Like any reasonable buyer, you would like to know if the product you are interested in works before you invest your money, time and health into it. Protein powders, such as collagen powder, are most recognizably used by people who workout a lot and are already strong, fit, and healthy, so the effects might be hard to see from the outside.
What if you are not a bodybuilder but just want to supplement your diet with extra protein–will this product add anything to your health? And on the flip side, if you are looking to build muscle, will collagen actually help?
This article will give a collagen breakdown to give you the basics, and identify the many benefits of collagen supplements, keeping in mind the many different reasons people have for using protein powders. It will also discuss how collagen matches up against its competitors, such as whey protein. Finally, this article will identify the collagen protein supplement that will maximize the countless advantages of adding extra collagen to your diet.
What Exactly is Collagen, Anyway?
Protein keeps us strong and full of energy, functioning as the building blocks of the body. In addition to carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, protein is absolutely essential to human survival. Without it, our muscles and bones would have no strength, and much of our body parts would have little structure.
Collagen, as the most abundant protein in the body, accounting for about one third of the body’s protein composition, is a vital nutrient to the body. Given how prevalent collagen is in the body, it can be found in some surprising places. Our skin, for example, is made up of about 80% collagen. If you have ever wondered what gives your skin its structure, this powerful protein is responsible!
In addition to skin, collagen can be found in the connective tissue, cartilage, tendons, bones, muscles, organs, digestive lining, blood vessels, teeth, hair, and corneas. Countless components of the body rely on collagen for support, and irritation in these regions can be tied back to a lack of collagen.
Here is the thing: the body can produce collagen on its own, but the production process slows over time as we age, and becomes less efficient. Thus, everyone with a human body, no matter how healthy they are, will experience a decline in collagen production, though the timeline differs from person to person.
We can support collagen production by eating foods high in collagen, such as egg whites, chicken, gelatin, and bone broth. However, the proteins we eat are broken down into amino acids by digestive enzymes and then later reassembled into new proteins that are usable to the cells. This means that eating foods high in collagen will not necessarily translate to higher levels of collagen in the body.
It may be more helpful to consume foods high in vitamin C, copper, and zinc, nutrients which all play crucial roles in the production of collagen. Such foods include citrus and tropical fruits, cashews, bell peppers, and lentils. Garlic contains the mineral sulfur, which helps prevent the breakdown of collagen. Another option is adding a collagen supplement to your diet.
Most collagen supplements are “hydrolyzed,” meaning they are broken down before they enter the body, and are therefore easier for the body to absorb and use. Absorption is key to an effective supplement, so collagen peptides (another word for hydrolyzed collagen) really do work in increasing collagen shares in the body.
Collagen supplements offer many different benefits to the body, all of which will be detailed below!
What Do Collagen Supplements Do?
Now that you know what collagen is, it is time to find out what exactly collagen supplements do. Since collagen is present all over the body, it has wellness and health benefits for many body systems and functions.
Here are some of its most enticing benefits:†
- Better-looking skin: The body’s natural collagen is behind skin elasticity, structure, and hydration, and collagen dietary supplements like collagen hydrolysate powder have proven to be one of the more effective types of collagen than topical options when it comes to skin health. Skin marks related to aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles on the dermis, can be visually reduced with the use of collagen. Skin is one of the first body parts to show evidence of aging, so keeping it supple with the support of collagen products can help you feel better about your skin health and anti-aging. (Beauty products with collagen and other beneficial ingredients like hyaluronic acid can also have potential benefits, though don’t have as potent as an effect as oral collagen supplementation).
- Pain relief: Cartilage, which is built from collagen, functions as a cushion for the joints. So when collagen levels decline and said cartilage starts to weaken, you may start to experience irritation in your joints and ligaments as well as decreased overall joint health. Collagen supplements can soothe the affected areas and reduce mild joint pain by revitalizing the cartilage.
- Stronger muscles: Looking to build muscle mass? Collagen supplements are the way to go. This is as true for young people as it is for older people, as an increase in collagen can help slow the natural decline in muscle strength.
- Digestive health: The intestinal lining relies on collagen for its solidity, but a thin and weakened intestinal lining increases the risk for gastrointestinal issues. Collagen supplements may support gut health by strengthening this lining.
- Better bones: Collagen decreases the presence of proteins in the body that may break down its bones, which inhibits bone loss. Collagen supplements can also increase bone mass density and contribute to stronger bones.
- Cardiovascular support: Collagen provides structure to the arteries, and better-structured blood vessels facilitate better circulation.
Collagen’s biggest competition in the supplement market is whey protein, which is derived from dairy sources.
While whey is similarly easy to digest and absorb, generally has no negative side effects, and benefits athletic performance, recovery, and metabolism, it lacks the full body advantages that collagen has to offer.†
In addition, collagen was found to be up to 40% more satiating (filling) than whey, which also decreases (by up to 20%) the amount of food you are likely to eat in subsequent sittings.†
Finally, whey is naturally bitter, so it is often sweetened with artificial flavors and sugars. Collagen, on the other hand, is naturally unflavored, so it will not change the flavor of whatever you are adding it to. It also does not gel, meaning it will not alter the texture of smoothies, baked goods, or any type of food/drink.
Thus, collagen is a better supplementary option than whey!†
Who Can Collagen Supplements Benefit?
The short answer to who collagen supplements can benefit is everyone and anyone!
Firstly, as previously mentioned, every human on earth will experience a decline in collagen production at some point, starting even as early as in your 20s. This means every adult, no matter what age, can benefit from taking a collagen supplement, either to slow this decline or lessen its effects.†
In addition, many health problems relating to aging, such as joint pain and wrinkly skin, can be traced back to low levels of collagen. Taking collagen supplements may help minimize symptoms like stiff tendons and weakened muscles that occur as a result of collagen loss.†
Secondly, collagen supplements are well known for benefiting people looking to gain muscle and lean body mass, improve athletic performance, and maximize your recovery time.† Collagen supplements are easy to add to smoothies, coffee, soups, and baked goods, so that getting extra protein has never looked so easy or tasted so good. Of course, in this case, collagen supplements should work as an add-on to a diet already high in lean protein sources.
Lastly, protein supplements can help augment the amount of protein in your diet, especially if you have limited access to lean proteins and/or have a poor diet. While collagen supplements should never be used as a replacement for protein, they can help make sure you are getting enough protein on a daily basis. Unhealthy foods like sugars and refined carbohydrates have a negative effect on collagen, so it is important to make sure to cut them out of your diet and replenish your collagen supplies.
UV radiation and smoking in addition to poor diet can damage collagen, so if you get too much sun exposure and/or smoke, a collagen supplement may help keep your body healthier than without.
Livingood Daily Collagen: The Superior Collagen Supplement
If you have now decided to search for the right collagen supplement for you, look no further!
Livingood Daily Collagen is an ultra-clean source of protein that promotes weight loss, liver health, and detoxification, in addition to all of the normal benefits of collagen peptides.† Its hydrolyzed collagen allows for better absorption and digestion, while its delicious smell and taste will have you excited to incorporate it into as many meals as you can.†
Livingood Daily Collagen is quick and easy to use–just add a scoop to your coffee, or bake it into a healthy snack. This Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl is a protein- and nutrient-rich meal option that goes great with Livingood Daily Collagen. Or, put a scoop of your collagen supplement into this yummy and refreshing Kale And Green Apple Smoothie.
However you choose to consume your Livingood Daily Collagen, consistent use will help you maximize all the amazing benefits of collagen!
Collagen is an essential protein that our entire body relies on for structure and support. Collagen supplements are effective at supporting skin, bone, gut, heart, and muscular health, as well as calming joint pain.†
Collagen supplements such as Livingood Daily Collagen can help your body achieve real health in a delicious and nutritious way, no matter what reason you take them for!†