As we push ourselves to lift more and take on more complex workouts, sports injuries become a very real risk — even with the best technique. Nobody likes time off training, but fortunately there are steps you can take to ensure your body is working optimally, reducing your risk of injury and making sure you recover as quickly as possible. The importance of nutrition should not be underestimated — as Pharma Nord explains.
We can get omega 3 through our diet — particularly oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring. This essential fatty acid helps to protect against inflammation, which plays a part in many injuries and can also slow recovery. It also has an important role in the body’s energy supply process and has been used to increase resistance to fatigue in athletes. Omega 3 also helps to keep joints and tissues well lubricated, which can prevent injury, as well as supporting a healthy immune system.
To support this, many athletes are recommended to supplement a high-quality Bio-Fish Oil. The omega 3 is derived from the flesh of the fish, which is purer than oil from the liver.
One of six major groups of nutrients, water is crucial in maintaining a healthy balanced diet, that also include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Sometimes during an intense gym session, we forget to stay hydrated and this can leave us lacking energy. Water is an important medium to transport nutrients around our bodies and also where metabolic reactions essential for our bodies to function take place. If joints or tissues are dehydrated they are more susceptible to tears and injury — a problem for weightlifters. We must consume a minimum of one litre of water from food and drink per day, with two litres being optimal.
Bones are important
Within our skeleton, there are 206 bones and in excess of 200 joints that connect them all together. Physical activity can place enormous stress on our joints and bones, so it’s important to consider the nutrients that can strengthen them, particularly as we age.
Magnesium is essential for the structure and strength of bones, so you’ll need to make sure your body receives enough through your diet or supplementation. Magnesium works together with calcium, so it is important to achieve the right balance of these minerals. Foods to add to your diet include beans, nuts and whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread.
When supplementing your magnesium levels, those that contain hydroxide acetate and carbonate forms of magnesium can be best absorbed by your body. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 400mg/day.
Bio-Vitamin D3 — which can be included through vitamin D supplements — also play a part in your bone health, as it’s needed to ensure the absorption of calcium. Up to 50 per cent of adults in the UK are thought to be deficient in vitamin D3, which is also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, due to our limited exposure to sunlight.
MSM and silica are required to protect your joints. MSM is a naturally occurring sulphur which can be found in foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. Silica is found in plant-derived foods like unrefined cereals and rice.
They are both important, as they help with the formation of bone and joint tissues and bone mineralisation. However, they are readily lost from foods during food processing. Taking an MSM and silica supplement can help to reduce any joint pain and increase joint mobility too.
Nutrients, boost energy and muscle strength
As you’re aware, working out is designed to strengthen our muscles — yet this isn’t without soreness and fatigue. So, how can we protect our muscles from fatigue and ensure we have enough energy?
A vitamin-like substance called coenzyme Q10 is required by all of our cells to produce energy. Some can be found in food but most is produced within our bodies. The challenge is our natural Q10 levels decline from our mid-twenties, which can leave us and our muscles feeling tired and weak, increasing our chances of injury.
To keep your energy levels up and to achieve your fitness goals without the risk of injury, a balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds is essential. Some nutrients, for example magnesium and coenzyme Q10, are depleted by intense physical exercise and so it’s important to think about what you may be deficient in, and to take supplements to overcome this.