While “health” trends in sports point to fewer calories being consumed, eating a balanced diet can not only prevent you from a series of ailments. Still, it can even help you heal more quickly from certain injuries related to cycling and curing other diseases.
It is common that when you are used to pedaling daily, it is easy to maintain ideal body weight and enviable health. Still, the day you suffer an injury, the most usual thing is that you modify your diet to lower your calorie consumption until it is time to ride the bike again and go out to burn calories.
Something that is not entirely recommended since the healing process requires fuel. “It’s like the foundation of a house,” says Cynthia Valdivieso, a dietitian, and sports medicine doctor. “A crack in the foundation of a house requires raw materials to fix things, and in the body, the raw materials come from the food we eat.”
What Foods Help Cycling Injuries Recovery?
The proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in food help heal wounds, stress, and relax tendons, and repair has broken bones more quickly. Thus, in addition to following the advice of your doctor, choosing the correct combinations of foods to accelerate recovery will be the right way to get back on the bike as soon as possible.
Based on their properties, I present a series of foods that will help you improve your recovery time after suffering an injury and will make the wait to get back on the pedals shorter.
Foods with the healing power
To repair scratches caused by a fall more quickly and organically, it is best to eat foods that contain vitamins A and C.
Carrots, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and cabbage are optimal for consuming vitamin A. Oranges, strawberries, peppers, onions (which also help blood circulation), and Kiwi (has a high concentration of this vitamin), and broccoli for vitamin C, among others.
Vitamin A helps produce white blood cells to fight infection. Vitamin C has been shown to soothe skin, and wounds heal faster and naturally strengthen, which makes it a valuable ally when it comes to healing those abrasions produced by the friction of our skin on the pavement at the same time. Time to fall off the bike.
Vitamin C also helps repair connective tissues and cartilage, contributing to collagen formation, an important protein that forms scar tissue in blood vessels and even new bone cells.
Food to repair bones, tendons, and cartilage (that knee pain already has you fed up).
Knee pain is one of the injuries that most affect some cyclists, and since the knees are the largest joints in the body and the ones we use the most when riding a bike or walking, they must be treated with special care.
In addition to taking care of your weight to not overload your knees, it is recommended that you consume certain foods that will help your body heal any ailment in them faster. Remember to drink enough water to hydrate cartilage and joints and ensure better functioning of these.
So in order to recover and regenerate cartilage or a joint, it is necessary to consume certain herbs and spices. Among the first, we highlight two: willow and devil’s claw (which is a highly recommended natural anti-inflammatory in cases of joint, rheumatic, and arthritic pain) among the latter, ginger, and turmeric. Adding them to our meals will help the mobility and flexibility of the limbs.
But to have a broader picture and easier to combine with your diet, I will list with the help of Dr. Valdivieso some examples of foods that contain Lysine. This compound can prevent fatigue and facilitate recovery in case of damage whose recommended consumption is 12 mg per kg of weight.
Some of the foods with the highest content of Lysine are the following:
- Legumes: beans, broad beans, chickpeas, peas, etc.
- Red meat: duck, beef, pork, etc.
- Cheese (the less processed, the better. Prefer those from the market or those made in an artisanal way).
- Nuts are careful not to eat too many because their sugar content is very high.
- Beer yeast; that you can substitute in moderation for a very cold beer -because yeast alone tastes like rays and sparkles, I tell you from experience-.
Collagen is also very important, as this protein structures cartilaginous tissues, tendons, and bones.
Different studies have concluded that it facilitates the union between all of these. The simplest way to add it to the body is by eating gelatin. But be careful. It should be low in calories because otherwise, the sugar will be reducing the properties of collagen.
Likewise, fatty acids such as Omega 3 are excellent for strengthening cartilage, especially that of the knee. It will also be prudent to limit the consumption of saturated fats and swap them for lean proteins (tofu, beans, etc.).
Omega 3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation that slows down recovery from tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons) and helps recover broken bones and sprained ligaments.
The main sources of this nutrient, among others, are:
In addition to an added protein bonus, these fish are packed with Omega-3s. However, there are a series of oils with which you can cook your food rich in Omega 3. Some of them are linseed oil; cod liver oil, among the most common.
Foods to repair muscles
Although cycling is not free from cramps, tears, and other ailments, the truth is that they are not greater than those produced by lactic acid, which is nothing more than the breakdown of glucose when oxygen is not present, which occurs by exercising vigorously.
But if you had any other type of muscle ailments. A healthy diet will also come to our aid, and some of the foods that can help us repair them more quickly are following.
Lean meats are full of protein, essential for the production of new cells. In a 2008 study published in the “Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, “ researchers at the “University of Ottawa” identified a protein in lean meats that act as a bridge between damaged tissues, promoting repair.
Since athletes require approximately 112 grams of protein per day (for a 79 kg man or woman), eating meat will be an effective way to help your muscles recover faster and more optimally.
Turkey, sirloin (tenderloin), fish, and chicken are some of the foods that will help us in this recovery process.
Likewise, the egg, milk, yogurt sources of protein, milk, and yogurt also contain calcium, which repairs bones and muscles. Vitamin D in dairy products improves calcium absorption and helps injured muscles and bone heal: A 2010 study published in the “Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery“ reported that increased levels of this nutrient in Calcium-deficient patients produce encouraging results.
It is also important to consume zinc that you can find in fortified cereals as it will help strengthen your immune system. By itself, zinc does not repair damaged tissue, but it helps the nutrients that do.
“But don’t overdo it,” our expert warns, more than 40 grams a day for an adult of this potent mineral lower HDL (the good) cholesterol and suppresses the immune system.
Cereal supplies moderate doses of zinc, as well as whole grains carbohydrates, which fuel your body’s healing efforts and prevent you from dipping into protein for energy. “Eating enough carbohydrates ensures that your body makes all its protein available to repair,” explains Dr. Valdivieso.
As you ride a bicycle, your body stops having secrets from you, and you realize that the human body is a wonderful machine that needs a subtle balance to function perfectly; On the one hand, if you overeat, you get sick, but if you stop, you also get sick.
Another thing you can do to prevent accidents is to stay in shape, exercise your torso, and keep your legs of steel.
So take care of it and remember that these tips can never replace the one you consult a doctor who will adopt a diet and the right treatment just for you.