Whether you’re studying health, fitness, or beauty, you’ve probably read about collagen. Did you know that your body contains around 28 different types of collagen? The most common types associated with body and skin are types one through three, which many people tend to increase with collagen supplements.
Collagen performs several functions in your body’s cells that are both basic and complicated. Your skin’s structure depends on this essential protein to stay smooth and elastic. Muscle, bone and cartilage cells are also made up of collagen.
Since the human body is one of the most self-sufficient machines in the universe, yours creates its own supply of collagen. An article published by the National Library of Medicine explains the synthetic process. The fibroblasts in your cells use the power of amino acids to replenish what your body needs.
The article also mentions that collagen production generally decreases with age. It can also be negatively affected by poor diet, stress, and other environmental factors. In these cases, supplements can be helpful in your diet.
How does your body use collagen supplements?
Humans and other vertebrate animals also produce collagen. Interestingly, plants have no natural supply of this protein. The collagen supplements available are usually derived from farm animals or fish and made into a digestible powder. You may see these supplements called gelatin, collagen peptides, or collagen hydrolyzate.
Once you take these supplements, your body will use water to break down protein into its essential amino acids, called collagen peptides. According to a passage from Molecular Cell Biology, 4th Edition, the amino acids that create collagen peptides include glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Once they are broken down by water, they are more easily absorbed by your body.
When you ingest these supplements, they pass through your digestive system and are absorbed into your bloodstream via your small intestine. They will now circulate in your body and support fibroblasts, your natural production of collagen and elastin. The collagen booster can benefit your skin, hair, nails, muscles, bones and joints.
How can you benefit from taking collagen supplements?
It stands to reason that if your body is lacking in collagen, it may be beneficial to take a supplement. You can see results like healthier skin, hair and nails. Plus, your bones and joints may be stronger and more flexible. It all depends on the person.
Have you noticed that your skin is a little less elastic and your hair and nails are brittle? Maybe you have problems with stiff and painful joints. Here are six potential benefits you can receive when you supplement your diet with collagen:
1. Healthier skin
One of the inevitable processes of aging is wrinkles and sagging skin. Although there are no magic pills or creams to stop this process, collagen supplements can slow it down. They can encourage your body to produce more of its own collagen to provide moisture and elasticity to your skin.
The more elastic your skin is, the less wrinkles and fine lines will be visible. Collagen can also reduce blemishes and help give your complexion more smoothness and radiance. Supplementing your diet with collagen can help turn the aging clock back a bit.
2. Stronger bones and joints
Are you struggling with joint pain or brittle bones? Collagen contains amino acids called proline and glycine which can reduce these conditions. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and can help your body repair damaged tissue. You may notice less pain and more flexibility in your joints.
The cartilaginous cushions around your joints begin to wear down with age, leading to arthritic conditions and joint pain. When you supplement your diet with collagen, it can be stored in your cartilage. Stored protein can encourage your body to produce more collagen to strengthen your cartilage and give your joints more cushioning.
3. Improve your workout performance
No matter what exercise you enjoy, adding collagen to your diet can provide you with essential amino acids. Proline and glycine can reduce inflammation and help repair tissue damage caused by prolonged physical activity. It could also aid recovery from your workout and promote healing from sports and workout injuries.
Another reason you might consider taking collagen is that it can reduce the risk of injury to ligaments, tendons, and muscles during training or playing sports. Arginine is an amino acid found in collagen and can help restore or maintain muscle mass. It’s no wonder so many fitness enthusiasts and athletes supplement their meals with this vital protein.
4. Promote Better Sleep
It’s three in the morning and you’re still staring at your bedroom ceiling. Tried to count sheep but got bored after 20 jumped the fence. Does this sound like a familiar scenario?
Your body needs enough sleep to restore itself and feel good. If you don’t have it, you’ll go through the day with brain fog and you may notice physical and psychological symptoms. If you have occasional sleepless nights, collagen supplementation may be an option.
One of the essential amino acids in collagen is glycine, which affects neurotransmitters in the brain. According to an article written by Dr. Michael J. Breus for Psychology Today, glycine in collagen has several essential functions. These include helping your body produce serotonin to regulate mood and sleep.
5. Helps lose weight
Many nutritionists and dieticians recommend a healthy diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein and healthy fats. An article published by WebMD shares that one tablespoon of collagen peptide supplements contains zero fat and carbs, 50 calories, and 12 grams of protein. This is the amount of protein you would get if you ate a quarter cup of almonds.
Maybe you’re on a ketogenic diet or another low-carb diet. Adding extra protein from collagen peptides can help your stomach feel full faster. This can lead to eating less and losing weight.
6. Digestive Aid
If you’re like most people, you may have digestive issues and the occasional stomach upset. These problems can be caused by poor eating habits, stress or other health factors. Since your digestive system needs protein for optimal functioning, why not consider adding collagen peptides to your daily meals?
The essential fatty acids in collagen can help soothe an irritated digestive tract. It can also promote the healing of the mucous membrane which protects the stomach and intestines from acidic irritations. You may find it easier to digest food because collagen naturally helps break down fats and proteins for better absorption.
If you have digestive issues, taking collagen peptides can help with the healing process. It can increase protein absorption and encourage your body to produce more hydrochloric acid. This is good news for people struggling with acid reflux.
What are the different types of collagen peptides available?
You’re a busy person and don’t have time for complicated mixing or calculating dosages. One of the many benefits of taking collagen peptides is the variety of ways you can incorporate them into your diet. It all depends on your personal preferences.
These supplements are available in capsules, powders, premixed drinks, flavorful gummies, and other forms. It’s easy to just add a collagen capsule to your daily servings of vitamins. If you like protein shakes or other healthy drinks, you can easily mix collagen powder without affecting taste or texture.
It is important to note that you will get the optimal amount of protein per serving by choosing the powder option. Adding powder to your drinks can contain up to 20 grams of protein per serving. However, you can still get health benefits from taking low-protein forms in gummies and premixed drinks.
When will the supplements start working?
Remember that there is no magic snake oil or supplements that will produce instant results. Even when you take natural supplements like collagen peptides, it will take time. Also, results are not typical and may vary from person to person.
The timing depends on the area of the body you are targeting. Some areas take longer than others to see benefits. Here is a chart of the approximate time to see results from supplementing your diet with collagen peptides.
• Skin, hair and nails
It won’t take long to see the cosmetic difference collagen peptides can offer. You may notice benefits to your skin in as little as one to three months. Stronger nails and healthier hair can take up to six months or more.
• Benefits of training
By adding collagen peptides to your diet while doing resistance training, you can gain more muscle mass and strength. However, it can take about three months. You will be happy to know that a few days after taking these supplements, you might feel mild soreness after your workouts.
• Support for bones, joints and tendons
Bone density support is essential, especially for women over 40. After about a year of taking supplemental collagen, your bones may increase in density. It will take about six months to notice a difference in your joint health and tendon support.
Final Thoughts on Collagen Supplements
Since collagen is one of the most used proteins in your body, it only makes sense to make sure you’re getting enough of it. Supplementing your meal plan with collagen peptides can be a healthy option. Find the type of supplement that best suits your needs and preferences.
By Chris Butler. Articles in English