Collagen Recovery: Fuel For Structural Function
February 03, 2021
February 03, 2021
Collagen has become a hot topic in health and fitness—and for good reason!
Being the most abundant protein in the body, collagen plays a critical role in our structural function and recovery. This is especially true for active people who demand more from their bodies on a daily basis.
But, the world of collagen is also highly saturated and, unsurprisingly, not all collagen is created equally. That’s why we set out to offer active individuals the most effective solution for high quality collagen and enhanced recovery.
What makes Fieldlab’s Collagen Recovery different? Keep reading to learn more!
What is Collagen?
First, let’s take a step back—what is collagen exactly?
Collagen is the “major insoluble fibrous protein in the extracellular matrix and in connective tissue.” Collagen is responsible for a significant amount of our physical structure and is typically broken into different types based on location. While there are at least 28 different types of collagen, 80-90% is comprised of Type I, II, or III, with Type I making up the vast majority (1). Check out this table for a closer look at where each type can be found (click to enlarge):
Despite its importance, Collagen’s structure is actually quite simple. This critical protein is composed of three tightly wound chains made up of three repeating amino acids—predominantly glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline—in a triple helix structure (2). When these buildings blocks come together, they become extremely rigid and highly resistant to stretching, making Collagen the ideal protein for our dynamic (2).
Beyond physiological structure, collagen also acts as a signaling molecule, dictating cellular shape and behavior. This intricate communication serves to monitor cellular function and repair for long term health of our cells.
It’s important to remember that the body is a highly dynamic, ever-changing system. We are constantly creating new structure, making repairs and responding to our environment. Collagen is largely at the center of these critical functions and adequate intake of collagen and its building blocks is critical for creating optimal health.
Collagen synthesis is a multi-step process that occurs in the intracellular and extracellular matrix.
Intracellular collagen synthesis occurs in specialized cells present in connective tissue throughout the body called fibroblasts (2). Depending on their location, fibroblasts will produce different types of Collagen. This process involves transcription, translation and then a post-translation modification before finally becoming collagen. It’s important to recognize Vitamin C’s critical role in this process—Vitamin C is an essential cofactor, which provides stabilization and strength to the collagen structure (3).
Collagen production can also happen in the intricate meshwork of protein and polysaccharide structures outside of the cellular structure knows as the extracellular matrix. This requires the conversion of procollagen (the collagen precursor) into tropocollagen (the basic structural unit of collagen), which is eventually formed into Collagen fibrils (2).
Collagen synthesis, while seemingly complex, is nothing more than the critical process of organizing amino acid building blocks into physical structure.
Collagen levels tends to decline as we age—especially after 30. And if you are physically active, you may be using collagen faster than your can replace it. Both scenarios can create a collagen deficiency, resulting in:
Why Collagen? Why Now?
There are two major shifts that have created a growing interest and need for Collagen.
First, modern nutrition is drastically different than it once was and our consumption of collagen and amino acids has suffered as a result.
At one time, consuming and using all parts of an animal was standard practice—this included collagen rich portions like the skin, ligaments, tendons, bones, organs, etc. and made replenishing collagen stores via diet much easier.
Today, however, we trim our meat into lean cuts taking most of the collagen with it. Additionally, most don’t make use of skin, ligaments, tendons, bones, organs, etc in regular cooking. Unfortunately, that means getting enough collagen from what we eat on a daily basis is a challenge, leaving many deficient in this critical protein.
Second, more people are incorporating exercise as part of their lifestyle—this includes people of all ages wanting to stay active for as long as possible.
Now more than ever, individuals are looking to take control of their health journey. Instead of reacting to health challenges as they arise, many are now looking to make proactive, lifestyle changes for long-term wellness—this includes regular exercise.
Simultaneously, the type of exercise people are engaging in has changed significantly as well. Today, there are more choices and more people choosing higher intensity/higher volume methodologies like CrossFit. Being active requires more collagen in order to combat the excessive stress on our physical structures, which is peaking interest in Collagen supplementation.
While some are choosing a collagen supplement to augment the additional demands, many (if not most) may not be, leaving many deficient in this critical protein.
Collagen As A Tool For Active People
Initial interest in Collagen came largely from the positive effects it was known to have on hair, skin and nails. But, interest and use of collagen has recently shifted to also include active people looking to enhance recovery and prevent injury—and the reason is quite simple.
It’s no secret that exercise put’s stress on our physical bodies, including muscles, tendons, and joints—in fact, that’s really the point. This means, as active people, we utilize more collagen to combat the the everyday wear-and-tear of consistent exercise. The best way to fight back is to proactively replenishing Collagen through diet and supplementation!
What Makes Collagen Recovery Different?
For a collagen supplement to be effective, your body must be able to absorb and utilize it—this is referred to as bioavailability. For collagen to be most bioavailable, and therefore most effective, it must have a low molecular weight and be enzymatically processed.
Bioavailability = low molecular weight + enzymatically processed
To create the most effective product, we chose short-chain, bioactive collagen peptides (BCP) with a low average molecular weight which allows for easy absorption, transport, and accumulation to target connective tissue—FORTIGEL® alone is backed by more than fifteen studies. Our BCPs are derived from a highly controlled production process of collagen which optimizes the collagen peptides to be used for specific physiological benefits. In the case of Collagen Recovery—we chose the BCPs that maximize stimulation of the human cell types involved in collagen biosynthesis that comprise connective tissue.
With active people in mind, we decided to go one step further, creating an innovative blend to support full physical function as well as mobility. By including a hyaluronic acid extract, mucopolysaccharides, and nutrient co-factors to round things out, our innovative product further optimizes your structural function so you can stay active and mobile.*
We also recognize that every individual is unique, which is why we’ve made a personalized system for dosing. Using the grid below, you can choose the dosing frequency that best suits your activity level. Continually evaluate how you feel and how you are recovering for ongoing guidance/adjustment of dosing. If you’ve had a particularly demanding week, don’t feel recovered or you’ve taken a step back, check in with yourself and adjust accordingly. Remember—your self-experiment never stops.
What can you expect from Collagen Recovery?
Collagen Recovery’s ultimate purpose is to enhance your structural function and help you recover from the additional demands of an active lifestyle. To achieve this larger goal, our innovative product:
Collagen is critical—this is especially true for people leading an active lifestyle. Unfortunately, modern nutrition has all but eliminated the best sources of collagen from our daily lives, leaving many deficient.
For active people, a Collagen deficit can mean prolonged soreness, incomplete recovery, poor performance and potential injury. Fortunately, Collagen Recovery is an excellent tool for replenishing Collagen and combating the wear-and-tear of consistent exercise.