How is Nutrition Linked to Injury Prevention?
There is a firm belief we are able to obtain all the nutrients needed for optimal health from our diets. However, this is flawed. Over the last 100 years Australia has had a reduction of 54% in mineral depletion from soils along with 74% from North America, 71% in Asia, 73% in Africa and 65% in Europe. Scientific studies over the past several decades have proven that our food today, has diminished nutrients levels because of over processing and exhaustion of nutrients in our farmlands. Poor nutrient content and environmental stress increases oxidation in the body which contributes to deterioration in eye sight, inflammation in joints, neurological damage, acceleration of the aging process, increased risk of coronary heart disease and certain cancers.
So how does this relate to injury prevention and rehabilitation? Let me explain.
Cartilage for instance needs vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin K for support and regeneration. Without it, cartilage will degenerate at faster than normal rates over time. Without appropriate amounts of calcium and vitamin D osteoporosis will occur. Without appropriate levels of vitamin C collagen synthesis will be in effected.
An interesting stat. In the US the recommended dietary intake for vitamin C is approximately 90mg which is presumed to be enough for antioxidant protection. A sick goat may naturally produce 40,000-50,000mg of vitamin C per day. So, does a goat understand more about vitamin C then the US government? It is debatable. If you would like an in depth look at how vitamin C has been used to treat illnesses over the last 50 years I suggest you research the work of Nobel Prize Winner Linus Pauling and his work on Orthomolecular Medicine.
To further reiterate my point Semyon M. Slobounov hits the nail on the head with this paragraph from his book Injuries in Athletics: Causes and Consequences.
‘As sport induced injuries are on the rise, sports medicine specialists and sports nutritionists have been trying to determine how nutrition is related to injury. On the contrary, many exercise physiologists believe “fuel is fuel” and it doesn’t matter what comes in. As human performance becomes more advanced and elite athletes are becoming more dependent on their team nutritionist, it is becoming evident that proper nutrition is essential for proper performance during practice and competition. Specific nutrients are critically important for enhancing the quality of performance, conditioning, practice time, recovery from fatigue, and avoiding sports induced injuries. For an athlete, improving biomechanical performance and avoiding the disturbance of homeostasis by strenuous demands by their specific sport is crucial. Since athletes require more nutrients than the recommended daily allowances (RDAs), it is important that they not only eat a well-balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, but meet the nutritional demands and supplementation required before and after rigorous exercise.’
As the body is depleted of essentials nutrients, dysfunction becomes more apparent and performance will drop. Joints will deteriorate faster, impact injuries will become more evident, joints will crack more frequently and the chance of surgery will increase. Then from an overall health perspective degenerate disease will more than likely occur as statistically over the age of 60 years old we now have a 50% chance of developing a lifestyle related degenerative disease.
From my observation of the latest research in this area, there has never been a more important time to care for your health and be conscious of what you are fuelling your body with. Supplements are here to supplement a diet, not replace a diet. Do not fall for fad weight loss programs. Eat a well-balanced diet of macro nutrients and micro nutrients and aim to use pharmaceutical GMP nutritional products so you know 100% what you are taking. Very few companies are able to make this claim.
Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live- Jim Rohn.
1- Dr. David M. Marquis, DC, DACBN. 2013. How Inflammation Affects Every Aspect of Your Health.
2- Slobounov, S M.S, 2008. Injuries in Athletes: Causes and Consequences. 1st ed. Springer-Verlag US: Springer .
3- Wentz , MW, 2004. Invisible Miracles . 1st ed. United States of America : Medicis, S.C..
4- Lewis , ML, GL, 2007. Dietary Supplements, Creating Expensive Urine? or A key Addition To Modern Medicine?. 2nd ed. New Zealand : Lewis Publications .
5- Linus Pauling Institute . 2013. Vitamin C .
6- H. ESWARAN1, R. LAL2 and P. F. REICH3. 2001. Land Degradation: An overview.
Written by – Dan Marshall