6 crucial nutrition tips to avoid injuries

Tuesday 04 June 2024

6 crucial nutrition tips to avoid injuries

Have you had an injury too? Then you know that injuries can have a significant impact on your training routine and overall performance. Especially in the run-up to a peak moment, we want to avoid injuries. Massages, a good warm-up, ice baths, stretching, cool-down,... These are some examples you can do as an athlete to minimise the risk of injury. But nutrition also has a big impact on injury prevention. Here are six crucial tips to keep your body strong and resilient through the right food choices.

1. Pay attention to the balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for our bodies, as a good balance is crucial. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in flaxseed, walnuts and oily fish such as salmon, sardine, mackerel and trout, have anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-6 fatty acids, present in vegetable oils and processed foods, can promote inflammation if consumed in excess. Aim for a 1:1 to 1:4 ratio between Omega-3 and Omega-6 to minimise inflammation and keep your joints and muscles healthy.


2. Don't forget proteins

Proteins are necessary for building and repairing muscle tissue, especially after intense workouts or competitions. Therefore, it is recommended to take 20-30 grams of protein shortly after exercise to prevent injury. Besides this post-workout protein intake, it is important to get enough protein daily through your diet. This can be done by including protein-rich foods such as lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy, beans and nuts in your diet. Animal proteins are generally better absorbed and contain more essential amino acids than plant proteins.

For endurance athletes, a daily protein intake of 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight is recommended. Strength athletes should aim for 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. To absorb protein efficiently, it is important to spread intake over the day. For example, ingesting 20 grams of protein four times is more effective than 80 grams twice.

During injuries, the need for protein for smooth recovery can increase to as much as 2.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.


3. Pay sufficient attention to energy intake

Providing your body with sufficient fuel is essential. Insufficient intake of macronutrients can lead to reduced performance and increased risk of injury. So eat enough carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats to keep your energy levels high. Carbohydrates in particular are crucial for replenishing glycogen stores in your muscles.

During intense exercise, it is also important to supply your body with enough carbohydrates, because if there is a shortage, your body will break down muscle tissue to produce energy. Therefore, it is crucial to replenish your body in time with isotonic drinks, energy gels and energy bars.


4. Eat colourful

Did you know that a colourful diet is often a sign of a varied intake of vitamins and minerals? Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals that directly or indirectly have a preventive impact on injury.

  • Vitamin C and D play a role in regulating the immune system.
  • Certain B vitamins help convert energy from food. This is important for intensive exercise with the right energy balance.
  • Calcium and vitamin D are both useful for the formation and strength of our bones. Moreover, calcium acts as a regulator of muscle contraction.
  • Magnesium knows its action as, among other things, a membrane stabiliser and is therefore useful in preventing cramps.

Moreover, fruit and vegetables of various colours contain phytonutrients that offer antioxidants to the body. These antioxidants help fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. This contributes to faster recovery and injury prevention.


5. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol can hinder the recovery process and increase the risk of injury. It reduces protein synthesis that is essential for muscle recovery. In addition, alcohol can negatively affect fluid balance. Excessive alcohol intake can disrupt intestinal flora that leads to increased intestinal permeability and increased absorption of bacteria from the gut into the blood circulation. Moreover, excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt sleep, which is fundamental for optimal recovery. Therefore, limit your alcohol consumption or avoid it altogether, especially after intense training or competition.


6. Use collagen

Collagen is an essential structural protein for the health of your connective tissues, including tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles and bones. These musculoskeletal tissues are intensely stressed during sports, especially contact sports. Consequently, more than 70% of all sports injuries are the result of injuries to these tissues. Research has shown that taking a collagen supplement can contribute to the strength and elasticity of these tissues. Consequently, this supplement helps prevent injuries and recover faster.

In the Etixx range, the Collagen Complex supplement offers a good tool to increase your daily intake of collagen. Collagen Complex combines two different types of collagen: TENDOFORTE® and FORTIGEL®, whose action in athletes has been substantiated by scientific studies. This supplement can be used both preventively and curatively. So a cure is not only interesting during periods when you want to avoid injuries, but it also promotes faster recovery from injuries.

Make the right nutritional choices, train smart and reach your goals! #FuelYourGoal