You’ve in all probability seen collagen pop up within the media and in your Instagram feed—with folks supplementing their weight-reduction plan or shopping for skincare merchandise with the ingredient. However what precisely is collagen and is it actually helpful for you?
Let’s begin by breaking down and understanding precisely what it’s. Collagen is a protein present in our our bodies. In reality, it’s probably the most considerable proteins accounting for about 30 % of all protein within the human physique. In essentially the most primary sense, you may consider collagen because the glue that helps maintain the physique collectively. It’s the important thing structural protein that ensures the energy, elasticity, and regeneration of all our connective tissues, together with our pores and skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones.
To get slightly extra scientific, collagen is a fancy protein made up of 19 totally different amino acids. The first amino acids embrace glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine. Crucial amino acid right here is hydroxyproline, as a result of it’s wanted to supply collagen in all of the connective tissues and is vital to the structural stability of the collagen protein.
Just a little recognized reality about collagen is that there are lots of differing kinds—no less than 16 differing kinds throughout the human physique. However round 85-90 % of it encompass sorts 1 and a couple of. Kind 1 collagen is essentially the most considerable; it’s additionally the strongest, serving to to type bones and assist the GI tract. It’s necessary for therapeutic and offers pores and skin its elastic high quality and integrity. Kind 2 is discovered primarily in cartilage in connective tissues to assist assist joint well being.
Why Is Collagen Necessary to Embody within the Food plan?
As we age and become old, the manufacturing of collagen begins to decelerate, as with most processes within the physique. When this occurs, our pores and skin turns into much less elastic and extra fragile. You might also discover that your hair begins to lose its shade and your joints aren’t as versatile. One technique to stop this decline is by supplementing your weight-reduction plan with collagen. The dermis layer of the pores and skin is the primary supply of collagen, and getting an sufficient quantity of collagen might help guarantee your pores and skin stays wholesome.
For athletes, there’s emerging research that implies collagen and vitamin C might help strengthen ligaments and tendons—the connective tissues that connect bones and muscle tissues. Current research revealed within the American Journal of Scientific Vitamin discovered that including gelatin (collagen) to an intermittent train program improves collagen synthesis and might play a job in damage prevention and tissue restore.
So, how do you have to embrace this in your weight-reduction plan? The most typical type of supplemental collagen is hydrolyzed collagen. Sometimes that is taken in doses of round 10-15g a day (with meals) for pores and skin well being and a few advantages to joints. Collagen might be derived from bovine (beef) collagen, rooster, fish, or egg shell membrane. To ensure that collagen to be activated within the physique, you need to all the time take it with a supply of vitamin C, similar to orange juice, to make sure activation and absorption.
It’s necessary to notice that though collagen protein has a fancy and wealthy amino acid profile, it shouldn’t be used as a major supply for constructing muscle. The amino acids present in collagen assist to assist pores and skin and joint well being, however don’t essentially contribute to muscle protein synthesis. The amino acid that’s necessary in activating this pathway within the physique is leucine. Leucine content material is way greater in animal proteins, like whey protein, beef, rooster, and cheese. To get the very best of each worlds, together with collagen protein with a leucine wealthy protein supply can provide the final amino acid composition to assist well being and energy.
Many merchandise at the moment are coming to the market with collagen, too. Probably the greatest new merchandise is Country Archer Meat bars with collagen. Their meat bars aren’t simply one other protein bar. They’re produced from grass-fed, antibiotic-free meat with actual substances (no preservatives) and added collagen peptides. It has 15 grams of protein and amino acids to assist construct muscle; and the collagen gives pores and skin and joint advantages.
In case you’re on the lookout for a simple technique to embrace collagen in your each day routine, Vital Proteins is main the best way with a lot of totally different merchandise together with powders, bone broths, and even collagen espresso creamer.
In brief: Collagen’s an necessary a part of a wholesome, sturdy physique. It ensures correct functioning of your pores and skin, bones, joints, hair, joints, and ligaments.
Jordan Mazur, M.S., R.D., is the coordinator of diet and group sports activities dietitian for the San Francisco 49ers.