A Pilot Study of the Effects of Collagen vs. Whey Protein Supplementation on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness in Healthy Individuals Original Research

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Jose Rojas
Veronica Mekhail
Cassandra evans
Jose Antonio


Delayed Onset muscle soreness, soreness, collagen, supplementation, whey protein, exercise-trained individuals, pain, tissue repair


Introduction: Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common condition characterized by muscle stiffness, pain, and inflammation following intense or unaccustomed exercise. Despite its prevalence, the underlying mechanisms of DOMS remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effects of collagen supplementation on tissue repair and pain associated with DOMS in exercise-trained individuals.

Methods:  Fourteen exercise-trained men (n=7) and women (n=7) were enrolled in a randomized, counterbalanced, crossover trial. Participants were assigned to either a whey protein group (n=8) or a collagen protein group (n=6). Each participant consumed 40g of their respective protein supplement daily for four consecutive days. Peak soreness was assessed using self-reported ratings and algometer measurements. Statistical analysis included independent samples t-tests and Levene's test for equality of variances.

Results: The analysis revealed no significant difference in peak soreness between the whey protein and collagen protein groups at the 24-hour time point (t(12) = 1.33, p = 0.208). Both groups experienced a decrease in peak soreness over the 24-hour period, but the reduction was not statistically different between the groups. No significant differences were observed in other variables measured.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that collagen protein supplementation did not significantly reduce peak soreness associated with DOMS compared to whey protein supplementation in exercise-trained individuals. While collagen supplementation has shown potential benefits in tissue repair and joint health, further research is needed to explore its specific effects on DOMS. Larger studies with different dosages and participant populations are warranted to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of collagen's impact on muscle soreness and tissue repair.

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