1) Heal your bones
2) Speed up recovery of soft tissues & joints as you lengthen and do physical therapy.
And the best way to figure out what supplements you should take, not including the pain meds you’ll be prescribed, you gotta ask yourself what are each of these things made up of?
Bones: are composed of ⅓ water, ⅓ collagen and ⅓ minerals. Soft-tissues like muscles, ligaments and tendons are ⅔ water and ⅓ collagen, elastin, lipids and so on.
Soooo, let’s not make things complicated and just give it what it wants.
First off, you should optimize your nutrition and aim to get in plenty of water with a well-balanced diet like most doctors recommend... but that’s no fun, because nowadays everyone loves to pop magic pills so we’ll talk about that.
Let me start off by saying: there are levels to this! From most to least important
So for bones: we know what water is, we’ll get to collagen soon, but when it comes to the ⅓ minerals that make up bone matrix, approximately…
48% calcium, 37% phosphorous, 1.29% magnesium, 0.2% silicon, 0.09% iron and other trace minerals.
Level 1: which is most important level, the supplements I think are helpful are:
Multi-Vitamin (I recommend a whole food multi) - this will cover most of your bases alongside a good diet.
Calcium (if you get the carbonate form taken with food as it needs stomach acid, otherwise citrate, orotate or MCHA is good.) at least 1000mg per day
Vitamin D3 (which helps absorption and retention of Calcium)- I took up to 5000 to 10,000iu like a boss.
But you can make your life simple by taking a really good supplement that I took during my LL process called Bone Maximizer III from MRM. It has MCHA (Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite) which is the matrix that actually comes from actual bone so this is composed of everything you’ll need.
Level 2: are primarily the collagen and these further help enhance bone healing
Vitamin C - besides keeping you healthy it can help with collagen synthesis
Collagen - research shows the best form is hydrolyzed wild-caught marine collagen over bovine or chicken collagen. (1.5x better than).
Bone broth or bone meal are also great sources for optimizing the raw materials for healing also.
Level 3: these are gonna be mainly for joint integrity and reducing inflammation as you do PT
MSM - methyl-sulfonyl-methane is phenomenal
Glucosamine & Chondroitin also works well
Curcumin - the active ingredient in turmeric, is fantastic stuff
Fish oil or an essential fatty acid - DON’T take during Distraction, just wait until consolidation especially since you’ll be on some sort of blood thinner.
Oh and I do want to mention that you should focus on lower carb or at least lower sugar diet as that will keep inflammation at bay. You can have some sweets but have some self control. If you’re worried about your weight dropping too much, you can up calories but focus on more nutritious choices so as to heal your body properly so you can recover faster.
You can take an all-in-one product called Animal Flex, which I use for my heavy lifting, is phenomenal but you may want to also take...
Bioperine - to help increase the bioavailability and absorption of all of these supplements
ZMA - has added zinc magnesium aspartate which is not only great for bone health but also helps with deep recuperating sleep and optimizing your hormone profile, especially testosterone.
Protein - besides meat, fish, dairy, nuts, etc. you can add in protein shakes which help supplement your diet. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to consume enough protein especially when you are doing PT and at home exercises. Remember ⅔ of the battle is your soft-tissues which muscle is a huge part of and muscle loves protein. Best form is whey protein with some sort of lactase enzyme if you’re lactose intolerant which most people are because if you can’t digest it you can’t absorb it.
Creatine - I recommend this for retaining muscle mass while down and out and it also helps with energy levels for PT and getting through the LL battles.
I could go on and on but this is a solid list of things that you could take to enhance the recovery process of your LL surgery. And obviously as good as taking supplements is for helping to heal, nothing beats time and rest. Just work hard and be patient and you’ll be find on the other side.