Has your back ever bothered you?
The lifetime prevalence of back pain in the United States is 70-85%.
So maybe I should ask if your back has bothered you yet?
Are you injury free, feeling bullet proof and think you can skip this article…
Staying injury free is the key to long-term progression! – Click to Tweet
So what can you do to stay injury free or recover faster?
How Nutrition Influences Your Injuries
Many athletes lower their calorie intake when they’re injured. Because they’re training less, they think they need less food.
However, your body needs fuel to rebuild your injured tissues.
Your body thinks you are starving when you’re in a calorie deficient state. As a response, it slows down processes that need a lot of energy.
This is the reason it is so hard to build muscle mass in a calorie deficient state.
Your body is not going to invest in calorie costly processes such as building muscle mass. That would only increase the shortage of calories.
Recovery from injury is similar to building muscle mass. It requires energy to rebuild the injured tissues.
So keep an eye on the scale:
- you don’t want to lose weight during your recovery period. This would prolong your recovery period.
- you don’t want to gain much weight. This would mean you get fat.
- You want to keep your weight stable. This provides the energy you need for a speedy recovery, while not shipping excess calories to your belly
What to Eat During Injury?
Now you know how much to eat when injured.
But WHAT should you eat?
Xin Li and colleagues from the Rush University Medical Cente conducted an experiment with resveratrol on spinal cells. They found that resveratrol is a potent anabolic mediator of spinal cells.
So what does this all mean?
Resveratrol is a compound found in plants, especially in grapes. It has already shown to do all kinds of exciting stuff in the body, such as lowering blood sugar and inflammation.
The researchers added resveratrol to spinal cells and studied what happened. They found that resveratrol lowered inflammation in the spinal cells.
This reduction in inflammation improved the balance between catabolic (break down) and anabolic (building up) processes in the spinal cells.
This improved balance protects against the wear and tear of your spine and can help to improve its recovery during injury.
This effect was dose-dependent, meaning that stronger effects occurred at higher doses. The picture below shows you how more proteoglycans (building blocks of the spine) were formed when the resveratrol dose was increased.
However, there is one potential warning. The researchers note that the results may not translate to humans.
Resveratrol is transported into the blood stream after oral intake. From there, it is delivered to various parts of the body where it exerts its biological effects.
However, there is a low number of blood vessels in the spine. As a result, there is little blood flow to the spine and it’s hard to get high levels of resveratrol to the spine.
But…Can We Still Use This Info??
Well, the researchers speculate that resveratrol injections may be a possible therapeutic option. Obviously, that is something that would need research and is not for everyone.
But eating a bunch of grapes or even a high dose resveratrol supplement might not do something noticeable.
I think the main take away from this study is that micronutrients can help improve your recovery.
There are many resveratrol-like compounds in our food, which have similar properties. Eating a diet high in micronutrients (think fruit, veggies, nuts, tea, and coffee) may help to control inflammation levels in our body and may help speed up recovery
Nutrition Matters When You’re Injured!
I get it, you’re upset that you cannot train as hard as you want when you’re injured. And you feel like everything you do is just a waste.
So you neglect your nutrition. But it’s extremely important in the recovery process. Make sure that you eat enough to fuel for recovery.
And don’t just lay on the coach eating comfort food…
…quality of your food matters!
While, sugary crap boost inflammation and may delay your recovery, foods high in micronutrients may help you speed up recovery.
Here is what you need to do next…
- I want to know if you’re guilty of neglecting your nutrition during injury. Let me know in the comment section below.
- What are your experiences with resveratrol. Did you feel it helped you to prevent or recover from injuries? Do you use other foods or supplements in the battle versus injuries?
- If you enjoyed this post, do me a favour and share it on Twitter or Facebook. Or better yet, send a personal email to one of your friends whom you’d think would love this.
Source: Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Nov 15;33(24):2586-95.
Image by Denise Cross