Diet is one of the most important aspects of general health and wellbeing. If you have any fitness or health goals your diet should be the first port of call.

 

In this week’s blog I’ve briefly covered some areas mentioned in a study by Close et al., 2019. This study looks at different ways your diet/nutrition can help aid in muscle injury prevention and treatment.

 

Listed below are certain nutritional areas which Close et al., 2019 have discussed in their study to focus on when preventing or treating muscle injuries.

 

Proteins

– Given sufficient dietary protein is in the general diet of an athlete, additional protein intake will not prevent muscle injury or reduce post-exercise muscle soreness.

– Athletes engaged in whole body resistance training are likely to benefit from more than the cited 20g of protein per meal. 40g of protein may be a more optimum feeding strategy.

– Protein intake should be equally distributed throughout the day.

– Increasing protein to 2.3g/kg body mass reduces the loss of lean body mass during reduced calorie intake. A strategy that could also prove useful for the injured athlete.

 

Energy intake

– The reduction in activity induced by a muscle injury results in reduced energy expenditure, which consequently requires a reduction in energy intake to prevent gains in body fat.

– The magnitude of the reduction in energy intake may not be as drastic as expected given that the healing process has been shown to result in substantial increases in energy expenditure.

– Athletes should not under fuel at the recovery stage through being too focused upon not gaining body fat: thus careful planning during this crucial recovery period.

– When reducing energy intake, macro-nutrients should not be cut evenly as maintaining a high protein intake will be essential to attenuate loss of lean muscle mass.

 

Lipids

– Athletes should take omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids supplements on a regular basis, because of the anti-inflammatory properties.

– Furthermore, the benefit of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for muscle injury prevention or recovery remains speculative.

 

 

Vitamin D

– Vitamin D deficiency may impair muscle regeneration following damaging exercises, this has been shown in both a controlled environment (laboratory) and a living organism (a human).

– It has been advised to take between 2000 – 4000 iU D3 daily during the winter months may ensure sufficient vitamin D levels.

 

Vitamin C & E

– Literature indicates that vitamin C and E have limited ability to attenuate muscle damage or promote recovery.

– There is no need for additional supplementation for preventing or treating muscle injuries.

 

Polyphenols

– It is claimed that polyphenols may attenuate muscle damage caused by inflammation and increase free radical production.

– Montmorency cherries are suggested to help improve rate of muscle function recovery after damage as well as to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, especially in athletes consuming a low polyphenol diet.

– A diet rich in polyphenols (fruit and veg) may be the best strategy to augment recovery from damaging exercise rather than specific supplementation.

 

Creatine

– Supplementation has been shown to decrease loss of upper arm muscle mass and strength during limb immobilization as well as increasing muscle hypertrophy following lower leg immobilization.

– 20g/day for 5 days followed by 5g/per thereafter, is enough creatine to aid in a slower amount of muscle mass loss over a period of time when coping with a muscle injury.

 

Here at Comfort Health

If you are planning on setting any fitness goals but are worried about your diet having an effect on your muscle performance and chances of injury, get in contact today with our team at Comfort Health.