Did you know that with age, the body's production of collagen progressively slows down? For those active in the gym or heavily into bodybuilding, collagen is important for strengthening ligaments and joints; thus reducing likelihood of injury.
You may have heard that collagen is a beneficial supplement for strengthening hair, skin, and nails... But what if we told you that collagen works wonders for your enhancing muscle mass?
Collagen powder, collagen peptides, and hydrolyzed collagen are all sources of collagen that emanate benefits to different systems of body. This article goes over what exactly collagen is, the different types of collagen, and the many benefits that collagen provides to building muscle mass. Keep scrolling to learn more!
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body; it makes up 35% of the total protein content in your body. Collagen is the primary structural protein found in connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones, cartilage, and skin.
Interestingly enough, there are 28 known types of collagen in the body — Type I collagen accounts for more than 90% of collagen in the human body.
Additionally, collagen is composed of amino acids: glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. The chemical structure of these amino acids form three strands that make up the triple-helix structure characteristics of collagen (NCBI, n.d.).
Collagen supplements can be bought in forms of powder, capsules, and liquid. It's an easy supplement to add to your coffee or daily vitamin routine!
What Does a Collagen Supplement Do?
Collagen supplements labeled as collagen, collagen peptides, or collagen hydrolysate are dietary supplements that provide this type of protein to daily nutrition. Because the body make its own collagen and can be consumed in well-balanced diets, collagen supplements are not all that necessary, but are useful to make up for some loss or deficiency.
Although you most likely see collagen marketed for improving hair, skin, and nail conditions, collagen is excellent for bone strength and athletic and fitness performance.
Many people often question whether or not collagen supplements really work and if you can really see improvements in athletic performance... What's the answer?
The fact is, collagen is a protein that has much research showing to improve the structure of hair, skin, nail, and connective tissue. Since collagen is considered a protein, after consumed, your body breaks down collagen into different amino acids.
Ultimately, you need to make sure you are consuming enough protein throughout the day along with having adequate collagen storage; without the contribution of both proteins, it will be difficult to get intended results for your skin, hair, nails, and joints.
As previously mentioned, if you are deficient in collagen, supplementation may be beneficial for you. They can also work to repaire cells and improve appearance of healthy skin, hair, and nails. Additionally, a well-balanced diet can supply you of all the collagen you may need, but a collagen supplement can never hurt.
Types of Collagen:
Collagen is the most abundant form of protein in the body — meaning that our bodies have large quantities and plenty storage of this protein. Collagen can be looked at like as the 'glue' that holds everything together.
As we get older, collagen storage becomes harder to produce and breaks down at a much faster rate. Additionally, some people lack collagen from their diet or already have a collagen deficiency... This is where a collagen supplement would be beneficial.
There are over 20 different types of collagen, but the most common found in supplements are collagen peptides I, II, and II.
Collagen peptides, also known as hydrolyzed collagen, are fragments of animal-derived collagen that is broken down through a process called hydrolysis. When collagen peptides are hydrolyzed, it makes it easier for the body to absorb and utilize it.
Collagen Peptide I: The most abundant form found in the body and is used to provide structure and strength to the bones, ligaments, tendons, and skin.
Collagen Peptide II:The form of collagen that is more loosely packed fibers and can be found in elastic cartilage.
Collagen Peptide III: Supports the structure of the muscles, organs, and arteries in the body — the second most abundant form of collagen and is found in reticular fibers like bone marrow.
Collagen is an essential protein that helps keep the skin stay and look smooth and keeps the hair and nails strong. AstroFlav's Collagen Peptides are hydrolyzed bovine collagen I & II. This type of collagenspecifically derives from cows and is associated with several health benefits, including arthritis relief, improved skin health, and bone loss prevention.
Benefits of Collagen
As mentioned above, collagen levels drop naturally as we age... So, taking a collagen supplement may be extremely beneficial and can make up for deficiency or not obtaining any from your diet.
It is often questioned whether or not collagen supplements actually work and if you can really see fitness performance improvements. Below is a list of potential benefits that collagen may give!
Improve appearance of the skin and hair: One of the most popular uses of a collagen supplement is to support skin health. Research suggests that skin health and appearance can be improved by consistently taking a collagen supplement. Hydrolyzed collagen in specific, has numerous of studies showing that skin hydration and elasticity has may be improved when taking.
May improve joint health: Collagen is an important component of cartilage (the tissue in between bones that cushions and supports joints). It may help improve joint function and joint pain by strengthening and providing more structure to the area. Studies have shown that supplementing with collagen can reduce joint pain and osteoarthritis symptoms (Clark, et. al., 2008).
May strengthen bones: When performing weight-bearing activities such as lifting weights, the pressure is generated on your bones and joints. Supplementing with collagen not only provides strength to your bones, but is also useful for avoiding injury.
Helps in muscle repairing and restoration: Regeneration of muscle fibers and connective tissue are the two main factors that lead to the healing of torn muscles (MuscleBlaze, 2019). Since collagen has a high amount of amino acids, consuming this protein after a workout helps to restore the lost protein in the muscles from the breakdown of exercise.
Collagen for Muscle Building and Weight Training Individuals
How does collagen factor in a bodybuilders supplement regimen? The answer is easy!
Collagen is an important component of our muscles. It's a known fact that as we get older, our muscle mass decreases. This essentially means that the abundance of collagen in our bodies also decreases.
According to a 2015 randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Nutrition, increasing doses of hydrolyzed collagen to 15 grams per day can improve muscle mass and body composition (Zdzieblik, 2015). The supplementation of collagen peptides combined with resistance training also showed improved body composition and increased muscle strength among the participants in this study.
Additionally, collagen supplements are beneficial to weight training individuals as they may enhance recovery and reduce sports related injuries. By incorporating collagen consistently into your daily routine, it is possible that you can prevent weight lifting or sports related injuries. This is because of the strengthening effect collagen has on the joints and bones... Strong and healthy bones lead to less chances of injury.
How much collagen per day for bodybuilding?
Bodybuilders, fitness enthusiast, and those looking to build muscle should consume 15-20 grams of collagen per day. In fact, most collagen supplements typically come in a 15-20 gram serving size. AstroFlav's Collagen supplement serves 20 grams of collagen per servings and contains Puremidine™, a longevity elixir that has potential health-protective and lifespan extending effects!
It's also important to note that collagen isn't just for bodybuilding! It is for any individual who is looking to strengthen the hair, skin, nails, and connective tissue. The good thing about supplementing with collagen is that it works as a protein source as well as a muscle-building supplement!
Collagen vs. Protein Supplements
What's the difference between collagen supplements and protein powder? Which is better for you?
Although collagen is classified as a protein source, it is much different than your typical protein powder.
The key differentiator between these two powder is the sourcing factor as it influences the amino acid makeup of each.
Collagen is sourced from the skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments of beef, fish, chicken, and pork (Annez, 2022).
Protein powder, on the other hand, can come from a variety of whole food sources such as milk and vegan protein comes from sources like hemp, soy, and, pea flour.
While both powders have a wide variety of amino acids, protein powder is the one that has the nine essential ones our bodies need to obtain. Collagen is not considered a complete protein because it lacks the essential amino acid, tryptophan.
So which powder should you choose?
While collagen powder and protein powder both offer a number of benefits for the body, each one provides different and unique effects.
Collagen is useful if you are wanting to improve the appearance of your skin, hair, nail, and joint health. Protein powder is great for those active individuals looking to put on muscle mass.
In all honesty, including both into your daily regimen won't hurt!
The Bottom Line:
Collagen is the most abundant form of protein throughout the entire body; it is found in the connective tissue, skin, tendons, bone, and cartilage. Your body makes collagen naturally, but you can also consume it through collagen supplements and certain foods.
Without collagen production, our bones and joints would become very weak and put us at higher risk of injury. Additionally, collagen is useful for strengthening and improving appearance of our skin, hair, and nails.
There are over 20 different types of collagen, but the most common found in supplements are collagen peptides I, II, and II. Each of these peptides are produced in vast areas of the body and factor in many different functions.
When choosing an effective collagen supplement, most will contain about 15-20 grams of purely just collagen. Our collagen supplement not only provides 20 grams of hydrolyzed bovine collagen (peptides I & III), but also Puremidine™, a classified spermidine known to promote optimal longevity and health-span. Click the link below to try yours today!
Clark, K. L., Sebastianelli, W., Flechsenhar, K. R., Aukermann, D. F., Meza, F., Millard, R. L., Deitch, J. R., Sherbondy, P. S., & Albert, A. (2008). 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Current medical research and opinion, 24(5), 1485–1496. https://doi.org/10.1185/030079908x291967