Nutrition plays a huge role in the recovery from a musculoskeletal injury. Different types of foods and the vitamins/minerals that they contain have different effects on the body and affect how the body heals. 2 main nutrition goals for injury recovery are to prevent inflammation and lessen muscle loss. It is common knowledge that protein is an important part of anyone’s diet and has an impact on muscle repair. This is especially important when recovering from an injury.

When our body is injured, its ability to build new protein is affected. Therefore, when recovering from an injury we must consume a sufficient amount of protein to even out the difference. A protein deficiency can increase inflammation, slow down wound healing and encourage muscle loss due to the decline in protein synthesis within the muscles. In general, the daily intake of protein should be ‘between 1.8-2.5kg per kg of body weight’ (older individuals need more protein than younger people).

Other than protein, there are a lot of other vitamins and supplements that are important for the body to work to its best ability and therefore important for injury recovery; Omega-3 fatty acids are vitamins that are natural anti-inflammatories that can help to sustain muscle strength and function. However, they should be avoided for the initial 2-5 days after an injury happens. This is because the vitamins can alter wound healing so they are best avoided to accelerate the wound healing process.

Magnesium supplements are beneficial in reducing inflammation and can help to promote faster regeneration of any injured tissues. Another way magnesium is a beneficial supplement is because it increases the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is the energy that fuels muscle contraction, therefore helping to improve training and recovery from injury.

Vitamin C is another of the many supplements which are helpful for recovery from injury. This vitamin enhances collagen synthesis and promotes soft tissue healing. It can be found in foods such as strawberries, citrus fruits, bell peppers and tomatoes or can be taken in tablet/powder form.

Some things are best to be avoided/reduced during the recovery process. One of them being alcohol. Alcohol impairs both wound healing and increases muscle loss. Therefore, while recovering from an injury it is best to avoid or reduce intake of alcohol.

If you would like to know more about the role of nutrition in MSK injury recovery, give us a call on 01702 342329 or book online to see one of our massage therapists or chiropractors.