintenance of your body’s vital functions. However, during the recovery process of an injury, you must pay close attention to what you eat so that you can maintain muscle mass and avoid unnecessary fat during the period of inactivity. Therefore, you must follow a good diet, adding some food supplements to strengthen the immune system to it. Follow these nutritional tips to the letter:
1. Ingest unprocessed foods, with no added sugars or fats;
2. Choose fruits, vegetables and wholegrain cereals;
3. Avoid great amounts of carbohydrates and eliminate fried foods from the list;
4. Choose high protein foods: fish, white meat, eggs and lean dairy products. You must consume approximately 1 to 1,5kg of protein for each kg of body weight. You can also add a whey protein supplement to your plan. Once or twice a day should be enough at this stage. This food supplement contains a good percentage of amino acids that will help your body repair and maintain muscle mass, besides increasing the reserves of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals, responsible for the appearance and aggravation of injuries.
5. Drink green tea on a daily basis, because its polyphenol properties function as antioxidants. Our body produces antioxidant enzymes to neutralize free radicals. However, stress, physical exercise, among other variables responsible for altering the metabolism, therefore, increasing the production of free radicals and the endogenous antioxidants are not enough to neutralize them.
What are the main antioxidants you can find in supplements?
Zinc (picolinate); copper (gluconic acid); selenium (L-selenometionine); Magnesium (Aspartate, Gluconic acid); Beta-Carotene; Vitamin C; Vitamin E; Coenzime Q10; L-Glutathione; N-Acetylcysteine, Alfa-Lipoic Acid, Lycopene; Lutein; Grape seed extract; Catechins (green tea extract); Citric Flavonoids; Ginkgo Biloba extract.
What may cause us an injury.
The lack of zinc may diminish the testosterone and immunity levels, affecting our performance and increasing our exposure to infections. Ingesting low amounts of magnesium may also cause the loss of bone mass and even fractures.
There are some supplements on the market that contain zinc and magnesium, and the ZMA supplements dominate in this area because it is great in terms of absorption. If you take it 30 to 60 minutes before sleeping, it will help you get a good night sleep, which is essential to the healing process.
6. If joint pain stops you from working out take a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement.
7. The amino acids arginine and glutamine help your immune system, protect your joints, prevent muscle loss, eases protein synthesis and accelerates scar formation. Vitamin A, E and C are also essential to strengthen the immune system, to the formation of strong bones and to the formation of collagen (a protein responsible for the maintenance of skin elasticity), respectively.
These foods can contribute to the reduction of inflammation and to improve recovery:
1. Pineapple. High in bromelain, an enzyme that produces substances that fight pain and inflammation.
2. Mango. Some believe that mango can fight inflammation. Anyway, this fruit has other benefits as a source of vitamin A and C. Add mango to your protein shakes.
3. Colored fruits, blue, red and purple, and legumes are the foods that contain more antioxidants flavonoids that help you fight inflammation and improve blood flow.
4. Ginger. Studies indicate that ingesting 2g of ginger a day help you reduce pain symptoms.
In case you do not eat at least 2 pieces of fruit a day, think about including a multivitamin supplement on your diet.
8. There are 2 types of essential fatty acids that you must consume on a daily basis: Omega-3 and Omega-6. Besides their importance for the good functioning of the organism, these two nutrients increase the production of anti-inflammatory agents which are essential to the prevention and treatment of typical joint inflammation.
Tip: A good massage made by a professional therapist will allow you to detect the most delicate points of your body and work on the affected zones of your body. The massage will favor the release of nutrients on the blood stream and on the damaged zones. In case of doubt, you should seek medical advice.
N/d, Anti-inflammatory foods help you recover faster, n/d, adaptation of the original version
Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., The best foods for injury recover, n/d, adaptation of the original version
N/d, Suplementos essenciais para prevenir a fadiga e lesões, Revista EcoNews Nº6, translation and adaptation of the original version