An Introduction to Collagen
Maximising time spent training while minimising time lost to injury, is key in reaching optimum performance levels. Sport nutrition for the prevention or treatment of injury is receiving increased attention, with collagen being a nutrient that supports in both prehab and rehab programmes. The Performance Collagen range doses 20g of collagen hydrolysate and 80mg vitamin C per serving (plus 56g carbohydrate in the Gummies), contributing to normal collagen formation and supporting bone and joint health.
Soft-tissue injuries (those affecting muscles, tendons and ligaments) are extremely common across all levels of sport and contribute a large percentage of the cause of injury amongst athletes (1). For example, the incidence of soft-tissue injuries reaches 60% within the English Premier League and nearly 70% in the National Football League (1), whilst high rates of tendon injuries (tendinopathy) are also observed in elite athletes (30-45%) and distance runners (55%) (2). Given the high prevalence of such injuries, nutritional strategies that minimise the loss of training time due to injury are likely to determine performance success or failure (3) and should be a key priority for all athletes. With this in mind, the goal of any nutritional strategy should be to enhance the robustness of such tissues, making them more resistant to the stress placed on them during training and competition.
Collagen is the primary protein that forms the structure of tendons, ligaments and bone and therefore plays an instrumental role in the robustness of these tissues. As such, adding more collagen to these tissues will ultimately make for a stronger and more injury resistant structure. In order to achieve this, key collagen-forming amino acids (proline, hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine), which provide the building blocks for collagen synthesis are required. In addition to this, vitamin C plays an important regulatory role in switching on key enzymes that allow these amino acids to be used in the formation of collagen (1). Based upon this scientific understanding of tendon remodelling, the consumption of vitamin C enriched hydrolysed collagen is now seen as a key nutritional intervention to support both injury prevention and rehabilitation. In support of this, recent studies demonstrate that consuming 15 g of vitamin C enriched hydrolysed collagen increase collagen-forming amino acids, which are subsequently used to create new collagen proteins (4,5). Furthermore, in real-world practice, this nutrition strategy has been shown to be successful in supporting the rehabilitation and return to play from both ACL (6) reconstruction and patellar tendinopathy (7) and reducing knee pain (8) across a number of different athletes.
Science based recommendations
Whilst the availability of these key amino acids provides the essential building blocks for new collagen formation, the delivery of these nutrients to specific tendons and ligaments is also important. Given that the concentration of these key amino acids peak 60 minutes after ingestion (4,5), Performance Collagen should be consumed 60 minutes prior to exercise or rehabilitation sessions in order to enhance the delivery of these amino acids to the targeted area. Ultimately, the goal is to enhance the robustness of tendons, ligaments and bone and maximise the amount of time available to train and compete.
Why SiS Collagen?
Science in Sport Performance Collagen Shot and Gummies provide 20 g of hydrolysed collagen and 80 mg vitamin c per serving to provide all the necessary constituents to support collagen synthesis.
– Baar K. (2017). Minimizing injury and maximizing return to play: Lessons from engineered ligaments. Sports Medicine, 47 (1), 5-11.
– Close GL, Sale C, Baar K, &Bermon S. (2019). Nutrition for the prevention and treatment of injuries in track and field athletes. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 29 (2), 189-197.
– Raysmith BP & Drew MK. (2016). Performance success or failure is influenced by weeks lost to injury and illness in elite Australian track and field athletes: A 5-year prospective study. Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport, 19 (10), 778-783.
– Shaw G, Lee-Barthel A, Ross MLR, Wang B & Baar K. (2017). Vitamin C enriched gelatin supplementation before intermittent activity augments collagen synthesis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 105 (1), 136-143.
– Lis DM & Baar K. (2019). Effects of different vitamin C enriched collaged derivatives on collagen synthesis. International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism, 29, 526-531.
– Shaw G, Serpell B, & Baar K. (2019). Rehabilitation and nutrition protocols for optimising return to play from traditional ACL reconstruction in elite rugby union players: A case study. Journal of sports sciences, 1-10.
– Baar K. (2019). Stress relaxation and targeted nutrition to treat patellar tendinopathy. International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism, 29, 453-457.
– Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, Aukermann DF, Meza F, Millard RL et al. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Current medical research and opinion, 24(5), 1485-1496.