Exercise, Nutrition, & Supplement Strategies for Getting Past Injury
Written by Matt Unthank, M.S., CSCS Director of Training at Crossover Symmetry.
We’re back with the third and final section of our injury rehab guide, created in collaboration with our friends at CrossOver symmetry. If you missed them, check out Part 1: Exercises for Injury Rehab and Part 2: Nutrition for Injury Rehab.
Supplementing your diet with the right science-backed sports nutrition products for your training goals is an effective way to ensure you’re meeting your body’s nutritional demand and potentially enhancing it even more.
When battling pain or injury, try dosing these items to shore up your recovery reserves.
Creatine is found naturally in the brain and muscles and provides energy for movement at high intensities and with heavyweights. Supplementing creatine increases intramuscular stores and is shown to enhance performance, strength gains, and promote an increase in muscle mass.
It's incredibly well studied and shown to have minimal risks associated with its intake. And while the results are mixed, there is data that supports its use during injury rehab and recovery.
Most notably, creatine supplementation may help to reduce muscle atrophy and other muscle changes that occur during immobilization. It's also helpful in the later stages of injury rehab as an athlete returns to the sport by helping them get back to full capacity quicker.
One clean and effective creatine option: Blonyx HMB+ Creatine. Check it out here and read more on HMB below.
Vitamin D is commonly recognized for its role in developing strong bones, but it also plays an important role in immune system function. And while a healthy lifestyle typically delivers all necessary micronutrients, vitamin D deficiency is common even among healthy individuals.
This can impact healing and recovery. One study showed low vitamin D prolonged recovery from knee surgery and that supplementing with 2000-4000IU's along with a serving of fat helped improve recovery rates. It may also help to regulate the inflammatory response needed for healing.
As a side note, there is concern that too much may affect bone healing, so levels should be tested prior to supplementing when recovering from a bone fracture.
β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate, or better known as HMB, is a natural metabolite of the amino acid leucine. It's shown to play an important role in preventing muscle breakdown and increasing protein synthesis during periods of high stress, such as hard workouts, or recovering from an injury or surgery.
Supplementing with HMB is shown to improve lean body mass and strength, and may help to preserve muscle during detraining that occurs with injury recovery. One study showed that supplementing with 3g helped to maintain muscle mass following 10 days of bed rest when compared with a placebo.
Just like creatine, it's been studied extensively without any side effects.
While HMB is commonly found in the diet, its intakes typically range from 0.25 to 1g daily, which is significantly lower than what's recommended to help preserve muscle mass.
You will likely get all the vitamins and minerals you need through foods if you eat a healthy diet. Related to injury recovery, Vitamins A,C, and E all have positive effects on wound healing and may enhance recovery, especially if deficient.
Key to Supplements
Supplements can enhance your recovery, help keep you strong during downtimes, and can get you back to playing quicker. The ones mentioned in this guide are evidence-backed and have no side effects, but your choice should be tested for quality and purity. Especially if you're participating in sport at a level that will test for banned substances.