Collagen supplements are taking the world by storm, especially when it comes to health benefits. Collagen, only five to ten years ago was seen only as a skin plumper and smoother, but now we know that it does a lot more for our bodies - including having a whole range of health and fitness benefits.
Collagen you’d have noticed is being added to just about everything, from protein bars to coffee creamer and this is with good reason. Collagen is a very impressive protein - one of the most abundant in the body!
What exactly is Collagen?
Collagen makes up about three-quarters of the dry weight of our skin, but, as we age, it breaks down faster than the body can replace it naturally. Skin lacking in collagen loses its elasticity and becomes prone to sagging and wrinkles. A collagen deficiency can also cause joint pain and muscle aches, thus emphasising how important collagen really is for multiple long term benefits.
Collagen is a protein that occurs naturally in your skin, tendons, cartilage, and connective tissue. Like all proteins, collagen is made up of amino acids which are bundled together to form fibres found in skin, nails, hair, bones and joints. As a result, collegen has a number of important functions in the body, including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones.
Collagen also contains high amounts of glycine which is the amino acid responsible for creating a calming effect on the nervous system, which can often assist in improving sleep. It also blunts the body's inflammatory response to stress, thus protecting your stomach lining from any anxiety-induced damage that may occur.
Where can you find collagen in food?
Since collagen is indeed a protein it can be found in all meats, fish and even egg whites. So if your diet consists of any of the above, then you’re actively consuming collagen. It is said however, that most the collagen is found in parts of meat we don't often digest, such as the tendons, so in that case we are not consuming all we could be. If you’re not one to eat meat, there are plenty of plant-based substitutes that contain glycine and proline (both found in collagen) - soybeans, spirulina and agar are a few examples.
Certain nutrients are also needed to kick-start the body's production of natural collagen and maximize the effects of the collagen you get from foods or supplements. Vitamin C and Iron, are both essential for collagen production, along with omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the body's collagen stores from damage. You can easily get them from foods like broccoli, and citrus (for vitamin C); shellfish and red meat (iron); and salmon, mackerel, and other oily fish (omega-3s).
Are collagen supplements worth it?
Whether you’re getting collagen in your diet or not, collagen boosters can help for that extra bit of collagen needed to keep your skin, muscles and overall body at its best.
There are plenty of ways in which you can take your supplements, such as; collagen protein bars, collagen water and collagen creamer, and even in powder or capsules.
When to take collagen supplements for best results.
It depends what your intended goal is to be able to give you the best time to take your supplements. Say you are a gym goer and are wanting that extra muscle growth, then one hour after working out would be the best time, just how you’d have your regular post-workout protein. If busting hunger is more your goal then either morning or afternoon is best, it's dependent on when you tend to get the hungriest.
It’s not too late to start
Overall I’m sure you can see the reasons why taking collagen supplements/boosters are important for the longevity of your skin and body. It's also important to start off with smaller amounts and increase as your body gradually adapts to it.
Don’t wait any longer, get yourself some collagen booster capsules to ensure you are doing the best you can for your body!