Though “collagen peptides” may sound a bit questionable if you are not familiar with either word, it is just a fancy way of describing a type of protein powder.
Collagen is the most prevalent protein in the human body, found in the skin, cartilage, blood vessels, and tendons, among many other body parts. It is also one of the most popular protein supplements on the market, and offers a plethora of physical, cosmetic, and even cognitive benefits.
This article will lay out what exactly collagen and collagen hydrolysate does for the body in terms of health benefits, and the many ways in which collagen peptides can improve your overall wellness. Whether you are looking to build lean body mass or just supplement your diet, the right collagen products can prove to be the bridge to improve your health.
What Are Collagen Peptides?
Collagen is a protein that makes up about a third of the body’s protein composition, making it the most abundant protein in the body. Because proteins are the building blocks of the body, giving us strength and support, collagen is responsible for most of the body’s structure.
In fact, collagen comes from the Greek word kólla, which means “glue.” Literally, collagen is the powerful substance that keeps the body glued together.
Collagen is responsible for keeping our skin strong and firm, and low levels of collagen are associated with aging skin. It is also present in the blood vessels, tendons, connective tissue, teeth, corneas, cartilage, bones, muscles, organs, and intestinal lining, providing each of these body parts with structure and strength.
Out of 28 total, the four most prevalent types of collagen are as follows:
- Type I: This type of collagen accounts for about 90% of the body’s collagen composition. It gives connective tissue, teeth, bones, tendons, skin, and fibrous cartilage their structure.
- Type II: Type II collagen is found in elastic cartilage. Cartilage works as a cushion for the body’s joints, and reduces friction during movement.
- Type III: Type III collagen promotes better skin elasticity (along with the protein elastin) and provides structure to everything that type I collagen does not, such as organs, arteries, and muscles.
- Type IV: Finally, Type IV collagen is present in the basement membrane of the skin, and provides the nearby tissue with stability.
Collagen is formed with two amino acids, glycine and proline, with the help of vitamin C, copper and zinc. Thus, consuming adequate amounts of these three nutrients is crucial to optimal production of collagen.
Further down in this article you will be able to discover which foods are high in vitamin c, glycine, copper, proline and zinc. Adding them to your diet can increase the amount of collagen your body is able to make.
Our bodies produce collagen on their own, but as we age that production naturally slows and becomes less efficient. This is most noticeable in our skin via marks of aging like wrinkles, as well as our cartilage which becomes unable to effectively cushion the joints and reduce joint-related irritation.
Because of this natural decline, and how much of the body it affects, many people turn to collagen supplements (collagen peptides) to replenish their supply.†
The majority of collagen supplementation these days come in a “hydrolyzed” form, meaning they are broken down to promote better digestion and absorption. While regular collagen is composed of several long chains of over one thousand amino acids, which can be difficult for the body to use and break down, collagen peptides/hydrolyzed collagen (the two terms mean the same thing) are presented in a form that the body can use efficiently. The more easily absorbed and digested a supplement is, the more effective it can be, which is why hydrolyzed collagen is a game-changer!†
Read on to discover the many beneficial effects of collagen peptide supplementation thanks to collagen being such a powerful and vital protein.
What Are the Health Benefits of Collagen Peptides?
Since collagen provides support to many different parts of the body, taking collagen peptides can promote better wellness from head to toe, inside and out.†
The following are the most enticing benefits of including collagen peptides in your diet:†
- Skin health: A whopping 80% of our skin is made from collagen and is therefore vital to healthy skin. Collagen gives skin its strength, so taking oral collagen supplements helps with skin hydration and overall skin care. Collagen can also improve the elasticity of the skin, and reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles.
- Joint health: Joint pain is often related to friction as a result of weakened cartilage, so collagen can work to reduce irritation in the joints, both by strengthening the joint bones and adding better structure to the cartilage that cushions them.
- Digestive health: Collagen keeps the intestinal lining strong and thick, which goes to support gut health.
- Cardiovascular health: Because collagen provides support to the blood vessels and creates stronger arteries, it can improve circulation throughout the body.
- Muscle health: Collagen peptides can help increase your lean body mass.
- Bone health: Collagen is crucial to the creation and the structure of healthy, strong bones. Adequate amounts of collagen in the body can increase bone mineral density.
- Cosmetic support: In addition to healthier, more supple skin, collagen will help you grow nails with better strength. It may also improve hair growth, and reduce the presence of cellulite on the body.
- Exercise support: Many people who exercise frequently and are looking to put on more muscle mass use collagen peptides. Collagen can help support both athletic performance and recovery.
- Satiating: Collagen will keep you fuller longer, so you are less likely to eat in subsequent meals. This can help you maintain a healthy body weight while still getting proper nutrients and without sacrificing your energy supply.
With all of these incredible benefits, you may be wondering what the catch is. However, collagen has very few, if any, known negative side effects of taking collagen peptides. The only people that may want to avoid these supplements are vegetarians and vegans, as collagen peptides are either fish or beef based most of the time.
Signs Of Low Collagen In The Body
Decreased collagen production can be caused mainly by aging and/or poor diet. If you are experiencing wrinkles, joint pain, weakened muscles, GI problems, and stiffer tendons and ligaments, you may benefit from adding collagen peptides to your diet.
What is The Best Collagen Supplement?
Nowadays there are a plethora of collagen supplements on the market, so it can be hard to know which one is best for you.
However, Livingood Daily Collagen stands out for a couple of reasons.
First, it contains an ultra-clean source of both type I and type III collagen proteins, derived from non-GMO, grass-fed cows living right here in the USA. Second, its supporting ingredients just add to the list of benefits:†
- Glucomannan, a dietary fiber, supports weight loss in overweight individuals;
- B vitamins promote better energy and immune and cognitive function;
- Milk thistle, an herb whose active ingredient (silymarin) is an antioxidant, soothes the body and supports better liver health; and
- Monk fruit calms the digestive system and, similar to glucomannan, supports weight loss in conjunction with healthy diet and exercise.
Finally, Livingood Daily Collagen tastes and smells delicious! Available in natural vanilla or chocolate flavors, this protein powder will have you searching for all the different foods you can incorporate it into.
Collagen peptides do not gel, so you can add them into any kind of food without affecting the texture. Try adding your collagen powder to a smoothie, like this nutritious and tasty Frozen Berry Smoothie. Otherwise, use your collagen to make Almond Bar Cookies, which make for a great, filling midday snack. No matter which way you enjoy your protein supplement, taking it consistently will help maximize its benefits.
Other Sources Of Collagen
While collagen supplements are great options for people looking to increase their collagen intake, especially people who are experiencing collagen depletion as a result of age, you can also support your body by eating foods high in collagen and the vitamins and minerals that help form it.
Here is a list of foods that contain high concentrations of the necessary nutrients:
- Collagen (Proline and Glycine): bone broth, chicken, chicken skin, pork skin, egg whites, fish/shellfish, dairy, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms
- Vitamin C: citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, tropical fruits
- Copper: cashews, sesame seeds, lentils, cocoa powder, organ meats
- Zinc: guava, cashews
In general, eating high-quality sources of protein, such as fish, poultry, dairy, legumes, and tofu, will help strengthen the body and support collagen production.
Collagen peptides are supplements that contain the most abundant protein in the body, collagen. Collagen supports skin, joint, cardiovascular, digestive, muscle and bone health. It also promotes enhanced exercise performance and can improve skin appearance.†
Taking collagen peptides as a dietary supplement can improve your overall health in innumerous ways, and offer you a natural route to real health inside and out!†