Exercise causes muscle-level injuries, and this triggers an inflammatory response. The relationship between inflammation and athletic performance and how to exploit nutrition to our advantage.
Inflammation is a natural process and is essential to respond to stress and infections. Exercise is also the cause of inflammation. However, this should be a short-term effect, necessary to create positive physical adaptations.
The problem arises in situations when exercise is too intense and not calibrated or the athlete does not allow adequate recovery or are added other stressors (incorrect nutrition, poor sleep, alcohol, etc.) Poor management of inflammation means entering dangerous territory and running the risk of overtraining, which negatively affects performance and favors the risk of injuries.
What should be done? In addition to recovering correctly and training it is essential to cure nutrition and worry about the well-being of two key organs: intestines and liver. Sugar-content foods, refined vegetable oils, intensively bred animal fats have the ability to trigger inflammatory processes.
On the other hand, typical Foods of the Mediterranean diet such as extra virgin olive oil, vegetables, fruits and fish rich in omega-3 have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Basing our diet on anti-inflammatory foods also helps the function of the intestinal barrier, subjected to severe stress by intense and prolonged physical exercise. A liver that does not work optimally does not allow effective recovery; plant extracts (pomegranate juice) or green tea are a support for liver function.
We should also beware of the amount of water we drink, because dehydration leads to increased oxidative stress and consequently inflammation. The use of medicinal fungi has proven useful in improving chronic inflammation; however, as with all preparations of natural origin, it is important to know if and when to be able to take them avoiding the dangerous “DO IT YOURSELF”.
In conclusion, inflammation is not necessarily the bogeyman that is often believed.