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Exercise 101: How to Keep Your Tendons and Ligaments Strong
What do amino acids, collagen, and exercise all have in common? They’re all essential in keeping your joints, tendons, and muscles up to speed.
One of the primary reasons collagen is such a powerhouse is because of its high amino acid content. Grass-fed collagen contains 18 of the 20 amino acids that your body needs. And when it comes to the ones that you absolutely need (aka the ones that your body doesn’t produce), there are nine of them.
If you plan on hitting the gym, stretching it out in yoga, or walking your favorite trail, your amino acid intake is a must.
This article dives into what amino acids are, what roles they play in the body, and how to incorporate them into your workout sesh to keep your muscles, tendons, and ligaments strong and sturdy.
What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are proteins. Think: Chia seeds, eggs, quinoa, legumes, and of course—collagen.
So far, scientists have discovered 500 amino acids, but just 20 of them are needed by the body.
11 of these 20 are already produced naturally, so your body has that covered. However, the other nine can only be fulfilled by a nutrient-dense diet rich in whole proteins.
And that brings us to how amino acids are formed…
Protein is consumed, digested, and broken down, and amino acids are what’s left. The amino acids are then stored and used to break down food, regulate immune function, and repair body tissue.
And when it comes to exercise, they’re as important as the water you drink to stay hydrated.
What Are the Roles of Amino Acids in Exercise?
Amino acids and exercise—you can’t really have one without the other (or, at least you shouldn’t).
Want to protect your muscles and enhance their recovery?
Bathe your tendons and ligaments with amino acid-rich collagen 30 to 60 minutes prior to working out. This can easily be done by putting a scoop or two into your water bottle and sipping it on your way to the gym, hike, pilates class, you name it.
Think of it this way: You want to feed your tendons and extracellular matrix (ECM) before you workout and feed your muscles after you workout.
Let’s talk about muscles for a second...
Skeletal muscle makes up 50 to 75% of your body’s proteins and approximately 40% of your total body weight. Because it accounts for so much protein, it’s crucial to consume adequate amounts so that your muscles can repair, grow, and function properly.
And if you think your muscles don’t contribute much, think again.
Muscles provide force, temperature regulation, energy metabolism, amino acid reserves, immune function, and the ability to grow and regenerate.
However, muscles can’t work like they’re supposed to without ligaments, tendons, and joints.
So much so that every muscle has a tendon, and every joint has at least one ligament.
And when your muscle strains or your tendon turns into tendonitis, collagen sweeps in to save the day...
Collagen and Exercise: The Ultimate Tag Team
Did you know that collagen makes up 90% of our connective tissue?
This explains why supplementing with collagen pre and post-workout can help restore the protein loss that occurs from oxidation, inflammatory reactions, and muscle microlesions.
In one 2016 study, eight healthy males were given either 5 or 15 grams of Vitamin C-enriched gelatin or a placebo. One hour after, they jump roped for six minutes. And for those who consumed the gelatin, collagen synthesis doubled.
And when collagen doubles, skin becomes more elastic, joints become healthier, and muscles grow.
The enhancement of collagen during exercise can most likely be linked to the increase of oxygen in your blood, which then travels to muscle tissue (one of the places where collagen is stored).
The Bottom Line
Everything in the body works together—whether it’s for you, or against you. Putting the right things into your body while maintaining movement and exercise throughout your day is how to make your body work for you.
When you dedicate time to your workout ritual, you’re enhancing the rate of collagen renewal among your connective tissues.
And since collagen makes up one-third of the body’s protein, it’s abundantly clear—humans need protein. More specifically—collagen.
Don’t try to cram it all in at dinner though. Spread protein consumption throughout the day—from your pre-workout collagen drink to your delicious dinner.
Learn more about NativePath Collagen here!
As always, be sure to consult a health care professional before adding anything new to your diet, supplement, or exercise regimen. NativePath and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any diseases. All NativePath material is presented for educational purposes only.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.