Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Study Spotlight: Nutritional Support for Exercise Induced Injuries

By: Joel Luedke

Injury is never something anyone wants to deal with and the process can be very frustrating.  Rehab and treatment techniques continue to improve and advance people through injuries more quickly and safely than ever before.  But what is the next step?

Nutrition needs to be one of the next things you address in your recovery from an injury.  It often times goes overlooked and people forget the importance because they aren't out working out anymore.  This study spotlight looks at a couple simple recommendations that can help you in your injury recovery.

What They Did:

This is a review article so they didn't actually conduct a study but instead went back and reviewed a plethora of research articles that looked at nutrition with regards to injury and then summarized the results.

What They Found:
The reviewers found just about as many nutritional claims as there are research articles out there and a lot of them had just the start of solid research to support.  What they did find is that an increase in protein during injury, especially injury that requires immobilization, can play a significant role in maintaining muscle mass during that time.  They recommend 2-2.5g/kg/day during that injured period.  They also found data, although preliminary, about use of Omega-3s and possibly creatine supplementation to help maintain muscle mass during injury and aid in the healing process.  All of these nutrients are important throughout training and general recovery but might play a bigger role in injury recovery.

What It All Means:
Overall, as with most things, a good healthy diet that limits processed foods and gets as much nutrition as possible from whole food sources is going to be your best bet.  Often athletes or athletic people are concerned that during periods in which they are injured will be a time of weight gain and they switch up their diet and may restrict food amounts.  This can be detrimental to the healing process and can cause more problems down the road as you try to rest and recover.

As we mentioned there are plenty of other things out there that are touted to help with injury recovery and they might very well work but be careful to not get caught in gimmicks and quick fixes, the basics work best to start.

Don't restrict good nutrition during injury, immobilized or not, to help aid in your recovery and return to your activity faster.

Tipton, K. Nutritional Support for Exercise-Induced Injuries. Sports Medicine. Nov. 2015, Vol. 45 (1). p 93-104. 2015

LINK to whole article

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