Protein: The Secret to Quick Recovery

Protein: The Secret to Quick Recovery


It’s no secret that volleyball players are prone to injury. It is rare to find a seasoned volleyball player who has yet to suffer a sprained ankle or wrist. An injury is a hard hit to any athlete’s body and psyche, so learning how to heal and get back on the court as soon as possible is valuable knowledge.


It is common knowledge that rest, ice, compression and elevation are all helpful components of healing an injury, but treatment goes beyond these superficial techniques. There are simple changes that can be made to your diet that will exponentially speed up the recovery process. If you fuel your body with the right foods and nutrients, the duration of an injury does not have to be as long and painful as it would otherwise. Introducing an elevated portion of protein in your diet is one of the best things you can do for almost any injury.


Protein makes up about 15% of the average human’s body weight. Proteins are a type of complex molecules composed of amino acids made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur. These elements create amino acids which create proteins which create muscle mass in our bodies. Protein is a crucial part of the human diet. It is arguably the most important factor in building muscle mass and therefore a central determinant of how fast your muscles can heal after injury.


People attempting to build muscle mass often introduce elevated portions of protein into their diet. This is because when muscle tissue is broken down during a workout, it is later healed by proteins produced by the human body. Introducing additional proteins into the body allows these small injuries to heal quickly and build muscle mass at a higher rate. The same concept applies for healing a larger injury like a sprained ankle or torn ligament.


There are two main types of proteins: animal proteins and vegetable proteins. Poultry and seafood are excellent sources of proteins that will allow your body to heal quickly. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of protein as well, but they do not contain the same variety of amino acids as animal proteins. To have the same effect as animal protein, vegetable protein must be consumed diversely and at an exponentially higher level.


Injuries mean that an athlete is usually unable to burn as many calories as day as he or she would be able to as a healthy athlete on the court every day. This means that consuming proteins with high fat content during your injury is a bad idea; it can lead to unwanted weight gain and make getting back into shape far harder. Lean meats and vegetables are the best choice of protein for an injured athlete. Introduce the following into your diet during an injury to help your body heal while still making healthy choices that will allow you to get back into shape in no time:

  • Lean ground beef
  • Eggs
  • Turkey breast
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Cottage cheese
  • Lentils
  • Edamame


Be careful of consuming too much protein. The human body is unable to break down more than 30 grams of protein in one sitting. Additional protein is stored as fat, which is undesirable for a serious athlete. Aiming for 15-30 grams per sitting is a safe bet.


Introduce these high-protein foods into your diet during injury. You’ll stay in tip top shape and allow your body to heal quickly in a natural way.

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