Eric Horst's company, PhysiVantage, sells a product called Supercharged Collagen. Some rather strong claims are made in regard to its beneficial effects for tendons and pulleys. Has anyone here had any personal experience with this or heard of any research by an unconnected third party?
First off, I haven't experienced any bad side-effects, so it definitely doesn't hurt.
Regarding the research, he links to several papers which were completed before he started his company. These are lab tests, so I doubt you'll find anyone specifically performing research with his product.
Ok, so now the story: I've had a number of tendon issues (elbows, fingers, pulleys, ankles, etc.) I decided to give this a whirl. 4/10/2019-5/6/2019: I took it per the recommended dosage during a 1 month hangboard season (every morning with coffee, and 30-60 minutes before a hangboard session mixed in with BCAAs). 5/17/2019: On my first campus workout, I felt the A4 in my ring finger get cranky. It's been cranky before. Slightly defeated, I stopped the session.
Now, I realize that tendons can take longer to respond. But I also recognize the collagen stuff isn't cheap. I went off of it for a few weeks and just relied on tape and proprioceptive feedback. At this point, PhysiVantage offered a 4-pack for 25% off. A sucker for deals, I bought the 4-pack and figured I would try again with a modified dosage protocol.
My new protocol has been: 1 scoop in my coffee on climbing/climbing training days, and 1 scoop in my BCAAs 30-60 minutes before a climbing workout. Days off I don't use it. Corollary: heavy benching [for me] has made some odd corners of my elbows hurt. I would mix it in with my BCAAs on my Olympic lifting days as well.
So now we're a few months in, I'm hangboarding again, still benching, and I'm feeling ok. Unlike muscles, you're not going to feel like you're a beast with strong tendons. You don't know you have a problem until it's too late...
At this point, I'm 3 containers into this experiment. I'll let you know the verdict after this next power season in a month or two. I think 4-6 months is probably a more appropriate time frame for an experiment with connective tissue.
Thanks Charlie, that's interesting and helpful info.
I read through the info on the Physivantage website again. The protective finger training protocol sounds like something I could benefit from. I don't have any major injuries but also worry about chronic "cranky" joints here and there, and I'm suffering from a serious (probably terminal) case of old age. I think I'll give this stuff a try and see what it does for me.
I'll be interested to hear your conclusions after using this for some more time.
Post by Charlie S on Sept 23, 2019 12:52:42 GMT -7
The verdict: indeterminate.
I exploded off of an edge during a strength assessment almost 4 weeks ago. My A2 has been severely cranky since, markedly inhibiting any power workouts and ruling out the 2nd hold on my project for the short term. I’ve been trying a high intensity low volume recovery plan and have been equally as flustered with the recovery pace.
It’s a bit like proving a negative. Could it have been worse? Could I have been healing more slowly?
I’m going to take the next whole week off. I can feel a physical and mental hole being established.
Try for yourself and let us know what you find. As part of this continued experiment, I am going to stop when I run out and see if there is any noticeable difference.
I had been off of it for a few months. As training progressed harder with my modified plan (about 3 climbing days a week: one a heavy limit boulder session, one a one-armed hangboard, and the last an actual day of climbing), another A4 was getting sore (I have had more issues with A4 instead of A2; I almost wonder if it's a flexor tendon connection instead of a pulley).
Anyway, between using the collagen as instructed (in morning coffee and again before a training session), the issues have begun to dissipate. I think the collagen may have helped, given that the training pattern and intensity hadn't changed over the past few months.
sbleazard, Horst had a podcast talking about where you can get collagen from food intake. It seems like pork is the winner. So I'm sure you could, but I'd personally have a hard time training on a BBQ sandwich and orange right before. I prefer to train 2-4 hours after eating with a light 50-100cal snack 30 minutes before.