Traumatic brain injury or TBI can occur in contact sports athletes. The most common cases of TBI are found in Soccer, football, cheerleading and most recently lacrosse. Many rules have been put into place to help prevent the cases of TBI in athletes however there are still frequent injuries which leads us to an anti-inflammatory diet and supplement protocol that can help with prevention and management of TBI in athletes.

All of my contact sport athletes including NFL and UFC take the following supplements daily- Fish oils with high levels of DHA, Creatine and curcumin.

Fish oil/ Omega 3/ DHA (for those who can’t have fish, there is an algae form of DHA)

According to one study does of 2g per day was most effective for reducing neurofilament light which is a marker for neurological disorders.. Some groups showing a larger effect from 4-6g doses. It’s fair to assume that 2g per day is an ideal dose for a larger, elite performing athlete.


Curcuminreduces inflammatory cytokines and free radicals from oxidation after a concussion and TBI. I also have my athletes take this master anti-inflammatory and antioxidant to reduced local and systemic inflammation as well as oxidation throughout the season to help reduce aches and pains from typical wear and tear. This is one of my favorite supplements for everybody who I work with , pro athlete and active people. I suggest 500-1000mg daily. The type of curcumin is important because curcumin is not very easily absorbed and you don’t wait to waste your money.


Creatine-  One of the most frequent studied sports supplements we have years of evidence to show neural– protective functions including improvement in long term memory, cognition and increased brain activity.  In one study vegetarians  who were given creatine had improve memory function. This means all of my plant based athletes take creatine without question. No, creatine will not make you gain weight. It will only increase your muscle, power out put and brain function. There should be no reason to avoid creatine unless you are making weight for a fight and that would only be for 1 week prior to the fight. I always suggest 5g daily for men and 3g daily for women.


Supplements and diet protocols after TBI

Ketones and ketogenic diet– the only time I approve and request a ketogenic diet for contact sport athletes is immediately after a concussion. This protocol should start right away by fasting the remainder of the day, only having ketones , DHA and foods that do not contain glucose. Because athletes in concussion protocol are not training this will not affect their performance and can be followed for 2 weeks after TBI. We know from research that ketones improve function of the brain after TBI due to impaired glucose metabolism.

New research is also pointing to ketogenic diets as a form of therapy for post concussion syndrome.


BCAAsstudies show decreased BCAAs after experiencing TBI. There is an increase in cognitive recovery in patients who supplemented with BCAAs after TBI.


To find out more about supplements and nutrition to protect from TBI and for Post Concussion syndrome or to schedule a complementary discovery call with us click here.