What is collagen?
Collagen, the most plentiful protein in the body, is found in the connective tissues in your tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles. Therefore, it’s clearly beneficial and important to have an abundance of it to insure every part of your body is in optimized condition. This protein was one of the biggest supplement trends last year and it’s been growing since as many people realize the benefits. Collagen is known for its anti-aging properties, as well as its duality as a beauty and performance enhancer, making it appealing to a wide range of consumers. Projections by the Nutrition Business Journal estimate collagen supplement sales in the U.S. will reach $298 million in 2020, up 300% in the last 5 years.
Taking collagen is important because some people don’t eat enough of the correct foods to have the right amino acids to make enough of their own collagen. The body also needs vitamin C and zinc to produce collagen. It’s also important because as you age, the body becomes less efficient at creating collagen on its own, and ultraviolet light from the sun accelerates this decline, resulting in unwanted wrinkles and sagging of the skin.
How can it help me?
Responsible for holding everything in the body together, collagen helps strengthen your skin, especially in terms of aging. It improves recovery from exercise, and also provides increased mobility, relief from joint pain, helps prevent bone loss, and boosts lean muscle mass. Research has shown it may reduce risk of heart problems because it helps with structuring arteries.
Aesthetically, collagen can make the skin look younger and healthier, and keep hair smooth and elastic and nails strong and shiny. Studies on collagen supplements published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology last year showed that daily collagen intake worked to increase skin hydration and elasticity.
It can also help with easing weight loss and potentially improve gut health. It is also recommended to take collagen on a ketogenic diet because it provides key amino acids that are lacking on keto and helps enhance endurance and athletic recovery, as well as help fight hunger that may occur during ketosis.
Traditionally, collagen was taken in the form of gelatin. But the collagen in gelatin is in the form of huge proteins that can cause stomach problems because they aren’t absorbed well by the body.
Collagen supplementation is growing exponentially for good reason- it’s great for both maintaining a healthy unified frame as well as looking and feeling your best.
This past year, health has been at the forefront of our minds more than ever before. Many people are reconsidering their daily habits and what they’re putting into their bodies. While things like masks and hand sanitizer are essential, one of the most important defenses against sicknesses like COVID-19 is an invisible fighter, the immune system.