Coach_WGo From Tweaked Back to Twerking! Part 2:

Vitamins/Minerals for Injury


By Coach Neil Williams


I am more in favor of eating healthy as it pertains to most things involving recovery.  However there are benefits to adding in certain vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins and minerals are nutrients required in small amounts for certain responses in the body.  They are not a cure all unto their individual selves though. Think of them as catalysts allowing other beneficial reactions to occur.  Despite what many amateur dieticians claim, not all of them are useful in super dosage.  There have been a few vitamin/mineral that have stood out as being beneficial as a dietary supplement.

  • Vitamin A enhances and supports early inflammation during injury, and reverses post-injury immune suppression.  Typically 25,000 IU daily is recommended for short periods of time surrounding serious trauma and surgery. However, we do worry about toxicity, as it is a fat-soluble vitamin that will accumulate in the body.  Supplementing with 10,000 IU daily for the first 1-2 weeks post-injury is probably safer.
  • Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and immune system modulator, and research suggests that vitamin C can help people recovering from surgery, injury, and ulcers. Supplement with 1g- 2 g/day during periods of injury repair.
  • Copper is a mineral that assists in the formation of red blood cells and works with vitamin C to form Elastin and to strengthen connective tissue. 2-4 mg/day is recommended during the first few weeks of injury repair.
  • Zinc is required for over 300 enzymes in the body and plays roles in DNA synthesis, cell division, and protein synthesis — all necessary for tissue regeneration and repair. Deficiency has been associated with poor wound healing and, as zinc deficiency is one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies. We recommend supplementing 15-30 mg per day, especially during the initial stages of healing. (Note: Make sure to balance copper and zinc if you supplement, as an excess of one can create deficiencies of the other.)

Calcium and iron deficiencies are, like zinc deficiencies, quite common. Because they’re important for bone health, athletes who are deficient in calcium and iron are more likely to suffer stress fractures.  Thus, while these two minerals may not play direct roles in injury healing, they play a large role in prevention. Get enough calcium and iron, preferably from whole foods rather than supplements.

Vitamins A, C, and D as well as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc are all important for injury recovery.  Side note, vitamin E may slow healing so avoid vitamin E supplements during injury.

Keep Fitness Groovy,

Coach W