Evidence has shown that protein supplementation following resistance exercise training (RET) helps to further enhance muscle mass and strength. Studies have demonstrated that collagen peptides containing mostly non-essential amino acids increase fat-free mass (FFM) and strength in sarcopenic men. The aim of this study was to investigate whether collagen peptide supplementation in combination with RET influences the protein composition of skeletal muscle. Twenty-five young men (age: 24.2 ± 2.6 years, body mass (BM): 79.6 ± 5.6 kg, height: 185.0 ± 5.0 cm, fat mass (FM): 11.5% ± 3.4%) completed body composition and strength measurements and vastus lateralis biopsies were taken before and after a 12-week training intervention. In a double-blind, randomized design, subjects consumed either 15 g of specific collagen peptides (COL) or a non-caloric placebo (PLA) every day within 60 min after their training session. A full-body hypertrophy workout was completed three times per week and included four exercises using barbells. Muscle proteome analysis was performed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). BM and FFM increased significantly in COL compared with PLA, whereas no differences in FM were detected between the two groups. Both groups improved in strength levels, with a slightly higher increase in COL compared with PLA. In COL, 221 higher abundant proteins were identified. In contrast, only 44 proteins were of higher abundance in PLA. In contrast to PLA, the upregulated proteins in COL were mostly associated with the protein metabolism of the contractile fibers. In conclusion, the use of RET in combination with collagen peptide supplementation results in a more pronounced increase in BM, FFM, and muscle strength than RET alone. More proteins were upregulated in the COL intervention most of which were associated with contractile fibers.
Keywords: collagen hydrolysate; protein supplementation; proteome; proteomics; resistance exercise.