How does diet affect exercise injuries

How does diet affect exercise injuries

Exercise Injuries are often an inevitable consequence of or sports. Sometimes a diet may not prevent an injury when this is caused by overtraining or even improper coaching. In this case, however, a proper diet can help minimize recovery time after an injury.

How does diet affect exercise injuries

A balanced diet is followed as a means of precaution and it reduces the risk of an injury. For example, if an athlete/trainee does not feed correctly (low-energy food, food deficient in nutrients, reduced carbohydrates, dehydration) the chances of an injury are higher.

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Poor dietary choices can also lead to chronic conditions such iron deficiency or even decreased bone density. Thus, the total energy intake of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients during the day should be sufficient.
The right hydration of the athlete is also an important part in which he should focus.

Dehydration that reaches 2% of the total weight (for an athlete who weighs 70 kg, there is a 1.4 kg loss in liquids) poses health risks but also reduce athletic performance. Ideally, you should begin any sporting activity when you are fully hydrated. According to the ACSM, the athlete should consume 400-600 ml of liquid 2-3 hours before he starts training, while, during the exercise, he should drink 150-350 ml of liquid every 15-20 minutes. After the end of the exercise, he will need to fill the 150% of weight loss in liquids.

For women athletes, there are even more parameters which should be taken into account. In many sports such as Aerial Hoop, Aerial Silks, Pole Dancing, Gymnastics etc. the athlete must not weigh a lot which automatically leads to a reduction of total daily food consumption which in turn leads to injuries, eating disorders, loss of menstrual periods and low bone density (female triad).

Some advice for optimum recovery

Focus on energy balance

Adequate calorie intake is essential for recovery from an injury. Find your daily energy requirements with an expert dietician-nutritionist.

Focus on eating food variety

Add lots of fruits, legumes, and vegetables in your diet. Be sure to eat small frequent meals which will contain proteins high in nutritional value (egg, fish, chicken, meat, dairy products) in a quantity of 1.2-1.7 g/kg of the body weight but also to complex carbohydrates (quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, whole wheat pasta) and fat. The fat should not exceed 25-30% of your daily energy needs. Choose fats rich in anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids such as oily fish (salmon, sardines), avocado, walnuts, olive oil, flaxseed oil.

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Avoid processed foods such as fast food, croissants, biscuits, pizza, etc.

Foods that contribute to optimal restoration (rich in anti-inflammatory, iron, antioxidants such as vitamin C, selenium, zinc, vitamin E, amino acids, polyphenols, carotenoid): Apricots, lime, plums, lemons, oranges, carrots, sweet potato, tomatoes, kale, spinach, cherries, berries, pomegranate, peppers, buckwheat, green tea, grapes, broccoli, almost all spices (with emphasis on turmeric and saffron-rich in antioxidants), fish, thyme, rosemary, eggs, lean meat , parsley, chia seeds, flaxseed, nuts.

Indicative Recovery Meals

  • Low-fat yogurt with oats, berries, and honey
  • Sandwich with salmon and kale
  • Lentil soup with buckwheat and green pepper
  • Chicken with rosemary and turmeric rice
  • Almond milk with rice flakes, chia seeds and 1 glass of orange juice

About the author

Kiriaki Kaldaridou


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