Is Collagen Worth The Hype?

What does collagen do?

Collagen is a supplement that’s getting a lot of attention these days. It is found in skincare products because of its anti-aging and skin-firming benefits – and also available as a supplement, which many people put in their morning coffee and other beverages (tea, smoothies, etc.)

Below is some more information on collagen, its benefits, and how and when to use it as a supplement.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein that the body uses to build elastic tissues.

It is critical for healthy bones, skin, muscles, ligaments, and tendons and can play a major role in helping to reduce achiness and pain in the joints and maximize mobility and vitality.

The Benefits of Collagen

Here’s a bit more information on the specific benefits of collagen:

1. Improves Your Skin Health

Research shows that collagen helps improve skin hydration, increases skin elasticity, reduces skin roughness, and improves skin density. This can help prevent premature aging of your skin, keeping your appearance and your body’s first line of defense in the best shape possible.

2. Reduces Joint Pain

Exercising regularly is important for healthy bones and joints. However, your diet plays a role too. According to research, the amount of collagen in the body decreases with age, which makes older adults more susceptible to painful conditions like osteoarthritis.

Studies show that supplementing with collagen can help treat osteoarthritis, as well as reduce overall joint aches and pains. Researchers theorize that collagen does this by building up in the cartilage, which, then, stimulates your body to make more collagen.

3. Preserves Bone Mass

Collagen keeps your bones strong by giving them structure. As you age, your risk of developing osteoporosis (a decline in bone density associated with an increased risk of bone fractures) increases.

Research suggests that collagen supplements help prevent bone breakdown which, in turn, can prevent osteoporosis.

4. Improves Muscle and Tendon Health

If your goal is to gain muscle mass, collagen supplements are an excellent idea. One study showed that men who exercised and took collagen gained more muscle than men who exercised and didn’t take collagen.

Researchers believe that collagen might encourage muscle protein synthesis and also increase muscle growth after exercise.

5. Contributes to Stronger Nails and Hair

Many individuals who take collagen also notice their nails become less brittle and their hair becomes thicker – which is backed up by research.

How to Supplement With Collagen

Previously, humans used to eat whole animals – and the skin and connective tissues were (and are) loaded with collagen.

Now, however, it is much more common to consume only the meatier portions of animals, leaving out the most collagen-rich parts. Two easy ways to include collagen in your diet naturally is to incorporate bone marrow and chicken skin.

The other option, of course, is supplementation.

You can add a quick scoop of high-quality collagen to your coffee in the morning (this is my favourite) or into your protein shake. It is a white powder that dissolves easily and is relatively tasteless.

I have been doing this for several months and have found it to have so many benefits. My recovery times are better, my hair is thicker, and I feel fitter.

You can easily find collagen supplements online or at your local supplement, pharmacy, or health store. This trend likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon!

At Nielsen Fitness, we believe that obtaining optimal health and wellness comes down to what you do and what you eat. When you do personal training at home with us, we take care of the fitness side – and can advise on the nutritional/supplementation side of things too.

If you’ve been searching for a “personal trainer to come to my house,” we can help.

Contact us today to request a free first workout (in-home or virtual). We can’t wait to help you achieve your goals and more.

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References:

PMC – A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835901/

SciELO Brazil – Collagen supplementation as a complementary therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: a systematic review: https://www.scielo.br/j/rbgg/a/fk95TfhxB7mPsmqYRDdHH8K/?format=pdf&lang=en

PubMed – Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17076983/

PubMed – Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11071580/

PMC – Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594048/

PubMed – Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28786550/