As any seasoned runner would confess, endurance running entails a great deal of physical and mental strength in order to conquer long distances day after day, and week after week. For any endurance runner from 10kms to ultra-marathoners, your stamina, mental state, and training preparation ultimately determine the results. However, the not-so-secret weapon that accompanies any athlete is how they fuel their bodies; their nutrition. The nutrients that go into a runner’s body before and after their workout are fundamentally what keeps them going (or not) and no other aspect of training can compensate for inadequate diet choices. At a competitive level, nutrition is a make or break on race day. As an endurance runner, you’ll want to go the extra mile (pun intended) with your diet to ensure that your body is receiving the nutrients it needs to train and recover through whole foods and hydration, but also quality supplementation, which is often over-looked. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at using collagen supplementation to achieve optimal running performance and recovery.
Did you know that, according to statistics, collagen accounts for 30-40% of all the protein found in the human body? It is the building material to renew cells in all areas of the body including: hair, skin, nails, eyes, teeth, cartilage, bones, tendons, internal organs, arteries, blood vessels, and the immune system. Collagen accounts for 80% of all connective tissue and 75% of the skin. A lot of people refer to collagen as “the glue that holds our body together”, and that is precisely its main role. Collagen is a gel-like substance which coats our bones and holds them together, allowing us to walk and run more effortlessly. Though many of us associate collagen with one of the more premium ingredients we’d find in our anti-aging skin creams or our favorite lotion, today we're referring to collagen peptides powder, which you ingest alongside your regular daily diet.
Moreover, even though humans are able to produce collagen naturally, the inevitable aging process curtails collagen production after we reach the age of 30. As we age, and especially in the case of athletes, collagen supplementation is recommended to maintain lean muscle, strong ligaments and cartilege, elasticity in our skin, and a healthy metabolism. Furthermore, while dietary sources of collagen are certainly recommended, collagen intake should not only be limited to food, especially when it comes to long distance running.
Given the irreplaceable role of collagen in our health, it is of utmost importance to replace it, especially since lifestyle factors (in addition to aging) such as sun exposure, poor diet, and stress also act to deplete collagen in the body. Finding the right collagen supplement is key. We recommend a Marine Collagen supplement. Marine Collagen has the highest bioavailability in humans due to its smaller particle size as compared to bovine collagen, delivering a maximum level of absorption and effectiveness.
It’s widely understood that exercise is a vital part of staying healthy, however endurance runners know that this form of physical activity can also be intense and physically draining. Over time, longer distance running can put an immense strain on the body, espeically joints, and injury, as well as mental exhaustion are commonplace. The amount of pressure endurance runners put on their joints and bodies is enormous. In order to prevent injury, preserve good health, and stay on top of their competition, runners should pay as much attention to the recovery process as to running itself. At the end of the day, it’s what happens before and after a run that shapes running performance, and the overall health of the runner. A Premium Marine Collagen Supplement can enhance each and every aspect of a runner’s performance, especially when included as pre or post-run nutrition.
As an endurance runner, you can certainly benefit from adding a collagen source to your nutrition. When it comes to pre-workout nutrition, Glycine, an amino acid found in collagen, has been found to increase energy levels, as well as mood, which can help with both physical and mental aspects of a long run. Adding a scoop of Wild-Caught Marine Collagen into your pre-workout drink will also have you feeling fuller for longer since collagen is rich in protein and can keep a runner’s appetite satisfied for much longer. Where many runners find it difficult to eat a large meal before a long run due to cramping and digestive discomfort, a protein rich pre-workout smoothie can be the perfect nutrition for many runners.
Additionally, endurance running entails spending a lot of time outside, which is one of its major benefits! The downside, however, is that being exposed to direct sun for longer periods of time, as well as the pollutants in the air (we’re not all training on a tropical beach in the middle of nowhere) can jeopardize your skin’s health and expose it to many damaging elements. Luckily, Marine Collagen contains type I collagen which is found in our skin cells and acts to preserve the skin’s elasticity, moisture retention, and suppleness. For this reason, a collagen supplement from a marine source is especially effective for replenishing and rejuvenating the skin while also preventing the formation of deep wrinkles.
By adding a Premium Marine Collagen powder to your post-run water or shake, runners are better able to adequately address the recovery phase of their workout. After a long run, your connective tissues require proper nutrition in order to recover and prepare for the next training session. Collagen contains anti-inflammatory properties which can ease the inflammation of connective tissues - a common condition in endurance running. Furthermore, by adding a highly bioavailable collagen supplement to your nutrition you’re supporting and maintaining the natural protein in your muscles, which is essential for muscle health and recovery.
As a result of endurance training, you may experience lean muscle growth, which does not go hand-in-hand with the expansion of your ligaments. For this reason, it’s important to keep ligaments strong in order to avoid potential injuries caused by muscle growth inconsistency. Collagen has been shown to keep ligaments supple and allow them to expand as quickly as the muscles without undue strain and pain. In addition, studies conducted at Penn State University have shown that the use of collagen in the recovery of athletes yielded promising results when it comes to joint health and relief from pain and discomfort in knees and hips.
Arginine, one of the amino acids found in marine collagen, encourages the natural production of protein from other amino acids, which is an integral part of collagen’s repair function. Collagen plays an important role when it comes to wound healing, muscle tissue repair, lean muscle growth, as well as healthy metabolism function.
Finally, a significant factor in ensuring optimal performance for long distance runners is making certain to take consistent rest days. Without them, runners often face burnout, over-training, and most often, injury. Quality sleep is big part of rest and recovery. More simply, without consistent, restful sleep, your body will not be able to recuperate and heal properly. Glycine, another amino acid found in the structure of collagen, has been found to increase the quality of sleep and trigger daytime sleepiness in people who have trouble sleeping at night. In addition, glycine is considered to be an inhibitory neurotransmitter which creates balance in the brain and eases anxiety.
A wide variety of factors, including your current state of health, nutrition, metabolism, proper recovery, sleep, and mood, all significantly impact an endurance runner’s performance. Choosing a premium supplement to accompany good nutrition and creating a diet plan without having to delve deeply into nutrition and science can be quite a challenge. Collagen represents an accessible and universal solution which can help to maximize your running performance, help preserve optimal health, and truly enjoy the benefits of physical activity. Head over to our online store to discover Premium Anti-Aging Marine Collagen Powder.