About Optimal Nutrition for Injury Recovery
In 2017 I sustained a catastrophic injury including a broken fibula and two torn ligaments. This would necessitate surgery and months of recovery. During that time, I decided to research optimal nutrition for injury recovery. The last book I found was written nearly two decades ago so I got into the research instead. That led to the publication of this booklet.
The reality of being active is that injuries occur. This can range from the minor such as muscle pulls or ligament sprains to the catastrophic such as bone breaks or ligament tears. At best these injuries cause a short loss of training time. At worst they can end careers.
Following an injury the body goes through a number of specific phases which, ideally, lead to a full recovery. There are a tremendous number of factors which go into the recovery processes some of which we cannot control. However, one we can control is optimal nutrition.
Topics in the Book
The book starts by looking at the different major tissues in the body (muscle, bone, tendon and ligament) and the types of injuries that can occur. It then looks at the different stages of injury recovery.
Next I address the concept of PRICES (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Support) along with the controversies that surround it. The topic of anti-inflammatories is addressed in detail as well. This leads into a discussion of the idea that inflammation should be modulated rather than eliminated.
The issue of calorie intake is critical to the topic of injury recovery. Too few calories can impair the recovery process while too many can cause negative effects on body composition. Calculating energy requirements after an injury is more complex than under normal circumstances and I detail how it can be done.
The next chapters examine the optimal intake of the macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates and fats for recovery. I also examine various supplements that may be generally useful or help to support specific types of injury recovery.
While not a major topic of any of my books for the most part, I do address the potential role of various drugs and compounds for improving injury recovery.
The book finishes with two case studies of different injuries, one of which was my own. I provide selected references for those who wish to delve a bit deeper.
Please note that this book only examines the types of injuries that occur to bone, muscle, ligament and tendons. However, much of the information will apply to general recovery. The book does not cover head injuries or concussions.