A recent review of this topic supports:
- Maintaining protein intake at the same level as pre-injury and perhaps has high as 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, although calorie intake should likely decrease if you are not working out, protein intake should not.
- Supplementing with creatine, if you are not doing so already and maintaining creatine intake if you are. This supplement has solid science to back its regular use. Begin with 10-20 grams/day (split into 4 equal doses throughout the day) for 5 days, then 3-5 grams/day is recommended. It may cause gastrointestinal discomfort so go slower if needed. See Tina if you are interested in ordering creatine.
- Consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., fish, foods fortified with omega-3s, walnuts, chia seeds) and antioxidants vitamins C (e.g., dark leafy greens, tomatoes, oranges) and E (e.g., almonds, peanuts, avocado). The research available looking at supplementation is primarily in rats and not strong enough to recommend supplementation of these. However, deficits of these nutrients in your diet definitely won’t help your recovery.
- Avoiding alcohol because it impairs muscle synthesis and repair.
Being injured is no fun, but from a nutrition perspective you can be actively working toward returning to the box.
Happy and healthful eating,
Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN
We have a new nutrition challenge coming this fall that will focus on getting sufficient protein tailored to your individual needs. Interested? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.