Your Recovery With Nutrition
Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN
When a person is wounded or injured (including recovery
from surgical procedures), the body has conditional increases in nutrients
to facilitate proper and rapid healing. The following steps will create
the internal environment necessary for recovery:
1. Drink extra
water. Add a large glass as soon as you wake up in the morning, before
lunch and before dinner. Two of water’s important functions are
joint lubrication and muscle recovery. Even mild muscle cell dehydration
can slow the bodies repair process.
2. Get plenty of protein – When you are injured slight deficiencies
can lengthen recovery time. Have at least three servings a day of foods
such as fish, chicken, turkey and low or nonfat dairy. Beef and pork are
also good sources of protein but tend to be high in fat so use them in
moderation. You can also acquire extra protein in your diet by using protein
powder to make shakes and smoothies. This is especially recommended if
you are a vegetarian. Use 25-40 grams of protein per drink. Protein calculation:
The RDA is your bodyweight in pounds multiplied by .364 for grams per
day. Injuries and wound healing BW x .5 – Regular exercise BW x
.6 – Surgery BW x .7 – Muscle building BW x .8.
3. Take a multivitamin, multi-mineral formula that provides you with at
least 100% of RDA for all vitamins and minerals. Read labels carefully.
If you use one-pill-a-day formula, you will probably need to take additional
calcium and magnesium. Other formulas require that you take three or more
pills a day to achieve amounts listed on the label.
4. Take extra vitamin C. It activates enzymes needed to repair wounds
and connective tissue. During your recovery, multiply your body weight
by 10 and then round to the nearest 100 to find out how many milligrams
of vitamin C you need per day. For example, 152 pounds x 10 = 1520, rounded
to the nearest hundred = 1500 mg per day.
5. Do your best to stay away from junk food. Eating less junk food is
always good to do but is especially important when you are recovering.
Foods like soda, chips, candy, cake, pies, doughnuts, and cookies are
low quality sources of calories. If you have a sweet tooth, try snacking
on fresh fruits or sports bars such as Clif, Power, Balance, or Met-Rx.
Ice cream lovers are advised to eat low or nonfat yogurt instead.
6. If you are on a weight-loss diet, put it on hold until you feel better.
Increase the number of calories you eat to a level where you maintain
your current weight. Trying to lose weight and recover at the same time
will slow down the healing process. This, in turn, will inhibit your weight
loss goals by extending the time you are unable to exercise at times and
intensities required to burn body fat.
7. When you are better:
Continue to drink plenty of water
Reduce your protein back to two servings a day unless you are involved
in heavy athletics
Try to maintain healthy snacking habits
If you are on a weight loss program, resume it
Reduce your vitamin C intake to 500 mg per day
Continue to take your multivitamin at least 5 days per week
E. Imperial Hwy.
Brea, CA. 92821
2004, G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN, 916 E. Imperial Hwy, Brea,
CA 92821, (714) 990-0824