The Top 4 Ways Collagen Powder Can Help Your Body Function Better

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein that is found in the skin and connective tissues and makes up their structure. It is composed of amino acids like glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Collagen helps make up the tendons, ligaments, and muscles, provides structure to the skin and fortifies the bones.

If you’ve spent any time on social media lately, you may have seen health and fitness influencers touting their use of collagen powder.

With so many health and nutrition supplements being advertised, it can be hard to tell which ones are worth spending money on.

Today we are going to look at collagen powder and the potential benefits so you can decide if this supplement is right for you.

When we are young, our bodies are excellent at producing this vital protein. As we age, however, the collagen in our bodies begins to break down and it becomes difficult to produce. This can cause a strain on things like tissue repair, immune response, cellular communication, and cellular migration. It is also responsible for physical signs of aging such as sagging skin or wrinkles.

What is Collagen Powder?

When you see people taking collagen as a supplement, they are likely consuming it in a powder form. The powders are typically made from animal tissues and come hydrolyzed. This means that the proteins in the powder have already been broken down which makes it easier for the body to absorb. There are also instances where people use collagen topically, but we are only going to cover the effects of ingesting this supplement.

What are the Benefits of Taking Collagen Powder?

While there are many reasons people will start taking a collagen supplement, there are some benefits that have been found through research and studies. Here are some of the potential benefits of taking a collagen powder supplement.

  • Improved Skin: One of the more popular reasons people reach for collagen is to improve their skin’s health and appearance. One review of 19 studies that included over one thousand participants between the ages of 20 to 70 found that taking hydrolyzed collagen helped to improve skin’s hydration, elasticity and wrinkles when compared to placebo treatments. Some collagen users even believe that the supplement can help decrease the speed of aging by minimizing dryness and wrinkles. This is why collagen has become one of the most popular supplements in the beauty world.
  • Decreased Joint Pain: Some people also believe in the potential of collagen powder’s ability to relieve joint pain. Because collagen contributes to the integrity of the cartilage in our bodies, there are some users who take collagen solely for this purpose. Cartilage is the pliable material that acts as a shock absorber between the joints. Strong and healthy cartilage helps to reduce friction and protect the joints throughout daily activities. The reduced amount of collagen in an aging body is said to increase the risk of developing a disorder like osteoarthritis. However, there is some evidence that suggests a collagen supplement to help improve joint function in people who develop osteoarthritis.
  • Increased Bone Density: Research suggests that collagen supplements can be helpful to people who have reduced bone mineral density or BMD. A long-term study found that women who had reduced BMD showed improvement after taking collagen long-term. The women in the study were all postmenopausal, so further research needs to be done to determine the benefits to men and younger women. But there is a positive outlook for the potential of collagen to increase BMD.
  • Increased Muscle Mass: Collagen also has the potential to help increase muscle mass when combined with resistance training and proper nutrition. Sarcopenia, which is the decrease of muscle mass due to aging, can potentially be combated with collagen supplements. People who are looking to rebuild lost muscle due to aging can benefit from including a collagen supplement in their daily routine. It is important to note, however, that this benefit will only come to those who are resistance training. So now you can better understand collagen powder but it magically build muscles in those who do not strength train.

Types of Collagen:

  • There are at least 16 types of collagen, but the most common are Types I, II, and III. Type I is the most abundant and found in skin, tendons, and bones. Type II is found in cartilage, and Type III is found in skin, muscles, and blood vessels.
  • Sources of Collagen: Collagen can be sourced from bovine (cow), porcine (pig), marine (fish), and even plant-based sources. Each source has slightly different compositions and benefits.
  • Forms of Collagen Supplements: Besides powders, collagen supplements are available in various forms such as capsules, tablets, and liquid.
  • Bioavailability: Hydrolyzed collagen is more easily absorbed by the body compared to gelatin or whole collagen, making it a popular choice in supplements.
  • Role in Gut Health: Collagen is believed to support gut health by strengthening the gut lining, which can help in conditions like leaky gut syndrome.
  • Hair and Nail Health: Some users report improved hair and nail strength and growth with regular collagen supplementation.
  • Amino Acid Profile: Collagen supplements provide a unique amino acid profile, which includes a high concentration of glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. These are not typically found in other protein sources in such high amounts.
  • Support for Weight Management: Collagen supplements might aid in weight management by promoting satiety and preserving lean muscle mass during weight loss.
  • Safety and Quality: It is important to choose high-quality collagen supplements that are tested for purity and free from contaminants. Look for third-party certifications to ensure the product’s safety.
  • Sustainability: Some collagen supplements are sourced more sustainably than others. For example, marine collagen is often praised for being a more environmentally friendly option compared to bovine or porcine sources.

Help Your Body Function Better

While preliminary research has shown positive benefits for those who take a collagen supplement regularly, there is still much studying to be done. The benefits that have been studied through research so far have shown positive and exciting results which has been causing the rise in popularity. There are no known risks or side effects associated with taking collagen, so if you think you could benefit from it, there is no harm in giving it a try. Just be aware of any allergies that you may have as many of the powders will contain common allergens like shellfish.

In summary, collagen is a vital protein that supports various structures in our body, and its decline with age can affect skin, joint, bone, and muscle health. Collagen powder supplements offer a convenient way to potentially counteract these effects, supporting improved skin health, reduced joint pain, increased bone density, and enhanced muscle mass when combined with resistance training. As with any supplement, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure it’s appropriate for your individual health needs and goals.

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Claire Rogstad
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