How can good nutrition help prevent injury and improve recovery?
Here at Back On Track we take a holistic approach to managing your health and getting you back on your feet. We’re here to encourage you to eat food you’ll enjoy, will energise you and work in harmony with your body. Supplying your body with essential nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins help it to work more efficiently. Building a strong defence against not only immunity, but soft tissue injuries, means you’re less likely to become ill or get injured, but if you do, a properly nourished athlete recovers faster.
One of the key things is to ensure that you eat enough. Sounds simple, but if you aren\'t eating enough calories your body can’t meet all of it’s maintenance and energy needs. When this happens over a long period the muscle tissue in the body begins to break down in order to release essential amino acids ( the building blocks of proteins) that are needed for growth and repair. This interferes with your body’s ability to repair tissue damage associated with exercise, slowing muscle recovery, reducing strength and increasing your risk of injury.
Athletes are obsessed with trying to become lean, often at the expense of cutting out certain macronutrients, such as fat. Fat is very energy dense and so is a great way to get the calories, giving you energy. Because of this there is sometimes a tendency to reduce fat intake. However, not all fats are equal and the body needs certain kinds of essential fatty acids to produce healthy cell membranes that are resistant to damage during exercise, and allow the movement of stored fat and toxins out of cells. So without these fats, stored fat cannot be removed - you literally need to eat fat to lose fat! These same types of fats are also essential to the inflammation process, helping acute injuries turning into chronic, ongoing ones. Eating the right fat is crucial and it can be confusing, but that’s where we can help you!
We all know calcium is essential for bone development but not many people are aware that magnesium, along with vitamin D, is even more vital for bone health. Without enough magnesium and vitamin D the body fails to utilise magnesium correctly and stores it in soft tissues. Magnesium is used up rapidly during exercise and maintaining adequate levels often takes a little more work and attention than just eating the odd bowl of spinach. If your body isn’t getting enough magnesium you could be more susceptible to stress fractures. Iron deficiency can also be a potential cause of injury. Low blood-iron causes muscle fatigue due to a lack of sustained muscle oxygenation. Iron-rich haemoglobin carries oxygen to body tissues that need to repair. Low blood iron levels leave inflamed tissues in place longer resulting in more pain and a longer recovery time. So, for healthy bone and muscle function, make sure your diet is rich in magnesium and iron.
Of course good nutrition isn’t only for athletes, it can help with a range of everyday conditions. The digestive system doesn’t absorb food, it absorbs nutrients. For that to happen, the body needs digestive enzymes to break the food down into nutrients which can then be absorbed. There are many factors that can impact this process leading to a whole range of digestive problems, skin conditions, and symptoms such as fatigue and low energy. We can help to identify the root cause of your complaint and provide a personally tailored nutrition plan to help restore balance.
Good nutrition is not about fad diets or denying yourself favourite foods. Different approaches for different people. Our service is flexible and always individual. You won’t find us giving anyone else the same advice and help, because anyone else is not you!
We are currently offering a FREE 20 minute telephone consultation with one of our nutritionists. Get in touch today to see how we can help make your tomorrow healthier. What have you got to lose?