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ISSN Graduate Diploma Podcast

Oct 1, 2018

Soft tissues comprise of muscle, tendons and ligaments.

Soft tissue injuries account for 50% of all injuries in youth sport. In the English Premier League, 60% of all injuries are soft tissue related. In American football, it’s almost 70%.

Imagine Liverpool without Mohamed Salah or the Patriots without Tom Brady for sustained periods of the season. Injuries to key players often dictate the success of a team’s season.

For years we considered ligaments and tendons, which together I’ll refer to as ‘sinew’, as unresponsive to both training and nutrition. However, we’ve learnt that this isn’t the case. In the presence of training and nutrition, tendons can respond in their metabolic activity and increase in synthesis, producing stronger, larger tendons.

But, with the collagen at the root of tendons remaining dormant in activity and with the composition of sinew being predominantly extracellular proteins, performing biochemistry to analyse how cells within healthy adult sinew respond to nutrition or exercise became incredibly difficult. Thus, science has turned its attention to engineered sinew and research has uncovered some fascinating findings which are shaping nutrition and training recommendations to support soft tissue function and quicken recovery in injured athletes.

In this episode, I share the latest findings in this area.

A special thanks to the stellar work coming out of Keith Baar’s lab at the University of California Davis. So much of today’s episode was inspired by their work.

Any questions or feedback, never hesitate in reaching out.