Collagen is proving to be an all-star complement to your diet that can potentially provide the fountain of youth you’ve been looking for. In fact, many people are using collagen protein powder supplements as part of their daily routine, even athletes are using it as another to repair and rebuild from grueling workouts. That being said, is collagen protein powder good for you? What are the health benefits of Collagen? And what does the research say?
Let's find out if the hype is true and if collagen protein powder is good for you!
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a structural protein, specifically a polypeptide containing a mixture of the amino acids glycine, proline, and lysine. As one of the most abundant proteins in the human body, Collagen consists of nearly 30% of total human protein [R]. Collagen is engrained within the connective tissue of animals and humans, specifically found in the cartilage, tendons, muscles, and bones (think of Collagen, as the glue that holds everything together).
Your body naturally produces collagen from certain vitamins and minerals from the food you eat. However, Collagen production naturally declines as you age [R]. When the production of Collagen declines, we are met with wrinkles, sag, and sometimes even cellulite, which is completely natural considering our bodies are not capable of repairing themselves as they once did, in your adolescence. Suggested health claims, propose that Collagen can benefit and repair muscle, joints, and bones, and also support healthy hair and skin.
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What Does Collagen Protein Powder Do?
Collagen is commonly referred to as the glue that holds your body together. The word Collagen itself is derived from the Greek word ‘kollla’ which means “glue”. Nearly one-third of the body’s protein is collagen [R].
As we age, the natural production of collagen in humans slows, with signs of low collagen production in more than just saggy skin, wrinkles, and less-than baby soft skin. So is collagen protein powder good for you?
Well, let’s put it this way, without collagen, our bodies lose their structural integrity that supports tissue health, ligament strength, and bone health. The most significant function of collagen is structure, proving why this type of protein, collagen protein (CP), is very important for the human body [R]. Collagen protein powder is good for everyday individuals as well as athletes.
Is Powdered Collagen Bad For You?
No, powdered collagen is not bad for you. Supplementing with a collagen protein supplement is actually the most bioavailable and easy to absorb form of collagen that you can get. While our first recommendation is always food, when it comes to getting more collagen in your diet, it can be extremely hard.
Collagen protein supplements are clinically proven to be the best way to provide the human body with collagen. [R] Additionally, collagen protein powder supplements are more bioavailable within the human body. What does that mean for you? It means that your body has a better chance of actually absorbing the supplement rather than excreting it.
Since collagen protein powder supplements are sourced from animals, the body can easily recognize and utilize the nutrient contributing to an improvement in your skin, ligaments, and tendon’s elasticity, hydration, and youthful resiliency [R].
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Is Collagen A Complete Protein?
No, but before you write it off, it’s crucial to understand that collagen protein powder, just like any supplement, is not meant to replace the nutrition from your diet. Rather, collagen protein is meant to bridge the gaps in your diet and solve for the natural slow of collagen production as we age.
Collagen Protein is comprised of at least 9 essential amino acids, meaning your body must receive these building blocks of protein from your diet. Your body cannot make essential amino acids on its own. Complete proteins are found in animal foods and some plant foods. Thus, collagen is a unique type of protein and is not considered to be a complete source of protein.
RELATED ARTICLE What's The Difference Between Complete Vs. Incomplete Proteins?
What Amino Acids Are In Collagen Protein Powder
Collagen protein powder contains very specific amino acids (mainly glycine, proline, alanine, and hydroxyproline) that are severely lacking in modern diets. In fact, collagen protein can contain up to 19 different types of amino acids, of which, only 10 of the 20 can humans synthesize [R].
Think of supplementing with a collagen protein powder as providing your body with the glue that holds it all together. Your body depends on collagen, and ample amounts of it, to remain strong, healthy, and flexible, as you age.
Is Collagen Protein Powder Good For You And Does It Work?
The clinical studies on supplementation with Collagen Hydrolysate protein powder are limited, however early research has shown some promising results and potential health benefits.
Results have indicated that drinking collagen does have some benefit in promoting healthy skin, yet in regards to joint health and exercise recovery, studies have been limited by small sample sizes and short trial duration. Therefore, more rigorous trials will need to be developed in order to support any promising or proven health claims.
However, since collagen is an ample source of protein, it will result in providing similar if not the same benefits and results of supplementing with any other type of protein in regards to promoting lean muscle mass, strength, and recovery. So if you’re still wondering “Is collagen protein powder good for you”, then the answer is yes, and it very well may be the best way for you to boost collagen production naturally and slow the aging process down just a tad.
RELATED ARTICLE Is Collagen Or Whey Better To Use For My Post-Workout Shake?
What Are The Benefits Of Collagen Protein Powder?
Contrary to popular belief, the human body does not directly synthesize collagen to directly influence bone growth, rejuvenate cartilage production, nor to directly produce healthier skin and nails. Collagen protein powder, as well as the collagen we obtain from food sources, has to be absorbed and broken down into amino acids in order to be utilized within the human body.
However, the introduction of collagen protein powder into the human body can provide significant health benefits. Since collagen can be a catalyst for additional, natural collagen production (yay!).
Still wondering is collagen protein powder good for you? Let’s dive into the benefits of collagen a bit further to make the judgment call for yourself.
3 Benefits of Collagen Protein Powder
Benefits Of Collagen Protein Powder: Healthier Skin
With a large majority of collagen being present in the skin, it’s hypothesized that supplementing with Collagen peptides will also benefit your skin elasticity and complexion. However, assuming that something you swallow will turn into the same thing once its digested, is not really how biochemistry works.
Nevertheless, there have been some promising clinical studies that do prove the use of Collagen to benefit skin health. In a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, 72 female subjects were administered 5g of hydrolyzed collagen or a placebo. The study found that after 8 weeks of Collagen supplementation, collagen peptides had a positive influence on skin elasticity and skin moisture [R].
The skin and connective tissue contain cells called fibroblasts that help manufacture collagen, as long as the fibroblasts have enough of the amino acids they need such as glycine, and proline [R].
Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein Powder Benefits
- Improved skin elasticity
- Smoother skin appearance
- Increase skin moisture
- Reduce dryness
Benefits Of Collagen Protein Powder: Joint Health
Research has shown that Collagen, specifically hydrolyzed collagen promotes an anabolic or building effect on cartilage tissue. In a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study conducted at Penn State University 147 collegiate athletes, (72 male, 75 female) were randomly administered 10g of hydrolyzed collagen or a placebo. After 24 weeks, the results showed a significant improvement of joint pain, joint strength, and resilience in athletes who were treated with the collagen hydrolysate [R]. This is particularly important for endurance athletes since joint pain can have a negative impact on athletic performance
Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein Powder Benefits
- Reduce Joint Pain
- Rebuild cartilage tissue
- Increase joint strength
Benefits Of Collagen Protein Powder: Bone Health
Other investigative studies have shown that collagen has an effect on bone mineral density and bone formation. This can be extremely beneficial especially as we start aging, to help prevent injury from potential bone degradation. In a very recent randomized, controlled, double-blind 12–month study, published in the journal Nutrients, 131 women were given either 5g of collagen or a placebo. The results indicated an increase in bone density and a favorable shift in bone markers [R].
Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein Powder Benefits
- Increase Bone Density
- Reduce Bone Degradation
- Increase Bone Formation
Is Collagen Protein Powder Good For You (The Athlete)?
Collagen is much more than just beauty aid. Collagen is comprised of unique amino acids, that are rare in the modern-day diet, which support joint health, mobility, and strength. The great thing about Collagen is that it’s unflavored and virtually tasteless so you can mix it in practically anything, to get an extra boost of protein to improve joint health and performance.
By increasing collagen production, your body will strengthen connective tissues, such as your joint cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. The stronger those connective tissues are the lower your risk of injury. But what does the science say?
In a study conducted at Cologne Sports University in Germany, 57 male participants were administered 15g of collagen peptides per day or placebo for a period of twelve weeks. The results concluded that study participants using Collagen, showed a more pronounced difference in strength with a significant increase in fat-free mass, resulting in improved body composition [R].
Collagen Protein Powder May Joint Pain and Improve Joint Health
Demanding training schedules and high-impact training modalities can create chronic joint pain, acute aches, and disrupt the recovery process. In a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study [the gold standard in clinical studies] conducted at Penn State University 147 collegiate athletes, (72 male, 75 female) were randomly administered 10g of hydrolyzed collagen or a placebo.
After 24 weeks, the results showed a significant improvement of joint pain, joint strength, and resilience in athletes who were treated with the collagen hydrolysate [R]. This study provides ample evidence, that Collagen supplementation can have a significant benefit for athletes, reducing joint pain and stiffness, resulting in improved athletic performance.
Is Collagen Protein Powder Better Than Whey Protein Post Workout?
No. Even though collagen is protein and contains some essential amino acids [EAA] to facilitate muscle protein synthesis (muscle building), it's not the best option to use as your post-workout protein. Although essential amino acids are vital for building and rebuilding muscle tissue, collagen contains only a fraction of EAAs as compared to Whey protein [R].
It's really apples to oranges to compare the two types of protein powder.
If you’re drinking your post-workout shake to build more gains in the gym, then using a complete source of protein such as whey or casein will be your best bet to build lean muscle mass and help with muscle recovery. Collagen, however, is a great source of protein for an extra boost of protein that helps with connective tissue support, joint pain, and healthier glowing skin.
That being said, our best recommendation is taking the two for their different benefits at different times of the day. For example, using collagen in your AM coffee while saving your Whey Isolate from Swolverine for your post-workout recovery drink.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT Whey Protein Isolate (30 Servings, 26g protein per scoop)
In Conclusion: Is Collagen Protein Powder Good For You
Yes! Collagen protein powder is a great source of the amino acids and building blocks of protein that our body needs more and more of as we age. Since collagen protein is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body, our bodies consist of nearly one-third (30%) of total human protein. Collagen protein supplements are clinically proven to be the best way to provide the human body with collagen. Additionally, collagen protein powder supplements are more bioavailable within the human body. What does that mean for you? It means that your body has a better chance of actually absorbing the supplement rather than excreting it.
Boost Your Natural Collagen Levels, Increase Health, and Fight Aging with a Collagen Supplement!
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