You may have heard about collagen being a great ingredient for lotions and other skin care products because it supports skin health. It helps your skin look firmer and feel smoother, as well as aids in repairing and renewing your skin cells normally.
But beyond its beauty benefits, collagen supports your body in other ways.
Collagen is the major building block of joints, connective tissue, and bones. It is abundant in the human body, but your body’s ability to produce collagen slows down as you age. Also, collagen is degraded by long-term strenuous physical activities and other lifestyle factors, such as excessive sun exposure, high intake of sugar, and smoking.
Thus, it is necessary to get collagen from your diet by consuming food rich in collagen (bone broth and animal organs) or taking collagen protein supplements.
Here are eight ways that consuming collagen can help you become healthy and physically active.
1. Keeps your joints and bones strong
Your joints and bones require plenty of collagen so they function optimally. By giving your bones, connective tissues, and joints enough amino acids found in collagen, your body will be better able to lift weights, especially if you are regularly working out.
Moreover, collagen can alleviate symptoms of arthritis and reduce joint pain as your cartilage deteriorates and weakens with age. Also, it can rebuild ligaments once they get strained by physical activities.
2. Improves your digestive health
Collagen is also found in your gut’s connective tissue, supporting and strengthening your gut’s protective lining. This is vital since any alteration in the barrier function of your intestine will allow particles to enter your bloodstream, which can result in inflammation.
Collagen soothes the lining of your digestive system and breaks down proteins. It also heals any damaged cell walls by forming connective tissues.
Collagen is the main component of muscle tissue, which is why it has a huge impact on building muscle mass. Furthermore, collagen contains a high amount of glycine, which is an amino acid that promotes the production of creatine. And this gives your muscles the fuel or energy it needs to power through a workout.
By increasing your intake of collagen, more energy will be produced to fuel your muscles, making workouts in the gym more effective
4. Promotes better sleep
Collagen contains glycine, an amino acid that promotes restful, deeper sleep. It plays a crucial role in the neurotransmitters in your brain to improve the quality of your sleep. In fact, this also improves memory during your waking hours and reduces daytime sleepiness.
With a good night’s sleep, your body can regain its strength so you can overcome any challenge that you may encounter the next day.
5. Reduces cellulite
Cellulite is formed when the layer of fat under your skin pushes up against the connective tissue, thus creating a lumpy or dimpled appearance. With your skin becoming thin as you age, cellulite becomes more evident.
Studies have shown that consuming collagen can significantly reduce cellulite appearance as it improves your skin’s elasticity. Through collagen supplementation, you will see a clear improvement in your skin’s waviness and texture.
6. Strengthens your hair, nails and teeth
A lack of collagen can result in splitting, peeling nails. Remember that the building block of your nails, along with your teeth and hair, is collagen protein. Thus, adding collagen to your diet will keep your nails healthy and strong. Studies have also shown that collagen can reverse any signs of hair loss and skin-related illnesses.
7. Supports your liver health
Collagen is helpful if you are searching for an effective way of detoxing your body from harmful substances. Glycine can significantly reduce the potential damage your liver can incur once it absorbs toxins, alcohol or foreign substances.
8. Protects your cardiovascular health
Collagen contains proline, an amino acid that aids your artery walls to release any fat buildup in your bloodstream, resulting in reduced fat accumulation in your arteries. In addition, proline helps control your blood pressure and repairs tissue injuries in your arteries and joints. It has also been found to prevent the hardening of the arteries primarily because it averts plaque buildup.
Collagen also contains arginine, an amino acid that promotes good blood flow in your body. Being a vasodilator, it helps widen and relax your blood vessels. As a result, enough amounts of oxygen and nutrients will circulate within your body.
Indeed, collagen plays a crucial role in making you healthy, beautiful, and physically active. It is responsible for the agility and flexibility of your joints, skin, muscles, and ligaments. Thus, it is no surprise that this is often included in conversations around muscle building, exercise, and skin health.
But beyond that, collagen also ensures the health and functionality of your body systems, such as your digestive tract and circulatory system. So make sure that you are getting enough amounts of collagen every day.
Aging may limit your body from producing enough amounts of collagen, but this can be compensated by increasing your intake of collagen-rich foods and consuming high-quality collagen supplements. Take note, though, to purchase collagen protein supplements that can be absorbed quickly and effectively, only from reputable suppliers.
Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Bulletproof Diet.” Through his work, the Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.