Each year there are nearly 200,000 cases of ACL injuries reported in the United States. These injuries consist of a tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament located in the middle of the knee. The ACL helps with rotational stability and controls the back and forth motion of the knee. About 75 percent of the ligaments found in the body are made up of collagen. Therefore, supplements for ACL recovery contain ingredients that help rebuild collagen.
Here is a list of the top 6 supplements for ACL recovery that contain nutrients that will help repair ligaments.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A stimulates the production of collagen in the body and helps to restore the body’s immune system post-injury. It also provides the body with fat-soluble retinoids, which helps maintain eye health and function.
Studies have shown that Vitamin A supplements drastically increase the formation of collagen and accelerate repair. Foods that are rich in Vitamin A include spinach, beef liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, bell peppers, tropical fruits, and dark leafy greens.
2.Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B Complex helps the body metabolize carbohydrates in order to produce cellular energy. This energy helps wounds heal, allowing cells to grow and develop. Vitamin B Complex contributes to DNA synthesis, collagen formation, immunity, and the formation of red blood cells. These blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to the wound site.
Chickpeas, seafood, white meat, potatoes, cauliflower, bananas, beef, eggs, and soymilk are foods that contain high levels of Vitamin B.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an important nutrient needed for collagen production. It builds the bonds between strands of collagen fibers which maintain the integrity of bones, muscles, skin, and tendons.
Vitamin C also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which accelerate your recovery. Lack of Vitamin C can result in abnormal healing and weaker ligaments.
Zinc is made up of several enzymes and proteins, including those needed for wound healing, tissue repair, and growth. Zinc helps with DNA synthesis, protein synthesis and cell division which all contribute to tissue growth and repair.
Zinc deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies and has been linked to poor wound healing. This supplement is essential for proper immune system function. Zinc helps heal torn tissue by promoting new tissue growth.
Therefore, consuming zinc-rich foods such as meat, fish, shellfish, pulses, seeds, nuts, and whole grains may help you recover from ACL more effectively. It is recommended to take 15-30 mg of Zinc daily for two to four weeks. Foods that contain zinc are oysters, beef, lobster, chicken, cashews, beans, and pork.
5. Amino Acids
Amino acids are needed in order for tissue repair and muscle building to occur. Your body also needs a regular supply of amino acids for collagen production. Collagen is a protein that contains several amino acids that help to promote healing.
Foods that contain amino acids include lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, and beans to your diet.
Glucosamine is a natural substance that your body produces and is found in the fluid that surrounds your joints. This fluid plays a role in the creation of tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Glucosamine supplements are used to increase the body’s supply and are generally made from shellfish shells or fermented corn.
A recent animal study showed that taking glucosamine daily after a fracture can help expedite bone restoration. Some people taking this supplement can experience reduced levels of pain after joint and bone injuries and faster recovery from injuries.
The best food sources that contain high levels of glucosamine are bone broth, softshell crab, small bony fish, and eggshell membrane.
Supplements for ACL Recovery Takeaway
Although you are allowed to go home on the same day of your ACL surgery, recovering from this procedure is not a quick or easy process. From the moment you undergo surgery through full recovery it can take up to six months or more. Unfortunately, recovering from ACL surgery can be an overwhelming process. Following a rehabilitation program that focuses on strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee will help regain range of motion.
Everyone’s body reacts differently while recovering from ACL. There are many elements that can prevent you from achieving a successful ACL recovery. However, one factor that can contribute to a successful recovery is your diet. A well-balanced diet will give you all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs to achieve an optimal recovery. Hence the importance of consuming healthy and nutritious foods that promote healing.
We also recommend that you use a comprehensive supplement such as WoundVite, which can help heal wounds and aid in your recovery. We hope that by consuming these top 6 supplements for ACL recovery that were mentioned in this article, you are able to notice improvements in your health and enjoy a successful recovery.