3 Nutrition Tips For Better Foam Rolling Results You never thought About
Updated: Jan 17
Who winces during your foam roll?🙋🏻♂️
Have you ever been on their massage table and experienced a ‘twinge’ in a completely
different area of the body other than at the point of contact? These are commonly known as referral or trigger points. These areas in the body are not directly at the pain point however, contribute to the pain via connective tissue, or a.k.a. fascia.
The benefits of foam rolling are well established among the athletic and physical therapy community. The ideology is to help break up ‘tight’ fascia/tissue allowing for muscles to recover better and faster.
Individuals experiencing tight and sore muscles benefit from foam rolling, however, this simple action does come with a great deal of discomfort, as you begin this journey of tissue/fascia ‘release’.
A common question asked:
Why do some individuals have tighter muscles than someone else completing the same athletic function and at the same level of intensity and duration?
The easy answer is; because we are all ‘different’, however, read some more if you want to really understand the chemistry behind the physiological difference to muscle/ fascia development.
We will now need to take a step back and understand the building blocks of fascia and how to potentially nutrient bio-hack to help make foam rolling more effective.
Fascia is now known to be the largest “organ” in the body. Fascia surrounds each and every organ and blood vessel in the body creating an expansive internal system of connected tissue. What is fascia? Fascia is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs. Fascia is classified by layer, as superficial fascia, deep fascia, and visceral or parietal fascia, or by its function and anatomical location.
Collagen is the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen consists of amino acids bound together to form a triple helix of elongated fibril known as a collagen helix. It is mostly found in connective tissue such as cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin.
How does the body create and build up more collagen?
Let’s create a better foundation and understanding of what we can do to help our body produce more collagen; supporting the structure of fascia, ultimately enhancing the foam rolling experience and get the most benefit out of foam rolling.
A series of chemical reactions involving vitamins and minerals create collagen.
· Vitamin C
Magnesium being the most influential Mineral in the matrix because of the role it plays in the ATP Energy Cycle and the chemical reactions leading to collagen development. All chemical ‘reactions’ involve energy to spark the start of a reaction. The ATP Energy Cycle does not exist without Magnesium.
So, to be clear, each and every function of the body is rooted to Magnesium and the delicate balance of how the body utilizes, stores and recycles Magnesium. It is different for each individual, which is why some people are naturally flexible and some are not.
Yes, our bodies ‘recycle’ Magnesium. This recycling process occurs in the Kidney and plays a significant roll in how efficiently the body utilizes, metabolizes, regulates and stores it.
Manganese activates enzymes that your cells use to make proline. Your diet should include a small amount of manganese daily -- the Institute of Medicine recommends 1.8 milligrams for women and 2.3 milligrams for men. Brown rice, pecans and green tea all help you reach your intake goal.
Zinc activates enzymes called collagenases. These enzymes allow your cells to remodel collagen during wound healing. The RDI = 11 milligrams of zinc daily for men and 8 for women. Oysters, poultry, meat, cashews, almonds and dairy products to your diet to help you meet this goal.
Copper activates an enzyme called lysyl oxidase. Lysyl Oxidase cross-links collagen fibers with other supportive fibers, helping to form the scaffold that supports your tissues. Copper keeps your bones, heart and blood vessels healthy. RDI = 900 micrograms of copper daily. Cashews, oysters, crab and sunflower seeds all contain considerable amounts of copper, and a serving of beef liver provides your entire recommended daily intake.
Vitamin C has the potential to accelerate bone healing after a fracture, increase type I collagen synthesis, and reduce oxidative stress parameters.  RDI is 75-90mg for adults. The Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana) is an Australian native superfood containing 100 times more vitamin C than oranges. Just one-half cup (49 grams) of red acerola cherries (Malpighia emarginata) delivers 822 mg of vitamin C, or 913% of the DV
The basic foundation to getting the most out of the foam rolling experience is:
1. Stay Hydrated💦
3. Include food sourced Vitamin C in healthy quantities
Starting a foam rolling routine is dependent on tolerance and the type of foam roller in use.
A recommendation is to sufficiently uptake the above nutrients, hydrate adequately and start your program with a ‘pliable foam’ roller to introduce your muscles to the applied pressure. The pressure applied is within your control as your weight dictates the pressure.
It doesn’t take much time to roll starting out. A couple of rolls up and down the legs; back and front, inside and outside, to start. 5-10 max.
Your time on the roller will increase with fascia and muscle release and learned pliability.
After a month of adapting the fascia to the pressure you will begin to feel a ‘release’ and the ability to relax into the pressure without the muscle tenseness associated with the pressure and tight fascia tissue.
This might be a great time to graduate to a medium or hard density foam roller.
The more consistent you are with this program, the better the muscle memory becomes with muscle and fascia relaxation hence faster recovery.