Bioactive Collagen Peptides® and Ice Hockey: A Great Match
The 2013/14 season marked the return of Germany’s Schwenninger Wild Wings ice hockey team to the German Ice Hockey League (DEL). As professionals, their schedules are packed with both training and match play, which, unfortunately — but perhaps not unexpectedly — is often accompanied by numerous physical strains and injuries.
During the course of the 2018/19 season, for example, several players suffered from damaged ligaments, tendons and muscles, which often left them unable to play for days or even weeks. In fact, at least eight players dropped out of training and matches for more than two consecutive games because of anatomical stress injuries. Things got even worse when one player had to take a four-month break owing to longer-term cartilage damage and an operation. In addition, many players complained about severe pain regarding their adductors, hip flexors and groin. Although these players were able to participate in the team’s matches, their quality of movement was severely affected. Naturally, setbacks and restrictions such as these have a detrimental impact on a team’s performance. Therefore, a solution had to be found.
When preparing for the 2019/20 season, the Schwenniger Wild Wings decided to change both the content and management of their training program to address these issues. Through a series of lectures presented at a nutrition symposium, they became aware of GELITA’s product portfolio, which then led to a cooperation for the upcoming season. For the entire period, GELITA provided the team with the specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides® TENDOFORTE®, FORTIGEL® and FORTIBONE® for all 28 members of the squad. The teammates were able to use their own discretion in terms of whether to use the products and/or which ones.
In addition, the coaches and physiotherapists provided recommendations as well as support; as a result 70–80% of the team used the products regularly or consistently. Players with no indication of injury were advised to use a quantity of five grams, whereas players with specific problems were prescribed a quantity of ten grams of the respective product (depending on the type of injury).
Throughout the 2019/2020 season, the team was able to reap the fruits of their efforts. They no longer struggled with absences owing to long-term (more than seven days) strains and overuse. Only three players suffered injuries in the form of strain, irritation or hardening without external influence. The average duration of absence was less than five days, with an average of one missed match. After an injury, nutritional supplementation was supported by GELITA’s Bioactive Collagen Peptides®.
In most cases, the players were able to return to training significantly faster by supplementing with GELITA products: one athlete suffered a partial injury to the inner ligament of his knee, resulting in an estimated time of absence of 30 days. On a daily basis, the player received 10 g of GELITA’s TENDOFORTE® and 10 g of FORTIGEL®. To the surprise of the team, he was able to make a quick return to training within no more than 15 days.
Another teammate had been suffering from chronic patellar tendon inflammation in his right knee, which had already led to considerable loss of performance and various absences during the previous season. However, rehabilitation measures and targeted training only led to sporadic improvements and a slight relief of his symptoms. To help with this, a daily intake of 10 g of both TENDOFORTE® and FORTIGEL® was recommended. After 10 months of use, he reported that his pain symptoms had disappeared in all areas, his performance had improved and he was now able to train pain-free.
The team’s coach, Hendrik Kolbert, who had also suffered with long-term patellar tendonitis symptoms in both knees — affecting both his everyday life and his coaching — confirms: “After a little more than a month, we could see clear improvements. It was possible to drive my car for hours without experiencing pain. And, after four months, it was possible to take on the full extent of my home and work responsibilities. Today, after one year of use, I am totally asymptomatic. The Bioactive Collagen Peptides® from GELITA have absolutely proven their effectiveness — for me personally and for my team.”