Collagen Nutrition for Ultra-Runners and Ultra-Endurance Athletes

December 17, 2020

Collagen Nutrition for Ultra-Runners and Ultra-Endurance Athletes

In this article:

  • Collagen is necessary to support joints, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels, skin, and gut lining
  • Specific benefits of collagen for runners
  • How to prevent & overcome running injuries
  • How to strengthen the gut
  • Enhance energy levels & maintain healthy weight

Collagen for athletes of all kinds

When people think of protein powder, their minds typically go to husky weightlifters building muscle mass. Sure, collagen can help you do that; It is the most abundant protein in the human body after all. However, the reality is that collagen can do much more to increase your performance in whatever sport you compete in, and ultra-endurance sports are definitely included.

Collagen is a building block for all the connective tissues in the human body. It supports your muscles, joints, ligaments, blood vessels, bones, skin, and gut lining (and this isn't even an exhaustive list). As we age and grow into our sport, our rate of collagen synthesis is decreasing which could have a negative impact on our joint pain, injury recovery times, and overall performance.

Enter - collagen supplementation. 16 different types of collagen can be found throughout the body, but types I, II, and III are the big three when it comes to building lean muscle mass, improving joint pain, and restoring skin elasticity. When taken orally, collagen proteins break down into their amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. These amino acids then help to stimulate further collagen production in the human body to restore our collagen levels and strengthen our connective tissues. Runners and athletes of all kinds place additional stress and strain on their joints, muscles, and connective tissues yet rely on them the most to excel in their sport.

The benefits of collagen for runners

Balancing your nutrition is just as crucial as strength training when it comes to running. Collagen supplements act as a powerful antioxidant to combat your body's natural degradation of collagen and support the health of all the moving pieces that go into a great run - the muscles, joints, tendons, bones, heart, and gut.

Prevent and Overcome Running Injuries

Most running injuries are the result of pushing yourself too far. Running long distances is in the very nature of endurance runners, so the risk of becoming injured is much higher. Collagen supplements, however, can help you avoid running injuries altogether by increasing your collagen levels and strengthening the parts of the body that are commonly injured as a result of overexertion. During the training period, collagen can be taken as a pre-workout supplement to boost your collagen synthesis post-workout. In fact, studies have shown that consuming 10-15g of collagen alongside vitamin c on a daily basis can double your collagen synthesis after a workout. This makes for a speedy recovery from common injuries like shin splints, ankle sprains, muscle pulls, stress fractures, and runner's knee.  

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