Monday, April 24, 2017

Muscle & Flexibility Nutrition

Last year when I was hospitalized with ketoacidosis, it wreaked havoc and destroyed the muscles in my body.  After almost a month of being bedridden, when I tried to do the simplest of tasks, I had the heartbreaking reality of how bad it took a toll on my body.  Walking stairs took forever, as I would shake uncontrollably, gripping the railing and hoping I didn't fall.  Trying to reach for anything over shoulder level was next to impossible, and if I WAS able to reach the item, it felt 10x the weight it actually was.  I cried so much during that time in my life, feeling sorry for myself, wondering if I would ever reach a point where I felt confidant in myself again, and be able to repair and rebuild the muscle I lost, and regain the flexibility I needed to do every day tasks.  Thankfully, almost a year later, I am rebuilding and regaining, and excited of what milestones I'll reach.  Heck, I was even able to finally bowl 2 games with my son this past Saturday!  Lately, I can reach behind my back to latch or unlatch my bra without wanting to cry in pain.  Amazing what small tasks we can take for granted.

Most of us know that it takes a lot of nutrients to maintain muscle, and one word is almost synonymous with muscle.  PROTEIN!  The amino acids from protein help with repair and growth, not only to the muscle itself, but the connective tissues that surround your muscles.  That's where flexibility comes into play - connective tissues.  There are also other VERY important nutrients that help increase flexibility. Here are 7 of those:

  • Protein - As mentioned, it is essential for building and repairing muscle and connective tissues
  • Vitamin C - It supports pathways for the synthesis of collagen and elastin that make up muscle fascia.  Fascia are the connective tissues that wraps up the muscle fibers and hold the together, forming muscle groups and provide lubrication for movement.  HUGE factor in flexibility.
  • Trace minerals - copper, molybdenum, selenium & sinz.  This quad squad support enzymes also support the pathways for the synthesis of collagen and elastin.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids - They support protein synthesis in muscle and help to maintain muscle toe and flexibility.

While I was on Omega-3 fatty acids for a while, which helped, I totally noticed a change the last 3 weeks using my new system of nutrition that included plant-based proteins, trace minerals and Vitamin C.  Eating foods rich in these 7 have and adding my supplements of things I wasn't getting enough of have not only improved my range of motion, but it wasn't until I reached for the laundry detergent, that sits on a shelf above my head, and I reached up and brought it down, with no issues.  It may not seem like a big deal, but I used to have to get a step stool and then support my arm that was grasping it with my other arm, and sometimes, as soon as it came off the shelf, it almost dropped because of the pain and weakness, crashing on top of the washing machine.  Yes... it was THAT BAD!  So when I reached up with out a step stool (no issues), grasped and raised it off the shelf (no issues), and brought down gently (no issues), it wasn't until I poured some detergent in, placed it back on it's shelf and walked away that I stopped.  I actually just did that!!!!  No pain.  No shaking.  No feelings of weakness or needing help.  It was an awesome feeling.

Finding my way through all my nutritional education (I have a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science) is fun at times, especially when I'm my own science experiment!  The geek in me celebrates! If you have any questions about the nutrients I eat and want to learn more, be sure to contact me!  I'd love to help you with a nutritional assessment and make recommendations for you!  Here's to your health!  Have an amazing day!!


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