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How to toughen up your tendons & ligaments
Being able to MOVE is important…….
So we worry about BONE BREAKS and add calcium to our diet, to protect them.
Bones are connected to…..
Now, no bones about it, a bone break is seriously disabling, but in the relatively healthy, it takes quite a knock to break a bone. The part of you more likely to impede your moving, is not the bone itself, but the bits and pieces that connect the bones, to the rest of you.
Tendons connect your muscles to your bones and ligaments connect bones to bones.
If these get stretched “wrong” or break, you’re in trouble.
Tearing a tendon or ligament
And it happens………………. many sporting careers have been terminated, thanks to a tear in a tendon or ligament. But you don’t need to be a superstar athlete to be side lined by a torn “something”, you can tear something, when taking out the garbage.
So can we help these guys handle the mechanical demands of moving ?
Tendons and ligaments connect different things ………………but they’re both made of collagen.
Your body is in the business of making collagen, the name comes from the Greek word “kolla”, which means, glue, it holds your body together and is the most abundant protein in your body. Tendons and ligaments start making collagen, every time you exercise. In fact, it takes approx. 6 minutes of pushing and shoving, to turn the collagen factory on.
But, how efficiently this happens, does depend on the raw ingredients for collagen synthesis being available IN THE MOMENT.
It just so happens, there are some odd ball amino acids needed for collagen synthesis.
Glycine, proline and hydroxyproline.
Now these are found in protein based foods, especially protein sourced from animals. It is highly unlikely you would be deficient, but they can be a bit thin on the ground.
Especially at the moment when your tendons and ligaments start doing collagen synthesis.
No worries…………………… you can give them a boost.
This is what a team of researchers discovered when they served tendons a little gelatin juice.
The gelatin juice was served to ligaments growing in a dish, but the special cocktail came courtesy of a human athlete.
Let me explain what happened……
The team invited 8 healthy, athletic types, all male, to visit their lab. They checked in hungry, but before the cocktail hour began, they were hooked up for blood draws. A baseline draw, kicked off the clock……..then came the cocktail.
The team mixed gelatin with a black current cordial enriched with vitamin C (48 mg/serving).
The exact amount of gelatin varied,
- There was a no gelatine version (0 g)
- A low gelatin version (5 g or 1 tea spoon) and
- A high gelatin version (15 g or 1 table spoon)
Suitably fortified, the guys just hang around for an hour, before, the collagen factory was jumped started with a bout of ….
Skipping for collagen synthesis
6 minutes of skipping and then it was back to resting and blood letting.
The blood was used to provide sustenance to the ligaments in the dish. The team confirmed, the gelatin cocktail was indeed providing more sustenance. These graphs show the levels of different amino acids in the blood. Time zero is when the exercise happened, time -1 is when the gelatin juice was consumed.
Remember glycine, proline and hydroxyproline are the ones needed for collagen synthesis. These are peaking around 1 hour after they’ve been consumed.
Which exactly when the volunteers exercised to………
Stimulates collagen synthesis
The end result, ligaments getting fed, just what they need, when they needed it, were stronger, well this is what happened to the lab ligaments.
They didn’t actually look different.
But, when they were tested to see, what it took to snap the ligament, the ligaments exposed to lots of gelatin , were tougher.
Toughen up your tendons and ligaments
This research suggests you can toughen up your tendons and ligaments with a well timed, “gelatin” cocktail.
An hour before you exercise, consume something rich in glycine.
Bone broth, chicken feet, jelly or a gelatin spiked coffee, juice or smoothie. And then do your exercising as normal.
You’ll maximize the amount of collagen synthesized and strengthen up your tendons and ligaments, so they’re ready to handle any stresses and strains that happen, during this and future exercise sessions.
NOTE : You do need to add the exercise. Very little collagen synthesis will happen when you’re couch potato-ing.
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