Keeping Training-Related Inflammation at Bay
By Jackie Edwards
Individuals who train in boxing and mixed martial arts constantly find themselves in a state of tissue healing. As muscles tear and repair the body’s state of swelling and inflammation is heightened. Intense workouts are known to cause inflammation and for that reason it becomes imperative to decrease the amount of stress the body is subjected to by eating the correct food. The food you choose to eat can greatly influence the rate at which your body heals itself.
Nutrients that are depleted during training often do not get replenished which makes it vital to fill your diet with nutrient-dense foods that can help minimize inflammation. Certain foods need to be avoided because of their inflammation-inducing properties while others need to be added to our diets because of their inflammation-reducing characteristics.
Here’s how to keep inflammation at bay:
Be sure to keep well-hydrated during the day. Remember to drink your recommended 8 glasses of water a day. After you have worked out, rehydrate yourself with natural electrolytes like those found in coconut water. Green juice has terrific rehydration properties. There are a variety of good-quality sports drinks available on the market that go a long way in electrolyte replacement.
Invest in a Good Multivitamin
A daily multivitamin is a good way to ensure that you receive all your daily required nutrients. Remember that not all multivitamins are created equally and that you might need to conduct a bit of research before deciding which multivitamin to go for. Look at the ingredients list on the packaging and steer clear of any product that contains any additives such as coloring and flavorings.
Avoid Inflammatory Foods
Inflammation has already been triggered simply by working out and you do not want to add fuel to the fire by consuming potentially inflammatory foods. The biggest culprits are gluten, alcohol and sugar. Other culprits are common cooking oils, feed-lot raised meat and processed meat, refined grains and artificial food additives.
Eat Anti-inflammatory Foods
There are a number of foods with great anti-inflammatory properties. They include foods such as avocado, ginger and walnuts. Try and add as many of these healthy foods into your meals on a daily basis to reap the rewards of an anti-inflammatory diet.
What you eat plays contributes greatly to your post-workout recovery but you need to adapt your consumption according to the intensity of your workout. A moderate-intensity workout like a 3-mile run may only require a glass of water and a healthy supper afterward whereas an hour of hard training will warrant the need for a 200-calorie carb and protein-rich snack.
Apart from eating correctly, there are other measures that you can employ to help boost your recovery process. Sleeping for at least 8 hours a night and making use of ice baths after a workout can speed up the recovery process significantly. Massage is another popular option when it comes to wanting to maximize your recovery.
The market is inundated with anti-inflammatory medications and although many of them have been proven to work it is always best to use more natural recovery methods as far as possible. If you have exhausted all other avenues and opt for pharmaceuticals it is recommended to speak to your doctor first for advice on which product will be the best for you.
As unpleasant as inflammation is, remember that it is not the end of the world and should not interrupt your training schedule for too long. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. Also remember that prevention is always better than cure, not just with regards to inflammation but your general health as well.