If you walk into a gym you're more than like to see different athletes pull out things from their gym bags that make it look more like a first aid kit—gauze, compression bands, medical tape, ice packs and more. And while you may be surrounded by weights and machines and not surgical equipment, it's important to keep in mind that along with training comes the risk of injury.
What's the most common cause of injury? The most common cause of a sports injury is from training too much. Sounds too simple, right? It's not. Overtraining can put unnecessary pressure on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, causing serious pain and delaying or even derailing your training.
What are the most common sports injuries?
- Swollen muscles
- Knee injuries
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Rotator cuff injuries
If I get injured what can I do? When you get injured one of the first things you can do is stop and assess the injury. If you feel pain—not discomfort, but pain, stop and assess. Many athletes follow the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If doing these things doesn't do anything to alleviate your pain then it is a good idea to go to a doctor or physical therapist to seek further instruction on what you can do to allow your body to heal. Remember that if you continue training while injured, you can make the injury even worse, so get the problem checked out as soon as you can.
There's more you can do! Besides taking care of yourself physically and making sure that you care appropriately for the injured area of your body, you can also take notice of what is going into your body. Proper nutrition is an important component of training that not only helps to prevent injury but also helps in recovering from injuries as well.
What should I focus on? We've said it before and we'll say it again: protein and carbohydrates are essential to your training. Thus, they are also crucial to pay attention to when you have an injury. When it comes to protein, you can eat either animal-based or plant-based proteins. Whey protein powder is from animal protein, but you can also take the time to cook up chicken or fish. The most accessible vegetable-based protein to consume is soy protein, but you can also get a small amount of protein from rice and beans (though not as much as soy, as they don't have as many amino acids). The amino acids in proteins will help to your muscles begin to repair themselves.
Eating carbohydrates will help to replace the glycogen that we used during our workout, which will help get our energy back up. Carbohydrates are more important for the prevention of injuries, as they help give you the energy you need to train as hard as you do, while protein is most important when it comes to recovery and healing. We know that it can be hard to feel like you have time to fit in the proper nutrition, especially if you need to add physical therapy and icing to your routine. Take the time to plan out your nutrition if you can and if you don't have time, grab a protein shake or a well-engineered protein bar to keep you fueled.
Don't Forget the H20 Often when we're training, we get so involved into our routines and nutrition intake, that we forget about one of the most important things we need: water. Hydration is an extremely important piece of the workout puzzle. Water helps our kidneys to function well and to filter the waste out of system. It also contributes to the wellness of other systems in our bodies, like our digestive system. When we lack water, our bodies let us know. Drink the recommended amount each day and to protect yourself against injury and recover further, drink even more than that.
Take care of yourself We've laid out the injury basics for you, but before we go, we wanted to remind you: listen to your body. We're all for training hard, but listen to what your body is telling you. Make sure you get the proper nutrition along the way to both prevent injury and help with recovery.
Sources: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/protein-rebuild-muscle-tears-6731.html http://www.ultrarunning.com/features/nutritional-support-for-sport-injuries-eating-your-way-to-recovery/ http://www.livestrong.com/article/412947-the-best-diet-for-recovering-from-a-sports-injury/ http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sportsnutrition/a/Protein.htm http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sportsinjuries.html http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/sports-nutrition.aspx https://www.promaxnutrition.com/the-importance-of-hydration