Study under review: Prolonged Collagen Peptide Supplementation and Resistance Exercise Training Affects Body Composition in Recreationally Active Men.
Resistance exercise (RE) results in adaptations to muscle fibers in the form of growth and hypertrophy, as well as to the connective tissue supporting muscle fibers like ligaments, tendons, and the extracellular matrix (ECM). Collagen is a highly structured protein critical for the function and integrity of connective tissue. It is the most abundant protein in mammals. As such, its turnover is very regulated and responsive to mechanical stimuli like strength training. Indeed, the synthesis of collagen after RE follows the same response as the synthesis of muscle proteins, suggesting that RE triggers a concerted response both in muscle and connective tissue for adaptation to the exercise. Thus, it is important to support both of these processes to maximize training adaptations to RE.
Collagen supplementation has been studied mostly in the context of treating connective tissue disorders such as osteoarthritis. Collagen is low in essential amino acids, which are theorized to promote muscle growth, so it has been assumed that collagen protein has little or no effect on muscle growth. However, only one study has tested the effects of collagen in the form of hydrolyzed collagen, meaning collagen broken down to small peptide fragments, on body composition after an RE intervention. However, the study was conducted in older participants, and the positive findings have been challenged by other researchers in the field.
As collagen supplements become more and more popular among athletes, and because older participants might differ in their response to RE and protein supplementation compared to younger participants, collagen’s effects on healthy young males have to be determined. Therefore, the authors of the current study analyzed the effect of collagen supplementation combined with RE over 12 weeks on lean mass, fat mass, muscle hypertrophy and strength in young, recreationally active men.
Resistance exercise promotes adaptations both in skeletal muscle and connective tissue. Collagen is a highly abundant protein that contributes to the integrity and function of connective tissue, and its production is stimulated by resistance exercise. However, only one study has analyzed the effect of collagen supplementation on resistance exercise-induced adaptations in older participants. The current study sought to determine the effects of collagen supplementation combined with resistance exercise in young recreationally active men over 12 weeks.
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