Sometimes getting sick or injured while training is beyond your control.
Eat To Prevent Illness (colds, minor viruses)
Boost these nutrients: Iron and zinc (seafood, lean meat, beans) to help prevent infections. Vitamin C (citrus, fresh melon, berries, peppers); vitamin A (peaches, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale); vitamin E (nuts, seeds, oils) and selenium (seafood, brazil nuts) act as antioxidant protectors from damage caused by training.
Eat To Recover From Illness
Tip: Concentrate on quality rather than quantity of food to promote healing and minimize weight gain from being less active. Eliminate foods that are not involved in healing such as extra sugars, sport drinks, desserts and snack bars. Boost these nutrients: Vitamins A and C, zinc and iron, which are the top anti-infection nutrients. Herbs and spices (ginger, turmeric, cumin, oregano) are known for their gut healing and antioxidant properties. Probiotics (yogurt, aged cheese, tofu, miso, pickled ginger) help establish good bacteria in the stomach.
Eat To Prevent Injury (overuse, bone stress reactions)
Tip: To avoid injury, maintain a healthy balance of protein and carbohydrates. Don’t diet during periods of intense training as it increases the risk of stress fractures and decreases muscle function. Boost these nutrients: Protein (dairy, chicken, fish, soy beans, red meat) protects muscle and tissues and repairs your cells, bones, etc. Depending on your training phase, protein can range from 80–150 grams per day. Essential fatty acids (fatty fish, avocados, nuts, oils) for anti-inflammatory properties. Healthy carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables, fruits) prevent an increase in stress hormones or overtraining symptoms.
Eat To Recover From Injury
Tip: A big concern is the fear of gaining weight while taking time off from training. Even though you are burning fewer calories, you still need more calories than your sedentary friends—about 10 percent more to promote healing. Boost these nutrients: Vitamin C (citrus, melons, berries, fresh herbs) helps collagen building, bone healing and tissue repair. Calcium (milk, yogurt, cheese, beans, kale, spinach, chard) is a bone healer as well as Vitamin D (salmon, tuna, egg yolk, plus sunlight 10–15 minutes a day).