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What foods should you eat after a sports injury?
Posted by: Dr. Robbyn Keating |

The Best Foods To Eat While Recovering From A Sports Injury

Although the pain that comes from sports injuries can vary in intensity, chances are you want to recover as fast as possible.


Seeing a chiropractor is a great way to recover from a sports injury.


Your chiropractor can design a treatment plan tailored to your needs and recommend proper stretches and exercises. 


Seeing your chiropractor is a significant first step, but maintaining a proper diet is also very important for your recovery. 


Eating the right diet while recovering from a sports injury can minimize your recovery time, and help you reach your goals sooner rather than later.



In the article below, we will go over foods that you should eat while you're recovering from a sports injury.



Table of Contents


Protein-Rich Foods

Many athletes already know that protein is an essential building block for many tissues in your body, including muscle.


If you're injured playing sports, your injured body part is often immobilized. 


This can easily lead to a decline in strength and muscle mass.


But if you get enough protein in your diet, you can help minimize this loss. 


A protein-rich diet may also help prevent inflammation from getting too bad and slowing down your recovery.


Just a slight increase in your protein intake once you start training the injured body part again can help you rebuild any lost muscle.


Always make sure to include protein-rich foods like meat, fish, poultry, tofu, beans, peas, nuts, or seeds in your daily menu, especially if you are injured.


Research shows that spreading your protein intake equally over four meals may stimulate muscle growth more than an uneven distribution.


So don't try to cram all of your protein into one meal.


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How to recover fast from a sports injury

Fruits and Vegetables With Vitamin C

One of the main goals to recover from a sports injury is reducing inflammation. 


This is important for restoring your range of motion and returning your injured body part to it's previous state. 


Vitamin C helps you to accomplish that.


Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties that can decrease and even prevent inflammation. 


The collagen that vitamin C produces also improves the body's ability to maintain bone, muscle, and tendons.


You can get your Vitamin C from citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits. 


Bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, and kiwi also carry plenty of vitamin C.


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Fiber-Rich Foods

As we mentioned before, recovery from injury often involves immobilization or limited use of the injured body part.


To prevent this from resulting in unwanted body fat, you might have to compensate by eating slightly less than you would if you were training.


One way to reduce your calorie intake is to consume a diet rich in fiber. 


Fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains help promote feelings of fullness after meals.


This, along with consuming the protein-rich foods mentioned above, will help you eat less without feeling hungry.


Fiber-rich foods also tend to be high in several other nutrients essential for your recovery, like vitamin C, magnesium, and zinc.


Be sure not to restrict your eating too much, though.


Restricting calories too severely can reduce wound healing and promote muscle loss, both of which will negatively affect your recovery.


If you were attempting to lose body fat before an injury should consider postponing their weight loss efforts.


You should instead focus on maintaining your body weight until you've recovered.


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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Sports injuries can cause a lot of inflammation in the affected area. 


Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids can help control this inflammation.


An easy way to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into your diet is to include healthy snack foods like walnuts and chia seeds.


Fish, also high in protein, contain plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids. 


Eating too many Omega 3 fatty acids can have the opposite effect, so try to eat real foods that contain these nutrients rather than take a supplement.


Omega-6 fats, which are often found in oils, also lower inflammation. Coconut oil is a common way for people with arthritis to decrease inflammation. 


Consult with your chiropractor for more information about Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.


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Zinc-Rich Foods

Zinc is a component of many enzymes and proteins, including those needed for wound healing, tissue repair, and growth.


Studies have shown that not getting enough zinc from your diet can delay wound healing.


Consuming zinc-rich foods such as meat, fish, shellfish, pulses, seeds, nuts, and whole grains can help you recover more efficiently from an injury.


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Vitamin D and Calcium

Most people know calcium plays a vital role in developing strong bones and helping broken bones heal. 


However, calcium also helps the brain signal nerves and contract muscles properly.


Some calcium-heavy foods are broccoli, almonds, okra, and dairy products.


There aren't many foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D, but vitamin D is still important for recovery. 


Vitamin D enhances your body's ability to absorb and utilize calcium for recovery, in addition to helping on its own. 


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What types of food should I eat for a sports injury?

Speak With Your Chiropractor

When it comes to recovering from a sports injury, many elements come into play.


Many of them are out of your control, but one factor you can control is the food and nutrients you put into your body.


Regularly consuming the foods we talked about above is one way you can speed up your recovery.


Seeing a chiropractor is another great way to speed up your recovery.


Your chiropractor will design a treatment tailored to your needs, and they can also recommend healthy foods you can eat during your recovery.


To speak with a chiropractor about a treatment plan, contact the Arrowhead Clinic by clicking the button below.


Free Sports Injury Consultation

Topics: sports injury


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