The Role of Nutrition in Physiotherapy Rehabilitation

How Does Nutrition Aid in Physiotherapy?

Can a correct diet help physiotherapy?

Being injured is bad enough, not recovering properly from it is even worse. In this guest blog we invite Liverpool based leading sports physiotherapist Patrick Mulligan of Pall Mall Physio to talk through the importance of correct nutrition to aid physiotherapy


As a physiotherapist working with both elite athletes and members of the general public I understand the benefits that the correct Nutrition strategies can have in the rehabilitation process.

Lets think about one of the key components of rehabilitation

  • What we put into our bodies gives us the building blocks to allow for or repair of the injured areas. So if you’re putting junk food into that body versus a healthy balanced nutritional intake to maximize the recovery process then don't expect to get the results that professionals do.


I will use the example of the last patient I saw in Clinic today. They are 2 weeks post Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. This is an injury that would previously sound the death knell for many amateur sports people’s careers.

Now its common place to see a professional athlete return to play at 6 months post op.

So whats the difference to the average Joe who is told 12 months before they can go play 5 a side.

  • Access to regular Treatment
  • The right progression of programming
  • Correct NUTRITION

These are issues that are explained to any patient who attends Pall Mall Physio and has expectations of returning to their chosen activity as quickly as possible.

Once you reach certain markers on your rehab journey then you will progress to the next level and only then! That may be one week or 6 weeks.

Our job is to understand the physiology behind the healing process and guide you on how to push your body to the maximum.


My biggest challenge and what a lot of my patients struggle with is managing to fit their rehab and nutrition in around their daily routine.


What does evidence based nutritional strategy give us with rehab:


What should you consume to optimize recovery and repair from an injury?


Protein is the building block for muscle. It is vital to help repair and rebuild the damaged tissue following an injury. It is important to take in more protein than usual to help the healing process. This means several servings of protein a day spread over the course of the day. For example, evidence shows us that 20-30g of protein every 3-4 hours is best. If you do not intake more than you expend over the course of the day then you run the risk of losing weight through an injury and there can be detrimental losses of muscle if you do not consume the threshold of protein.


Fats are not only vital for immune function but also health and performance. During a period of injury your body is working over time to try and repair the site of injury. Therefore your immune system is working double time too. The intake of healthy fats from foods like avocados, nuts, seeds and pulses are key to maintaining a healthy body to fit infections and germs in this important period. Fats can also be used as an energy source by the body so it is important not to take this macronutrient out of our nutrient intake

Cell membranes are created with the use of fatty acids, and you’ll need to take in extra sources of these to maintain healing.



Taking in plenty of carbohydrates is essential to provide the body with energy to repair but also maintain or even gain functional (lean mass) weight through this period.


These are some of the more commonly known components of a diet. The real challenge though is

  • Getting the balance right between the macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat)
  • Preparing and sticking to your prescribed nutritional plan


The aspect that really appeals to me about Fuel Station is that we can access the correct balanced nutritional program without the barriers of time and daily life inhibiting those gains.

In modern society where access and time limits are key inhibiting factors then Fuel Station comes highly recommended by me and we’ve seem some excellent results with clients and will look to build our relationship  as we work together in helping professional athletes and the general public achieve their goals however large or small. Want to know more about our services? Visit our site here at

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