I'm currently working on a book that has morphed from a simple nutrition manual that I traditionally give gratis to all the athletes who I coach.
Originally a collection of nutrition tips and tricks, ideas on how to fuel the body with thousands of calories without destroying the delicate organs, and practical triathlon fueling tactics, the manual is now something very much like the lecture that I gave on Holistic Fueling For Endurance Athletes (if you missed that post, click here for the free video/audio/powerpoint).
The actual book won't be released to the public until later this summer, but I thought I'd give you a taste of one chapter, entitled “18 Ways to Help Your Body Heal Faster”. This portion of the book is simply a comprehensive list of simple nutritional supplements that only cost about $4-5 a day, but can have you bouncing back from an injury faster than Wolverine from the X-Men.
In other words, if you find yourself injured or laid up with inflammation, follow this exact protocol for enhanced connective tissue healing, fast recovery from injury-produced inflammation, and a quick return to your training and competition after a strain, sprain or crash.
1. Glucosamine, ~500mg. Best when combined with Chondroitin, ~400mg. Spread it through the day in three separate doses. Recommended source is “Mt. Capra CapraFlex”, (5% discount code BGF).
2. Chondroitin (see above). It is also in the CapraFlex.
3. Vitamin C, ~1000+mg per day. You could take this in an “immune system booster” like Airborne, from high fruit and vegetable intake (*ahem*, one apple only contains 8mg, however), or from a multi-vitamin that includes Vitamin C (AKA ascorbic acid).
4. Zinc, ~50mg. I get mine from a product called ProstElan, a potent anti-inflammatory that also includes Rye Pollen Extract. Often, zinc can also be found in an “immune system booster” type of effervescent powder.
5. Vitamin B3, ~250mg. Also know as Niacinamide. Tuna is one of nature's richest sources, but you'll only get about 15mg from one fillet. You're getting the idea – use a supplement form for convenience, rather than mowing down 17 tuna fillets.
6. Selenium, ~200mcg. Brazil nuts, fish, and crimini mushrooms are very high in selenium, at about 40-50mcg per serving. You might be able to get away with getting this one from the diet.
7. Chromium Picolinate, ~200mcg. Check the label of your multi-vitamin – sometimes it will be there.
8. Vitamin E, ~400IU. A powerful antioxidant also known as alpha-tocopherol. As is the case with most fat soluble vitamins, you'll want to be careful not to overdose. Sunflower seeds, incidentally, are one of the highest natural sources.
9. A Multi-Vitamin. This should go without saying. My personal favorite is Enerprime, which also includes many other highly potent anti-inflammatories and superfoods.
10. Proteolytic Enzmes. Trypsin, Chymotrypsin, Papain and Bromelain are the top four, and the latter is found highly concentrated in pineapples. An excellent pill form of these is made by a company called Wicked Fast, and is called “Recoverease“.
11. Cetyl Myristoleate. Traditionally used for arthritis, it would be worth including in your protocol, if you can find it. 12-15 grams over 30 days is the recommended protocol for arthritic conditions. Recommend manufacturer's label for sprains/strains.
12. Carnitine. Recommended source is “Mt. Capra CapraFlex”.
13. Evening primrose oil, ~500mcg. Excellent anti-inflammatory. Recommended source is EnerEFA.
14. MSM (AKA methylsulfonylmethane). Essential for connective tissue repair, and can be applied topically. Check Hammer Nutrition's Tissue Rejuvenator (15% discount code 80244).
15. Pregnenolone, ~50mg. Be careful with this one, as it is a hormone precursor, but could help you recover faster. Check at your local health food store.
16. DHEA. For both males and females, this will help with a testosterone-like healing effect. The rye pollen extract in the ProstElan, mentioned earlier, will help with DHEA levels.
17. Omega 3 fatty acid. A potent anti-inflammatory that will assist in the assimilation of many other compounds on this list. Recommend flax seed oil source EnerEFA. (which also contains primrose oil).
18. Co-Enzyme Q10, ~60-100mcg/day. I personally take Hammer Nutrition's Race Caps (15% discount code 80244).
I know this may seem like a lot to throw at an injury, but just imagine – 1 HOUR on the internet or in a grocery store could speed up healing by several weeks (and many of the supplements I recommended above contain several of the compounds listed, which will save you additional time).
For four to five bucks a day, I'm willing to give up my daily latte if my body can bounce back like Wolverine.
So next time you get injured, and you want to come back stronger, better, and faster, try this protocol.