Summer for many of us means we are spending more time outdoors, joining a sports recreational league, or maybe even training for a Triathlon. But being more active can predispose us to things like sore muscles, sprains and strains, a lowered immune system, or fatigue if we overdo it. Preparing our bodies can be easy and can prevent injuries and burnout if we incorporate some simple things into our diet and supplement regimen.
1. Protein Power
Protein has benefits in supporting weight loss and increasing lean muscle mass, maintaining a healthy immune system, increasing energy overall, and structurally supporting the joints and other soft tissue. For the average person, a minimum of 1 gram of protein per kilogram of that person’s body weight should be consumed per day.
Supplementing with protein is an easy way to get that extra protein, and can be a tasty and time-saving addition to your diet. Protein supplements in the form of whey or vegan blends come as a powder to be used in shakes and smoothies or in bar form for an easy grab-and-go snack. Maintaining proper protein levels will provide you with the ingredients to repair after exercise and build up muscle mass so you can lose that extra weight or sustain you through those last few kilometers of a long distance run.
2. Stay Hydrated
We all know that we sweat when we are active, and that we sweat even more when the temperature outside rises. Water is important to re-hydrate us, but without the proper mineral support in the form of electrolytes, the water we drink won’t stay in our cells where we need it. Electrolytes come in the form of powder, liquid, and even capsules, and include the very important Magnesium and Potassium. Both magnesium and potassium play a role in muscle and nerve function. If you experience muscle cramps or spasms, it might be wise to check with your health care provider to determine if you need to be supporting your body with even more of one or both of these minerals.
3. Cooling the Fires of Inflammation
As we become more active, our bodies naturally produce inflammatory molecules to help repair and remodel muscle tissue. Keeping inflammation at bay is not only important for proper muscle mass growth, but also to prevent many chronic diseases. Natural anti-inflammatory herbs like Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) as well as Omega 3 fatty acids are useful to prevent inflammation and injuries especially when we are very active. Another supplement that has shown much promise in treating inflammation including swelling and pain is the systemic enzyme formula Zymactive. I often recommend this to patients who are active on a very regular basis, as well as to those with acute or chronic musculoskeletal injuries.
Whether you are training for a marathon, enjoying the park more often with your kids, or walking longer distances with your dog, these tips can help you reach your goals of strength, endurance, and stamina, but more importantly have a more enjoyable and active summer!
The information in this article is not a substitute for medical advice. Please seek the care of your health care practitioner when starting a supplement regimen. Dr. Jennifer Dyck, ND has a special interest in digestive health, hormone balancing, brain support, and natural pain relief. More information about Dr. Jen can be found at www.DrJenniferND.com