When we think of collagen protein and it's benefits for women, we often associate it with a “fountain of youth” kind of mythology. You know - beautiful skin, long hair, strong nails.
The question is, can collagen do more than improve skin, hair, and nail health?
The right type of collagen supplement has the potential to improve women’s health far beyond appearance. Collagen benefits for women also tend to be more targeted than for men, because of how collagen interacts with hormones and bone health.
In this article, we will break down five surprising collagen benefits for women. We’ll go beyond the topical benefits and dig deeper into how collagen really can improve women’s health as they age.
What is collagen protein, and why does it matter?
Collagen is a protein that our bodies naturally produce via amino acids. However, by age 25, our collagen production slows down drastically. That’s why our bones, joints, and skin all start to feel more “aged” by our mid-twenties.
Collagen can be thought of as the structural support of our body. It’s what helps our cartilage cushion our joints. It can also supports strong bones and can help our skin and organs heal.
If you aren’t producing enough collagen as you age, you could see why adding some to our daily diets could improve your overall health.
Now, it is important to note that collagen can only be produced by animal sources.
Most collagen supplements come from fish, chicken, or cows, but they can come from almost any mammal. That means there are no sources of vegan, plant-based collagen.
The good news is that if you are vegan, you can still support your body’s natural collagen production by eating certain foods that are high in antioxidants.
So now that you understand what collagen is, and why it’s important, let’s take a look at some of the amazing benefits of collagen supplementation for women.
5 surprising collagen benefits for women
There are numerous studies that reveal the benefits of collagen supplements when it comes to skin, nails, and hair. But the powers of collagen go beyond just boosting your appearance. Taking regular collagen supplements can actually be beneficial for your health - inside and out.
Here are five of the somewhat overlooked (and surprising) collagen benefits for women.
1. collagen may support lean muscle growth
As you age, you may notice you're not able to build muscle (or "get in shape") as easily as you once could. You may even begin to lose muscle mass.
Part of the reason could be because anywhere from 1-10% of our muscles is made up of collagen. If we aren’t producing enough collagen, our bodies prioritize other, more essential parts of our body to support, like our vital organs.
Now, lean muscle is easier to maintain with some exercise built into the day, but daily exercise mixed with a healthy dose of collagen may support muscle health.
Some studies also suggest that additional collagen could potentially increase other muscle proteins like creatine. Creatine is something found naturally in our muscles’ cells. Essentially, creatine exists to give our muscles the energy to move. The more we have of it, the more energy our muscles have to exercise or lift heavy things.
Having your body create more creatine naturally is a great thing. That way, your muscles can have more energy, and you can boost cell function and support lean muscle growth.
As a woman, you may not be looking to “bulk up,” but having a lean, toned muscle composition can help regulate your body mass index much more easily. With a strong foundation of lean muscle, you are able to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Having more muscle increases the calories you burn just doing daily activities - and even while resting - so it will be even easier for you to keep off that weight without too much effort.
2. Collagen may help with weight loss and maintenance
That leads right into the next benefit of collagen for women: supporting weight loss.
Even if you are happy with your current weight, and aren’t seeking to shed any pounds, collagen can help you maintain the weight you’re at.
The main reason that collagen, or a high-protein diet in general, is effective for weight loss is that it helps us feel more full after eating. Studies of the correlation between collagen and weight loss have shown that there is a potential to increase the satiety hormone in our bodies after the consumption of collagen supplements.
Satiety hormones produce that feeling of “fullness” or satisfaction after we eat.
They essentially communicate to our brain that we aren’t hungry anymore. This makes it much easier for us to stick to a sustainable lifestyle and a healthy diet.
Using collagen to help lose weight can be somewhat tricky, and it is important to monitor your intake. As with any dietary change, there are limitations. If you are consuming too much protein, you could actually gain weight.
When in doubt, consult with your doctor or a nutritionist.
3. Collagen may counter low estrogen production
Women's hormones shift and change with different life events like pregnancy, birth, and menopause. Estrogen is often the most widely discussed hormone when it comes to women’s health. That’s because estrogen helps you manage anxiety, your moods, and even your sleep cycle. It’s also your main reproductive hormone.
But, as you know, estrogen production decreases over time, especially after menopause. These changes may bring with them an array of day-to-day differences in your mood and overall health.
After menopause (which on average occurs at age 52), the decrease in estrogen can cause changes in skin and bone health, along with many other health issues.
Some studies suggest that the decrease in estrogen as women age is directly tied to the decrease in collagen production. As our skin becomes thinner, our bones become more brittle, and our other organs struggle to maintain high levels of tissue, it becomes evident that collagen plays a huge role in how we age.
If estrogen levels and collagen production are tied together, then women may need extra collagen supplementation to keep their bodies healthy once they are no longer able to produce estrogen.
4. Collagen provides post-menopause bone support
After menopause, women are more likely to experience bone deterioration. Luckily, collagen supplements can specifically help to support your bones as you age.
All bones - whether you are a man or woman - are made up mostly of collagen. So, as our estrogen and collagen production decreases with age, our bone mass deteriorates as well.
Bone deterioration is especially dangerous because it can lead to osteoporosis and even frequent bone fracturing. The use of collagen supplementation to support bone growth or stabilize bone structure can be essential after menopause.
Weak bones are directly associated with a low blood mineral density in the bones themselves. Blood mineral density is the measurement of minerals, like calcium, in your bones. Older women may be able to maintain or even improve their blood mineral bone density with the combined support of supplements like collagen and calcium.
5. Collagen may help your gut health
As mentioned with changes in hormone levels, overall tissue density and organ health can be impacted. The reason there is such a strong connection between our gut health and collagen is that collagen makes up around 90% of our connective tissues.
So for women, digestive health may begin to decline with age due to a more extreme drop in collagen production.
Taking collagen supplements may provide extra support to your digestive system. In fact, there is some research suggesting that collagen could be especially helpful when dealing with disorders like leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky gut syndrome essentially happens when the lining of your intestines can no longer retain their structure and start to break down. This can cause toxins and nutrients to actually “leak” out into your body instead of being absorbed or passed through.
What collagen does is help build up the soft tissues that make up your intestinal wall and stomach. Collagen contains large amounts of amino acids like glycine, glutamine, and proline. All of these amino acids help support healthy connective tissues in your organs.
Best collagen supplements for women
So now that you understand collagen’s benefits, it’s important to find the right type of collagen that actually allows you to receive those benefits.
There are many different types of collagen supplements, and knowing which one is best for your goals is important.
If you are ingesting collagen proteins that are too large for your body to fully absorb, we won’t get very positive results, and could even experience some gastrointestinal distress.
To ensure that the collagen you take is efficient and digestible, you should be looking for hydrolyzed collagen such as ProT Gold. When collagen goes through hydrolysis, the molecule size becomes small enough to fit through the pores of our stomach, easing digestion. Our bodies don’t have to work very hard to digest these small molecules, making them easy to absorb and distribute throughout our bodies.
This is just one reason why ProT Gold's hydrolyzed collagen products are the best collagen supplements for women.
It is also important to note that beyond collagen being hydrolyzed, the form it comes in can make a difference. Some collagen comes in a powder form, others in pills, or in a liquid stage. You can also get collagen in whole food form when eating some animal products.
When it comes to absorption and digestion,
When it comes to absorption and digestion, hydrolyzed liquid collagen is the best collagen for women. Plus, it comes ready to drink. That means you won’t have to add it to anything to make it palatable.
And, once you've started taking a collagen supplement that really works for you, the health benefits will be notable. You may notice improved digestive health, more energy and strength from nutrient absorption, and balanced hormones even after estrogen levels decline with age. Whether you are concerned about your bone density, looking to maintain a healthy weight, or just want a boost in protein each day, our collagen protein can help you reach your health goals.