Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It can prevent bone density loss, improve muscle tone and help with balance and stability, as well as enabling older members of the global community to remain mobile and independent as they age. But, despite the many benefits, you can have too much of a good thing! Commonly referred to as “overtraining,” an excessive or overly intense workout routine can manifest itself as chronic pain and soreness, mood swings and even physical damage. Plus, when you spend hours in the gym repeating the same sets, your body becomes very efficient and you stop seeing changes.
The Pressure to Perform
Athletes frequently subject themselves and their bodies to extreme strain, which can have serious health consequences. As such, soft tissue injuries of the muscles, tendons and ligaments are extremely common in both amateur and professional sportspeople. Strong tendons deliver strength, power and speed — derived from their intact composition of extracellular matrix collagens, proteoglycans and elastic fibers. Therefore, it’s vitally important to counteract and prevent these injuries with a combination of supplements, rest and proper nutrition.
One protein in particular, collagen, is the main structural component of the various connective tissues in mammals. Comprising 25–35% of our whole-body protein content, it’s the most abundant protein in humans and, in the form of elongated fibrils, is mostly found in fibrous tissues such as tendons, ligaments and skin. Collagen peptides can help to prevent joint damage from mechanical stress. It’s also an important protein source, providing the nutrients required for the many metabolic processes that take place in muscles and cells. Collagen peptides can easily be incorporated into a wide variety of sports nutrition products without any negative impact on taste.
GELITA’s TENDOFORTE contributes to both performance and a faster return-to-training after exercise. It can also act as a nutritional intervention for tendon and ligament problems in overuse injuries, helping athletes to get back to their former performance levels quicker and more safely.
Research data has shown that specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides stimulate the RNA-expression and biosynthesis of collagen, proteoglycans and elastin in Achilles tendons, and that the oral ingestion of specific collagen peptides improves the extension properties of finger joints. An Australian study showed that subjects with long-term symptoms of chronic Achilles tendinopathy were able to return to running within three months when supplementing with TENDOFORTE and were able to keep running for the remainder of the trial period.
Back on Track with Bioactive Collagen Peptides
Since 2011, professional skier Christina Ackermann had been struggling with incidences of recurring pain in her right knee. The diagnosis: degeneration and microcalcification of the quadriceps tendon owing to chronic inflammation and infection. Unfortunately, a prolonged period of physiotherapy and injections failed to solve the problem … which meant that an operation was the only remaining option. So, in 2013, the calcified material and the necrotic/inflamed tendon tissue was removed.
As a result, and after a long and successful stay at a rehabilitation center, she was finally able to exercise without pain. But, this pain-free state only lasted a year. Soon after, the quadriceps tendon once again became extremely inflamed and, in 2016, another surgical intervention was required. More of the tendon tissue was removed and, during the 2018/19 season, the tendon pain returned. At this stage, and looking for alternative remedies, the team doctor put Christina in touch with Jutta Hugenberg, who introduced her to TENDOFORTE.
At a daily dose of 10 g, TENDOFORTE — one of the first collagen peptides developed by GELITA to target sports nutrition — is not only effective, it also performs very well in terms of texture and taste in a range of final products, such as bars, drinks and powders. This is key for compliance and a successful intervention, as well as trust and end user loyalty.
“As well as taking TENDOFORTE,” adds Christina, “I incorporated a special type of athletic training into my routine to protect my tendon tissue. By combining this with the synergistic effect of the TENDOFORTE, I was able to train harder and for longer than last year.” After three months of taking the supplement, Christina was able to hit the piste for the first time.
Christina’s maximum strength values have subsequently improved and, above all, there is no longer any significant difference between her left (healthy) and right leg. Likewise, in terms of explosive strength, there is a clearly recognized enhancement. “Thanks to TENDOFORTE, my quadriceps tendon is pain free, which means that I’m able to train to my full capability again,” she says.
Ready for take off
Gavin Schilling is a powerhouse: he’s a 206 cm professional German basketball player, currently with Ratiopharm Ulm. During the summer break, the 23-year-old focused on bulking up in his hometown of Chicago: “I’m fit,” he says, flexing his huge biceps. “I’ve been using a training principle of muscle mass up, body fat down.” It hasn't all been plain sailing, though, as Gavin explains: “Early in the 2018–19 season, I suffered a severe ankle sprain, tearing three ligaments. At this point, I realized that simple rehab exercises and rest wasn’t going to be enough to get me back on the court in the time frame I wanted. I needed a boost to speed the process up.”
This is when Gavin started taking TENDOFORTE. “Within two months of taking a 10 g/day supplement, I noticed increased stability and strength in my ankle,” he says. Full stability was achieved several weeks earlier than his doctors expected and “compared with previous tears, my return to play was fast and smooth with no lingering issues.”
“During my off-season training, I kept supplementing with TENDOFORTE to protect my ligaments and tendons. I wanted to test whether I could increase my jumping performance.” After four months of use and hard work, Gavin’s trainer relayed the good news that he’d increased his vertical jump power and height by 28% compared with the previous season. “Since then,” he says, “I’ve kept using TENDOFORTE as part of my daily supplement intake routine, making this my best season played thus far.” He summarizes by saying that TENDOFORTE enabled him to return to sport more quickly and safely … and that, for him, it minimizes both injuries and return-to-play times.
Discovering the world on the move
As a professional historian, Dr Andrea Löw’s job takes her to some of the most remote corners of the world, including Australia, Morocco, Namibia, Vietnam and Mongolia. And, as an extreme sportswoman, she can often be found exploring these exotic destinations in a pair of running shoes and a technical T-shirt. Her passion for running stems from an unlikely beginning as a long-distance athlete. Shortly after her birth, her parents weren’t even sure whether their daughter would ever be able to set one foot in front of the other. Then, at the age of thirty, Andrea was scheduled to undergo a serious hip operation, with doctors declaring that her physically active life was soon to be over. But, against the odds, Andrea started running and discovered a passion for it, which she shares with her followers as a blogger.
“As an ultra-runner,” she explains, “I sometimes put my tendons and joints under a lot of strain. And, in recent years, I’ve periodically struggled with an inflamed tendon, most recently at THE TRACK, a race in the Australian outback during which I ran 522 kilometers in nine stages in May 2019.” She continues: “TENDOFORTE strengthens and supports my tendons, so I had no problems with my shins during the Ultra Mirage El Djerid, a 100 km non-stop run through the Sahara in Tunisia … and at the GELITA Trail Marathon in Heidelberg in autumn 2019.”
“I am very grateful for the support and the extremely useful advice I’ve received from GELITA, as I also have big goals for 2020.” In July, this year, Andrea will be running the Ultra Norway Race in the north of Norway (140 km with a 9000 m change in altitude) and, in September, she’ll tackle the 220 km Ultra Bolivia Race in seven stages, all at an altitude of more than 3000 m.
Acting on the whole musculoskeletal system, GELITA offers a portfolio of specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides, besides TENDOFORTE, that are all highly suitable for functional sports bars, beverages or functional foods. With FORTIGEL, the company offers a bioactive component that’s proven to stimulate joint cartilage regeneration. In addition, GELITA’s FORTIBONE contributes to bone health by promoting the biosynthesis of the extracellular bone matrix. Finally, BODYBALANCE contributes to body toning as it helps to increase muscle mass, to decrease body fat and to increase strength.