There’s no supplement trending as much right now as collagen peptides. But what is it and is it worth you spending your hard-earned dollars on it?
Collagen is the most abundant type of protein in the body. Think of them as supporting structures, found everywhere from the bones, muscles, skins, and tendons. They are both strong and flexible and do everything from give our skin elasticity to strengthen and protect the lining of our gut.
The body produces collagen on its own but as we get older that production declines. That can leave skin wrinkly and loose, joints achy, and more.
Collagen decreases from:
🙅♀️ Exposure to UV lights
🙅♀️ Lack of sleep
🙅♀️ Poor diet + lack of nutrients
🙅♀️ Poor hydration
🙅♀️ Consumption of lots of sugar + processed foods
Benefits of collagen:
💁 Improve health of hair, nails, and teeth
💁 Reduces joint pain and improves mobility
💁 Mitigates or protects against age-related wrinkles
💁 Benefits GI health and has been shown to improve leaky gut (“intestinal permeability”)
💁 Shown to have benefit in arthritic populations
💁 Solid source of protein
While studies have shown promising results related to collagen supplementation and the improvement of skin and joint health, collagen doesn’t quite have the same effect when it comes to muscle development despite its protein content.
If you’re looking for muscle development (to get bigger, stronger, improve body composition, etc.) then collagen supplementation doesn’t have quite the same effect as a whey protein, for example.
When it comes to building muscle, what’s most important is the amino acid profile of the source of protein. You’ll find lots of collagen supplements market themselves by saying “contains all 9 essential amino acids for muscle development.” While that may be true, there’s not enough of each of those 9 essential nutrients in collagen supplements to actually stimulate muscle development and repair. For that, you’re better off with whey protein, fortified vegan protein powder, meat, low-fat dairy, and casein protein powder.
That’s not to say collagen isn’t a solid supplement — it just shouldn’t be your main source of protein.
What to look for when you buy:
You’ll want to make sure you go for “collagen peptides” or “hydrolyzed collagen” as those are the types shown to enter the bloodstream intact. Supplementing anywhere from 2.5 to 10g a day seems to be where the positive effects of the research tends to happen.