Collagen Supplements: Real News or Not?
It is hard to discern fact from fiction these days, especially when it comes to nutritional supplements. For one thing, they are so unregulated that producers can put all kinds of substances in a pill and make many kinds of non-medical claims due to federal legislation dating back to the early 1990s. For another, the quality of research studies on supplements is often short-term and under-powered making claims of certainty questionable.
A recent study from Great Britain tested the value of collage peptide (CP) supplementation which has been touted as beneficial for enhancing muscle protein synthesis rates and tendinous tissue adaptations to strength training. Based on evidence showing that certain peptides like collagen can cross the intestinal lining, enter the circulation and effect physiological functions; and that CP has anabolic benefits on muscle, the team wanted to see if it also helped tendons.
They compared 2 groups of males who consumed either 15g of CP or a placebo (PL) daily throughout a 15-wk resistance training (RT) program. Afterwards, tendon thickness and mechanical properties were assessed.
Sadly, it was concluded that “[in] direct contradiction to [the] hypothesis, CP supplementation did not enhance RT-induced tendinous tissue size or mechanical property adaptations of healthy young men.”
Essentially, no differences were found between the two study groups: all RT participants experienced increased tendon thickness, stiffness, and resistance to stress and strain. Which means RT is good for muscles and tendons regardless of what supplements you take.
MSSE Nov. 2023
Hydrating Tips For Health & Fitness
When it comes to hydration, there are basically 2 ways to think about it: for health and wellness or for sports and performance. That is, we need a certain amount of fluid and electrolytes (minerals and metals that help biological processes) in order to live and function optimally depending on our body size and baseline activity levels. Then, depending on the environment and our supra-baseline needs such as for training and competition, we need more. And, we may need it ASAP.
That requires a ballet of intake and absorption that varies based on what those fluids contain.sd
A study in the journal Nutrients (Nov. 2023) “evaluated the impact of varying carbohydrate (CHO) and sodium (Na) content in sports drinks (SD) and oral rehydration solutions (ORS) for post-exercise rehydration.” Prior research suggested that athletes need to consume 125%-150% of the lost volume of fluids from sweat. See here, here, and here for more on dehydration and exercise.
So they had fit young athletic males (females, being subject to monthly hormonal cycles, were excluded) perform 3 sets of 25-minute intermittent-intensity cardio exercise without any fluid intake in order to achieve a 2.5 – 3.0% drop in body mass. Then one group drank a high Na-low CHO beverage, another drank a regular sports drink with more CHO and less Na, and the third drank a placebo for an hour after their run. Measuring the mass of urine voided and body weight gained over the next 3.5 hours enabled assessment of hydration status.
The “ORS and SD promoted greater rehydration than the water, but the pattern of rehydration” was quicker with ORS which, for those wondering, was a solution you could find in Pedialyte at your local pharmacy.