Nutrition and the Injured Athlete

by Anna Ozias

Injuries and Nutrition

Nutrition may not help avoid injuries, but it can help the athlete recover.

An athlete needs the daily amount of energy.

Dehydration is one of the worst possible conditions for an athlete and they should follow a hydration schedule.

During rehab and recovery, the nutrient needs are similar to the needs of muscle growth.


An injured athlete should focus on balancing their energy. Calories are necessary for recovery and if you consume too few, it could cause the recovery process to slow down. Although you should decrease your calorie intake to prevent weight gain.

Whole Foods

Many athletes get their calorie intake from things such as sports drinks, bars and shakes. Instead, they should focus on more whole foods with lean protein such as, fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats like nuts and seeds.

Sugary Foods

Injured athletes should focus on avoiding foods with high amounts of simple sugars and dietary fats. These foods are less nutrient-dense than whole foods.

Meal Frequency

Athletes should eat every 3-4 hours.


Athletes should be reminded to talk to their athletic trainer or doctor about their food intake.