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Performance Nutrition Following an Injury—From Personal Experience

by Trisha B. Stavinoha, MS, RD, CSCS
TSAC Report July 2015

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As activity levels decrease, and swelling and inflammation set in, maintaining a diet that promotes healing is essential to keeping weight under control and speeding up recovery.

Eating healthy when training and competing is intuitive. Many tactical athletes are precise and often ritualistic with pre- and post-workout nutrition, hydration, and rest. However, the question arises as to whether the same approach is applied when the unexpected and tragic happens and someone is injured.

Recovering from an injury may be more critical than recovering from a workout and how tactical athletes nourish themselves during this time can facilitate or delay their recovery.

After an injury, people usually do not feel like cooking and may select foods based on convenience rather than nutrition. Also, people often tend to get depressed post-injury. They may binge on unhealthy comfort foods (in some cases this may include foods that are high in simple sugars or saturated fats), drink more alcohol, or even start smoking when injured. Use of any of these items in combination or excess can contribute to the inflammatory process and delay healing.

This article originally appeared in TSAC Report, the NSCA’s quarterly, online-only publication geared toward the training of tactical athletes, operators, and facilitators. It provides research-based articles, performance drills, and conditioning techniques for operational tactical athletes. The TSAC Report is only available to NSCA Members. Read more articles from TSAC Report.

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Trisha B. Stavinoha, MS,RD,CSCS

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Trisha Stavinoha earned her Master of Science degree in Sport Nutrition from Long Island University. She has been a credentialed sport dietitian and s...

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