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Injuries are the unfortunate part of Sports and Athletics. To a player, an injury means several weeks, months or even years of being sidelined from the game. The immediate path taken after fracturing your femur or dislodging a joint is seeking the care of a Sports doctor. What you eat thereafter can determine the recovery speed. Fortunately, there are plenty of supplements you can eat after treatment to quicken the recovery process and return back to action. This article lists 5 effective supplements and foods you should consider incorporating in your routine to heal your injuries faster.
Glucosamine is a naturally existing substance found mixed in the fluid surrounding the joints. It is essential in the creation of cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. While Glucosamine is naturally produced by the body, you can boost its level by taking supplements.
Supplements rich in Glucosamine are made from fermented maize and shellfish shells. Studies conducted in people with arthritis have shown that reduces the pain of the joints and quickens the action of arthritis medication. Daily intake of just 1 – 3 grams of Glucosamine supplements has been found to reduce joint deterioration and speed up the process of bone reformation.
Based on an array of different studies, some people take supplements of glucosamine to reduce the pain of joints after bone injuries or quicken the recovery process of fractures. More research is needed on these findings though.
Utmost care needs to be taken by athletes with allergies or sensitivity to iodine or shellfish. Such individuals include those on asthma medication, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Glucosamine is great for speedy recovery from fractures and pain reduction. However, more research should be conducted and some groups of people should avoid it.
Creatine is among essential substances required by your body during intense exercise or heavy lifting. The body is capable of naturally producing around 1 gram of Creatine every day. The popularity of Creatine supplements as a muscle mass booster and performance enhancer in sports is on the rise. Interestingly, Creatine has been found to quicken injury recovery when taken in doses of just 4 or 5 grams on a daily basis. It is no longer a placebo as it used to be. Other than supplements found in your local health foods store, Creatine can be found in poultry, meat, and fish.
Calcium –Rich foods and Vitamin D
Calcium is a critical component of bones. It also plays a role in the process of muscle contraction and nerve signaling. This is the reason why you should always replenish your body’s calcium contents by eating foods rich in calcium and taking the supplements – not just when you are recovering from a devastating injury.
Vitamin D is equally important in boosting nerve signaling and helping your body absorb as much calcium as possible from food. Alongside calcium, it plays a critical role in speeding the process of bone injury recovery besides ensuring that there is sufficient amount of calcium in the blood. But the best-known function of Vitamin D in the injury is its ability to quicken recovery in surgery patients. Studies have found that) Vitamin D enhances strength recovery after ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) surgery. Very few foods naturally supply Vitamin D. Fortunately, your body can synthesize it through sufficient exposure to the sun. People living in cold regions with limited sun exposure can opt for the Vitamin D supplements in your local health foods store.
Taking foods rich in calcium greatly helps in recovery of fractures but combining it with Vitamin D makes things much better.
4. Zinc-Rich foods and Zinc Supplements
Almost all enzymes and most proteins contain zinc, including those enzymes and proteins required for tissue growth, repair and wound healing. In fact, studies show that Zinc deficiency seriously delays the process of wound healing. For this reason, it is prudent to eat foods rich in Zinc such as shellfish, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and pulses. It is tempting to rely entirely on Zinc supplements for your zinc needs. It isn’t a particularly good idea. Zinc competes with other essential metals such as copper for absorption. So taking huge doses of Zinc in form of supplements can lead to copper deficiency which may lead to other complications. If the level of Zinc in your body is satisfactory then you may be just good – no need for taking Zinc supplements to speed injury recovery. But getting enough from the diet is important.
Regular consumption of Zinc-rich foods is great for speeding wound healing and tissue repair but you need to go slow on the supplements.
5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The fast manifestation of an injury is some inflammation. The inflammation response is of great use and is actually required for proper healing. However, too big inflammation that persists for too long can slow down the recovery process. One way of getting rid of excessive inflammation and speeding the process of recovery by eating plenty of omega-3 fats.
These fats with anti-inflammatory properties are found in flaxseed, fish, algae, chia seeds and walnuts. Even so, you can prevent prolonged inflammation by limiting consumption of omega-6 fats found in canola, corn, sunflower oils and soy. Heavy consumption of omega-6 fats promotes inflammation, more so if your omega-3 fats intake is remarkably low.
In addition, supportive studies show that omega-3 supplements greatly reduce the rate of muscle loss during the process of immobilization as well as increasing creation of the muscle protein.
That said, taking huge quantities of omega-3 fats chiefly from supplements reduces the body’s ability to regain the muscle mass once you commence training. It is prudent to seek them from foods instead of supplements.
Foods containing omega-3 fats help quicken the recovery process by limiting prolonged or excessive inflammation. Limiting consumption of omega-6 fats is also advisable.
While supplements and foods rich in relevant compounds effective for reducing inflammation and speeding recovery related metabolism should be a priority, do not underestimate the power of home massage. Taking home massaging alongside supplements is yet another way of ensuring quick recovery and returning to the field for competition.