While “health” trends in sports point to less and less calories being consumed, eating a balanced diet can not only prevent you from a series of ailments but can even help you heal more quickly from certain injuries related to the practice of cycling and to cure other ailments.
It is common that when you are used to pedaling daily, it is easy to maintain an ideal body weight and enviable health, but 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.”
The proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in food help heal wounds, stress, and relax tendons, as well as repair 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 thing to do to get back on the bike as soon as possible.
I present a series of foods that, based on their properties, will help you improve your recovery time after suffering an injury and will make the wait to return to the pedals shorter.
Foods with healing power
To repair scratches caused by a fall more quickly and organically, it is best to eat foods that contain vitamin A and C.
Carrots, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and cabbage are optimal for consuming vitamin A. Oranges, strawberries, peppers, onions (which also helps with blood circulation) Kiwi (which has a high concentration of this vitamin) and broccoli for vitamin C, among others.
Vitamin A helps to produce white blood cells to fight infection. Vitamin C has been shown to help skin and wounds to 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 the formation of collagen, 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 that already has you fed up).
Knee pain is one of the injuries that most afflict 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 so as not to overload your knees, it is recommended that you consume certain foods that will help your body to heal any ailment in them faster. Remember to drink enough water to be able to hydrate cartilage and joints and ensure better functioning of these.
So in order to recover and regenerate a 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 has the ability to 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 that are made in an artisanal way).
- Nuts, just be 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 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 (for example, those contained in fast food and fried foods that we both Mexicans like them) and swap them for lean proteins (tofu, beans, etc).
Omega 3 fatty acids have the ability to reduce inflammation that slows recovery from tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons) and helps recovery from broken bones and twisted ligaments.
The main sources of this nutrient among others are:
In addition to a bonus of added protein, these fish are packed with Omega-3s. However, there are a series of oils with which you can cook your food that are also 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 from vigorous exercise.
But if you had any other type of muscle ailments. The healthy diet will also come to our aid, and some of the foods that can help us to 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 acts as a bridge between damaged tissues, promoting repair.
Because 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 produces 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 lowers HDL (the good) cholesterol and actually suppresses the immune system.
Cereal supplies moderate doses of zinc, as do whole grains carbohydrates, which fuel your body’s healing efforts and keep 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, exercising your torso and keeping your legs of steel . So take care of it and remember that these tips can never replace the one that you consult a doctor who will be able to adapt a diet and the right treatment just for you.