6 Benefits of Collagen Peptides That Will Make You a Believer
If you’re a health buff, you’ve probably already heard about collagen. After all, it’s extremely popular in beauty products and is slowly gaining ground in the fitness industry. What you probably haven’t heard about is that it can do so much more.
Collagen is already found in our body. This kind is called endogenous collagen. Collagen is the body’s primary structural protein which means that it can be found in the skin as well in as other connective tissues like joints, bones, and muscles. It can even be found in the digestive system and the blood vessels. It’s basically everywhere.
It keeps your skin looking young because it’s responsible for creating the fibrous networks, which in turn helps in the regeneration of new skin cells to replace old ones.
So Why Do You Need Collagen Supplements?
So, if collagen is naturally abundant throughout our body, why is there a need to take more of it in the form of supplements? It’s because the body’s collagen production decreases with age, and this can start as early as when you hit mid-20’s.
Menopause also dramatically reduces collagen production for older women. Other factors include too much exposure to ultraviolet light, intake of too many processed foods, hormonal changes, and nutritional deficiencies. There are also certain habits that can damage your skin such as smoking.
Collagen supplements, also called exogenous (synthetic) collagen, are therefore taken in to make up for the decrease in the body’s collagen production. They’re typically used by athletes and bodybuilders because they help improve strength training performance and therefore, results.
The Amazing Benefits of Collagen Supplements
Here’s how supplementing with collagen can help you:
Stimulates muscle growth
Ingesting collagen supplements before a workout can enhance your performance because of the energy boost and improve the results you get from working out.
The formation of muscle tissues is aided by glycine, converting the glucose in the blood into useable energy fed to muscle cells. Furthermore, it prevents weight gain and instead helps in building lean muscle mass. Because glucose is used up as energy, this also helps prevent more fat from being stored in your body.Glycine is also one of three amino acids that produce creatine. The formation of creatine stimulates new muscle growth.
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Hydroxyphenylglycine, which is found in collagen, has been shown to help make the muscles grow bigger and stronger especially when combined with proper resistance training. Results have also been demonstrated by testing the effects of collagen in people over their seventies. If older people can reap such benefits, you can only imagine how good it would be for healthier, younger people.
Relieves joint pain primarily caused by physical activity or degenerative joint diseases
There are strong indications that collagen supplementation has a positive effect on the skin and the joints. A study shows that daily supplementation can lead to improved knee joint extension and can boost the amount of time you can train without experiencing pain. More studies confirm these effects.
Degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis, which affect the cartilage and cause pain, are addressed by using collagen.However, further studies have to be conducted to truly establish collagen’s effectiveness.
Boosts brain health
Now, we’re on to the little-known benefits of collagen. The non-essential amino acid glycine, which makes up for about one-third of collagen, is key to brain health.
Glycine is involved in sending signals through the hippocampus, the part of the brain which is believed to be the center of memory, cognition, as well as the autonomic nervous system (which controls bodily functions that we do not consciously direct such as blinking, breathing, and digestive processes).
Studies indicate that glycine helps boost cognition, as shown in its properties that help manage conditions where there is impaired cognition, such as schizophrenia and during sleep.
There is also another type of collagen at work in keeping the brain healthy — Type VI collagen. This protects the brain cells against certain proteins that can impair cognition. Neurons attacked by diseases such as Alzheimer’s are the very source of collagen VI in the brain, so taking in supplements increases the amyloid-beta, which increases collagen VI—and collagen VI in turn protects the neurons from the damaging effects of increased amyloid-beta.
Hastens recovery period
Taking collagen supplements allow your body to repair itself quicker. Its arginine content enhances the body’s ability to generate protein out of various amino acids, which all help in repairing muscle tissue and healing wounds. Beef-based collagen supplements are especially helpful. In addition, the protein in collagen has been proven to help heal wounds faster.
Inflammation, which also causes arthritis, triggers a rapid breakdown of collagen. In such cases, supplementing with collagen in order to quickly repair connective tissues can help.
Radiant, Firmer Skin
Aside from stimulating muscle growth, collagen keeps the skin firmer and looking young. Collagen supplements stimulate better-working skin cells in order to deal with UV radiation. It regenerates and improves the elasticity of the skin, reduces wrinkles and fine lines, and gives it a youthful glow. Collagen also protects skin from easy tearing.
Cellulites and stretch marks that form due to the lack of connective tissue are also minimized by taking collagen. Collagen reduces the appearance of these imperfections by targeting what makes them highly visible in the first place, such as the lack of elasticity and moisture, water loss, and roughness. All these also have immense contribution to slowing down the skin aging process.
When it comes to cosmetics, take note that collagen is only fully effective when taken orally. Lotions, creams, and other skin products that claim to have collagen in them are unlikely to display benefits because collagen molecules cannot be absorbed through the skin because of their size.
Improves quality of sleep and helps alleviate sleep-related problems
Glycine ingestion before bedtime even addresses insomniac tendencies, working in a different way than the traditional hypnosis method. The deeper and more restful sleeping state it provides also helps with boosting brain health. Glycine lessens daytime sleepiness, and as a result, you can benefit from a restful sleep in the evening. As a bonus, it also boosts memory and cognition.
Oral administration is the way to take these supplements to improve sleep, allowing the glycine content to increase extracellular serotonin release and affect neurotransmitters to promote better quality sleep, with next to no serious side effects.
Other Sources of Collagen
Now, how would one go about with the intake of collagen? Of course, it doesn’t always have to be in the usual pill form. You can actually take it through its cooked form: gelatin.
Gelatin is a substance made from collagen powder, which is also used in making smoothies and baked goods such as bars, muffins, and pancakes.
This means that you can get collagen in real food, like stews and broths. In fact, our ancestors traditionally had their regular collagen intake in collagen-rich bone broths sourced from beef, chicken, lamb, and fish.
Different Forms of Collagen
Various forms of collagen also function differently. For example, when it comes to addressing skin and joint health, weight loss and muscle gaining, collagen is ideally taken in its hydrolyzed form, 10 grams a day. Hydrolyzed collagen is easily digested, which means that the body can quickly absorb it.
Undenatured collagen, in turn, has to be taken in dosages of 40 mg a day if you are to use it to address arthritis problems. These two forms are all classified under Type II collagen (abbreviated as CII). It is water soluble so it can be converted to gelatin form.
Glycine: the Powerhouse of Collagen
If you’ve noticed, a lot of the benefits brought to the table by collagen are mainly because of its glycine content.
What makes glycine so important, anyway? It’s because it is essential in body’s production of different acids that also have important functions in the body such as bile acids and creatine. It sends signals to the part of the brain which controls the autonomous processes such as digestion, heartbeat – and even breathing.
Non-essential amino acids in collagen such as proline and glycine also aid and stimulate muscle growth.
If you do decide to take a collagen supplement, the important thing to is intake measurement. Make sure to take note of the proper dosage; otherwise, side effects such as fatigue, hypersensitivity to allergens and some food, and constipation may occur. The proper amounts can be given by your consulting doctor, or from the instructions on the packaging.
Proteins are crucial for staying fit, which is why many athletes and bodybuilders typically take protein supplements such as collagen. If your goal in taking collagen is to build muscles, you can even add some HGH supplements to the mix.
Collagen contains essential amino acids that are important for building muscles as well as for proper brain function.It can even help improve sleep quality. If you feel that you’re getting older and could use some help keeping aging at bay, try collagen and see for yourself.