Nutrition for Concussion Recovery

Good nutrition is important to maintain our mental and physical health. This is particularly important when recovering from physical trauma, such as a concussion.

Much is still unknown about the exact relationship between nutrition and brain function. What we do know, however, is that when a part of the body gets injured it requires specific nutrients to help with healing. The same is true for the brain.

Nutrition is an important part of concussion recovery. When a concussion occurs, the brain requires extra energy (i.e., nutrition) as it works to heal the injury.

Tips for healthy nutrition after a concussion

With a concussion, your child’s appetite may decrease. Here is how you can help:

  • Offer small, frequent meals every two to three hours throughout the day, instead of three large meals.
  • Do not allow your child to skip meals, especially breakfast.
  • Foods that help concussions: Provide power snacks, such as fruit, 100 percent fruit juice, smoothies and trail mix (dried fruit, nuts, dark chocolate).

Tips for staying hydrated after a concussion

Water makes up more than half of kids’ body weight and is needed to keep all parts of the body functioning properly. After a concussion, children will be more susceptible to dehydration, especially when they are just beginning to exercise again or when they are out in the hot sun or high humidity.

  • Offer a variety of fluids throughout the day – not just when your child is thirsty. There’s no specific amount of fluid recommended for children.
  • Add natural flavor if your child doesn’t like plain water, add a bit of lemon or lime.
  • Provide smoothies, fruits and veggies, which are good sources of fluid.