Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does eating help muscles heal?"
I'm a 28 year old woman and a fitness freak. I tore a muscle while rowing recently, and am trying to speed the healing process as much as possible. What kind of diet is optimal for healing muscle tissue?
A muscle tear is a common condition in young healthy people who undergo physical activity. There are some instances where the muscle will not heal without medical intervention. As such, I encourage you to talk to your primary doctor for a complete evaluation. Muscles, as you are aware, are made of various basic elements. Protein is an integral component. This is the reason "protein powders" and other muscle building concoctions are advertised. Therefore, a diet with sufficient protein would be required to allow for muscle growth or healing. There is no evidence that extreme amounts of protein would be helpful, but we do know that deficiency is detrimental. Therefore having a minimum amount of protein (~ 1.5-2 g / kg of body weight) is recommended. Keep in mind to much protein can be harmful but a sufficient amount is required. Anabolism (or building up of tissue) requires a significant amount of energy. Therefore a diet with sufficient energy is required. The make up of the diet, like in any condition, should come from a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Note that physical activity can also be helpful in helping muscles heal. I encourage you to talk to your doctor. He or she maybe able to put you in touch with a nutritionist or physical therapists who could further help.
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