Supplements are all the rave these days and it seems there’s a supplement for EVERYTHING. Even things you never really thought much about or even considered might have an actual health benefit.
Gone are the days where supplements are categorized under just Protein Powder and Pre-workout.
Now there are isles upon isles of supplements, all claiming you NEED them.
Amongst the list is Collagen.
Wait…. The stuff you have in your skin?!
Don’t we just buy creams to keep that tight as we get older?
What - if any- is the benefit of consuming collagen?
First, let’s examine what collagen actually IS…. why our body needs it… and go from there.
What Is Collagen?
This structural protein makes up the majority of our body’s connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, skin, blood vessels, and even our gut). There are many different kinds of collagen, but the most common are the first 5:
Type 1: found in skin, bone, tendons
Type 2: forms cartilage
Type 3: forms connective tissue
Type 4: forms the bottom layer of skin
Type 5: component of hair
Why Does Our Body Need Collagen?
• Improves skin elasticity and hydration
• Helps relieve joint pain by maintaining healthy cartilage
• Helps inhibit bone breakdown
• Small amount of muscle mass growth
• Helps support your blood vessels and heart health
• Strengthens hair and nails
• May help improve leaky gut syndromes and prevent intestinal permeability
Is Collagen A Good Source Of Protein?
It is the most abundant protein and contains 18 of the 21 amino acids needed by the body for normal metabolism. Because it’s considered an ‘incomplete’ protein, collagen isn’t ideal for building muscle mass. On the other hand, incorporating collagen into your diet has several benefits:
- Improves skin elasticity and hydration
- Helps relieve joint pain by maintaining healthy cartilage
- Helps inhibit bone breakdown
- Small amount of muscle mass growth
- Helps support your blood vessels and heart health
- Strengthens hair and nails
- May help improve leaky gut syndromes and prevent intestinal permeability
How Do I Know If I Need More Collagen?
First, it’s important to address that our bodies naturally produce collagen on their own. However, in order to do so, the body must be receiving Vitamin C, Zinc, Copper, and 18 amino acids.
Ensure you are getting enough of these minerals through nutritional food such as these examples:
Vitamin C- citrus fruits, red and green peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes
Zinc and Copper- nuts, whole grains, beans, meats, and shellfish
Amino Acids- Bone Broth made from beef, chicken, or fish provide the best source of collagen-building amino acids.
Should I Add A Collagen Supplement Into My Daily Routine?
Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides are a nutritional supplement that are also a great source of nutrients for collagen production. They come in powder or capsule form and are available through most grocery or supplement retailers.
Note: If you have an allergy or sensitivity to shellfish, be sure to check the nutrition label. Collagen is the source from shellfish.