Health Blog

Why Nutrition is Key to Strong Performance

Whether you’ve made use of our physical therapy services in the past, you’re a current physical therapy patient, or you’re an athlete who may well have need of a physical therapist in the future, you need to understand how nutrition affects physical performance. Your body is depending on you to supply it with the necessary raw materials to conduct its countless everyday functions. The more you demand from it, the more careful you must be about your nutritional strategies. Read on to learn more about this vital connection — and then reach out to our physical therapists at Orthopedic and Balance Therapy for assistance in achieving your goals.

The Nature of Nutrition

Your car won’t run properly without gas — but neither will it run properly, or at all, if you feed it nothing other than gas. Just as cars require fuel, oils, additives, electricity, and other provisions for smooth, consistent operation, your body needs a mix of several different types of nutrients. These nutrients are grouped into two primary categories — macronutrients and micronutrients. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Macronutrients – Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber and water. The first three of these are directly involved in providing the body with energy. The body uses carbs first, since they burn most readily, making them an important fuel for both short-burst activities and endurance training. Proteins, which are made up of 20 essential amino acids, are the building blocks of muscle — including that all-important muscle, the heart. Fats are stored as a reserve fuel supply, but they’re also involved in everything from brain health and inflammation management to hormone production and joint lubrication.
  • Micronutrients – When a physical therapist mentions micronutrients, he’s talking about vitamins and minerals. Some minerals regulate each other’s actions (such as sodium paired with potassium, or calcium and magnesium). The body also requires trace elements such as copper, selenium, and chromium. Among the vitamins, athletes flock to B-complex vitamins because of their ability to increase energy availability. But you also need a mix of Vitamins A, C, E, K, and others to keep your body functioning.

Making Nutrition Part of Your Physical Therapy Strategy

The wrong nutritional balances can sabotage your physical function in all kinds of ways. For instance, if you’re neglecting your carbs before an endurance event, your body may start burning fat as fuel — but it may also burn protein, depriving you of muscle power. If you’re getting loads of calcium but no Vitamin D, that calcium won’t be made available to your bones and other tissues. If you gulp gallons of water without replenishing sodium, you could end up with a dangerous condition called hyponatremia. This is one reason why your physical therapist makes a point of addressing nutritional practices as part of your training or physical therapy program.

Nutrition can also enhance healing, comfort and function. One particular type of fat, omega-3 fatty acids, is known to reduce inflammation, allowing you to heal faster, feel better, and go further in your physical therapy sessions. Vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory effects. Specific amino acids can help your body in its efforts to synthesize proteins. Eating the right carbs at the right time can boost your athletic performance by giving you the energy you need when you need it.

Our Physical Therapists Can Help

Are you looking to give your personal vehicle what it needs as you train for an event or complete a course of physical therapy? Contact us so our physical therapists can create your holistic plan for peak performance!

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Our Reviews
Heidi Richardson
Heidi Richardson
17:00 19 Sep 19
I went to physical therapy not expecting it to do very much to help because that’s the way I approach everything with low expectations. Noel and his team have made my neck feel so much better that it puts me in a more positive mood each day and I actually feel more positive and more productive on a day-to-day basis..
Christine O'Donnell
Christine O'Donnell
16:26 14 Aug 19
I could barely walk into OBTS six weeks ago. I had very bad lower back and hip pain. The progress has been life changing for me. I always walk out of there with little or no pain. The staff, Laura, Dr Diane, Angie and, of course, Peggy, have taught me so much to keep my pain at bay. I highly recommend this team.
Nancy Guenther
Nancy Guenther
15:28 12 Jul 19
Absolutely awesome! My walking has improved 110%. And my pain level is zero. I highly recommend them. Go....you will be amazed how much better you feel.
Tracie Baxter
Tracie Baxter
20:24 03 Jul 19
This was the only place that could help with my TMJ. If you’re suffering from TMJ go see Noel! He really understands the condition. I no long have to deal with constant pain! The whole staff at this office is amazing and very welcoming.
Cindy Standiford
Cindy Standiford
21:33 28 Jun 19
The whole team is great!! I’m getting great care! I recommend Orthopedic & Balance for any issues you might have.
Joseph Mulholland
Joseph Mulholland
19:53 09 May 19
Amazing staff and amazing care. I came in barely able to stand up straight due to a back injury. After 6 weeks, I feel like brand new. Everyone was extremely helpful and easy to work with. Highly recommended!
Trool u
Trool u
19:44 24 Apr 19
I am a PTA student that was required 16 hours of observation time. I had the pleasure of completing my hours at this Valpo location. The staff is incredibly friendly. They were quick to make me feel at home. In a way I was sad to leave, but happy to continue on. I hope to eventually work in this field with a work family this caring and knowledgeable about their profession.
sharon Kramer
sharon Kramer
16:23 18 Apr 19
My experience has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience in getting me to feeling better. The staff does a remarkable job and are fully qualified in their respective areas. The staff made it fun coming here and they were very caring and helpful with their clients!!
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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