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  • Writer's pictureStefanie Rock

Fueling for injuries

Of course no one ever wants to be sidelined with an injury. Though a solid nutrition foundation can minimize risks of injury: strengthening muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones- it can't completely prevent injuries from happening... especially in a physically demanding sport. But, avoiding common fueling mistakes during recovery can help athletes get back in the game faster.

Too often, athletes forget the importance of fuel and hydration consistency when their activity level changes.

Yet, even though the physicality of practice and training has slowed, the body is working especially hard to fuel recovery... and growth. Portion sizes may change, but the need for nutrient dense foods that support tissue, bone, and brain health are just as essential as ever before.

While food and water can’t miraculously heal an injury overnight, they can provide the best environment for the body to repair itself.

Whether an athlete is recovering from a serious or minor injury, incorporate these 6 foods and tips to strengthen their foundation for recovery.

  1. WATER: water helps transport nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Even if athletes aren't working out or sweating, maintaining a minimum daily hydration: {1/2 weight (in lbs.) in oz. ex: 150 lbs = 75 oz of water.}. Note that some pain medications may increase or decrease the body's hydration.

  2. BONE BROTH: the long, 10-14 hour simmering process, creates a bone broth rich in collagen (essential for healthy bones, joints, and muscles) and nutrients. Other foods also help the body build its own collagen: kiwi, oranges, bell peppers, beef, shrimp, chickpeas, and cashews. {check out my Instagram post for the differences between broth, stock, and bone broth}

  3. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS: garlic, avocados, cherries, kiwi, pomegranates, and turmeric are a few foods that help reduce inflammation within the body.

  4. FREQUENT FUELING: even though physical activity levels have temporarily decreased, the body is working overtime to heal... as well as grow. Maintaining frequent fueling- likely with smaller portions- also supports energy consistency and a smoother transition back to regular activity.

  5. BRAIN FUEL: not only do nutrient-dense fats support brain and mental health, new studies are being conducted on the effects of nutrition for concussions. Even if there's no head trauma, foods like avocado, walnuts, salmon, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds are great for overall health.

  6. SLEEP: remember, sleep- not just rest- is when the body repairs and recovers. Naps and earlier bedtimes can promote faster recovery.

Even though we can't eliminate all possibility of injury, a consistent nutrition foundation can reduce the risk and help the body heal faster.

As much as every athlete's nutritional needs are unique for sport and growth, injury recovery is equally individual.

Wondering if your athlete is meeting their nutritional needs? Looking for more ways to support their recovery? Contact me HERE or at


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