I was reading a Facebook post of a colleague of mine, Lee Taft. He made a statement that was more of an opinion, but it was something along the lines of our foods are loaded with chemicals and other junk. This type of nutrition is attributing to the rise in ACL tears and probably other injuries.
I think he makes a point. Our knowledge on strength training is at an all-time high. We now know some of the greatest recovery methods for our athletes. Our athletes end up being stronger and faster than ever.
Yet, these injuries keep happening at a rate that seems to climb.
Some could argue that being too strong causes these traumatic injuries. But, then on the flip side these injuries happen because muscles are too weak. So we need to get the muscles stronger than being weak, but not being too strong beyond that.
I know that sounds flippant, but to stay on point the strength of a muscle is something we can talk about at another time.
Okay then. If our training of these athletes is at an all-time high level, then we have to look at the elephant in the room.
If food is needed to make your motor go, maybe the wrong foods is what is hurting your body as well.
I don’t think it is any secret that the nutrients value in foods have declined through the years. Eating an apple today isn’t as nutritious as it was say 40 years ago. The pesticides and fertilizers sprayed on these foods play a big role in that.
But, take that aside. I don’t see many teenage athletes eating apples. What I see them eating are fast food items, processed foods, or basically other foods that have chemicals in them to make them stay on the shelf longer.
All these extra chemicals can’t be doing our organs or soft tissues any good.
Carson Wentz and Dalvin Cook are two young NFL stars who both tore their ACLs this season (and cost me my fantasy football season). Maybe they haven’t quite figured out about nutrition yet because they both certainly look like their bodies are rock solid.
Tom Brady tore his ACL in 2008. Since then the only games he has missed have been when he was either suspended or a coach’s decision to rest him. Lebron James is built like a tank and plays like one. He also has not had many injuries in his career.
Both of these athletes have played over 15 years and still playing at a high level. Both, also are very meticulous about their diet and what they are putting in their bodies. Brady’s diet is pretty famous for being a little out there, but they definitely eat very little junk.
Is it a coincidence that potentially two of the greatest athletes of their time eat right and have minimal injuries, even at their advanced age? Probably not. But, I think it is something for young athletes to be aware of.
This younger generation does not do a lot of cooking for themselves and are content grabbing fast food or prepared meals. Not always the most nutritious.
If you haven’t had any serious injuries to this point, then you are lucky. Don’t press your luck. Start examining what you are eating and try to substitute out certain foods with better option foods.
I don’t feel I have to go through a list of what is bad and good here. You know what is bunk and what is healthy. Understand, your athletic ability is useless if you are on the bench injured. Or your energy level is shot because you put in the wrong foods to fuel you.
Make the effort to do these changes in your diet. The immediate return will be more energy and lead to you playing at a high level. The long term return might be an injury free athletic career. You get injured those are days, weeks, months, that you can’t get back and potential games played being lost.