Navigating the world of health and wellness can sometimes feel like walking through a maze, especially with a myriad of supplements vying for attention on the shelves. Among these, one superstar ingredient has been steadily rising in popularity: collagen.
Yet, for many, understanding what it is, how collagen works, why we need it, and most importantly, the benefits of collagen supplements, might still be a bit of a grey area. In this comprehensive guide, we'll share some top tips to help you do more research and make the most of your collagen supplements. Keep reading to learn more!
Understanding the Benefits of Collagen Supplements
As we age, our bodies natural production of collagen begins to slow down. This decline, coupled with dietary and lifestyle factors, can lead to a loss of collagen in our skin and connective tissues, which can contribute to various signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and joint pain. This is where collagen supplements come in. Here are some potential benefits of adding these supplements to your routine:
One of the most well-known benefits of collagen supplements is their potential to improve skin health. Collagen plays a critical role in maintaining skin elasticity and hydration. Numerous studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may reduce signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and skin dryness.
Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your joints and cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. As the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you get older, your risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis increases. Some studies have shown that taking collagen supplements can improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain.
Collagen makes up a significant portion of our bones, and its deterioration over time can lead to conditions like osteoporosis. There's evidence to suggest that taking collagen supplements may inhibit the breakdown of bone and improve overall bone strength.
Collagen comprises between 1-10% of muscle tissue. This protein is necessary to keep muscles strong and functioning correctly. Research suggests that collagen supplements can stimulate muscle growth after exercise and could be beneficial for those with muscle-degenerating diseases.
It's important to remember that while collagen supplements can offer a range of health benefits, they should not replace a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Always consult with a healthcare professional before adding new supplements to your routine.
Choosing the Right Collagen Supplement
Not all collagen supplements are created equal, and the quality of collagen products can significantly impact their effectiveness. Here's what to look for:
- Type of Collagen: various types of collagen have different benefits. Type I and III collagen primarily benefit skin, hair, and nails, while Type II collagen is beneficial for joint health.
- Source: collagen can come from several sources, such as bovine (cow) or marine (fish). Consider any dietary restrictions or allergies when choosing a source.
- Additional Ingredients: some collagen supplements contain additional ingredients like hyaluronic acid or vitamins to support collagen synthesis and absorption. Opt for clean, simple ingredients without unnecessary additives.
- Brand Reputation: look for brands, like Liquid Health, known for their quality and transparency about their sourcing and production methods.
Different Types of Collagen Supplements
Collagen supplements come in various forms, each with its unique method of administration. By understanding the various ways to take collagen supplements, you can select the method that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle and routine.
Here are some common forms of collagen supplements:
- Collagen Powder: collagen powders can be mixed into hot or cold drinks, soups, or smoothies. It's typically flavourless, so it won't affect the taste of your food or drink.
- Collagen Pills: to be taken with a glass of water, these provide a convenient method for those on the go.
- Collagen Gummies: an alternative for those who have difficulty swallowing pills. These can be consumed just like any other gummy sweet. They're often flavoured and make a sweet, health-boosting treat.
- Collagen Patches: transdermal patches are infused with collagen and provide a targeted boost to specific areas of your skin, such as under the eyes or the lips.
Whatever form of collagen supplement you choose, remember to always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the appropriate dosage.
Making Collagen Supplements Part of Your Routine
Embracing collagen doesn't have to be a massive upheaval in your daily routine. On the contrary, it can be smoothly integrated into your lifestyle with a few simple steps.
- Keep Them Visible: store your collagen supplements in a visible, easily accessible location as a daily reminder. This could be on your kitchen counter, next to your air purifier, or on your nightstand.
- Pair with a Habit: connect taking your collagen supplements with an already-established daily habit. For instance, if you're a coffee drinker, consider mixing your collagen powder into your morning cuppa. Or, if you prefer pills, take them along with your regular morning vitamins.
- Set Reminders: if you find it hard to remember to take your collagen supplements, set a daily reminder on your phone or write it on your to-do list.
- Combine with a Balanced Diet: supplements are just that – a supplement to your diet. Ensure you're eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, bone broth and healthy fats. Some nutrients, like liposomal Vitamin C and fulvic acid supplements, are particularly helpful for collagen production.
- Stay Hydrated: collagen relies on water to remain flexible and resilient. Ensure you're drinking plenty of water daily to support the overall health of your skin and joints.
Frequently Asked Questions About Collagen Supplements
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up about a third of the body's protein content. It's one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Often referred to as the 'scaffolding' that holds the body together, collagen works because it provides structure and strength to our tissues and bones. Collagen is also responsible for the elasticity and regeneration of our skin. It's the substance that keeps our skin looking youthful and prevents it from sagging.
In essence, collagen is a vital protein that contributes to our overall health and well-being, playing a crucial role in the structure and function of our bodies.
What are the different types of collagen?
Not all collagen is created equal. In fact, there are at least 28 types of collagen that exist in our body. However, the vast majority of the collagen found in the human body is type I, II, or III. Each type of collagen has a unique role and function. Let's dive into these types:
- Type I Collagen: This is the most abundant collagen in our bodies, accounting for approximately 90% of our total collagen content. Type I collagen is found in areas that require tensile strength and elasticity, such as the skin, bones, teeth, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, and scar tissue. It's also the type of collagen that's most commonly found in collagen supplements and is often sourced from bovine or marine animals.
- Type II Collagen: This type is primarily found in cartilage – the flexible tissue that provides padding at your joints. Supplements with Type II collagen, usually sourced from chickens, can be beneficial for those suffering from joint issues or arthritis.
- Type III Collagen: Often found alongside Type I, this type is present in our skin, blood vessels, and internal organs. It helps to maintain the structural integrity of these tissues.
What is Pure Hydrolysed Marine Collagen?
Pure hydrolysed marine collagen is a type of collagen supplement sourced from fish. The term 'hydrolysed' refers to the process of breaking down the collagen molecules into smaller, more easily absorbed particles called collagen peptides. This process makes it easier for your body to digest and absorb the marine collagen protein.
Marine collagen, particularly the hydrolysed form, is rich in Type I collagen, which is the type of protein that primarily benefits the skin, hair, and nails. It can help to promote skin elasticity, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and improve hair and nail health. It's also thought to have bioavailability superior to other sources of collagen, meaning it's more easily absorbed by the body.
How long does it take to see the benefits of collagen supplements?
It generally takes 2 to 8 weeks to see noticeable improvements in collagen production, depending on individual factors like age, health status, and the quality of the collagen supplement used.
Are there any vegan alternatives to collagen supplements?
Yes, there are vegan alternatives available. These typically contain a blend of plant-based ingredients that promote natural collagen production in the body.
Can I take collagen supplements while pregnant or breastfeeding?
It's always best to consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Are there any potential side effects of collagen supplements?
Collagen supplements are generally considered safe for most people, but like any dietary supplement, they can potentially cause side effects such as digestive symptoms or skin reactions.
Those with allergies to the source of the collagen supplement, such as fish, shellfish, or eggs, could have an allergic reaction. If you experience any adverse reactions, immediately stop usage and consult a healthcare professional.
What's the best time to take collagen supplements?
While there's no universally "best" time, some people find taking collagen supplements in the morning on an empty stomach or just before bed optimises absorption.
Collagen supplements have proven their worth time and time again. From promoting skin health to supporting joint mobility, the benefits of collagen supplements are extensive and backed by science. Don't hesitate to contact our team of experts at Proactive Healthcare for more information!
However, as with any supplement, it's crucial to select a high-quality product and use it correctly to maximise its benefits. Always consult a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or are pregnant.
This article is provided for informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, it should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist before starting any new dietary supplement, including collagen.
The use of any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk. The author and publisher disclaim any liability for any damage, injury, or loss that may result from the use or misuse of the information contained herein. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of any affiliated institutions or organisations.
Always read product labels and instructions carefully before use. If you have a specific allergy or sensitivity, do not use ingredients that may trigger a reaction. An allergy patch test is recommended if there is any doubt or history of skin reactions.
Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this article.