The new roll of Bioactive Collagen Peptides® in Sports Nutrition

Muscles do not exist on their own. The whole musculoskeletal system is connected and protected by a network of connective tissue, largely represented by the muscle fascia, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone, also the skin. Collectively known as the “White Tissue.

For a strong and safe performance: Bioactive Collagen Peptides®

Innovative ingredients support collagenous “white tissue” and help athletes to get back to their performance levels after strain-related tendon issues

Whether it’s skiing, running, ball games or even e-sports: All athletes need to deliver a consistently strong performance on a regular basis. Yet this means they often put their bodies under a lot of strain – which inevitably takes its toll physically. For instance, overused tendons are among the most common sports-related injuries suffered by athletes, be they amateur or professional. Yet there is a quick and easy way to help reduce the risk of such problems – supplementation with specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides® TENDOFORTE® from GELITA, which are proven to stimulate collagen-producing cells in tendons and ligaments.

The white tissue supports the whole muscular system

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up 30 per cent of total protein content. It can be found in body parts such as bones, joints, ligaments, fascia or muscles – all of which are important for physically active people. There are a few reasons why collagen breakdown may outperform synthesis in sports, overuse being the main one. With its Bioactive Collagen Peptides®, GELITA provides an optimal ingredient option for manufacturers who want to capitalise on the sports nutrition market, and create product concepts with real benefits for active consumers.

To understand why collagen supplementation is so vital – especially for athletes – it’s important to look at the relationship between so-called white tissue and muscles. 

The whole musculoskeletal system is connected and protected by a network of connective tissue, comprising muscle fascia, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone and skin. Collectively known as “white tissue”, this network is formed mainly by collagen. Yet most people don’t think about white tissue until it becomes stressed and strained. This can result in back pain, Achilles tendon pain, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, patella tendon pain and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears or IT band (iliotibial band) issues – like aching, burning, or tenderness on the outside of the knee. The white tissue supports the whole muscular system, it has an equally high rate of tissue turnover, and its own amino acid needs. Collagen is the main component of white tissue, and supplementation with Bioactive Collagen Peptides® attends to the specific needs of the white tissues that are highly recruited in physical activity, giving structure to the whole body and supporting physical mobility.

Fascia facilitates muscle functions    

Muscles are made primarily of contractile material – otherwise known as “red tissue”. Therefore, it’s perhaps no surprise that most of the existing science and nutrition solutions – and manufacturers of sports nutrition – have so far focused on the contractile properties of muscles. But now, there are new scientific insights on muscles and their functions.

Muscles are different from many other tissues in the way that their contractile fibres are enclosed in layers of collagen-rich white tissue – called the muscle fascia – a skin-like casing that influences muscle function. The fascia facilitates muscle contraction, which then engages the joint, including tendons and ligaments, ensuring the mechanical forces between muscles and bones create optimal movement (Millward and Smith, 2019). What this means? Muscles are so much more than “red tissue”. They are a remarkably effective combination of red contractile material with the white tissue network, as well as blood vessels and nerves – a fusion that strongly contributes to muscle function, growth and performance (Gillies and Lieber, 2011). The white tissue plays many other roles in muscle health and performance too. It bears most of the muscle load, so that a person’s range of motion primarily reflects their white tissue properties. Also, nearly every activity-related injury and its manifestations, such as pain, are to some extent linked to the white tissue, as well as an injured athlete’s ability to quickly return to play.

Solid science makes the difference

Many manufacturers in the sports nutrition field are actively seeking ingredient options to create products for consumers who want to tackle sports-related injuries, or enhance their overall performance. GELITA, the leading manufacturer of collagen peptides, has created scientifically proven specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides® that optimally stimulate white tissue cells to produce new collagen matrix proteins. This helps athletes train at high intensity, while remaining injury-free.

Athletes make a quicker return to training

Regular intake of collagen peptides can help boost collagen production and, in sports nutrition, to reduce activity-induced tendon problems is a real need state. Research has shown that the specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides® found in TENDOFORTE® stimulate the RNA expression and biosynthesis of collagen, proteoglycans and elastin in Achilles tendons. This was proven by an Australian study that found subjects with long-term symptoms of chronic Achilles tendinopathy were able to return to running within three months when supplementing their diet with TENDOFORTE®, and were able to keep running for the remainder of the trial period. Research has also demonstrated that oral ingestion of the specific collagen peptides improves the extension properties of finger joints.

In Germany, researchers at the University of Freiburg Department of Sport examined the role of TENDOFORTE® in reducing ankle sprains and improving ankle stability. They concluded that six months’ supplementation with TENDOFORTE® resulted in significant improvements in ankle stability, reduced sprains and a reduced risk of further injury in the three-month follow-up period, suggesting that its effects are long-term.[i]

So, by taking TENDOFORTE®, athletes can avoid strain-related tendon issues. In addition, these specific peptides can help athletes make a quicker return to training, at previous performance levels.

Enables a variety of finished products

The ability of Bioactive Collagen Peptides® to deliver a targeted health benefit is linked to the profile of peptides in the product, characterized by specific molecular weight distribution. The Bioactive Collagen Peptides® can deliver benefits at a relatively low daily dose, which is crucial for successful finished product applications, formulation efficiency and consumer acceptance. Ultimately, the GELITA range of Bioactive Collagen Peptides® enables a variety of finished product concepts, supported by product-specific science.

As well as TENDOFORTE®, the GELITA Bioactive Collagen Peptides® portfolio also includes FORTIGEL®, which is proven to stimulate joint cartilage regeneration; FORTIBONE® which contributes to bone health by promoting the biosynthesis of the extracellular bone matrix, and BODYBALANCE®, which improves body toning by helping to increase muscle mass while reducing body fat. With targeted marketing, these innovative ingredients can contribute to exciting new sports nutrition products that will appeal to the growing numbers of consumers with a keen interest in this market.

• Download our ultimate sports guide!  [link to ]


 [i] Dressler et al. (2018)