Collagen, it’s the most common protein in the body, providing structure to your skin, and strength to your muscles, ligaments, and bones.
Many people are becoming aware about the importance of collagen for overall health and have sought ways to increase collagen through both food choices and supplementation. In this article, we will discuss the role that collagen plays in the body and the effects supplementing with collagen can have.
WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is a structural protein made up of amino acids. Almost every part of our body uses collagen in some way, and as we get older our natural collagen production steadily decreases. Our bodies are in a constant state of repair and regeneration, in which collagen plays a crucial role.
But as our collagen production decreases, this process becomes more challenging, we don’t feel as energetic as we did when we were young, our skin can become dry, showing fine lines and wrinkles, and injuries take longer to heal.
Although aging is inevitable, there are ways to slow this process down by stimulating our own collagen production, consuming collagen rich foods and by taking high quality collagen supplements.
WHAT DOES COLLAGEN DO?
Did you know that there are 28 different types of collagen in the body? Although this is true, Type I collagen is by far the most prevalent accounting for approximately 90% of all the collagen we have.
Type I collagen is critically important for skin elasticity, hydration and appearance, hair quality and abundance, and nail quality and growth. It is also important for our muscles, ligaments, bones, and even digestion.
In addition to Type I collagen, Types II, III, and IV are also prevalent and required for maintaining and repairing cartilage, vital organs like the heart and kidneys, our veins, blood vessels, and eyes. The essential role that collagen plays in our bodies has been studied extensively, and in addition collagen supplementation has been shown that it can lead to dramatic health improvements.
However, for collagen supplementation to be effective, it needs to be taken in high enough quantities, and also needs to be in a form that is easily absorbed by the body. This brings us to collagen peptides.
WHAT ARE COLLAGEN PEPTIDES?
Collagen peptides are collagen proteins that have been broken down into smaller pieces making them more bioavailable for the body, or in other words, easier to use. This is important because the more bioavailable the collagen proteins are, the less you need to take to achieve results. How is this achieved? Through a process called Hydrolysis.
Hydrolysis uses water to break down the collagen proteins amino acid chain down to their smallest and most usable form, without using toxic chemicals, and what remains are hydrolyzed collagen peptides, the good stuff! This incredible process is how most collagen peptide supplements are made. However not all collagen supplements are created equal as there are vast differences in both collagen sources and methods of hydrolyzation.
BEEF vs MARINE COLLAGEN?
Most collagen supplements are made from either beef collagen or fish collagen. However, when it comes to bioavailability, fish collagen peptides are up to 50% more bioavailable than beef collagen peptides. In addition, marine collagen peptides are a much higher source of Type I collagen, the most abundant type of collagen in the body, and utilized by numerous processes affecting both our health and appearance.
Hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides are also far easier to dissolve into liquids, which makes it a more versatile supplement as its relatively simple to mix into any drink or meal.
THE BENEFITS OF COLLAGEN?
SKIN: Collagen helps to rehydrate the skin and increases the production of new skin cells. Collagen can also reduce fine lines and wrinkles leading to smoother and younger looking skin.
HAIR:Collagen can slow down and reverse hair loss, increase scalp coverage, and will often lead to thicker and fuller hair quality.
NAILS: Collagen promotes stronger nail quality, less chipping, and faster growth.
BONES:Collagen helps strengthen and protect bones, making them less brittle, and faster to heal if damaged.
MUSCLES:Collagen can help with increasing muscle mass and overall strength.
GUT HEALTH: Collagen is important for both digestive processes and has been shown to help with intestinal repair.
HOW MUCH COLLAGEN DO YOU NEED?
When it comes to supplementing with collagen, the amount you need is higher than many people realize. This is not a supplement that you can take a couple of capsules a day and see dramatic improvements. Collagen is a food, super high in protein, and packed with amino acids.
Marine Collagen Peptides Powder for example, is the most bioavailable collagen available – however studies have shown that to achieve maximum results, you need to take on average 10 grams per day, that’s 10,000mg!
Fortunately, due to hydrolyzation, most marine collagen peptide powder will dissolve in liquid, so adding this amount to your morning coffee or mixing it into food is easy. Marine collagen is also totally carb free, so it won’t spike your blood sugar and your diet.
WHO SHOULD TAKE COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS?
As collagen is so beneficial to humans in general, almost anyone can take and benefit from collagen supplements. There are exceptions, however. If someone is allergic to fish for example, taking marine collagen is a bad idea and could lead to a reaction. In addition, pregnant women should ask their doctor before adding collagen or any other supplement to their diet just to be extra safe.
It is also worth noting, collagen is not a vegan product as it only comes from animals, although some vegetarians may consider it acceptable depending on their individual approach. If you are adhering to a Paleo or Keto diet, you are in luck as collagen fits in perfectly with these. Marine collagen is also a good choice for those on a Pescatarian (fish) diet.
Collagen is without a doubt one of the most important proteins in our body, but what is collagen good for?
it essentially holds our body’s together, helps us move, and keeps us looking young. But as we age, our natural collagen production declines, leading to an older appearance and a less functional body.
Supplementing with collagen however, especially with hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides powder, can boost our collagen levels helping us to look younger and feel better!