As a cyclist or runner, you should definitely consider supplementing collagen.
Collagen is a vital protein to support the health, strength, and flexibility of your joints, ligaments, and bones, which may help you avoid injuries.
In this blog, you'll learn all you need to know about collagen for athletes.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein naturally-present in your body that represents around 25% of all protein in your body. Collagen is found in your skin, cartilage, and connective tissues.
Until 25 years of age, the body produces collagen by itself, so supplementation is not needed, unless you are injured or feel signs of wear and tear. After 25 years of age, collagen production slows down and supplementation becomes important.
Collagen is responsible for the health of your joints, muscles, bones, tendons, and connective tissues. It also play a role in the health and appearance of your skin, hair, and nails.
The latter is the reason why collagen is used primarily in the beauty industry, but its role in the world of sports nutrition is often overlooked.
And yet, plenty of research demonstrates that regular intakes of collagen have several benefits for athletes.
Collagen is naturally produced in your body, but its production slows down with age.
Why is collagen useful for athletes?
It is in the nature of modern sport to push your body to its limits. Consequently, you regularly face wear and tear and injuries.
Collagen provides several essential benefits for an athlete.
- Health and strength of joints, cartilage, and bones.
- Protection and growth of your muscles.
- Elasticity of your tendons and connective tissues.
As an endurance athlete, your joints, cartilage, and tendons are under an even greater stress, which is why you should protect them.
The same goes for your muscle mass, which is another layer of protection for your joints and bones. After 30 years of age, you lose approximately 5% of your muscle mass each year. Since collagen represents 10% of your muscle mass, this is another important reason to supplement collagen.
Collagen protects your joints, improves your muscle mass, and preserves the elasticity of tendons and ligaments.
Collagen for injury recovery
For an athlete, an injury is far more than just an injury. It forces you into inactivity, and if you are a professional athlete, it might even mark the end of your career.
Collagen is proven to stimulate injury recovery, and for this purpose, it is also unofficially recommended by many phsyicians.
An Olympic-level Slovenian 400 m runner, Luka Janežič, suffered a difficult, career-threatening injury. He tore a tendon in his leg. The most difficult injury a runner has to deal with.
Luka Janežič left nothing to chance. He used all resources available to him to recover from his career-threatening injury. This included supplementing collagen.
"My doctors advised me to start supplementing collagen immediately after my operation to allow my tendon to heal as quickly as possible. I turned to my long-term partner, 4Endurance, who were glad to help me out. I started supplementing collagen immediately, and I will keep using it in the future."
- Luka Janežič
Dietary supplement Collagen+
You can get collagen from food. Meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and the widely-praised bone broth, all these foods and many other contain collagen.
The problem is that collagen can't be absorbed in your digestive tract, which leads to poor absorption levels.
Hydrolyzed collagen that you find in dietary supplements is broken down into peptides, which enables better absorption in your stomach. Collagen synthesis also requires vitamin C, which isn't naturally present in the food you eat.
Collagen+ 4Endurance Pro is a source of hydrolyzed collagen, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid, designed for highest absorption and best effect. This allows you to efficiently protect your joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscle.
Does collagen actually work?
You must know that collagen is only a protein and not a miracle supplement.
Be it prevention or cure, supplementing collagen can make a difference, but perhaps only a small one. How much that means to you, you have to decide for yourself.
"I will try all I can," said Luka Janežič about supplementing collagen. He was fully aware collagen will not miraculously heal his torn tendon. But he also knew that every single help was needed and every percent counted, especially when talking about sport at the highest possible level.
That's how you should look at your health and body. It is a combination of several intertwined factors. From a strong immune system and low stress levels to correct training methods and psychological balance.
Yes, collagen works. This is proven by research, supported by many doctors, and confirmed by the experience of athletes. But how much it helps remains an open question.
Collagen is a protein naturally produced in your body, but its production slows down after 25 years of age.
Collagen represents 10% of your muscle mass and among other things plays a vital role in the health of your bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, connective tissues, and joints.
Absorption with food is poor, which is why you should use dietary supplements.
Collagen+ contains hydrolyzed collagen peptides, which lead to better absorption in your body. Collagen+ also contains vitamin C, which is crucial for collagen synthesis, and hyaluronic acid, which further protects your joints.
Collagen is useful both for prevention and recovery, but don't expect miracles. We are talking about percentages, the significance of which is up to you to decide.
In our opinion, collagen supplements are a very interesting, although not thoroughly researched way to protect your body from the strains of endurance sports.