Think your diet influences injury recovery time?

When you succumb to injury, all you want to do is be back to doing what you love, and you'll often throw anything at it to do so.

An area which I feel is often side lined in recovery. is nutrition. It is all very well going though the practical motions of manual therapy, stretching, mobilisation, and strength & conditioning, but what about the fuel and building blocks at a cellular level where the repair takes place? Surely if you nourish your body with all that it needs, then your recovery time may be reduced?

It might be worth considering the following, and incorporating them into your diet when injured:-

# Protein: Muscle mass and strength tends to decline when injured, and increasing protein intake can help minimise loss. Protein can also reduce the intensity of inflammation, which in turn, reduces your recovery time. On returning to training, a high protein diet may also help regain muscle mass faster.

# Vitamin C: Collagen is needed to maintain and repair the of bones, muscles, skin and tendons, and when injury occurs collagen is required to 'knit' the injury back together. Vitamin C also helps reduce a prolongued inflammatory cascade, reducing the time you may be injured for.

# Omega-3 fatty acids: Excessive and long-standing inflammation can slow down healing, and these fatty acids help disperse the chemicals that lead to such a response. Limiting omega-6 fats can also be helpful as they promote inflammation.

# Zinc: This mineral is useful for wound healing, tissue repair and growth, and a deficiency here can delay healing.

# Vitamin D: Working with calcium, has an important role in healing bone injuries. Post surgery rehabilitation would also benefit from vitamin D supplementation to help bones become strong and resilient to stress.

# Creatine: A naturally occurring substance produced by the body, helps produce energy during heavy lifting or intense exercise. Supplementation can help increase muscle mass and improve performance. If injured, creatine may reduce the muscle mass and strength associated with not being able to train.

Take a moment to consider what you feed your body when injured. If you fuel it with a poorly balanced diet, then your body and injury will respond appropriately. However, feed it with all the necessary building blocks it needs to repair and recover, then you may find you bounce back faster than you anticipated.