During the injury recovery process, patients tend to focus on the exercises that will help them. However, nutrition is an essential aspect of regaining mobility.
Some are more concerned with what stretches will expedite recovery. And, while muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments do rely on movement to regain strength, they also rely on fuel. At Farmingdale Physical Therapy, our physical therapists emphasize the importance of a proper diet. Read on to learn why proper diet has a positive impact on recovery.
Carbohydrates are Key
Before beginning any physically active tasks, fueling your body with carbohydrates is essential. Carbohydrates are the best nutrient for gathering energy prior to a workout. They do this by maintaining blood glucose levels, and by replacing muscle glycogen.
And, while most starchy foods do contain carbohydrates, it’s equally important to take note of which carbohydrates you are consuming. For example, white breads and potatoes do not offer the same nutritional benefits that multigrain bread and sweet potatoes do.
Eating the correct kinds of carbs prior to working out will prepare your muscles to rebuild mass quickly. At Farmingdale Physical Therapy, we encourage all of our patients to take in the appropriate amount of carbohydrates.
Balance of Other Nutrients
While eating carbs prior to exercise is essential, be sure to take in plenty of other nutrients throughout the day. Consuming the right amount of protein is also paramount to a successful recovery. Lean protein is especially beneficial, so try to consume plenty of fish and chicken, rather than red meat.
To allow your body to properly digest these nutrients, you should also maintain a high-fiber diet. Eating green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach will boost your fiber, ensuring that you process these nutrients correctly. To avoid stomach discomfort, however, avoid eating too much fiber before working out.
Staying hydrated also helps the blood to flow, which allows these nutrients to reach the far corners of the body.
Manage Weight Gain
Patients undergoing rehab are naturally concerned about weight gain. After all, they’ve transitioned from what was likely a physically involved lifestyle to a mostly inactive lifestyle. With the right diet, though, patients can avoid weight gain while still allowing muscles to grow.
Even patients who are forced into periods of inactivity should continue consuming a substantial amount of calories. While the amount of food they should be consuming may not be as large as previous periods, it should not be the same diet that one would recommend for a sedentary person.
Placing large restrictions on caloric intake will prevent weight gain, but it will also prevent muscle growth. Our physical therapists can recommend a diet that will help you to strike a balance between weight gain and muscle growth.
Farmingdale Physical Therapy West
Our physical therapists can guide you through the rehab process with a positive mental outlook and improved mobility. Regulating– and keeping track of– your diet is an essential component of recovering from a physical injury. Contact us for more information about how our physical therapists can help you regain your full range of motion.