Wednesday Resources: Inflammation
Again, you guys are so incredibly supportive. Injury scares are the WORST and I don’t even want to pretend that I am not the most accident prone athlete ever. I think it boils down to the fact that I love doing it SO MUCH that I ignore moderation. (Not recommended).
I wanted to chat today about something that every athlete deals with and although it has a bad reputation, a little bit of it is a good thing!
Inflammation actually triggers cells to clear away damaged muscle tissues which leaves room for the creation of stronger and more durable muscle fibers. Inflammation is a part of a healthy training cycle because that means your body is adapting to the training and your muscles are getting stronger and more adapted to the training load.
That is the one side and also one of the reasons why I don’t pop anti-inflammatories while training. The other side is realizing that unless we are professional athletes, we often cannot afford to be in incredible pain while our body adapts because we need to perform well at our workplace and to be healthy for our families and friends which is where it is helpful to clear out some of the inflammation in our body.
When I was racing the Equinox Traverse, my team make rolled his ankle and it instantly swelled up and it was clearly painful for him. When offered Advil, he said “No thank you, I like to know that I am in pain.”
It sounds sadistic, but understanding your limitations is important so don’t extend comfort into a crutch to overextend your athletics beyond a safe level. [A qualifying statement to say that if you are directed to take Advil or anti-inflammatory medication by your sports doctor, please listen to them over me. Every situation is unique.]
A great way to control inflammation in day to day training is food and supplements. Some of my favourite tricks are:
1. Cherry juice. Cherries are well known for their anti-inflammatory agents. I buy organic cherry syrup at my local market and mix it in my sparkling water as a way to increase my fluid intake.
2. Fish oil. I supplement every day with Genuine Health Omega 3.
4. I use this stuff during self massage and foam rolling when my training volume increases.
It feels incredible and decreases inflammation by 6 x. There is nothing better than going to bed with happy legs! I wrote about it here when I shared my post-marathon recovery tips but I use it throughout heavy training weeks as well. I buy it at Goodness Me! and it is an all Canadian company backed by a medical team and is the first anti-inflammatory product that works for me. Plus it smells DELICIOUS.
I love it so much that I am giving away three bottles of it. I will be announcing the winners next Wednesday.
Enter by leaving a comment on what you do to fight inflammation in training?
Inflammation – Friend or Foe? – In defense of inflammation.
Stress and Chronic Inflammation – Goodness Me This is an awesome (and FREE) online class taught by Dr. David Wang, ND.
How You Can Benefit from Proper Sports Nutrition – Genuine Health Alan Logan, ND discussed the importance of anti-inflammatory diets for athletes.