There are three specific nutrients that your body needs to help heal your ligaments which are protein, vitamin C and collagen.
Optimal protein for repair is an essential first component. Every cell in your body has protein and it is an essential part of recovery.
Eating around 20-40g of complete protein in every meal and 15-20g of protein per snack is a smart structure to spread out your daily protein requirements.
Good sources of protein include dairy, lean meat or fish, alternative meat sources like tofu and legumes and beans.
Another great source of protein is Australian Natural Protein Company Whey Protein. Per 30g serve you will be giving your body 20g of complete protein.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. A Vitamin C & collagen combination works better to heal your ligament as well as acting as an antioxidant and reduces the harmful factors which are floating around the injury.
Your ligaments are made of lots of collagen fibres linked together. Including collagen in your diet to increase healing of the ligament is a smart move to get back in the game faster.
You need around 5g in your meal to help promote recovery. If you are wondering what collagen is, it can be found in foods like your Sunday Roast, the gelatin part of the bottom of the dish you find is collagen. It is also found in the ever increasingly popular bone broth.
In the past people’s diets had enough collagen but in the twenty first century our diets tend to lack enough collagen.
You don’t need to go and buy a roast to get enough collagen. You can buy gelatin, which is essentially lots of collagen proteins together. It's easy to find in the baking section of the shops.
Timing is Essential
The time you include these three nutrients is vital. 30-60 minutes before your recovery session or session with your physio it when it is best to chow down on these three nutrients.
When your ligament is being moved like in recovery movement it acts like a sponge, taking in and using the nutrients available in your blood.
Take home message: Nutrition plays a major role in promoting the development of lean muscle mass after a hard workout as well as assisting recovery from injury. If you are suffering from a ligament injury, take on board these three essential nutrients and promote quicker recovery to be able to get back in the game sooner.
- Nutrition for recovery from tendon injuries. www.mysportscience.com. 12/10/2015.
- DePhillipo, Nicholas N et al. ‘Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review.’ Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine. 25 Oct 2018.