The power of collagen peptides

“The specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides® TENDOFORTE® are scientifically proven to help prevent sport-related injuries and restore normal function faster.” © skyneshe


Keep on moving: The power of collagen peptides


With more and more people keen to build regular physical activity into a holistic healthy lifestyle, dietary supplementation with GELITA’s Bioactive Collagen Peptides® can play a key role. Scientifically proven to prevent injury and aid rapid recovery, they are already popular with professional athletes, who have seen impressive results.

Right now, the global sports nutrition market is buoyant. Driven by growing awareness of the importance of living an active lifestyle and the role that nutrition plays in achieving this goal, the market was worth USD 15.6 billion in 2019 and predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9 per cent between 2020 and 2027, according to Grand View Research.  While we do not know for sure how the current pandemic will affect this outlook, increasing awareness of the need to keep as healthy as possible, to bolster the immune system and shed excess weight suggests that the future remains positive. Consumers are likely to become more invested as time goes on in maintaining optimum fitness, and key to this will be ready access to targeted functional foods and dietary supplements.

Among all the nutrients that play a role in sports nutrition, collagen is uniquely interesting. Naturally abundant within the human body, this insoluble fibrous protein is found in large amounts in connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments, where it provides elasticity and tensile strength.

Strong and healthy tendons and ligaments are essential for sportspeople – both amateur and professional – as they provide stability, movement, power and speed. However, in active people in particular, injuries to these structures are common. In runners, climbers, golfers, tennis and football players, and more, injuries often result from the overuse of tendons, which bind muscle to bone, and ligaments, which bind bones together.

In preventing and recovering from such injuries, rest plays a key role, but so too does effective nutrition. And this is where collagen comes in. TENDOFORTE® – Bioactive Collagen Peptides® from GELITA – can help prevent sport-related injuries and help restore normal function faster, as has already been proven by a number of scientific studies.

Strong and supportive

In the human body, collagen makes up approximately 30 per cent of the overall protein content. As well as being found in tendons and ligaments, it is also present in skin, joints and bone. However, our natural ability to produce this vital protein declines rapidly with age. We may not see the visible signs of this in our tendons and ligaments, but it is apparent in the loss of elasticity that occurs in the skin, leading to sagging and wrinkling.

Regular intake of collagen peptides can help to boost collagen production and, in the sports nutrition context, it can prevent activity-induced tendon damage. 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. For instance, an Australian study found that subjects with long-term symptoms of chronic Achilles tendinopathy were able to return to running within three months when supplementing their diet with GELITA’s TENDOFORTE®, and were able to keep running for the remainder of the trial period. Further research has also demonstrated that oral ingestion of the specific collagen peptides found in TENDOFORTE® improves the extension properties of finger joints.

The positive effects of TENDOFORTE® have also been endorsed by a number of professional athletes, three of whom describe its benefits below:

Professional case studies

  1. The ultra-runner

Dr. Andrea Loew is a historian whose 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 her running shoes.

“As an ultra-runner, I sometimes put my tendons and joints under a lot of strain,” she says. “And, in recent years, I’ve periodically struggled with an inflamed tendon – most recently at an event in the Australian outback, during which I ran 522 km in nine stages.”

However, since supplementing with TENDOFORTE®, Andrea says her tendons are stronger and better supported. Indeed, she had no problems with her shins during the Ultra Mirage El Djerid, a 100 km non-stop run through the Sahara desert in Tunisia, nor at the GELITA Trail Marathon in Heidelberg.

“I am very grateful for the support and the extremely useful advice I’ve received from GELITA, particularly as I have big goals for the future,” she says. These goals include taking part in the Ultra Norway Race, which covers 140 km and involves a 9000 m change in altitude and the 220 km Ultra Bolivia Race, which has seven stages, all at an altitude of more than 3000 m.

  1. The long jumper

When sports coach Ralf Weber began working with German athlete Malaika Mihambo, he noted that she had been struggling with her diet for some time. “I suggested working with a nutritionist to try different forms of supplementation and protein preparations,” he recalls. However, the hoped-for success was not forthcoming and by 2016, Malaika had developed problems with the patellar tendons in both knees. Despite this, and after months of conservative therapy and cross training, she qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games, eventually taking fourth place with a personal best of 6.95 m.

Overcoming a foot injury so bad it could have ended her career, Malaika became European Champion in 2018, and coach Weber realised she had both the talent and the willpower to compete in the 2019 World Championships. “We knew, though, that Malaika would have to boost her performance levels, dig into her reserves and focus on building strength to enhance her speed,” he says. “And, although her muscles soon began to improve, her connective tissue structures didn’t adapt to the workload and tended to strain quickly.”

“GELITA offers a whole portfolio of Bioactive Collagen Peptides®, which all act on different collagen containing parts of the body.”
© Kzenon; Fotolia


Recognizing that this could cost Malaika the championship, Weber spoke to other trainers, one of whom recommended GELITA’s TENDOFORTE®. Within a matter of weeks of taking 10 g of these collagen peptides daily, Malaika’s problems reduced significantly. “It appeared to me that the capacity for recovery and resilience in her training had improved,” coach Weber notes. “Malaika not only tolerated the intense strain of the numerous competitions during that season very well, she even managed to further improve her endurance.”

Indeed, Malaika performed in 2019 like never before, winning the long jump World Championship with a new personal best of 7.30 m.

  1. The professional basketball player

Gavin Schilling is a professional basketball player with a German Bundesliga club. But early in the 2018-19 season, the 24-year-old sportsman tore three ligaments in his foot. “I quickly realized that simple rehab exercises and rest weren’t going to be enough to get me back on the court in the time frame I wanted,” he says. “I needed a boost to speed the process up.”

That is when Gavin turned to 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 doctors predicted, and Gavin says his 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,” he says. “I wanted to test whether I could increase my jumping performance too.”

Four months later, Gavin’s trainer reported that he had increased his vertical jump power and height by 28 per cent compared with the previous season. “Since then, I’ve been using TENDOFORTE® as part of my daily supplement intake routine, making this my best season so far,” says Gavin.

Easy to dose and take

At a daily dose of just 10 g, TENDOFORTE® has proven to be effective for many – not just elite athletes.

What is also important: TENDOFORTE® also delivers very well in terms of texture, taste and functionality in a wide variety of products, including bars, drinks and powders – something it has in common with the other Bioactive Collagen Peptides® in GELITA’s comprehensive portfolio. Each of these act specifically on different parts of the body, and – thanks to their technological advantages – they are all easy to use in multiple applications, including functional sports foods and beverages as well as dietary supplements.

Alongside TENDOFORTE®, the GELITA Bioactive Collagen Peptides® portfolio 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 contributes to body toning by helping to increase muscle mass and decreasing body fat at the same time. With targeted marketing, these impressive ingredients can contribute to innovative sports nutrition products that appeal to the growing numbers of consumers with an active interest in this area.