Nutrition When You're Injured

My last post was about listening to your body when you pick up an injury or a little niggle. Well, this post I want to talk about something that I have been asked quite a lot over the last 2 years. "How can I avoid muscle loss during an injury"?

My best answer is to not change your diet that much. Some people have said to me that they don't want to pay out for a 'muscle building diet' when they aren't training, which is completely understandable. The problem with completely changing your diet is that it could force your body to store fat and breakdown muscle tissue. If you have a sedentary job, then still eating a fair amount of carbs and a lot of protein, can actually store fat. If you eat too much protein, your body can either just get rid of it or store it. Eating too many carbs when you're not being active will be stored as fat too. Whilst being injured, your body does not need as much nutrients as it does when you're fully into training, but doesn't need too little either. (depending on the injury, eating certain amounts of different nutrients can help the recovery process, but it does depend on the injury)

I would say you want to lower your carb intake, still eat a fair amount of healthy fats and a fair amount of protein.I haven't used specific measurements of them as everyone is different and everyone has different needs. By doing that though, you will have enough carbs to function and do day to day activities, but not too much that is sits on you as fat. You want to keep the protein intake high, as its filling and can avoid muscle breakdown. You can also use glutamine and bcaa's which help avoids muscle tissue breakdown too.

You just want to keep your diet lean to be honest, that way you aren't taking on any excess fat, which will keep you lean, and you will give yourself the best chance of keeping as much muscle tissue as possible. The main thing is not gaining fat. You don't want to recover from an injury and have to work your butt off in the gym to shed fat you have gained, before focusing on pure muscle building. By staying lean, when you are fit, you can then get straight back to your training. Obviously, if you get injured whilst you're halfway through a fat loss program, you don't want to gain any more fat. By eating a 'lean diet' before and during an injury, you will still lose weight, as dieting alone can lose body fat.

Lee Gregory Fitness

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