The popularity of spectator sports is growing worldwide, which is fantastic news for all the sports fans out there! Whether you prefer a fast-paced college basketball game or the floor routines of world-class gymnasts, the competitive sporting industry places greater and greater pressure on athletes to train and perform at their peak. To accompany this pressure, are, of course, more intensified training and practice regimens with greater rates and risks of injury.
Sports injury rehabilitation protocols these days usually include specialists in sports physiotherapy, and sports physicians who can help with everything from medication, movements, orthopedics, and nutritional supplements for both traditional and holistic management of injuries. Aside from physiotherapy and surgical intervention as being critical to the recovery of many athletes, today we will focus on the importance of nutritional supplements, particularly Collagen Peptides, in the rehabilitation of sports injury.
Sports injuries can be massively disabling, both psychologically and physically to most professional athletes. Did you know, for example, that anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are among the most common injuries in the United States. Historically, an ACL tear was a career-ending injury for athletes like NBA player Derrick Rose, and the NFL’s Jamal Anderson. Very scary!
Injuries in sport may involve muscle, ligaments, or bone, with lower limb injuries accounting for >50% of all sports injuries, and predominant joints involving the knee and ankle.
The occurrence of sports injuries are much more prevalent during competition as compared to injuries that occur during training. Football has the highest occurrence of injury among any American sport due to its fast pace rhythm and obvious and contact and collision between players. A direct hit to the knee or shoulder can end a career in seconds. In sports where there is less or no direct contact between players, injuries may be the result of rapidly changing positions, sudden deceleration, and incorrect jump-landing mechanics.
Although increased efforts are made to avoid the occurrence of sport injuries whether through the development of prevention programs, heightened insight into injury mechanisms, or load monitoring techniques in athletes, there is no significant decrease in sports-related injuries over the past two decades (1).
The importance of defining the different phases of injury recovery is used to determine the progression of any given rehabilitation program and it should be based on functional criteria instead of time-lapse. Additionally, understanding these phases emphasizes the critical role of collagen supplementation after defining its mechanism of action.
Whatever the injury-type, there are multiple phases of recovery including the acute phase of injury "Destruction", where muscle fibers and small blood vessels tear, filling the injured area with blood and inflammatory cells infiltrate from blood to initiate an inflammatory response. Next, a repair phase takes place where fibroblasts proliferate into collagen to produce connective tissue at the injured site. It’s a combination of connective tissue and muscle fibers that repair the injured muscle. Finally, the remodeling phase takes place, which acts to regenerate muscle fibers while connective tissues continue to mature. When the tissue repairs itself, the mixture of new muscle fibers and connective tissue is randomly oriented while treatment during this phase can assist the new tissue in regenerating into organized parallel lines.
"The best surgical and nursing care available will not heal the injury if there is an inadequate nutritional substrate to make new tissue" (Pinchcofsky-Devin, 1994). The previous vice-president of internal services Stat Homecare in Illinois, USA declared regarding the importance of patients' nutritional status in wound healing (3).
The speed of recovery from an injury depends on multiple factors including the physical activity level of the athlete, and the severity of his or her injury. In addition, a very important aspect that an athlete must consider is the important role of nutrition. An nutrient-rich and balanced diet during recovery that accounts for what the body needs during this critical phase has a large influence over how long recovery can take.
Protein supplementation is crucial to compensate for the lost protein; a major destructed component in any injured muscle tissue. But collagen peptides can provide an easy, accessible source of amino acids needed for repairing muscles.
Dr. Steffen Osser, the Director of the Collagen Research Institute (CRI) in Germany has led research investigating Collagen Peptides and their benefit to athletes with functional knee problems during sport. With his team, Dr. Osser reported a statistically significant improvement in activity-related pain intensity and increased mobility. In addition, the team observed that Collagen Peptides markedly reduced the use of additional treatment options such as painkillers and physiotherapy during the acute phase of injury.
He discussed the mechanism behind these effects as he used previous clinical efforts targeted the mechanism of action of Collagen Peptides and of these is the hypothesis that Collagen Peptides stimulate type II collagen and proteoglycan synthesis in articular cartilage which effect could counteract wear and tear processes of the cartilage tissue and can help to repair micro-injuries.
This decreased extracellular matrix degradation could reduce proinflammatory and pain-stimulating processes. In the same context, another experiment reported that collagen peptide supplementation induced a glycine-mediated inhibition of cytokine release which simply means that Collagen Peptide exerts a direct anti-inflammatory effect leading to decreased joint pain intensity.
Finally, Dr. Osser proposed that the physicochemical properties of Collagen Peptides have an impact on the interaction of peptides with certain integrin receptors to produce an effect as molecular weight distribution of Collagen Peptides and the specific amino acid sequences which seem to play an important role, whereas the source of collagen appears to be of minor importance. Amandean’s Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides are considered an excellent example of 3-10 KDalton molecular weight for optimum absorption and maximum benefit to your joints. This simply means that that your body will be able to easily utilize its nutrients.
If you’ve recently suffered from a sports injury and are considering treatment options, be certain to consider the benefits of a premium collagen supplement as part of your rehab program. Explore Amandean for a high-bioavailability variety from a quality source. Amandean’s Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides are sourced from Pasture-Raised Beef from from South American Cattle. They are also Non-GMO, Fat Free, Gluten Free and offer the best solubility and neutrality on the market. You can simply add a scoop to everything from your cup of your morning coffee or even a smoothie and start enjoying the healing properties of collagen.
1. Dhillon, M., Dhillon, H. and Dhilllon, S. (2017). Current concepts in sports injury rehabilitation. Indian Journal of Orthopaedics, 51(5), p.529.
2. Athletico. (2018). Understanding the 3 Phases of Muscle Healing - Athletico. [online] Available at: http://www.athletico.com/2017/03/27/understanding-the-3-phases-of-muscle-healing/ [Accessed 10 Sep. 2018].
3. Russell, L. (2001). The importance of patients' nutritional status in wound healing. British Journal of Nursing, 10(Sup1), pp.S42-S49.
4. Zdzieblik, D., Oesser, S., Gollhofer, A. and König, D. (2017). Improvement of activity-related knee joint discomfort following supplementation of specific collagen peptides. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 42(6), pp.588-595.