You may have noticed in the past few years that collagen protein powder has become quite popular. Collagen is a type of protein made up of specific amino acids and is found naturally in bone, skin, tendons, and ligaments. Even without taking collagen supplementally, many people still consume some collagen in their diet from sources such as bone-in meat, certain organ meats, and homemade bone broth. As we age, our body’s ability to create collagen declines. Adding a scoop or two of collagen powder into your food or drinks can be a great way to add some extra protein into your diet while reaping the benefits that the amino acid profile of collagen provides. Today we will discuss some of the benefits of collagen.
Relieves Joint Pain and Prevents Bone Loss
Studies show that collagen supplementation can help relieve joint pain in athletes and for those suffering from arthritis. Our bones are made mostly of collagen, and supplementation can prohibit the breakdown of bone, which is what causes osteoporosis. This study concludes, “Collagen hydrolysate has a positive therapeutic role in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: potentially increasing bone mineral density, having a protective effect on articular cartilage and, primarily, providing symptomatic relief of pain.”
Collagen has been shown to be beneficial to skin health by significantly increasing skin elasticity, which means it helps keep our skin from sagging and getting wrinkly. This is because it contains three key amino acids, glycine, lysine, and proline, which are building blocks for collagen synthesis. Some other nutrients the body utilizes to create your own collagen include copper, zinc, silica, and vitamin C. When you consume these nutrients, your body will increase its own production of collagen, which can improve the appearance of your skin.
Collagen can be very beneficial to your gut due to its amino acid profile. Sometimes when people have digestive issues, they have what’s known as intestinal gut permeability, also commonly referred to as “leaky gut.” This is when the tight junctions in the lining of the intestines lose their integrity, allowing large, undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins to enter the bloodstream. This can cause digestive issues and unwanted immune reactions. Collagen contains high levels of the amino acids glycine, proline, and glutamine which are all very beneficial to healing the intestinal lining.
Fun Ways To Add Collagen Into Your Diet
One of the best things about hydrolyzed collagen powder is that it is virtually tasteless! This means you can easily add it into a variety of foods and drinks without it changing the taste of your meal. Here are some ideas of foods and drinks that you can add collagen into:
- Smoothies or shakes
- Collagen infused fruit water
- Pancake batter
- Mashed potatoes