Competitive athletes can plateau without understanding how nutrition can be a key factor to break stagnant progress. When athletes or those engaged in strenuous physical activity push their body beyond its normal limits, the body communicates this to you in a number of ways. Two indicators that there is a problem: pain and performance issues.
Pushing the body beyond its limits creates increased metabolic demand and excess scar tissue from (overuse) traumas. These occur to our tissues when there is even the smallest strain on a muscle, tendon, ligament or bone. Athletes and others who engage in physical activity, especially frequent competition and training, accrue these traumas in greater amounts. To repair these strains, your body begins the repair process with a protein called fibrin. Fibrin surrounds damaged tissue in order to provide stability.
Fibrin forms anywhere there is trauma in the body, found abundantly in scar tissue. Strains, sprains, tears, cuts, running, leaping, colliding, throwing, punching, pedaling, and kicking can lead to increased fibrin deposits throughout the body.
Our body also creates fibrin removing enzymes (fibrinolytic) whose function it is to clear scar tissue and facilitate healing. Insufficient amounts of fibrinolytic enzymes in the body can delay healing and repair needed to accelerate recovery times. This can result in performance issues.
Although fibrin is required to stabilize an area, it has several unfortunate side effects, one of them being “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (D.O.M.S.).” This pain, felt most intensely from 24-72 hours post exertion, largely results from uncleared fibrin which chokes the much needed blood supply delivering nutrients to our tissues, prolonging recovery. Because fibrin creates a “mesh net” around muscles, tendons and ligaments, we experience range of motion limitations as fibrin layers grow. This leads to distortions in the fascia- the connective tissue network that surrounds everything in the body.