Sponsored by our partner, Vejo
We all know nutrition is crucial to peak performance, but its role becomes even more important when you’re injured. As your body recovers, proper nutrition can go a long way to speeding up your healing and preventing muscle loss. Food can be a powerful healer, but it can also hinder your recovery if you eat poorly—or even eat like you are healthy. Here are the top nutritional priorities you should think about when healing from an injury, according to the Vejo clinical team.
Nutrition Advice for Injury Recovery: 6 Things You Need to Know
Get Enough Calories (Cutting Them Isn’t Always Best)
While it might make sense on one level to automatically reduce your calorie intake since you aren’t active, remember that your body needs food to help you heal. Trauma or surgery can require up to 20% more calories, but keep in mind that calorie needs vary depending on the type of injury and severity. A sports nutritionist can help you adjust what you eat to promote healing and also avoid unwanted changes in body composition (such as increased body fat).
Quality Matters: Choose Healthy Comfort Foods
Comfort foods may be tempting to choose when you aren’t feeling well. But just make sure to choose nutritious comfort foods! Continuing with a healthy meal plan will provide you with the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs to heal and recover quickly.
TRY IT: Vejo’s Tart Berry is a delicious, naturally sweet fuel-booster that contains free radical-busting anthocyanins, helping you recover even faster.
Don’t Sacrifice Your Protein
Continue to include protein with your meals and snacks because it plays a vital role in healing, as well as preserving your muscle mass during periods of immobility. Leucine-rich foods (cheese, meat, fish, nuts, and seeds) are most ideal, because it will help stimulate muscle protein synthesis faster than other amino acids. Your needs for protein while injured are actually higher than when you are healthy and training, and an easy way to incorporate more protein is with the Earthbar protein blends.
TRY IT: Vejo's Earthbar includes plant-based protein, supports digestive health, and has NutriPower Antioxidants to help you through your injury.
While inflammation is part of the healing process, limiting foods that contribute to inflammation is important. Adding smoothies or soups with anti-inflammatory ingredients to your diet can help soothe from the inside out. Try soups made with bone broth, ginger, and turmeric, and smoothies made with Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and cinnamon.
TRY IT: Vejo’s Daily Recovery has ingredients like Hydrocurc Curcumin Extract, quercetin, and astaxanthin which target immediate inflammation and chronic inflammation.
Don’t Forget Your Gut
Injuries or surgeries may require you to take antibiotics. Though antibiotics are important for preventing infections, they may cause changes to the healthy bacteria that live in your gut and disrupt digestion. Make sure to eat plenty of foods that contain prebiotics (such as onion, garlic, asparagus, mushrooms, and oats) and probiotics (fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, or kimchi) can help restore your digestive health.
When your body metabolizes alcohol, it creates toxic waste which causes a release of histamine leading to inflammation. Any compound that causes inflammation directly interferes with your body’s ability to heal. Additionally, alcohol increases blood flow, which can increase the bleeding and swelling around any injured soft tissue. It slows down the nutrient absorption of necessary macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein), delaying your healing process even further. Alcohol messes with your sleep patterns, interacts in potentially dangerous ways with numerous medications, and impairs metabolic and detoxification pathways; all of which are necessary to help you heal properly and quickly. In other words: don’t drink while you’re injured. That’s hands down your best bet.
If you’re currently injured, these tips will come in handy as you recover. Vejo blends can help you maintain high-quality food consumption, consume adequate protein, and deliver antioxidants to manage inflammation. Stay mindful of this nutritional advice and you’ll be back in the game in no time.