Nutrition for Athletes in Recovery from Addiction

Contributor: Blog Contributed By Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC at Addiction Hope

For the athlete struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, recovery can feel like a complex and overwhelming journey. If you have been training and/or competing as an athlete while dealing with an addition, you have likely suffered with a number of complications, such as with your physical health and mental wellness.

Addictions are powerful diseases that arise due to the combination of several factors, including genetics, environment, and more. Even if you are doing “well” as an athlete, there is no telling how long you can endure with an addiction before things will begin to unravel.

Temporarily Letting Go of Their Sport

A difficult aspect for many athletes entering recovery is the temporary need to “let go” of the sport they have come to love. While this period of time may be short in retrospect, it can be painful nonetheless of the competitive athlete.

The truth of the matter is that recovery and healing takes time and often, professional intervention, but athletes who go this route often come back stronger and even more determined than ever before. As an athlete, you can only go so far with an substance abuse before the addiction will begin to take over your life.

Getting Nourishment Back into the Body

A crucial part of addiction recovery is being able to properly nourish and feed your body once more. In the throes of addiction, prioritizing foods that fuel and maintain your body, especially under rigorous training demands, are often neglected.

Recovering as an athlete involves relearning the basics of nutrition, and these are practices that should be maintained throughout your recovery journey.

Finding the Principles to Maintain Recovery

Runner feet running on road closeup on shoe. woman fitness sunriAfter working through the acute phases of your addiction recovery, you will begin to focus on principles that will help you maintain recovery in the long run. As an athlete, adequate nutrition will involve sufficient hydration and a balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.

Having sufficient amounts of these macro and micro nutrients will ensure that your body is able to successfully sustain the demands of being a competitive athlete. By working with a professional treatment team who specializes in addiction recovery for athletes, you can begin the process of healing and overcoming substance abuse in order to return to the sport you love, healthier and restored.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Are you an athlete in recovery from addiction? What challenges have you faced in your recovery journey?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 13th, 2015
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