5 key supplements for inflammation and injury recovery
There’s nothing more frustrating than nagging injuries. Here are 5 great supplements you can take to ease inflammation and boost recovery from injury.
Injuries and inflammation can affect athletic performance, cause low-level pain, or even keep you out of the gym completely. Help your body help itself repair with these 5 amazing supplements. Keep them in your supplement cupboard or gym bag so you’re never far away from these life savers!
The amino acids
First things first: are you getting enough glutamine? The amino acid l-glutamine is one of the first things bodybuilders, strength athletes and power athletes turn to when they feel a niggle starting to flare up. Why? It’s basically one of the most important elements of protein, and therefore of repairing muscle tissue. If you’re training hard, preparing for an event, or dieting down and training whilst in a deficit, you need to keep on top of your glutamine intake.
Another big name in the amino acid world is l leucine. It’s one of the three aminos you’ll find in BCAA drinks, powders and capsules which should give you an idea of how important it is. Almost 10% of the total amount of amino acids in our bodies are leucine. So keep your levels topped up with an l leucine supplement if you expect your hard-working body to repair and recover consistently. Leucine is an essential amino acid, meaning the body can’t create it. We have to take it in from foods or supplements. Leucine is highly anabolic, and is the only amino acid which encourages the creation of protein in our muscle cells.
The final amino acid you should turn to for recovery and reduction of inflammation is glycine. The body can actually create glycine (hence it is a non-essential amino acid) but it’s so important to sleep and recovery that it makes sense to supplement. Glycine’s structure mean it is absorbed quickly and its effects felt almost immediately, making it ideal to take when you feel a niggle coming on, or if something tells you that training session might lead to major DOMS. Glycine also works as a neurotransmitter, helping balance the central nervous system after a major training session, and is a good anti-inflammatory. Ideal to take after training or before bed.
We can’t talk about sleep and recovery without a shout-out to ZMA. ZMA (zinc and magnesium aspartate) is the go-to supplement for strength and power athletes who want deep, deep sleep. It’s particularly good for men but women can certainly benefit from it. Almost everyone finds that taking a ZMA supplement almost instantly makes a positive different to sleep duration and quality, and boosts anabolic hormones including testosterone. If you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep when you’re training hard, give ZMA a try and tell us how you get on.
The cell strengthener
Finally, we’d recommend MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) for anyone who struggles with optimal recovery. Both nutrients are crucial to the repair and integrity of muscle cells and connective tissue, and will help your body rebuild after injury, inflammation or tough training. If you suffer knee pain, back pain, major muscle soreness or joint issues, give it a try. By supporting nice flexible cell structure, MSM can help you manage inflammation and offset soreness and the dreaded DOMS.