Nutrition for Injury Recovery: Part 3

In the third part of this series, we’ll talk about setting up a nutrition plan for injury recovery. In the first part of the series, we talked about when to start a nutrition program, and in the second part, we talked about what to do when you start one.

In Nutrition for Injury Recovery: Part 3, we will discuss the nutritional needs of the post-injury period and discuss the most effective ways to heal. We will focus on some of the micronutrients that our bodies may be lacking, as well as discuss some of the vitamins that can help us heal. We will finish by discussing the general diet that helps us heal.

Nutrition plays a large role in injury recovery, but it is not something that should be overlooked. Nutrition plays a large role in injury recovery, but it is not something that should be overlooked.

The appropriate foods and supplements might help you recover faster after an injury. This is crucial, but it is frequently overlooked.

Most trainers, coaches, nutritionists, and therapists recognize the importance of diet in injury healing. However, throughout my travels around the world, I’ve seen that only a small percentage of people truly understand how to use food and supplements in this manner.

When a client or athlete has an acute injury, there’s not much else on the menu besides more water, topical homeopathic creams and gels, and glucosamine/chondroitin combos.

That’s why we’re releasing this five-part video series, which was shot in Loughborough, England, during the 2012 Fit Pro Convention.

We’ll show you how the body heals after an accident in this video series.

Then we’ll go into the food and supplement regimens we utilize to get wounded clients back in the game faster and more completely.

To learn more, watch Part 3 of Nutrition for Injury Recovery by clicking the play button below. (Part 1, part 2, part 4, and part 5 can be found here.) The video lasts approximately 8 minutes.

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Calorie requirements for recovery

We focused on controlling Stage 1 of injury recovery in the previous video. Today, we’ll look at two crucial elements that influence injury recovery in Stages 2 and 3: appropriate calorie and micronutrient consumption.

Energy is expended during activity. As a result, when practicing for sports or following an exercise regimen, we require extra energy.

However, some athletes, particularly female athletes, undereat either intentionally (to lose weight) or unintentionally (due to poor nutrition information).

More repetitive stress injuries, such as stress fractures or ligamentous injury, can result as a result of this. As a result, eating too few calories while healthy can lead to injury, while eating too few calories while recovering can hinder an athlete from becoming healthy.

During the healing of an acute injury, the body’s energy requirements increase. In fact, depending on the degree of the shock, basal metabolic rate (BMR) may increase by 15 to 50%. Sports injuries and mild surgery, for example, can raise BMR by 15-20%, whereas severe surgery and burn injury can increase BMR by 50%.

Of course, an athlete or exerciser will need to consume less calories during injury recuperation than during training and competition. They may, however, be under-eating if they return to their normal intake.

As a result, nutritionists must strike a balance between the increased energy and nutrient requirements of injured and recovering clients and the realities of reduced activity.

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Calorie requirements are one example.

Let’s look at a young male athlete as an example. He’s 14 years old, is 5’6′′ tall, and weighs 140 pounds.

  • 1611 kcal/day basal metabolic rate (mean of 3 predictive equations)
  • Sedentary energy requirements – 1933 kcal/day (activity factor of 1.2)
  • Daily training/competition energy requirements – 2739 kcal/day (activity factor of 1.7)
  • Energy requirements for recovery – 2319 kcal per day (activity factor of 1.2 and a 20 percent increase in metabolism due to injury)

As you can see, calorie intake during injury recovery should be lower (2319 kcal) than during training and competition (2739 kcal). Returning to a sedentary baseline (1933 kcal) will, however, result in underfeeding.

This is critical in both clinical and practical settings.

A decrease in physical activity leads to a decrease in hunger. If an athlete relies on hunger cues to eat, he or she may undereat during recuperation. He or she may lose muscle mass, heal slowly, and progress slowly.

While wounded athletes should consume less during their recovery, keep in mind that they are still athletes and should eat accordingly. Things like eating every few hours, getting adequate protein, balancing macronutrients, and receiving enough key micronutrients are all part of this.

During healing, you’ll require a lot of macronutrients.


Protein is required for injury repair. Aim for 1.5-2.0 g/kg for injured athletes, up from the typical 0.8 g/kg. Many people already do it.

Make sure to receive this greater protein intake on a regular basis to guarantee a rapid recovery. Injured athletes should consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.


In a previous video, we discussed dietary fat, and you may recall that we suggested balancing dietary fat by receiving around 1/3 of total fat consumption from each of the three forms of fat. Most significantly, aim for an omega-6 to -3 ratio of at least 1:1, preferably closer to 3:1, by increasing omega-3s and decreasing omega-6s.


While athletes require glucose to heal from athletic injuries, no particular carbohydrate requirements for injury recovery have been established. However, enough dietary carbohydrate should be included to guarantee proper micronutrient intake and stable insulin levels (which, as an anabolic hormone, may affect wound healing). Not obtaining enough carbs will be an extra — and undesirable — stressor for certain athletes who are accustomed to a larger carb consumption.

Summary of Macronutrient Requirements

Here’s how to put these guidelines into practice when it comes to nutritionally treating injuries:

Frequency of meals

Every 3-4 hours, eat something.


Complete protein should be present in each meal or snack, such as lean meats, lean dairy, eggs, or protein supplements (if whole food is unavailable).

Fruit and vegetables

1-2 portions of vegetables and/or fruit (1/2 – 1 1/2 cups or 1-2 pieces) should be included in each meal/snack, with a priority on vegetables.


Whole grain, minimally processed, high-fiber forms of carbohydrates include whole oats, yams/sweet potatoes, beans and legumes, whole grain rice, quinoa, and so on. When not exercising (such as during injury recuperation), eat fewer carbs, but don’t go too low on them, especially if an athlete isn’t already well accustomed to burning fat for fuel.


Avocados, olive oil, mixed nuts, fatty fish (such as salmon), flax seeds, and flax oil should all be consumed every day. Add 3-9 grams of fish oil to your regular routine, divided if necessary.

Today’s takeaways and a wrap-up

That concludes Part 3 of the Nutrition for Injury series.

For the time being, here are some crucial points.

  • Athletes and exercisers must consume adequate calories both during training and recovery.
  • You should eat less when you’re injured and healing than when you’re working hard… However, you will burn more calories than if you were fully sedentary.
  • Consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight; balance dietary fats (with more omega-3s than -6s); consume some (but not a lot) starchy, high-fiber carbohydrates; and consume a lot of veggies (with occasional fruit). In episode 4 of the video series, we’ll talk about micronutrient requirements.

If you’re a coach or wish to be one…

It’s both an art and a science to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy food and lifestyle adjustments in a way that’s tailored to their individual body, tastes, and circumstances.

Consider the Level 1 Certification if you want to learn more about both.

The next step, after proper nutrition, is to tailor an appropriate program for your specific injury. And for that, there’s no better resource than the Everyvoice Online Injury Recovery Plan. Use this free guide to plan out your rehabilitation and adjust your nutrition accordingly.. Read more about does healing burn calories and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which nutritional food helps healing of injury?

I am not a doctor and cannot give you medical advice.

How much protein do you need for injury recovery?

I am not a doctor, but I can give you some general information. The amount of protein needed for injury recovery depends on the severity of the injury and how long it will take to heal.

How do you eat while recovering from an injury?

I am not sure what you mean by eating while recovering from an injury.

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