If you’re not already familiar with collagen, it is a protein that the body produces naturally. And it is responsible for a plethora of biological functions. One of its primary responsibilities includes providing structural support for muscles and connective tissue. It also plays a critical role when it comes to skin elasticity and joint and bone health. Given the many benefits of collagen, it is easy to see why science classifies it as a super protein.
However, there’s a downside. As we age, the body’s ability to produce collagen naturally begins to diminish. Therefore, many people turn to collagen supplements. These are available in tablet, capsule, and powder form. They help to achieve beautiful, radiant skin, improved joint health, and stronger bones. Of course, the benefits do not end there.
Indeed, studies show that collagen-based supplements can also help with weight loss. In this article, we will take a closer look at collagen for weight loss and whether or not it is a viable option for those seeking to shed unwanted pounds.
HOW DO COLLAGEN-BASED SUPPLEMENTS WORK?
If you’re at all curious about collagen for weight loss, you’re probably equally curious about how manufacturers make these products. If so, you’re encouraged to continue reading.
For collagen-based supplements to be effective, they need to undergo a hydrolyzation process. Hydrolyzation mimics the digestive process. When we eat food, for example, our meals are converted into smaller, more manageable sizes by chewing. Once the food enters the stomach, it is broken down even further by the digestive acids in our stomach. When it comes to collagen-based supplements, the hydrolyzation process entails using chemicals or enzymes to convert raw collagen into smaller, easier to manage molecules (peptides) that we easily absorb into the bloodstream.
COLLAGEN-BASED SUPPLEMENTS AND JOINT HEALTH
As we age, the spongy cartilage that protects our joints begin to deteriorate and can become exceedingly painful. You further complicate these problems if you’re overweight or obese. Fortunately, collagen-based supplements can help you shed unwanted pounds and also improve joint health at the same time. According to SciELO, a bibliographic database, digital library, and cooperative electronic publishing model of open access journals, hydrolyzed collagen-based supplements have proven to be effective in improving joint health.
For those with osteoporosis or osteoarthritis, there is evidence suggesting that hydrolyzed collagen-based supplements may also help restore bone density. Additionally, note that these same supplements prove to be effective in resolving joint pain as well. If you’re overweight and struggling with weak joints, diminished bone density, or joint pain, collagen-based supplements can help improve your mobility. In turn, you will face fewer challenges when you exercise.
COLLAGEN-BASED SUPPLEMENTS AND MUSCLE MASS
When you’re trying to lose weight, you should make it a point to try and retain as much muscle as possible. After all, muscles are essential when it comes to posture, movement, and several internal bodily functions like your heartbeat, breathing, and digestion, for example. Collagen-based supplements can help you retain the muscle you already have and also help you increase muscle mass while losing weight. In a 12 week study published by the National Institute of Health, which involved 53 male study participants, those who exercised and took collagen-based supplements were able to not only lose weight but also increase their muscle mass significantly compared to those who relied on diet and exercise alone.
According to researchers and scientists involved in the study, it is believed that collagen helps stimulate the production of proteins commonly associated with muscle growth. Based on these findings, it is highly possible that collagen-based supplements could be used in the future to treat muscle-wasting diseases like ALS, according to the same researchers and scientists.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN TAKING COLLAGEN FOR WEIGHT LOSS
When it comes to losing weight, diet and exercise will always reign supreme; however, taking collagen-based supplements can help make shedding unwanted pounds that much easier. Studies show that collagen-based supplements work by boosting energy levels and keeping you feeling satiated longer. The two most common reasons why people trying to lose weight fail is because they constantly feel hungry or lake the energy necessary to exercise. Collagen-based supplements can help in both regards.
If you’re trying to lose weight, increasing your protein intake can help keep you feeling full longer. However, consuming pounds of lean meats, fish, and eggs is not always practical, That is why many people to turn to protein powders like Whey protein, for example. While protein powders are effective at easing hunger pains, they contain a number of fillers like gluten and artificial sweeteners. These additions can do more harm than good. Collagen-based supplements, on the other hand, offer the same level of satiety as protein powders without the potentially harmful fillers.
For those who may not have been aware, collagen-based tablets, capsules, and powders are clean, all-natural sources of protein. They do not contain any added sweeteners or additives. Instead, these products contain gelatin, which is a naturally-satiating ingredient that helps decrease hunger. Beyond that, collagen-based supplements also do an amazing job at when it comes to fighting off cravings for sugary, salty, fatty, and oily foods, all of which can quickly sabotage one’s weight loss goals.
Not surprisingly, if you’re feeling fatigued or otherwise physically drained, you will not want to exercise. If any of this sounds like you, you’ll be happy to know that the protein in most collagen-based supplements can help boost strength and energy levels. Of course, the benefits do not stop there. This is because most of these amazing supplements also contain arginine, an amino acid that helps dilate blood vessels and regulates blood flow during exercise. And because collagen-based supplements support healthy joints and can help restore bone density, you’re less likely to suffer any downtime due to injury.
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH COLLAGEN-BASED SUPPLEMENTS
Having detailed the benefits of collagen-based supplements when it comes improved joint health, restoring bone density, and weight loss, let’s take a moment to discuss how these same supplements can improve the health and appearance of your skin. So radiant, glowing skin doesn’t do much in terms of helping you to lose weight. However, your self-esteem will skyrocket. That said, studies show that collagen-based supplements can help improve skin elasticity and also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They also do a great job at keeping when it comes to adding moisture to your skin.
Along with great skin, collagen-based supplements may improve heart health. In fact, a study published in the National Institute of Health shows that collagen-based products were highly effective in resolving artery stiffness and reducing high cholesterol, both of which can go a long way toward improving heart health.
Some additional benefits of collagen-based supplements include:
- Stronger nails
- Health hair
- Improved gut health
- Reducing anxiety
- Improving overall mood
COLLAGEN-BASED SUPPLEMENTS AND SIDE EFFECTS
While the benefits associated with collagen-based products are widely extolled, there are some side effects worth noting. Although considered mild by those who have experienced them, the most commonly reported side effects include:
- Bad taste in the mouth
If you experience any of these side effects while taking collagen-based supplements, you should immediately stop taking them and schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible. It should be noted, however, that there have been very few documented cases involving an extreme reaction to collagen-based supplements. Generally speaking, these supplements are safe for most adults.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLLAGEN-BASED SUPPLEMENT
As with all matters involving your health and general well-being, you should always do your due diligence and choose the product that best meets your needs. That said, there is no shortage of collagen-based supplements currently on the market, some of which are better than others. The best collagen-based supplements are those that do not contain any additional flavors, sweetener, or additives. Also, it would be a good idea to choose products that do not contain hormones as they tend to be the purest and offer the most value when it comes to health benefits.