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Nutrition and Hydration
Good nutrition and drinking plenty of water is important for everyone and can be especially important when recovering from a concussion.
It can be helpful to think about eating well and staying hydrated as simple things you can do to give your brain the energy it needs to function well.
Just as we wouldn’t expect to drive a car without fuel, we can’t expect our brain can do the things it needs to do without the fuel it requires.
Headaches and Nutrition & Hydration
If you are experiencing headaches, there are specific nutrition and hydration recommendations. Speak with your family doctor about the causes of your headaches and develop a plan together.
Below are the specific nutrition and hydration recommendations from the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) best practice guidelines for headache management:
Regular Meals: Skipping or delaying meals can trigger headaches in some people. It is important to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and avoid delaying or skipping meals. The Canada Food Guide [website] provides information on making healthy food choices.
Hydration: Dehydration can trigger headaches in some individuals, so it is important to drink enough water. Water needs depend on a lot of things like weather, activity levels, and health. You can learn more about drinking enough water from HealthLinkBC [website].
Caffeine: Too much caffeine (i.e., coffee, soft-drinks) should be avoided as caffeine consumption and withdrawal can cause headaches. However, when an individual does not consume caffeine regularly, a caffeinated beverage may be helpful to minimize intermittent bad headaches. Talk to your family doctor or dietician about how much caffeine is right for you.
Making New Nutrition Habits
It is best to take things one step at a time, and implement small changes over time.
If you have been skipping meals, you may want to start with setting an Action Plan to eat breakfast on a regular basis.
Scheduling time for meals and snacks and planning ahead may help you maintain energy levels throughout the day. You may even want to consider setting an alarm to remind yourself to have some food or drink fluids.
Is getting good nutrition and staying hydrated a goal area for you? Perhaps, you want to get back to a regular meal schedule or increase the amount of water you drink everyday? If so, start an Action Plan!