Injuries can be a threat to both athlete’s health and career. It also affects performance as many athletes become a shadow of themselves when recovering from a long time injury. However, there is an easy way to recover from an injury that every athlete needs to know – sports nutrition!
When an athlete is injured, coaches help them with a proper diet to aid quick recovery and make every other medical assistance given to the athlete more effective. In the past, coaches only address athletic injuries with medical care. Recently, people have realized that adding proper nutritional care can help the recovery process be quicker and less difficult.
Knowing the essence of sports nutrition in an athlete’s overall career success, this article contains practical and convenient ten sport nutrition tips that can aid quick recovery.
- Assess the eating habit
Before you start prescribing what the injured athlete would eat to quickly recover, it is ideal that you start with a complete assessment. This is the beginning of the entire process. You need to first learn the eating habit of the injured athlete. You can organize a one-on-one questioning session to ask some personal questions about the athlete’s favorite foods, how he/she grew up, whether he/she is allergic to any food, and many more.
Note that you are not searching for an eating disorder, so be careful not to be too strict with your questions. The answers you get from the questioning will determine the nutritional approach that will best work for the athlete’s quick recovery.
- Use eating rhythm
Sports nutrition involves precision and accuracy. It’s not just about knowing what to eat and eating it anytime you feel like it. It has a lot to do with specific rhythm and timing. The rhythm at which an athlete eats is essential for quick recovery and connected to diet effectiveness in the body.
Let’s take caffeine, for instance. Knowing when you take the caffeine and how much it lasts matters a lot. Nutrient timing helps maintain a proper eating rhythm, which can differ from one athlete to the other.
- Avoid strict diets
Though sports nutrition is associated with timing and rhythm, following a planned diet that restricts you from eating the most available things is very dangerous. Often, when you have a diet plan you strictly adhere to, it makes you more conscious of what you ought not to eat. This strict eating habit will restrict you from eating what you naturally enjoy and put you in a tight corner of eating foods that don’t satisfy you.
A healthy diet does not necessarily have to take away your satisfaction; it only stops you from eating unhealthy foods. As a matter of fact, most strict diet plans fail when it comes to an athlete’s quick recovery and result in an eating disorder.
- Avoid fasting
Some athletes like to skip their meals or fast to shed away a few body fats; that is not in alignment with sport nutrition ethics, and it is not acceptable for an injured athlete who needs quick recovery.
Fasting works for some athletes, but it depends on individuals, and it requires personal evaluation. An athlete may succeed in following a particular diet plan, which might work for another athlete. Some athletes may perform well after skipping a meal, but that may not go well with others.
- Eat more calories
Most sports nutrition plans don’t emphasize more on eating protein than calories. In contrast, athletes who are on injury spell needs to eat more calories than protein if they want to quickly recover.
Of course, protein repairs worn-out tissues and helps in bodybuilding, yet, athletes don’t need to focus more on eating many protein-rich foods. Eating healthy fats from non-animal sources can help athlete’s recovery process.
- Recovery is cumulative
Recovery doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a gradual process. Searching for food and supplements that can do magical recovery will only end up wasting time, money, and energy. Instead of looking for ways to shortcut the recovery process, it’s better to be realistic and follow the progress.
Sports nutrition does not support overnight recovery. Hence, it is good to avoid eating larger quantities of superfoods to speed up recovery. There are several sports nutrition methods to aid quick recovery, and they don’t require eating odd or less enjoyable foods. Just eat correctly and let the recovery come naturally.
- Consider relaxation
Taking beetroot juice about two hours before bedtime brings a fantastic result. When you combine beetroot juice with high concentration watermelon extracts, it provides vasodilation benefits, which athletes need to relax their body.
Sport is very demanding. It makes athletes want to do so many physical things almost all round the clock. For this reason, athletes need to be very conscious of relaxing their body not by chance but by being deliberate about it. Those athletes who recover easily are the ones who take time out to rest to conserve their energy.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
Eating more fruits and vegetables helps athletes to recover on time. Meanwhile, it would help if you ate them with discipline, which means eating 6 – 8 servings per day. Make sure that you eat the fruits and vegetables whole and raw to maximize their nutrients potentials.
Every sports nutrition plan must contain fruits and vegetables. Aside from the quick recovery benefit, eating fruits and vegetable helps athletes control their appetite and make them stay away from eating junks.
- Conduct a full-body test
It’s easy to measure heart rate, vertical jumps speed, and more, but it’s hard to measure sports nutrition. Evaluating nutrition is very demanding because it involves more than body composition. You need to test the blood, saliva, and other biochemicals to learn what is going on inside the body. The best way to know if your diet is working in line with quick recovery, do biochemical testing.
- Fruit juice works well for athlete recovery
Ask any sports nutritionist; they will tell you fruit juices are an essential part of sports nutrition. Drinking fruit juices can help athletes recover on time. Note that calories count, so be careful how much fruit juice you drink per day. You can some portions of juice to your water anytime you want to drink for hydration.
All of the tips above came from different recommendations from seasoned sports nutritionists, and they are given based on the first-hand experience. They have been applied in difficult times when quick recovery is the only thing that can save the team, and the results are fantastic.
One important thing about sports nutrition is that it promotes athletes’ overall health, whether injured or not. So doing the tips even without injuries has great health advantages.