Accelerate ACL clients are set up to optimize all facets of the recovery process. Yes, the technology and workouts you have access to through the AACL program can drive game changing ACL recovery results. But if you’re not giving the body the things it needs to recover in between workouts, you’re going to limit how efficiently you can recover. If your goal is to look back on the recovery process and say “I did everything possible to drive an efficient recovery,” then you need to focus on 3 important lifestyle factors: nutrition, hydration, and sleep. This article and others to follow will focus on the nutrition side – what to eat after ACL surgery.
If you’re reading this article before ACL surgery, then consider yourself lucky – it’s even better to start hitting these recommendations NOW.
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines based on talking with our athletes’ nutritionists and dietitians around the country over the years. While they’re appropriate for most, they not be appropriate for all. If you want truly personalized recommendations, it may be a smart idea to work with a nutritionist or dietitian throughout the recovery process.
What To Eat After ACL Surgery: Part 1
PROTEIN (Recommended Target: 90% of ideal body weight in grams)
Protein is the body’s basic building block in the repair process. If you want the body to heal, repair, and rebuild muscle, it NEEDS protein, and lots of it. Without the proper building blocks, all of your hard work may go to waste.
Strive to hit 90% of your ideal body weight in grams of protein DAILY. Use the following equation to calculate your recommended protein intake:
0.9 * Ideal Body Weight (lbs) = Recommended daily grams of protein
Here’s an example calculation:
0.9 * 180 lbs = 162 grams of protein each day
Sources Of Protein: Adding It Up
How do you get there? Our favorite protein source is meats. Chicken will probably be the best bang for your effort, coming in at 52 grams per 6 oz serving. Here’s a few other handy shortcuts to keep in mind as you tabulate your protein each day:
- Most other meats (other than chicken): 30-40g/6 oz serving
- Most fish: 30-40g/6 oz serving
- Eggs: 6g/egg
- Beans, nuts: 5-10g/serving
- Protein rich vegetables: 5-10g/serving
- Protein shakes (check your nutrition label): Commonly 20-30g/serving
If you’re unsure how much equals a serving size, check out this helpful page that offers simple visuals for serving sizes of each of the foods listed above.
Other Ways To Track Your Protein Intake
If you’re tech savvy, another easy way to track your protein intake is through an app on your phone. There are many out there that can be used – you simply tell it what you ate for the day, and it automatically calculates your nutrition intake. Here’s a few of our favorites:
That covers the basics on protein intake during the ACL recovery process. Keep an eye out for futures posts on what to eat after ACL surgery (keep in mind, it’s even better to start hitting these targets BEFORE surgery 😊).
Reading to the end of this article tells us that you are highly motivated to optimize the ACL recovery process. As a reward, you have gained free access to this report on how the Accelerate ACL Proven Process is specifically designed to overcome the 7 most significant challenges in ACL recovery. Just click download to claim yours.