Athletes with injured tendons recover faster with Collagen

Athletes with a injured tendon (i.e. most Masters Athletes ever!) could recover faster if they combine their rehab and back to sport program with supplements in the form of hydrolysed collagen. That was the result form a small human study, that sports scientists have come up with. 

As ageing masters athletes we are all too aware of the stress placed on our bodies and especially the tendons, this study cold highlight the benefit of supplementing with extra collagen as we age and still compete.

The scientists divided a group of 18 runners with an injured Achilles tendon into 2 sub groups. Both of the groups performed exercises to accelerate the healing ability of their injured Achilles tendons. This meant that the athletes performed a series of  eccentric exercises twice a day: they lowered the lower leg 90 times in a row, one time with a stretched knee, the other time with a bent knee, a very novel approach.

As soon as the tendon had been recovered to an acceptable level, the athletes started training again.

Within the first 3 months [T1-T2], one of the groups supplemented a dose of 2.5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptide 2 times a day, and the other group received a simple placebo. During the second half of the study, the groups switched round

During the first three months [T1-T2] more subjects from the collagen group started running again than subjects from the placebo group. After the switch, there was a remarkable increase of the number of recovered athletes in the new collagen group [T2-T3]. However, these trends were not statistically significant. The groups were too small for that.

Collagen supplementation accelerates tendon injury healing in athletes


“Although this pilot study has limited statistical power and requires duplication in a larger clinical trial, oral supplementation or specific collagen peptides may accelerate the clinical benefits of a well-structured calf-strengthening and return-to-running program in patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy symptoms”, the researchers summarize.

Nutrients. 2019 Jan 2;11(1).