I was very lucky to get to spend a whole day outside as part of a 30km hike along the coastline of the Mornington Peninsula. Up at 5.30am and out the door with my dear friends as part of the be. Health Babes team in support of the Heart Foundation. While most of you may think I am nuts, it was a rather lovely departure from too much time behind a desk of late. 

The hike itself while challenging, was invigorating and a wonderful opportunity to catch up with my lovely friends. The next morning however.....wowsers my glutes and calves were screaming for mercy. 

In the quest for optimal post-workout recovery, athletes and fitness enthusiasts continually seek out the best supplements and nutrition strategies. One emerging star in this arena is hydrolysed collagen. This form of collagen, which has been broken down into more easily absorbable peptides, offers a range of benefits that can enhance recovery after intense physical activity. But to maximise its effects, it's essential to pair it with other nutritious foods. Let's jump into how hydrolysed collagen can aid your recovery and the best foods to consume alongside it.

The Benefits of Hydrolysed Collagen for Post-Workout Recovery

  1. Joint and Tendon Health: Intense workouts can place a significant strain on your joints and tendons. Hydrolysed collagen provides essential amino acids, such as glycine and proline, which support the repair and maintenance of connective tissues, potentially reducing pain and improving joint flexibility. Australian research scientist Dr Tim Crowe has some further research around this topic that is worth having a look at

  2. Muscle Repair: While collagen isn't a complete protein source (be. Health contains roughly 90% protein), it still contributes to muscle repair. The specific amino acids in collagen can help rebuild the muscle fibres that are broken down during exercise.

  3. Skin and Tissue Regeneration: Post-workout recovery isn’t just about muscles. Your skin and other tissues also benefit from collagen. Improved skin elasticity and quicker healing of micro-tears in tissues are additional perks of collagen supplementation.

What foods land well with collagen?

To fully capitalise on the benefits of hydrolysed collagen, it’s important to pair it with foods that provide a well-rounded nutrient profile.

  1. Protein-Rich Foods: Combining hydrolysed collagen with a complete protein source can enhance muscle recovery. Consider foods like eggs, chicken, fish, or plant-based proteins like quinoa and legumes. These foods provide all the essential amino acids that collagen alone lacks.

  2. Vitamin C- Rich Foods: Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis. Including fruits and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, capsicum, and broccoli in your post-workout meal can boost your body’s ability to utilise collagen effectively.

  3. Healthy Fats: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like salmon, chia seeds, and walnuts, help reduce inflammation and support joint health. Including these fats in your diet can complement the anti-inflammatory benefits of collagen.

  4. Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Exercise generates free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress and muscle fatigue (this is not an excuse not to get out there and move). Foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, dark leafy greens, and nuts, help combat this stress and promote faster recovery.

  5. Hydration: Don’t forget the importance of hydration. Water, electrolyte-rich drinks, and hydrating foods like watermelon and cucumbers help replenish fluids lost during exercise and support overall recovery.

Hydrolysed collagen is a valuable addition to your post-workout recovery regimen, aiding in joint health, muscle repair, and tissue regeneration. To maximise its benefits, consider a salad bowl or a smoothie using some of these ingredients to really ramp up your recovery momentum. Remember to always consult your medical professional to assess your personal exercise and diet regime that is best for you.

Consistency and a balanced diet are key to reaping the full benefits of any supplement. So, enjoy your workouts, nourish your body, and watch your recovery improve!

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