Whether you’re studying health, fitness, or beauty, you’ve probably read about collagen. Did you know that your body has approximately 28 different types of collagens? The most common associated with your body and skin are types one through three, which many people often boost with collagen supplements.
Collagen has several purposes in your body’s cells that are both basic and complicated. Your skin’s structure depends on this essential protein to remain smooth and elastic. Cells in your muscles, bones, and cartilage are also built with collagen.
Since the human body is one of the most self-sufficient machines in the universe, yours creates its own collagen supply. An article published by The National Library of Medicine explains the synthesizing process. Fibroblasts in your cells use amino acid power to replenish the collagen your body needs.
The article also mentions that the production of collagen usually declines as you get older. It can also be negatively affected by poor nutrition, stress, and other environmental factors. In these cases, collagen supplements may be helpful in your diet.
How Does Your Body Use Collagen Supplements?
Once you ingest these supplements, your body will use water to break the protein down into its essential amino acids, called collagen peptides. According to a passage in Molecular Cell Biology, 4th Edition, the amino acids that create collagen peptides include glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Once the water breaks them down, they are easier for your body to absorb.
As you ingest these supplements, they go throughout your digestive system and are absorbed into your bloodstream through your small intestines. They will now circulate in your body and support fibroblasts, your natural collagen, and elastin production. The collagen boost 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 lacks collagen, you may benefit from taking a supplement. You may see results such as healthier skin, hair, and nails. Also, your bones and joints may be more solid and flexible. It all depends on the person.
Have you noticed that your skin is a little less elastic and your hair and nails brittle? Maybe you have a few problems with stiff and sore joints. Here are six possible benefits you may receive when you supplement your diet with collagen:
1. Healthier Skin
One of the inevitable processes of aging is wrinkles and sagging skin. While there are no magical pills or creams to stop this process, collagen supplements may make it slower. They can encourage your body to produce more collagen of its own to provide hydration and elasticity to your skin.
The more elastic your skin is, the less noticeable small lines and wrinkles will be. Collagen also may reduce blemishes and help give your complexion more smoothness and radiance. Supplementing your diet with collagen may help turn back the clock of aging a bit for you.
2. Stronger Bones and Joints
Do you battle joint pain or weak bones? Collagen has amino acids called proline and glycine that may 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 cartilage cushions around your joints begin to wear down as you age, resulting in arthritic conditions and joint pain. When you supplement your diet with collagen, it may be stored in your cartilage. The stored protein may encourage your body to make more collagen to strengthen your cartilage and give your joints more cushioning.
3. Improving Your Workout Performance
No matter what exercise you enjoy, adding collagen to your diet may supply essential amino acids. Proline and glycine can reduce inflammation and help repair tissue damage from prolonged physical activity. It might also facilitate your workout recovery and promote healing of workout and sporting injuries.
Another reason you may consider taking collagen is that it may reduce the risks of injuring your ligaments, tendons, and muscles during workouts or playing sports. Arginine is an amino acid found in collagen, and it may help you restore or maintain your muscle mass. No wonder so many fitness fans and athletes supplement their meals with this vital protein.
4. Promoting Better Sleep
It’s three in the morning, and you’re still staring at the ceiling in your bedroom. You’ve tried counting sheep but got bored after the 20th one jumped the fence. Does this sound like a familiar scenario?
Your body needs proper sleep for restoration and total well-being. If you don’t have it, you will spend the day with brain fog, and you may notice physical and psychological symptoms. If you have occasional sleepless nights, supplementing with collagen may be an option.
One of the essential amino acids in collagen is glycine, which affects your brain’s neurotransmitters. According to an article written by Dr. Michael J. Breus for Psychology Today, glycine in collagen has several essential duties. Among these are to help your body produce serotonin to regulate moods and sleep.
5. Assisting With Weight Loss
Many nutritionists and dieticians recommend a healthy eating plan that’s low in carbs and high in protein and good fats. An article published by WebMD shares that one tablespoon of collagen peptide supplements has zero fats and carbs, 50 calories, and 12 grams of protein. That’s as much protein as you would get if you ate one-fourth cup of almonds.
Maybe you are following a keto or another low-carb diet plan. Adding the extra protein from collagen peptides may help your stomach feel full faster. This may lead to eating less and losing weight.
6. Digestive Aid
If you’re like most people, you may battle occasional upset stomach and digestive issues. These issues may be caused by poor eating habits, stress, or other health factors. Since your digestive system needs protein for optimal function, why not consider adding collagen peptides to your daily meals?
The essential fatty acids in collagen may help soothe an irritated digestive tract. It can also promote healing of the mucous lining that protects the stomach and intestines from acid irritation. You may find it easier to digest food because collagen naturally helps break down fats and proteins for better absorption.
If you are having digestive issues, taking collagen peptides can work in the healing process. It can increase your absorption of protein and encourage your body to produce more hydrochloric acid. That’s good news for people who have issues with acid reflux.
What are the Different Types of Collagen Peptides Available?
You’re a busy person and don’t have time for complicated mixes and figuring dosages. One of the many advantages of taking collagen peptides is the variety of ways you can incorporate them into your diet. All these depend on your personal preference.
These supplements are available as capsules, powders, pre-mixed drinks, tasty gummies, and other forms. It’s easy just to add a collagen capsule to your daily vitamin rations. If you enjoy protein shakes or other healthy drinks, you can easily mix collagen powder in them without affecting the taste or texture.
It’s important to note that you’ll get the optimal amount of protein per serving when choosing the powder option. Adding powder to your beverages can pack up to 20 grams of protein per serving. However, you can still reap health benefits from taking lower-protein forms in gummies and pre-mixed drinks.
When Will the Supplements Begin to Work?
Remember that there’s no magic snake oil or supplements that will produce instant results. Even when you take natural supplements like collagen peptides, it will take some time. Plus, results aren’t typical and may vary from person to person.
The timing depends on what area of your body you’re targeting. Some areas take longer than others to notice benefits. Here is an approximate time chart for seeing results from supplementing collagen peptides to your diet.
• Skin, Hair, and Nails
It won’t take long for you to see the cosmetic difference that collagen peptides can offer. You may notice benefits for your skin in as little as one to three months. Stronger nails and healthier hair may take up to six months or longer.
• Workout Benefits
When adding collagen peptides to your diet while doing resistance training, you may gain more muscle mass and strength. However, it may take about three months. You’ll be happy to know that within a few days of taking these supplements, you may feel minor soreness after your workouts.
• Bone, Joints, and Tendon Support
Bone density support is essential, especially for women past 40. After about a year of taking extra collagen, your bones may increase their density. It will take about six months to notice a difference in your joint health and tendon support.
Final Thoughts About Collagen Supplements
Since collagen is one of the most used proteins in your body, it makes sense to ensure you have enough. Supplementing your meal plan with collagen peptides may be a healthy option. Find the supplement type that best suits your needs and preferences.