Over the past few years there has been much research into the health benefits of using collagen supplements. It has a long history of use in cosmetic products for the health and beauty industry but more recently there has been much interest for its use by athletes and sports people. Collagen is effectively a protein supplement which contains a very diverse range of micronutrients so it makes sense that it could deliver nutritional benefits for exercising individuals.

 

Recent research shows that collagen is an ideal protein for helping recovery from exercise. It contains the perfect profile of peptides and amino acids for protein synthesis and muscle repair so scientists are suggesting that it is a valuable protein supplement to take before and after exercise. If muscles have the nourishment to fully recover then they will rebuild more efficiently and have the ability to be much stronger. This is also true of other protein structures and tissues in the body such as joints and ligaments, so there is also a huge potential for the prevention and even treatment of sports injuries.

 

Collagen is naturally rich in glycine and arginine and these offer additional benefits for people who are involved in regular exercise. These two amino acids are directly involved in the production of creatine in the body which means that using collagen can help improve athletic performance. Creatine is directly involved in the formation of the energy molecule ATP involving a process called the Kreb's Cycle, so if its production is optimised then so is the ability to produce energy. Arginine has several other benefits to an athlete as it also helps with the production of growth hormone for enhanced muscle recovery. Furthermore it directly generates the chemical nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels to enable improved blood flow to exercising muscles. This effect maximises both performance and recovery as more oxygen and nutrients become available whilst metabolic wastes are removed more efficiently.

 

NigelBy Nigel Perkins, HND Food Science & Nutrition

Nigel has been in the natural health products industry for over 25 years. He has worked for some leading sports nutrition brands where he helped advise and support professional sports teams and athletes on their diet and supplementation requirements for variety of exercise goals. He has also worked with World Champion Tri-athlete Tim Don and Olympic Cyclist Nicole Cooke. Nigel has recently joined Gee Lawson as Business Development Executive for the Nutritional Division.

 

 

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