After an injury or surgery, one of the primary goals of all athletes is to be able to heal as quickly as possible and return to play. Trainers and coaches monitor the athlete's rehabilitation process and attempt to use the most effective modalities and resources available to them. In this process, nutrition often is an underutilized component.
Many athletes use dietary supplements on a daily basis and have begun to associate nutrition with pills and powders instead of real food. One of the roles that health professionals can play is to guide athletes toward a return to whole foods. Whole foods offer the best nutrition, often at a better price than supplements, and include components that are not available in pills and powders, because of the synergistic value of whole foods. Postinjury or postsurgery is a critical time to get athletes eating better because this will aid in healing and enhance performance once they return to play. Click here to read the full article in the ACSM Health & Fitness Journal.