5 Benefits of Collagen Powder
Have you heard about collagen powder? It seems like the next big hype but this time I actually feel the hype is warranted. Collagen can now be found in just about everything — from creams and cosmetics, to powders and pills. As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen is found in your muscles, skin, blood, bones, cartilage, and ligaments. You may want to consider squeezing in an extra serving of this vital protein for several reasons, as collagen is a building block that:
- promotes skin elasticity
- holds together your bones and muscles
- protects your organs
- heals the gut
Keep reading to discover five specific benefits you may experience if you take the time to up your collagen consumption.
1. Eases joint painAs your cartilage weakens and deteriorates with age, you may start to feel stiff, achy joints. It’s possible that upping your collagen intake may help reduce joint pain and alleviate symptoms of arthritis.
In a 2009 study, participants took a collagen supplement for 90 days. Results showed that osteoarthritis symptoms decreased by 40% while the severity of symptoms dropped by an impressive 33%.
In an older study from 1993 with the same collagen supplement, participants with severe rheumatoid arthritis saw a reduced number of swollen and tender joints — 4 out of 60 participants also experienced complete remission.
2. Reverses skin agingOne of the most well-known benefits of collagen is its ability to promote glowing, vibrant skin. This essential protein provides elasticity to the skin, helping it to appear more youthful and healthy. But as you get older and collagen production declines, fine lines, loose skin, and dryness can occur.
A study published in 2014 randomly chose 46 of 69 women, ages 35-55 years old, to take a collagen hydrolysate supplement. The rest of the group took a placebo. The women who took the collagen showed an improvement in skin elasticity within four weeks.
The same manufacturer also conducted another study in 2014 with the same supplement, which significantly reduced wrinkles after just eight weeks.
3. Helps build muscle and burn fatCollagen is a major component of muscle tissue, so it should come as no surprise that it can have a big impact when it comes to building muscle mass. Plus, collagen also contains a concentrated amount of glycine, an amino acid involved in the synthesis of creatine which provides muscles with the fuel needed to power through your workout. So what happens when you add collagen to your workout routine?
There’s not much research on collagen and exercise, but a study in 2015 looked at collagen supplements in 53 older males with sarcopenia, a condition where you lose muscle mass due to aging. After 12 weeks, those who took supplements along with resistance training saw an increase in fat loss and muscle strength more than the placebo group.
4. May reduce celluliteBesides keeping your skin healthy and glowing, collagen may also help improve the appearance of stubborn cellulite. Cellulite is when the layer of fat under the skin pushes up against the connective tissue, creating a dimpled or lumpy appearance on the skin.
Another study was sponsored in 2015 by manufacturers to see what collagen would do for cellulite. They randomly assigned 105 women, ages 24-50, to take collagen for six months. Those who did demonstrated a clear improvement in skin texture. Yet cellulite is incredibly common — an estimated 80 to 90% of women have it. It’s a natural part of aging and skin formation and not a cause for concern.
5. Improves digestive healthCollagen is in the gut’s connective tissue and can help support and strengthen the protective lining of your digestive tract. This is critically important because alterations in the barrier function of your intestine, also known as leaky gut syndrome, can allow particles to pass into the bloodstream. This may result in inflammation.
In fact, an older study from 2003 looked at 170 individuals with inflammatory bowel disease and found that they were more likely to have lower levels of serum collagen. So the current theory is that by increasing your intake of collagen, you could help build up the tissues that line your gastrointestinal tract and promote better gut health.
Here are a few easy ways to kick up your collagen intake:
1. Experiment with bone brothBone broth is made by simmering bones to help extract the flavor and beneficial nutrients. Not only is it an excellent source of collagen, but it’s also tasty and easy to add to your diet by using it to make soups and stews, whole grains like rice and quinoa, and even to moisten leftovers. You can easily make bone broth at home, or save time by purchasing it in powder form. The brand I love for powdered bone broth and carry in the office for your convenience is Organixx.
2. Try out powdered gelatinGelatin is essentially the cooked form of collagen, and powdered gelatin can be a quick and convenient way to bump up your collagen consumption. It can be mixed into any liquid, including soups, stews, and broths. You can also enjoy it to satisfy your sweet tooth by making homemade Jell-O or natural fruit snacks.
3. Supplement with collagen peptidesCollagen peptides are another easy option to get your fix of this important amino acid. Most brands sell hydrolyzed collagen peptides, which means that the amino acids in collagen have been broken down so that they’re more easily digested and absorbed.
Collagen powder can also be added to smoothies, hot beverages, or baked goods to pump some extra protein into your day. The collagen powder I recommend the most is also from Organixx which we also have in the office.