How to Get Nutrition When Recovering from Triathlon Injuries
If you’re injured, we assume that you're taking sound medical advice from sports medical professionals, who likely prescribe resting the injury, massage and manipulation treatment, stretching, or even surgery. Although vital to faster recovery, all these initiatives are not the subject of this article. Instead, our focus is on nutrition to assist mainstream remedies currently in motion.
The Triathlon Advantage
Triathletes are incredibly active individuals consuming mounds of carbohydrates and proteins to maintain stamina throughout training and in preparation for competition. When you expend thousands of calories daily, you can eat almost anything with abandon. However, if an injury stops you in your tracks and physical exercise drops close to zero without warning, changing your eating habits isn't easy. Pre-injury calorie intake continuing with sudden passivity will likely result in unwanted weight gain and significant emotional discontent.
Although much depends on how chronically severe your injuries are, training and competing in triathlons works in your favor. Why? Because you're participating in three different sports categories. The point is that an injury in one doesn't necessarily hinder others. For example, knee inflammation that hobbles running may not bother you on a stationary bike or doing laps in the pool (i.e., where there's significantly less bone-on-bone grind or tendon strain.)
So, when you contract an injury, medically assess its ripple effect on other disciplines. Indeed, even though entering competitions is inadvisable, your "substitute training" can keep your body in high energy mode and your mind in a great space.
Nutrition and injury
When recovering from a sports injury, eating the right foods to assist medical treatment is crucial. The primary objective is to recover your original, injury-free form as soon as possible. With that in mind, I’m recommending the six best food properties to bolster the remedial process, whether you're still training or undergoing complete rest.
1. Protein-centric foods
Proteins nourish and strengthen muscle tissue - targeting the most vulnerable parts that suffer the most under extreme physical pressure. Here's the thing: an injury is only the start of your troubles. For example, suppose you injure your bicep through a ligament tear. Did you know that the less you use that arm, the quicker it loses body mass? Your protein intake can slow that unwanted process down considerably. So, consider the following:
- Chicken is an affordable, tasty, and protein-rich food source, as is fish.
- In addition, you may want to occasionally throw in lean beef alongside a measured diet of beans, tofu, and nuts.
All protein foods play a significant role in moving you back to top performance by connecting directly to muscle build-up and health.
2. Vitamin C
Fruits and vegetables are the richest sources of vitamin C. The latter is arguably the best natural weapon against inflammation - an ailment that disables movement, thus stunting range and mobility. Citrus fruits (i.e., Oranges, grapefruit, and lemons), bell peppers, onions, spinach, cauliflower, melons, raspberries, and numerous other choices (best eaten raw) are vitamin C enriched. A steady intake will support tendon, bone, and muscle stability, substantially shortening your recovery time.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This is another food category that works hand in hand with vitamin C, suppressing inflammation's "spread-effect," therefore keeping it under control. Again, an intake of foods like walnuts, chia seeds, and fish (also a well-known protein source) are the food types to target. Added to the latter is a diet containing Omega-6 fats found in canola, sunflower, corn, and coconut oils that do the same anti-inflammatory job, showing encouraging results quickly.
I advise not taking supplements in pills or powdered form, as overdosing on Omega can become counteractive. Instead, rely on ingesting it from the foods described above, and you won't go far wrong.
4. Zinc-Rich Foods
According to nutritionists and physical therapists, these work in unison with protein to mend torn tissue, without which healing slows down. Notably, there's substantial overlap with foods mentioned above and below, like meat, fish, shellfish, nuts, and whole grains. So again, disassociate yourself from zinc supplements that, in combination with food intake, can overload the body and cause more problems than it solves.
5. Vitamin D and Calcium
Calcium is crucial when broken bones and nerve repair are in the mix. Foods rich in calcium cover vegetables (like broccoli and okra), nuts (e.g., almonds), and almost all dairy products. Naturally-occurring vitamin-D - which facilitates calcium intake - is much harder to find, so in this case, supplementing should help the process. In addition, it's a natural pain management ingredient, many laud as a necessity for children's sports injuries.
6. Fiber Foods
Orthopedists love this category because they believe it zones in on tears and strains, especially when the treatment involves keeping the injured body part immobile. Fibers stop inflammation from spreading, but it has an undesirable side effect for aerobic athletes - weight gain (if not carefully integrated into the diet). Therefore, I suggest you stick to fruits, spinach, and broccoli while staying away from snacks like potato chips. These wholesome foods fill you faster, so soliciting the advice of an online or personal dietician to align fiber intake with all the other types is a sound idea.
Sumarpo is at the cutting edge of advising triathletes' on nutrition and high-performance equipment that ward off injuries. Everything in their store converges on optimizing stamina and speed without the threat of harming the body. This nutrition article is another in a series of various topics that help triathletes reach greater heights and live healthier lifestyles.