Whether you’re a triathlete, gym-goer, or yogi, collagen is the perfect recovery protein that helps to build and repair the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage that are stressed during exercise. Collagen is the key component for structural support in our body; it comprises 90% of our connective tissue – this includes our joints, ligaments, tendons, and fascia. The combination of collagen’s high bioavailability with its high amino acid content makes it an optimal post-exercise nutrition that rapidly absorbs and can quickly work to help repair and replenish proteins broken down during exercise. Collagen protein supplementation is key to maintaining an active lifestyle. Learn about collagen protein benefits for athletes, including collagen muscle repair benefits below.
A Protein That Repairs
Collagen Protein For Muscle Repair and Restoration
Protein loss occurs in muscles during and after long periods of exercise due to oxidation, inflammatory reactions, and muscle microlesions. Research shows that protein synthesis decreases during exercise, then immediately increases after exercise for an extended period of time1. A high protein diet post-exercise enables the replacement of lost proteins, restoring the protein content of muscles by increasing muscle anabolism. The high amino acid content of collagen protein makes collagen ideal for muscle repair and recovery. Supplementing with collagen may help muscle repair, making it essential post workout nutrition.
Collagen Protein May Speed up Injury Recovery Time
Science has identified the body’s two main processes for healing torn or ruptured muscles: regeneration of muscle fibers simultaneously with the production of connective scar tissue. The key to both of these processes is collagen formation. In a study measuring the rates of collagen protein production for 3 weeks after a muscle rupture, scientists found collagen synthesis rates to be heightened in muscle cells during this time. Type III collagen synthesis reached a maximum during the first week of wound healing and is linked to the development of flexibility/plasticity of the connective tissue. Type 1 collagen formation began later during the healing process and was linked to increasing the strength of the new muscle fibers and connective tissue2.
Collagen Protein May Help with Injury Prevention by Strengthening Joints and Ligaments
In a study following three different categories of athletes, supplementation with a combination of collagen peptides, BCAA and arginine over a two-year period decreased tendon-ligament and joint related injury rates3. Another study that measured effects of daily intake of collagen peptides on the structure of the Achilles tendon found a significant increase in collagen fiber diameter, suggesting improved strength of the tendon as a result of collagen supplementation4.
Collagen Protein May Reduce Joint Pain Associated with Sport-Related Injuries
Clinical trials have shown supplementation with collagen may reduce activity and exercise-related joint pain. High impact activities and high intensity sports exert stress on joints that can lead to pain and injury. In a study among subjects who experienced activity-related joint pain, supplementation with collagen protein for 120 days resulted in improved joint function and flexibility while exercising, and subjects were able to exercise longer before experiencing joint pain5.
Collagen Protein That Improves Performance
Collagen is an Ideal Source of Protein and Essential Amino Acids
Collagen protein powder is ideal for post-workout nutrition due to its high amino acid content that supports the body’s protein needs during and after exercise. Further Food Collagen contains 18 amino acids and 8 of the 9 essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body and must be consumed through dietary proteins.
Collagen Protein May Improve Athletic Performance
Muscular contraction during exercise is dependent on creatine, a molecule made of 3 amino acids – glycine, methionine, and arginine. Further Food Collagen contains 20% glycine and 8% arginine, which may support the synthesis of creatine in the body to improve performance during shorts burst of muscle contraction. Science has also linked oral arginine intake to increased athletic performance. A study showed that oral intake of 1g of arginine and ornithine for five weeks can increase strength by stimulating the release of growth hormone 7. Two servings of Further Food Collagen provides 1.3 grams of arginine, which supports improved athletic performance.
Review of Collagen Protein Benefits for An Active Lifestyle
- Collagen protein may help repair and restore muscles
- Collagen supplementation may help to speed up recovery time from injuries
- Collagen protein may help in strengthening joints and ligaments, helping to prevent injuries
- Collagen protein may reduce activity and exercise related joint pain
- Collagen protein is an ideal post workout nutrition as it contains a high amino acid content
- Further Food Collagen contains glycine and arginine which help support athletic performance
Want to read more?
1. Campbell, B. et al., 2007, International society of sports nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4:8 doi:10.1186/1550-2783-4-8
2. T, Hurme, Kalimo H, Sandberg M, Lehto M, and Vuorio E. Department of Pathology, Paavo Nurmi Center, University of Turku, Finland.Localization of Type I and III Collagen and Fibronectin Production in Injured Gastrocnemius Muscle. <http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/1703587>.
3. Wienicke E., 2011. In: Performance Explosion in Sports – an anti-doping concept. Meyer&Meyer Fachverlag und Buchhandel GmbH., ISBN-10: 1841263303
4. Minaguchi J. et al., 2005. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 51: 169-174
5. Clark, KL. 24-Week Study on the Use of Collagen Hydrolysate as a Dietary Supplement in Athletes with Activity-related Joint Pain. National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18416885>.
6. Iwai, KL. Identification of Food-derived Collagen Peptides in Human Blood after Oral Ingestion of Gelatin Hydrolysates. National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16076145>.
7. Elam, R.P., 1989, Effect of arginine and ornithine on strength, lean body mass and urinary hydroxyproline in adult males. Journal of Sports Nutrition. 29:52-56.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.