As there is a high injury prevalence in sport, a common question asked by athletes is how to reduce the risk of injury or boost recovery. Firstly, it is important that athletes meet their energy requirements when training. This will ‘fuel the work’ performed by the athlete while also strengthening the immune system and bone health. To perform and progress in training and competitions, it is also important that athletes recover adequately to prevent the occurrence of injury, which is where collagen comes into play.
WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is a tough structural protein that builds ligament, bone and tendons. Therefore, the overall strength and stiffness of our tissues and tendons is down to the collagen content in the body. Collagen synthesis not only requires a good supply of the amino acids proline and lysine, found in abundance in collagen protein, but also the presence of vitamin C, copper and zinc. These amino acids, necessary to synthesise new collagen, can be found in animal sources such as beef and poultry, as well as in eggs and dairy. If you are an athlete that suffers from injuries such as sprains or strains a lot, it may be beneficial to seek supplementation through collagen supplements.
WHAT DOES COLLAGEN DO IN THE BODY?
Research has suggested that a combination of training and collagen supplementation can strengthen the myotendinous junction and improve muscle-joint interaction, ideal for athletes looking to prevent injury, as well as those recovering from joint injuries and joint surgery. Indeed, studies have reported a reduction in knee pain in athletes that have supplemented with collagen. It is also said that collagen may be beneficial for elderly or regular gym goers that have osteoarthritis.
A blend of 20g of collagen and 96mg of Vitamin C is added to our Nutrition X Repair Shot, making it the ideal supplement for athletes looking to support injury recovery or prevent any unwanted injuries. The Repair Shot is a ‘small hit’ that can be easily carried around in the gym bag. Research suggests that taking collagen approximately 30 minutes PRIOR to your workout is the ideal time to take collagen, ensuring that these key amino acids are present during the session.
SHOULD I SUPPLEMENT WITH COLLAGEN?
Adding supplements to the diet may seem an easy option for many athletes, but it is important not to forget that these nutrients can also be found in food. As mentioned, food such as meat, poultry, gelatine and Vitamin C enriched foods can also be adapted into the diet to promote collagen synthesis. Check with a registered Nutritionist or Dietitian of ways that you could in corporate all these to ensure you’re getting the most from your diet.