Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It's found in bones, muscles, skin, and tendons forming a sort of "scaffold" to hold your body together. But even though your body needs and produces collagen, the amount of collagen it's making decreases as you age. That's one of the reasons so many people deal with sagging skin and joint pain as they get older. People in the United States started using collagen in the 1980s as an injection to firm-up skin, but that didn't really work so well. In more recent years, we've discovered that eating collagen is a much better way to get all the benefits of this amazing protein. This is something the Chinese have known for centuries and they consider collagen-containing foods a fountain of youth.
Here's How Collagen Can HelpBecause collagen is such an important part of your body, it makes sense that adding collagen to your diet will help solve a number of health problems. Science and years of experience back-up this idea. Taking collagen can:
- Help repair tissue – collagen gives your body the needed tools to ensure cohesion, elasticity, and regeneration of skin, cartilage, and bone.
- Increase flexibility and mobility – when you take collagen it's absorbed into joints for greater flexibility and mobility. It also supports strong, heavier, denser bones and builds up cartilage.
- Revitalize skin – collagen promotes skin hydration, reduces the number of fine lines, prevents deeper wrinkles, and maintains the suppleness of your skin from the inside-out. Some studies indicate it may also reduce cellulite.
- Build muscle and burn fat – eating collagen supports muscle building by facilitating the synthesis of creatine in the body. Pairing collagen with resistance training can help you build muscle and burn fat faster.
- Reduce aging – collagen supplements replace the necessary proteins that diminish and breakdown from aging.
- Enjoy a deeper sleep – taking collagen before bed deepens sleep, provides arginine to stimulate growth hormone release, and provides nutrients necessary to perform tissue repair while sleeping.
- Enhance brain function – collagen provides glycine, a neurotransmitter involved in motor and sensory pathways as well as ATP synthesis.
- Improve digestion – there's collagen in the gut's connective tissue, and taking collagen can help strengthen gut lining. Studies suggest collagen peptides can help support leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.