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A new study shows that hydrolyzed collagen strengthens knee tendons in female soccer players. Those who took supplemental collagen experienced an 18 percent gain in knee tendon stiffness, potentially reducing their risk for injury during play.

The study involved 17 elite teenage female soccer players. Half of the players consumed a hydrolyzed collagen supplement plus vitamin C three times a week for ten weeks. The other half consumed a placebo. Both groups participated in a training regimen designed to strengthen the knee and thigh muscles. A team of researchers measured various parameters of the players' knee tendon thickness and strength before and after the intervention.

They found that the players who consumed the supplemental hydrolyzed collagen experienced an 18 percent increase in their knee tendon stiffness. However, they experienced little change in tendon thickness, suggesting that the increase in stiffness was due to changes in the tendon’s material properties subsequent to collagen intake.

Female soccer players are more likely to experience knee injuries than male players, due in part to greater knee joint laxity. These findings suggest that supplemental hydrolyzed collagen support training regimens to bolster knee strength in female athletes.

Hydrolyzed collagen is a mixture of peptides derived from the protein collagen. Evidence suggests that supplemental hydrolyzed collagen consumption improves skin aging, decreases arthritis-induced pain, increases bone mineral density, and decreases hypertension. Learn more about hydrolyzed collage in our overview article.

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