LAST weekend saw “Special K” Kell Brook once again put his health and reputation, not to mention his head, in the line of fire. An initially authoritative performance against one of the very best in the world turned sour when Kell succumbed for the second time to the splintering power of a world class operator breaking his eye socket. In this situation, nutrition plays very much a supporting role – the most effective role of food for protecting your health in this situation would, I imagine, have been to ask Errol Spence to sit down and settle any differences over some tea and biscuits. However, there is some evidence that proper fuelling, hydration, and consuming certain nutrients may help prevent, and rehabilitate from, some of Kell Brook’s injuries. Having worked with a number of top level amateur and professional fighters, I’m going to provide a brief summary of nutrition for your bones and brains. These ideas, along with more simple, food-focused nutritional strategies can be found in my book “Nutrition for Combat Sports”, which provides simple, convenient recipes to maximise strength, power, endurance and weight-loss HERE.
Many studies on fighters have shown an increased, sustained release of markers of cellular damage from brain cells after a single bout of sparring (Otto, Holthusen et al. 2000). Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury (CTBI) is frequently associated with increased levels of oxidative stress, as well as greater levels of inflammation – the body’s natural defence against trauma and infection. Inflammation can however get out of hand, and become a problem in its own right. Therefore, nutritional strategies to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain may help limit this damage.