The Importance of Protein in the Healing and Recovery Process

Protein Food

By: Rob Rossi, Active Care Specialist, March 2015

Protein FoodNutrition and Exercise

Nutrition is a very important component of health as we all know. We need nutrients to live and nourish our bodies. Depending on our body type and lifestyle activities, our bodies will need fuel at different times.

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the foods we should eat each day. Each individual’s demands for food will differ based on schedule, occupation, activity level, allergies, and more.

Protein and Health

Whether you exercise or not, protein is a vital component in our diet as it is a building block in our bodies and is essential for building and repairing things. Organs, muscles, bones, skin, hair, nails, and certain hormones are all made up of some protein.

If your body has a deficit of protein, you can lose muscle. Your body can turn muscle protein into energy if it needs to. For example, this can happen with intense exercise in the morning without eating (not recommended).

Protein is important for those with injuries, as it is needed to aid in recovery. Anyone exercising can benefit from extra protein to help to maintain and/or build supportive muscle fibers.

Some good sources to get your protein from are:

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Beans
  • Nuts

In addition to getting it from natural sources, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a protein supplement. Taking a protein mix will help get that extra needed protein without ingesting too many calories.

Generally, people think that a whey protein supplement is for people exercising at the gym that want to gain large muscles, which is a big misconception. Extra protein can actually be used for gaining or losing weight.

Vegetarians can take a whey protein to get those proteins that they lack from their diet. There are whey proteins available that have

no animal products, which are derived from legumes (and can also be nut free for those with allergies). Two scoops a day is typically recommended for most whey protein; these can be taken in between meals with a fruit.

Injuries can also benefit from taking a protein shake to aid in recovery, whether from surgery, sports injury, motor vehicle accident, work accident, and so forth. As the body will be working to heal itself, protein will give that extra needed boost.

Choose one or two scoops, depending on how much the injured person is eating. If you are taking two scoops, take one in the morning to refuel the depletion from overnight sleep and one after exercise to refuel the body.

Keep in mind that this is just a general guideline for taking a protein supplement. Many individuals will take their protein at various times depending on schedule, goals, health conditions, and interactions with medications.

*If unsure always consult your doctor to ensure it is safe for you to take a whey protein supplement

>> BodyMend can help you on your road to recovery with our physiotherapy and rehabilitation services. Book an appointment with us today!

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