‘Tis But A Scratch’

The Black Knight in Monty Python may get away with a flesh wound, but the athlete who needs to compete at the highest of levels cannot.

It’s been reported that the greater number of training sessions an athlete misses, the less success they’ll achieve in their career. Therefore, an athlete’s greatest ability is their availability.

When it comes to wound healing, malnutrition is largely associated with the delay or failure of the healing process.

However, certain nutrition strategies can accelerate wound healing and your return to play. I.e. our goal is to minimise nutrient deficiencies…

If you have severe injuries and are out of training for weeks to months, I would highly recommend listening to episode 18 of the Average to Elite Podcast ‘Nutrition Guidelines for the Rehabber’ as minimising muscle mass loss is going to be an essential area for you to focus on.

When it comes to wound healing itself, here’s the key nutrients (per phase) outlined from a review paper by Palmieri et al (2019):

Inflammatory Phase:
– Vitamin A, Bromelain, adequate protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin D.

Proliferation Phase:
– Vitmain C, Vitamin A, Zinc, Glutamine, Carbohydrates, Aloe vera, Centella asiatica.

Remodelling Phase:
– Amino acids/collagen peptides.

These nutrients are largely aimed at increasing: collagen synthesis, wound remodelling, DNA synthesis, protein synthesis and controlling inflammation, blood clotting and the immune response.

In addition to this, there’s evidence to support the use of Curcumin to shorten the inflammatory phase and support collagen synthesis (Barchitta et al, 2019).

Long story short, if you’ve got a flesh wound and want to accelerate the recovery process, aim to avoid nutrition deficiencies by increasing your attention to food quality and variety. If you want to throw the kitchen sink at it, then look at curcumin and collagen/gelatine supplementation.

Once again, the recommendations are incredibly straight forward, but so essential for accelerating recovery.

 

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