Hamstring Injury: Nutrition for Fast Recovery - She Runs Eats Performs

Episode 132

Published on:

9th Mar 2023

Hamstring Injury: Nutrition for Fast Recovery

Hamstring Injury: Nutrition for Fast Recovery

Have you ever suffered from a hamstring injury?   

Did you know…. it is thought to be one of the most frequent injuries experienced by athletes?  

If you have ever experienced a hamstring injury, you will know how painful it can be…and if severe enough, it can take you away from your run training for quite some time.   

So, the aim of this discussion, is to ensure that by the end of the episode you feel more informed on signs and symptoms to observe for and what to do nutritionally and around training if any “niggles” are experienced. 

So, we……   

  1. Give an overview of the mechanisms and risk factors associated with Hamstring Injuries  
  2. Outline some exercises and training considerations to help prevent and speed up recovery from injury 
  3. Discuss nutrition to help prevent and speed up recovery from a hamstring injury 



What are the hamstrings?

The commonly known Hamstrings refers to a group of 3 muscles that run along the back of the thigh, from the hip to just below the knee.

What causes a hamstring injury?

It is thought that most hamstring injuries occur during sprinting due to excessive muscle strain caused by eccentric contraction during the late swing phase of the running gait cycle”


What are the risk factors for the development of a hamstring injury?

There are many potential risk factors when considering the potential for one to occur. These risks include:

Previous hamstring injury - especially if a runner has returned to training BEFORE the injury has healed completely

Age -.risk of injury increases as we age

Inadequate warm-up before exercise and lack of stretching following exercise are known to be contributing factors 

A pro-inflammatory diet may influence the development of a hamstring injury due to chronic low-grade inflammation

And many more that we discuss  



  1. Females are known to have a lower risk of hamstring injuries than males. This is thought to be related to oestrogen-induced muscle stiffness, in other words, optimal oestrogen has been reported to contribute to a decrease in muscle stiffness and to increase muscle strength
  2. Age would be another factor because as we know, oestrogen levels drop at menopause, therefore increasing a female’s risk of developing a hamstring injury…or indeed, any muscular injury


A focus on exercise and training considerations to help prevent and speed-up recovery from a hamstring injury. 

Prevention is always better than cure with all aspects of health and sporting injuries are no less important when considering good health. There are many ways to potentially limit the development of a hamstring injury.

The presenting S/S will depend on the severity of the injury but may include:

  • Sudden and sharp pain in the back of the thigh
  • Swelling and tenderness over the affected area 
  • PLUS++


Defining Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy

This injury is thought to be is quite rare besides a hamstring muscle injury and the typical symptoms differ significantly from a hamstring muscle injury.

The principal symptoms for this type of injury include:

  • Gradual onset and increase of pain in the back of the upper thigh
  • The pain can be felt deep into the buttock area
  • PLUS ++

What can you do to manage a hamstring injury?

On experiencing an injury it is very important to STOP RUNNING and seek professional support and advice. For example, from a physiotherapist



What is RICE Therapy?

The acronym RICE stands for: REST – ICE – COMPRESSION – ELEVATION and may be helpful in the first 2-3 days following an injury to help manage the swelling and inflammation.


A “Food First” approach to prevention and care of a hamstring injury

Eating “real food” containing targeted nutrients to support injury healing is the primary approach we use here at Runners Health Hub, but this does not mean we use a ”Food Only” approach, it would depend on the individual and the severity of the injury.

If you would like to chat to us about YOUR needs for injury prevention or healing, book a FREE call with us HERE



  1. Just to remind you that…most hamstring injuries occur during speed running and most likely occur due to excessive muscle strain caused by eccentric muscle contraction during the late swing phase of the running gait cycle
  2. There are many risk factors for a hamstring injury occurring including: running style (e.g. posture, heel striker), age, tired/weak muscles, chronic hormone imbalance and a pro-inflammatory diet
  3. Females are known to have a lower risk of hamstring injuries than males due to the influence of oestrogen, however the risk increases at menopause
  4. A runner could limit their risk of developing a hamstring injury by warming up/cooling down appropriately, foam rolling and stretching CONSISTENTLY as well as including strength training
  5. If you were to develop a hamstring injury then we recommend you stop running immediately and consult with a qualified musculoskeletal practitioner  BUT…Immediate action you could take yourself would be to Introduce RICE therapy for the first 2 or 3 days. REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION
  6. Finally, when thinking of nutrition to help prevent and/or promote healing from a hamstring injury…remember the FOOD FIRST approach and include the Key nutrients: protein, omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin C and E and polyphenols found in plant-based foods

Related Topics:

Nutrition for Running Injury

Nutrition for Soft Tissue Injury

Do Runners Need Vitamin D?


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and

advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact

your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded female runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

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Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen



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About the Podcast

She Runs Eats Performs
for mid-life female runners of all abilities
Are you confused about the science around nutrition for runners? Listen in to learn about the WHY, HOW, WHAT, and WHEN of eating to fuel your running performance.

We are here to help you translate sports nutritional science, into easy to apply tips and plans, helping you enjoy peak running performance. We focus on the FEMALE FACTORS every mid-life woman needs to know to be a healthy runner.

About your host

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Aileen Smith

Nutritionists, Educators, Podcasters, Runners and Friends

We have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living. She Runs Eats Performs for female runners of all abilities who are looking for simple ways to improve their running performance and their health with nutrition and lifestyle.
We enjoy sharing our nutritional expertise, reviewing the latest sports science and most of all helping you to take easy action so you can enjoy your running life to the full.
We are here to help you achieve great health and good shape whilst staying injury-free with easy-to-understand sports nutritional concepts and easy-to-implement tips and plans.

Aileen and Karen are BANT and CNHC Registered Nutritional Therapists.