Inflammation is a protective reaction by the body in response to an injury or infection. It results in increased blood flow to the problematic area, higher body temperature, fluid accumulation and pain caused by the release of chemicals from damaged cells.
Inflammation is considered a normal part of exercise and training. After a hard session of exercise training, inflammation naturally occurs to help athletes muscles heal, so athletes can recover and adapt more difficult workouts as training goes on.
Inflammation can be categorized into two types – acute and chronic.
Acute muscle inflammation occurs from intense or prolonged training when muscles undergo small micro-tears i.e., small injuries that cause an acute inflammatory response. Acute inflammation is not a severe problem as the body repairs this following a workout. It is thought to be a part of the normal adaptation to exercise.
Chronic inflammation results from stressors like heavy training, less sleep, alcohol, unhealthful diet, etc. and poor recovery from intensive training or overtraining. Poor gut health can lead to inflammation in the body, and probiotics are a recovery tool that may alleviate the negative effects of chronic inflammation and decrease the risk of overtraining.
Athletes training with heavyweights are at an increased risk for infection which requires them to adopt health plans to cure inflammation. Another common problem with athletes is that the nutrients that are consumed do not get replenished adequately, so it is important to load up your diet with nutrient-dense foods.
Tips To Beat Inflammation
To reduce the effects of inflammation we can avoid certain foods and add certain foods to our diets. Here are some tips:
Opt For Fermented Foods
Nutritionists fully understand the value of foods that are gut friendly and their impacts on our physiological and psychological health. There is a two-way relation between your brain health and your gut. If anyone of the two is in poor condition, it is bound to affect the other in a negative manner. Though gut health may not seem important for a weightlifter or an athlete, it has a deep connection with your athletic ability. Taking care of your gut is actually notching up your gym performance and recovery.
Foods such as yogurt, sourdough bread and kefir flourish gut microbiota leading to a stronger gut/brain relation.
Say No To Processed Foods
The biggest favour you do to yourself to up your gym performance is cutting out highly processed foods. Remember it’s not about counting calories, it about considering food composition and choosing non-processed healthier options. Fast food are loaded with trans fats, which have strong link with systematic inflammation.
Consume Fish Oil
Extensive researches on fish oil show that it quite useful in combating inflammation. It is also useful for muscle protein synthesis. Consuming fish oil capsules can help you get rid of that ugly burning sensation you desperately want to get rid of.
Ketogenic diets elevate ketones in the body which in turn accelerates NLRP3 inflammasome, putting an end to your chronic burning sensation. It also improves cortisol levels (which are good in certain conditions) in the body, and thus beating inflammation becomes quite easy with this approach. Fasting also elevates insulin sensitivity, regulates blood pressure and oxidative stress without compromising on your muscle mass, making it an ideal win-win situation.
Adopt Healthy Activities
Anxiety is directly correlated to inflammation and the ability to deal with fatigue varies from person to person. Engaging in healthy coping mechanisms such as morning walks, yoga, meditation or some quality time with your loved ones can help you combat with inflammation quite effectively.
Pay Heed To Your Sleeping Pattern
Your biggest weapon against inflammation is healthy sleep, which also improves appetite, glucose metabolism and fat oxidation.
Our environment plays a major role in our sleep pattern. The blues lights from our technological gadgets disturb natural circadian rhythms that lull our bodies to sleep. To prep up your body, switch off all gadgets and hit the bed at a decided time.
The Final Word
A sports dietitian can work with your training schedule and current diet to help you meet your performance goals this season by developing a nutrition plan that will help you get stronger, perform better, and stay healthy throughout the season. Apart from following a healthy routine, athletes can combat inflammation with the right sports gear. Compression wear works as a circulatory pump, pushing blood through the veins, a fact that some athletes believe it gives them an edge during competition. According to Jessica Hill, M.S.c., a U.K.-based exercise scientist, “When compression garments are worn during and after heavy exercise, they appear to reduce muscle soreness.” RDX offers high-tech, premium compression wear that helps to reduce muscle soreness and enhances movement throughout your sessions.