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We hear about how sippin’ collagen can do wonders for your skin, but what about your workout? Turns out, throwing a scoop into that morning smoothie can actually add to your gym game. Our friends at Further Food share how collagen can supercharge your next sweat session!
Whether you’re a triathlete, gym-goer, or yogi, collagen is the perfect recovery protein that helps to build and repair the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage that are stressed during exercise. Collagen is the key component for structural support in our body; it comprises 90% of our connective tissue – this includes our joints, ligaments, tendons, and fascia. The combination of collagen’s high bioavailability with its high amino acid content makes it optimal post-exercise nutrition that rapidly absorbs and can quickly work to help repair and replenish proteins broken down during exercise. Collagen protein supplementation is the key to maintaining an active lifestyle. Learn about collagen protein benefits for athletes, including collagen muscle repair benefits below.
Collagen Protein For Muscle Repair and Restoration
Protein loss occurs in muscles during and after long periods of exercise due to oxidation, inflammatory reactions, and muscle microlesions. Research shows that protein synthesis decreases during exercise, then immediately increases after exercise for an extended period of time. A high protein diet post-exercise enables the replacement of lost proteins, restoring the protein content of muscles by increasing muscle anabolism. The high amino acid content of collagen protein makes collagen ideal for muscle repair and recovery. Supplementing with collagen may help muscle repair, making it essential post-workout nutrition.
Collagen Protein May Speed up Injury Recovery Time
Science has identified the body’s two main processes for healing torn or ruptured muscles: regeneration of muscle fibers simultaneously with the production of connective scar tissue. The key to both of these processes is collagen formation. In a study measuring the rates of collagen protein production for three weeks after a muscle rupture, scientists found collagen synthesis rates to be heightened in muscle cells during this time. Type III collagen synthesis reached a maximum during the first week of wound healing and is linked to the development of flexibility/plasticity of the connective tissue. Type 1 collagen formation began later during the healing process and was linked to increasing the strength of the new muscle fibers and connective tissue.
Collagen Protein May Help with Injury Prevention by Strengthening Joints and Ligaments
In a study following three different categories of athletes, supplementation with a combination of collagen peptides, BCAA, and arginine over a two-year period decreased tendon-ligament and joint related injury rates3. Another study that measured effects of daily intake of collagen peptides on the structure of the Achilles tendon found a significant increase in collagen fiber diameter, suggesting improved strength of the tendon as a result of collagen supplementation.
Collagen Protein May Reduce Joint Pain Associated with Sport-Related Injuries
Clinical trials have shown supplementation with collagen may reduce activity and exercise-related joint pain. High impact activities and high-intensity sports exert stress on joints that can lead to pain and injury. In a study among subjects who experienced activity-related joint pain, supplementation with collagen protein for 120 days resulted in improved joint function and flexibility while exercising, and subjects were able to exercise longer before experiencing joint pain.
Collagen is an Ideal Source of Protein and Essential Amino Acids
Collagen protein powder is ideal for post-workout nutrition due to its high amino acid content that supports the body’s protein needs during and after exercise. Further Food Collagen contains 18 amino acids and eight of the nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body and must be consumed through dietary proteins.
Collagen Protein May Improve Athletic Performance
Muscular contraction during exercise is dependent on creatine, a molecule made of three amino acids – glycine, methionine, and arginine. Further Food Collagen contains 20% glycine and 8% arginine, which may support the synthesis of creatine in the body to improve performance during shorts burst of muscle contraction. Science has also linked oral arginine intake to increased athletic performance. A study showed that oral intake of 1g of arginine and ornithine for five weeks can increase strength by stimulating the release of growth hormone. Two servings of Further Food Collagen provides 1.3 grams of arginine, which supports improved athletic performance.
Review of Collagen Protein Benefits for An Active Lifestyle
- Collagen protein may help repair and restore muscles
- Collagen supplementation may help to speed up recovery time from injuries
- Collagen protein may help in strengthening joints and ligaments, helping to prevent injuries
- Collagen protein may reduce activity and exercise-related joint pain
- Collagen protein is ideal post-workout nutrition as it contains a high amino acid content
- Further Food Collagen contains glycine and arginine which help support athletic performance
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.