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The perfect natural protein to increase athletic performance and achieve a lean body

Read more to learn how Vital Proteins' Collagen Supplements help:

  • Avoid the loss of lean body mass
  • Increase athletic performance
  • Maintain the nitrogen balance
  • Lose weight
  • Maintain weight
  • Restore muscle

Collagen Supplements and Performance Nutrition

Human muscles are often the main focus to enhance physical performance such as endurance or strength.  Connecting tissue is a major part of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilages and bones.  These connecting tissues are the second biggest mass and organ of our body and are as much important for physical performance as the muscles but they are often not the focus.  These connective tissues are needed for the main structure of our body, to form tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones and to maintain the muscle structure.  These connective tissues contain mainly very flexible collagen structures that are cross linked to bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles that give extreme stability to these structures.

Long term continuous strenuous exercise leads to collagen degradation in the body.  These degradations are slow and progressive developments and symptoms such as pain only appear in advanced stages.  Nutrient undersupply and nutrient deficiencies can accelerate these degenerative processes or increase inflammation.  Collagen crosslinks of Pyridinoline (PD) and Deoxypyrolidin (DPD) in the urine of athletes are increased over a period of 2 years during training without supplementation.  Urinary PD and DPD levels of collagen crosslinks increase after heavy and continuous exercise, indicating an increased degradation of connective tissue mass.

Collagen peptides supply amino acids that are needed to build new collagen.  Collagen peptides are high in specific amino acids such as Glycine and Proline that are especially needed for the production of new collagen.  The collagen peptides stimulate certain cells (fibroblasts, osteoblasts) to build new collagen.  Supplementation with collagen peptides can protect the degradation of the connecting tissues in athletes and could reduce the exercise induced increase of urinary collagen crosslinks. Supplementation with 30 – 70 grams of collagen peptides per day showed a reduction of risk for injuries on muscle, tendons, and ligaments in athletes. [1]

During and after long periods of exercise, protein structural integrity in the body is compromised.  Proteins are oxidized, inflammatory reactions and cellular membrane microlesions all resulting in protein loss.  Some amino-acids can also be used as an energetic substrate to create energy.  Protein synthesis, which slightly decreases during exercise (as energy is preferentially used for exercise), increases as soon as exercise ends.  This increased production can go on for a few days, depending on the protein diet intake.  The compromised protein structural integrity results in injuries which should be prevented as much as possible, and a high protein diet after exercise may enhance muscle anabolism, replacing the proteins lost.

Numerous studies show that dietary protein needs increase for resistance and aerobic training individuals. Individuals aiming to maximize nitrogen balance would likely benefit from repeated ingestion of moderate amounts of protein (~20g) at regular intervals (~3h) throughout the day. [2] Those individuals looking to reduce body fat and increase lean body mass through caloric restriction have increased protein needs.  Increased protein intake reduces lean body mass loss during weight loss in athletes.  Protein needs for energy-restricted resistance trained athletes are likely 2.3-3.1 g / kg of fat free lean body mass. [3]  The 2.3 g / kg was significantly superior to 1.0 g / kg for maintenance of lean body mass in young healthy athletes. [4]  For senior athletes, increasing protein intake improves muscle strength and insulin sensitivity. [5]

Collagen supplements are the perfect protein to consume before and after exercise, helping to maintain and restore the protein content of muscle.  Collagen peptides, which consists of 20% glycine and 8% arginine, may help the synthesis of creatine in the body.  Creatine has been shown to help improve performance during short periods of exercise, thus helping athletes to increase their body mass and reduce body fat percentage. [6]  Creatine is made of three amino-acids, glycine, arginine, and methionine.  Each serving of Vital Protein’s Collagen Peptides contains 3.7g of Glycine, 1.5g of Arginine, and 108mg of methionine.

Several studies highlight the beneficial effect of oral arginine supplements on athletic performances by increasing strength.  Arginine stimulates the release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland, which is known to increase muscle mass, and may explain the performance gain. [7]

For sports nutrition, Vital Proteins’ collagen supplements are the perfect protein to help muscle restoration after exercise, and it may be closely involved in creatine production, aiding athletic performance, due to it glycine and arginine content.

Collagen Supplements for Seniors

Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass and is associated with reduced strength, loss of bone mass, decreased basal metabolic rate, and an increase in body fat.  Exercise (both resistance and aerobic) in combination with adequate protein and energy intake is the key component of the prevention and management of sarcopenia.  To counteract the effects of sarcopenia, it is necessary to receive adequate dietary protein to maintain lean body mass and to provide adequate amounts of amino acids for protein synthesis in all tissues.  The recommend intake of protein in seniors is 1g / kg of body weight per day.  Given that seniors consume a relatively low-protein diet, a high quality, low-fat protein supplement has been shown to maintain lean body mass.  Taking collagen peptides has been shown to have a positive effect on nitrogen balance, preserve lean body mass, and may be more beneficial to seniors on a relatively low protein diet then whey protein due to the high proportion of readily available amino acids that have a low molecular weight and a higher nitrogen content in collagen peptides than that of whey on a gram-per-gram basis. [8]

For seniors, Vital Proteins collagen supplements are the ideal supplement to help maintain the nitrogen balance and to avoid lean body mass loss.

Weight Management and the Satiating Effects of Collagen Supplements

Proteins are known to be the most satiating macronutrient.  Studies have shown when switching to a high-protein diet, individuals reduce their food intake and helping to lose weight as well as maintain a particular weight after dieting. [9], [10] Collagen Peptides have been proven to be effective at maintaining weight, with no adverse effects, and collagen peptides have been shown to be more effective than other proteins.  Collagen peptides when taken at breakfast time, have been shown to be 40% more satiating than other proteins such as whey, casein, soy) and induce a 20% reduction of subsequent food intake at lunch. [11]

The mechanisms by which proteins affect satiety remain unclear.  The satiating effects of protein may involve gastric kinetics.  High concentrations of protein in the stomach could slow down gastric emptying.  Proteins may also stimulate hormones that are involved in satiety in the brain.  Collagen peptides may modulate thermogenesis, the heat production in our bodies, because it requires even more energy than other proteins for oxidation, thus increasing energy expenditure.


[1]   Wienecke, Elmar. Performance Explosion in Sports: An Anti-doping Concept: Revolutionary New Findings in the Area of Micronutrient Therapy: Training Continuity, Training Optimization, Injury Prevention Through Personalized Micronutrients. Meyer & Meyer Verlag, 2011. ISBN 978-3-89899-652-5;

[2]   Moore, Daniel R., et al. "Daytime pattern of post-exercise protein intake affects whole-body protein turnover in resistance-trained males." Nutrition & Metabolism 9.1 (2012): 91.

[3]   Helms, Eric R., et al. "A Systematic Review of Dietary Protein During Caloric Restriction in Resistance Trained Lean Athletes: A Case for Higher Intakes." International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2013).

[4]   Mettler, Samuel, Nigel Mitchell, and Kevin D. Tipton. "Increased protein intake reduces lean body mass loss during weight loss in athletes.Med Sci Sports Exerc 42.2 (2010): 326-37.

[5]   Baglio, V., et al. "OP016 The Level of Protein Intake Affects Muscle Strength and Insulin Sensitivity in Elderly Elite Athletes.Clinical Nutrition Supplements 7.1 (2012): 7.

[6]   Hoffman, J. R., et al. "Effect of creatine and ß-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes." Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab 16 (2006): 430-446.

[7]   Appleton, Jeremy. "Arginine: clinical potential of a semi-essential amino acid."Alternative Medicine Review 7.6 (2002): 512-522.

[8]   Hays, Nicholas P., et al. "Effects of whey and fortified collagen hydrolysate protein supplements on nitrogen balance and body composition in older women.Journal of the American Dietetic Association 109.6 (2009): 1082-1087.

[9]   Journel, Marion, et al. "Brain responses to high-protein diets." Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 3.3 (2012): 322-329.

[10]   Bensaıd, Ahmed, et al. "A high-protein diet enhances satiety without conditioned taste aversion in the rat." Physiology & Behavior 78.2 (2003): 311-320.