What Are The Benefits of Collagen? 3 Things You Need To Know
If you’ve ever read anything about collagen, you’ve probably heard it called “the glue that holds the body together.”
While there are at least 16 different types of collagen, our bodies are mostly made up of three different types. All of the various structures formed by collagen are there to support elasticity.
This means collagen helps your muscles stretch, your skin bounce back into place, and your organs to heal.
3 Benefits of Collagen
If you’re working on becoming your healthiest self, you don’t want to neglect your collagen.
For real- collagen is not just a health fad being touted by beauty brands. Studies have found this supplement to be effective in reducing aging effects on skin, repairing muscles, and even improving gut health.
1. Collagen for your skin
You’ve probably seen a plethora of beauty products all promising to restore the collagen in your skin.
It’s true that after the age of 20, you produce one percent less collagen each year- which accounts for thinning of the skin and the creation of those wrinkles that you start seeing in your thirties.
Collagen allows your skin to stretch back into place after you smile, or cry, or make weird faces at a baby.
So, if you’re producing less collagen, your skin has less stretch. It means you’ll get wrinkles or your skin will become frail and start breaking.
There’s a solution. A study on collagen supplements found a significant increase in skin elasticity, and that collagen fibers actually repaired and increased amounts of collagen in the skin.
2. Collagen for your muscles
If collagen is beneficial for your skin then what are the benefits of collagen for your muscles?
It would only make sense that muscles need elasticity too. After all, stretching is a necessary part of healthy muscle production. Well, it turns out that collagen does more for muscles than just improve their elasticity.
During weight training, your body produces less protein while consuming more. Your muscles consume the protein they need to help grow. Consuming a high protein diet after working out will increase muscle growth.
Did you know that collagen is an excellent source of protein? You can help improve the elasticity of your muscles while providing them with the protein they need to grow through collagen.
Not only does collagen help the healthy growth of muscles, but it also allows athletes to heal. Types I and III collagen have been found beneficial in helping healing muscles after injury.
Collagen is critical for muscle fiber and connective tissue production. That’s why increasing your collagen intake after an injury may assist in the healing process. That’s not the only benefit that collagen provides to athletes.
For those with joint pain over muscle injuries, collagen has been found to help reduce pain in joints. A study found that athletes who were treated with collagen supplements showed joint pain reduction. There are even implications for collagen reducing the risk of joint deterioration. Of course, without further studies that cannot be verified. Still, despite the limitations of this study, it provided substantial evidence that collagen supplements can reduce joint pain.
3. Collagen for your gut
Your gut is made out of what’s called smooth muscles. They are similar to the muscles that you use to run or talk, except they move involuntarily. And they tend not to bulk up the way a bicep muscle does.
When the smooth muscles of the digestive and bowel systems were recently studied, it was discovered they utilize collagen I, III, and V. The study suggests that collagen plays a role in the healing of your digestive tract.
Of course, you’re probably noticing a trend of collagen having several different functions for each system. The same is true for the benefits of collagen on the gut. Two amino acids found in collagen, glycine, and proline, help reduce the depletion of the mucus walls of our gastric systems, an essential aspect of preventing gastric ulcers.
With the combined capacity to heal the digestive tract and prevent the breakdown of its mucous membrane, the benefits of collagen are far-reaching. There’s even research on the impacts of collagen on IBS and leaky gut syndrome.
While additional research is still needed, the trial highlighted the benefits of collagen for reducing inflammation in the gut.
Collagen From Mushrooms?
Here at FreshCap, we’re kind of fond of mushrooms. (In case that wasn’t obvious already )
That’s why I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the potential collagen boosting effects of fungi.
Of course, it’s more common to get collagen from sources like bone broth, eggs, and ready-available collagen supplements in powder or liquid form.
But certain mushroom extracts might actually help get the benefits of collagen from external applications.
Specifically, there has been some research done on maitake mushrooms, which contain a carbohydrate that can accelerate collagen biosynthesis.
This could certainly have some major implications in the cosmetic industry- where the extract could be used in applications that help protect and rejuvenate your skin.
There’s still much more to discover about mushrooms and their ability to promote collagen in the body.
If you’ve just learned about collagen and its benefits, it’s never too late to start taking the dose your body needs.