I’m injured. Hamstring this time, having spent the first week of training clearly trying to do too much. My recurring niggle is Achilles Tendonitis so, I thought it worthwhile to spend some time reading around the subject; let’s try to improve my tendons and ligaments through vitamins and minerals. I have a busy schedule ahead this year…
Tendons are dense bundles of collagen that link bone to muscle, whereas ligaments link bone to bone and are more flexible. These connective tissues are stimulated when muscles are activated but take longer to grow so warming up and stretching before and after exercise help protect them.
As you would expect there is lots and lots (and lots) online and from what I’ve found you can actually load yourself up with what you need from whole food sources rather than just relying on supplements. Whole foods are better for you in that regard, one good review on why is here. The requirements include Vit C, Vit B6, Vit B12, Manganese, Magnesium and Zinc. The one exception is:
Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate – both Glucosamine and Chondroitin are building blocks for cartilage, which provide a cushion between joints, and they also positively affect the healthiness of tendons and ligaments. The only natural sources for these two appear to be chitin the hard shells of lobsters, crabs etc…and offal. Neither work well in a salad…or anything else in my opinion. They’re also difficult to find, prepare/cook so a supplement like this will do the job.
Whereas, everything else can be found naturally and in reasonably sufficient quantities if you eat a balanced daily diet. For lunch, to help my long suffering tendons and ligaments I made…
Sliced lettuce and spinach – Vitamin C, Manganese
Sliced red bell pepper – Vitamin C
Cubed roast Chicken – Vitamin B6, Zinc
Sweetcorn – Vitamin C
Sliced avocado – Magnesium
Sliced red onion – Vitamin C
Sliced cucumber – Vitamin C
I’m not a fan of salad but I absolutely loved this one. That might have something to do with the fact that I knew what it was delivering and how it was repairing my body.
Pineapple, Orange, Grapefruit – Vitamin C, Manganese
For breakfast I had 3 x scrambled eggs on sour dough bread this morning which addressed my Vitamin B12 requirements – 3x scrambled eggs is approx. 30% of your daily B12 requirement.
Some other great food sources include:
|Manganese||Wheat Germ, Nuts, Mussels, Oysters, and Clams, Dark Chocolate, Roasted Pumpkin, Flax, Sesame Seeds|
|Zinc||Spinach, Wheatgerm, Pumpkin, Cashew nuts, Pork, Chick Peas, Beef|
|Vitamin B6||Pork, poultry, fish, bread, whole cereals – oatmeal, wheat germ and brown rice, eggs|
|Vitamin C||Bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwifruit, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes|
|Magnesium||Dark leafy greens, Nuts & seeds, bananas, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, dark chocolate|
|Vitamin B12||Shellfish, Beef, Mackeral, All Bran, Cheese, Eggs|
In addition to Glucasomine the other mineral I’d add to the supplements list is Manganese. I take these and keep my dose below the 11mg suggested limit.
All my posts on food, nutrition, supplements and even training are effectively an ongoing experiment on myself. One which I happen to be enjoying by the way – gotta have some fun right! Things will change and requirements will evolve but this is a lifestyle, not a regime or a routine. Neither of these words inspire me.