Training, Nutrition and Supps Research
❱❱New Year’s resolutions are in full swing, spring is around the corner and it’s looking like you may be in the best shape of your life this coming summer. It’s great to be motivated, but be careful. 'ue in part to sudden increases in physical activity once the holidays are over, every year fitness-oriented folks fall victim to sprains, strains and musculoskeletal injuries that derail progress for extended periods of time. The best way to protect yourself from athletic injuries is to avoid overtraining and incorporate warm-ups, stretching and cool-downs into your regular training days.
Beyond that, it’s key to use a joint-protection supplement to support joint health and provide prophylactic defense against wear and tear. Many joint supplements are designed to promote collagen resynthesis/repair, as collagen is the major structural component of tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Exercise in and of itself promotes collagen incorporation into joints, ligaments and tendons; however, the risks of musculoskeletal injury are still higher in those who exercise regularly.
Recently, a team of scientists from the United States and Australia reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that consuming gelatin (a food derivative of collagen) and vitamin C preworkout increases collagen synthesis better than exercise itself. In this registered clinical trial, eight healthy athletic male participants consumed either 5 or 15 grams of gelatin enriched with vitamin C (48 milligrams) one hour prior to intense exercise six minutes in duration.
The researchers found that supplementation with a gelatin/ vitamin C preworkout drink did indeed increase blood serum levels of amino acids associated with collagen production (i.e., glycine, proline, hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine). In this case, the more, the better: Subjects who took 15 grams showed a twofold improvement in collagen synthesis over placebo. Additionally, when engineered human ligaments were treated (in vitro) with extracted blood serum from the same subjects, there was a 50 percent increase in ligament collagen content and improved ligament function.
ACTION POINT: The amino acids glycine and proline are abundant in gelatin and collagen supplements. For preworkout joint protection, take in 15 grams of collagen or gelatin and 50 milligrams of vitamin C one hour prior to training. There are also many preformulated supplements that contain collagen and vitamin C in single dosing — just make sure that doses contain at least 15 grams of collagen.