Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body but decreases as we age. Fortunately, collagen powder helps maintain healthy levels of this protein, which plays a critical role to support your health and well-being.
Specifically, collagen provides structure to the skin It is also found in muscles, bones, tendons, blood vessels, and the digestive system. Collagen has recently gained attention as a nutritional supplement. It comes as a powder and is an ingredient in shampoos and body lotions.
Think of collagen as the glue that binds the building blocks together. Fun fact, the word actually comes from Kolla, which means glue in Greek.
The primary function of Collagen is to help tissues withstand stretching.
Although Collagen loss starts between the ages of 18 and 29, after age 40, the body can lose as much as 1% per year. In older adults, collagen production can decrease 75% in comparison to young adults.
We can consume collagen from natural food sources. It’s often found that the connective tissue of animals is high in collagen. Chicken, gelatin, pork skin, shellfish, and bone broth are rich sources of collagen.
There are two types of collagen supplements that have been gaining status in the world of health and well-being. These supplements include hydrolyzed collagen, which comes in powdered form, and gelatin, which is formed when collagen is cooked.
How do these supplements work to increase your overall health? They contain peptides (a combination of amino acids) that are readily utilized by the body.
A recent study found that a combination of collagen peptide supplements and strength training increased muscle mass in men. It also increased strength when compared with a placebo supplement.
An animal-based study in 2017 found that collagen supplementation can play a protective role in post-traumatic osteoarthritis development and progression.
Another study in 2019 looked at women who took a collagen supplement. They found the women showed improvements in skin appearance and elasticity. Collagen is also used in topical treatments to improve the appearance of skin by minimizing lines and wrinkles. Collagen supplements also promote gut health and may help lose excess weight.
There are very few and rare side effects to consuming collagen powder and supplements, This supplement has a good safety profile. Gelatin-related supplements can leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth when consumed alone. This issue can be avoided by adding collagen powder to your coffee, salads, or soups. Other side effects include feelings of heaviness or fullness and heartburn.
If you have a fish or shellfish allergy, you should avoid taking marine collagen supplements, and choose instead collagen powder from bovine sources.
You can incorporate collagen powder into foods so the body absorbs it.
Collagen is found in skin, hair, nails, and other connective tissues. As we age, our natural collagen levels start to decline. So, taking a collagen powder supplement help to maintain healthy skin and joints.
There are many types of collagen; however, most supplements only use three types. Type 1 and type 3 are used for skin health and elasticity. Type 2 is used for cartilage and joint health.
Collagen peptide very often comes in a ready-to-mix powder. You can use this powder in smoothies, soups, or baked goods without affecting the texture.
Some studies show that taking collagen powder for several months can improve skin elasticity, (i.e., wrinkles and roughness) as well as signs of aging. Others have shown that consuming collagen can increase the density in bones weakened with age. It can also improve joint, back, and knee pain.
Researchers believe that if we ingest collagen from foods and supplements, it will support and optimize our health. Researchers have found that collagen powder addresses needs posed by aging and exercise.
Recent research supports that taking a collagen powder supplement may increase skin elasticity, hydration, and maintain muscle mass. Since these components decrease as we age, collagen powder is gaining popularity.
Choosing a Collagen Powder
There are more than a dozen types of collagen, each composed of different peptides or amino acids. Some types form skin and tendons while others support cartilage development.
Collagen powder has become more mainstream simply because you can add it to everything from hot coffee and soups to cold brew and smoothies.
The powdered version also packs quite a protein punch. A two-scoop serving of most collagen peptides delivers around 18 grams. This supports the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
It’s always better to choose food over supplements. However, when choosing a collagen powder, look for a formula without artificial flavors or preservatives.
Collagen powder should contain collagen protein isolate a.k.a. collagen hydrolysate, hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen peptides.
In summary, collagen forms the scaffold to provide strength and structure for the body.
Collagen powders are versatile and you can add them to any part of your diet. This includes drinks, smoothies, coffees, baking, and so forth. This results in the development and maintenance of the body’s muscle mass, joints, skin, nails, and hair.