If you find yourself injured or laid up with inflammation, follow this exact protocol for enhanced connective tissue healing, fast recovery from injury-produced inflammation, and a quick return to your training and competition after a strain, sprain or crash. This information is not provided by a physician for medical treatment purposes, but is rather a simple guide to natural supplements that can assist with healing.
1. Glucosamine, ~500mg. Best when combined with Chondroitin, ~400mg. Spread it through the day in three separate doses.
2. Chondroitin (see above).
3. Vitamin C, ~1000+mg per day. You could take this in an “immune system booster” like Airborne, from high fruit and vegetable intake (*ahem*, one apple only contains 8mg, however), or from a multi-vitamin that includes Vitamin C (AKA ascorbic acid).
4. Zinc, ~50mg. Often, zinc can also be found in an “immune system booster” type of effervescent powder.
5. Vitamin B3, ~250mg. Also know as Niacinamide. Tuna is one of nature's richest sources, but you'll only get about 15mg from one fillet. You're getting the idea – use a supplement form for convenience, rather than mowing down 17 tuna fillets.
6. Selenium, ~200mcg. Brazil nuts, fish, and crimini mushrooms are very high in selenium, at about 40-50mcg per serving. You might be able to get away with getting this one from the diet.
7. Chromium Picolinate, ~200mcg. Check the label of your multi-vitamin – sometimes it will be there.
8. Vitamin E, ~400IU. A powerful antioxidant also known as alpha-tocopherol. As is the case with most fat soluble vitamins, you'll want to be careful not to overdose. Sunflower seeds, incidentally, are one of the highest natural sources.
9. A Multi-Vitamin. This should go without saying.
10. Proteolytic Enzmes. Trypsin, Chymotrypsin, Papain and Bromelain are the top four, and the latter is found highly concentrated in pineapples.
11. Cetyl Myristoleate. Traditionally used for arthritis, it would be worth including in your protocol, if you can find it. 12-15 grams over 30 days is the recommended protocol for arthritic conditions. Recommend following manufacturer's label for sprains/strains.
12. Carnitine. More anti-oxidant support.
13. Evening primrose oil, ~500mcg. Excellent anti-inflammatory. Often packaged with fish oil or flax seed oil.
14. MSM (AKA methylsulfonylmethane). Essential for connective tissue repair, and can be applied topically in lotion form.
15. Pregnenolone, ~50mg. Be careful with this one, as it is a hormone precursor, but could help you recover faster. Check at your local health food store.
16. DHEA. For both males and females, this will help with a testosterone-like healing effect. Rye pollen extract is another good way to boost DHEA levels.
17. Omega 3 fatty acid. A potent anti-inflammatory that will assist in the assimilation of many other compounds on this list. I personally recommend flaxseed oil.
18. Co-Enzyme Q10, ~60-100mcg/day. Dirt cheap and easy to find.
I know this may seem like a lot to throw at an injury, but just imagine – one HOUR on the internet or in a grocery store could speed up healing by several weeks (and many nutritional supplements contain a “cocktail” of several of the compounds listed, which will save you additional time). As a matter of fact, with the athletes I coach, we typically find most of these compounds with just 3 or 4 products that contain all these ingredients.
For four to five bucks a day, you should be willing to give up your daily latte if your body can bounce back like Wolverine from the X-Men! So next time you get injured, and you want to come back stronger, better, and faster, try this nutritional supplement protocol.