Protein and Physical Therapy: What You Need to Know

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Greg Law

Protein and Rehabilitation: What You Need to Know

The Role of Protein

Protein emerges as a crucial ally in the journey of body recovery and healing, especially during periods of training and rehabilitation. Understanding its significance becomes paramount as we delve into how protein facilitates not only muscle repair but also accelerates the rehabilitation process after injury.

At the core of protein’s role is its capacity to aid in the regeneration of damaged tissues, a process pivotal in recovering from injuries sustained during physical activities. Whether it’s a sprain, strain, or a more severe injury, protein provides the essential building blocks needed to mend and rebuild compromised tissues. This becomes particularly pertinent in the context of physical therapy, where the goal is to restore functionality to affected areas. Including an ample amount of protein in the diet during this recovery phase can significantly expedite the healing process.

Pairing the right amount of protein along with additional supplements we discussed here can significantly help your recovery phase.

Recommended Amount of Protein

The recommended daily protein intake takes on heightened importance in the realm of physical therapy. Individuals undergoing rehabilitation often experience increased metabolic demands due to the stress placed on their bodies during therapeutic exercises. Meeting protein requirements becomes essential to address these elevated needs, ensuring that the body has the necessary resources to repair and strengthen itself.


The recommended amount  of protein is based on your body size. For every pound you weigh, you should be taking in 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per day.  If you are recovering or training you want to err on the higher end of that range.


Other Benefits of Protein

Protein’s influence extends beyond muscle repair; it significantly contributes to the overall energy balance required for the physical demands of rehabilitation. While carbohydrates traditionally take center stage as an energy source, protein plays a complementary role in sustaining energy levels. This is particularly advantageous during physical therapy sessions, where endurance and stamina are crucial for effective engagement in rehabilitative exercises.


Moreover, the immune-boosting properties of protein come into play during recovery. Protein, with its vital role in supporting immune function, becomes a valuable component in safeguarding against potential infections and illnesses during the vulnerable post-injury phase.


Sources of Protein

Considering protein sources becomes integral to optimizing its benefits during physical therapy. While animal products like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy are rich in complete proteins containing all essential amino acids, plant-based sources can also contribute effectively. Incorporating a variety of plant foods, such as beans, lentils, and quinoa, ensures a diverse amino acid profile that aids in the comprehensive recovery of the body.  Like anything, quality matters.  Make sure your source of protein is a quality source with wild caught and pasture raised sources preferred.


In essence, protein emerges as a cornerstone in the holistic approach to physical therapy. Its role in tissue regeneration, energy provision, and immune support collectively contribute to a more effective and efficient recovery process. Whether you’re navigating the path of rehabilitation from an injury or actively engaged in physical therapy and/or training, recognizing the benefits of protein and tailoring your intake accordingly can markedly enhance the healing journey and pave the way for a robust recovery.

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