Can the right nutrients prevent injuries in the boxing ring?

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You’ve trained extensively, focusing your mind and diet for months—so the last thing you want is to lose it all through an injury. Unfortunately, it’s a very real possibility; just look at David Haye, for example, who sustained an Achilles injury during his clash with Tony Bellew.

Boxers understand the importance of ensuring your body is working optimally. However, what many don’t realise is how even the smallest nutrients can play a huge role in reducing your risk and helping you recover from a sports injury as quickly as possible. Vitamin D supplement retailer Pharma Nord explains more about why you shouldn’t underestimate your nutrition.

The role of fatty acids

We can obtain omega 3 through by eating oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring.   This essential fatty acid helps to protect against inflammation which plays a part in many injuries and can also slow recovery. It also has an important role in the body's energy supply process and has been used to increase resistance to fatigue in athletes. Omega 3 also helps to keep joints and tissues well lubricated, which can prevent injury, as well as supporting a healthy immune system.

As a result, daily supplementation with a high-quality fish oil is recommended for most athletes. The omega 3 is derived from the flesh of the fish which is purer than oil from the liver.

Hydration

We all know the importance of drinking enough water as part of a healthy balanced diet, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Sometimes we forget to stay hydrated and this can leave us lacking energy. Water is an important medium to transport nutrients around our bodies and it’s also where metabolic reactions, essential for our bodies to function, take place. If joints or tissues are dehydrated they are more susceptible to tears and injury. We must consume a minimum of one litre of water from food and drink per day, with two litres being optimal.

Bone strength is important

Of the 206 bones in the human skeleton, there are over 200 individual joints connecting them. Physical activity can place enormous stress on our joints and bones and so it's important to consider the nutrients that can strengthen them, particularly as we age.

The structure and strength of our bones are largely dependent on us getting enough magnesium, either through our diet or by supplementation. Magnesium works together with calcium so it’s important to achieve the right balance of these minerals. Foods to add to your diet include beans, nuts and whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread.

When supplementing magnesium, it’s wise to choose one with the hydroxide acetate and carbonate forms of magnesium as the body can best absorb this form. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 400mg/day.

Bio-Vitamin D3 aids the absorption of calcium, therefore playing a key role in bone health. Up to 50 per cent of adults in the UK are thought to be deficient in vitamin D3, which is also known as the 'sunshine vitamin', due to our limited exposure to sunlight.

The human body requires MSM and silica to protect joints. MSM is a naturally occurring sulphur which can be found in foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. Silica is found in plant derived foods like unrefined cereals and rice.

The core roles of both are forming joint tissues and bone mineralisation. However, these nutrients are readily lost from foods during food processing. Taking an MSM and silica supplement can help to reduce any joint pain and increase joint mobility too.

Strengthen muscles and boost energy levels

Strength is key for boxers, yet building muscle doesn’t come without soreness and fatigue. So, how can we protect our muscles from fatigue and ensure we have enough energy?

All cells require coenzyme Q10, a vitamin-like substance, to produce energy. Some can be found in food but most is produced within our bodies. The challenge is our natural Q10 levels decline from our mid-twenties, which can leave us and our muscles feeling tired and weak, increasing our chances of injury. Pharma Nord was the first company to introduce Q10 supplements to Europe more than 25 years ago, so if you're in need of a top-up you could try Bio-Quinone Q10.

Eating a balanced diet that contains fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds is a good way to keep your energy levels up and to achieve your goals, injury free. Some nutrients, for example magnesium and coenzyme Q10, are depleted by intense physical exercise and so it's important to think about what you may be deficient in, and to take supplements to overcome this.