When you first think about the benefits of taking collagen, you probably picture reduced wrinkles. And while collagen can certainly improve the appearance of your skin, the health benefits of collagen go much deeper.
Collagen is one of the most crucial building blocks of the human body. This small but mighty protein literally holds us together. Without collagen, your bones, ligaments, and skin could not function!
Supplementing with collagen peptides unlocks a whole new world of health support. The benefit of collagen peptides will look different for each person, but no matter what your health goals are, taking collagen can help you move toward them.
But before we get too far into the benefits of taking collagen, let’s do a quick review of what collagen and collagen peptides are.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body.
It contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids – molecules your body needs to survive but can’t make on its own. Collagen also contains all 11 non-essential amino acids, including one called “hydroxyproline” which isn’t found in other proteins.
Your body can make its own collagen, but as you age, your collagen production naturally slows down.
Yes, this can lead to wrinkles, but you can also feel the effects of collagen slowdown through joint pain, reduced muscle mass, and issues with the health of your gut lining. All these things are affected by this lack of collagen.
Supplementing with collagen can help, but only if it’s the right type of supplement. In general, we recommend collagen peptides.
Collagen peptides are collagen molecules that have gone through a process called hydrolysis which breaks them down. Hydrolyzed collagen is easier for your body to digest and use, ensuring that your collagen supplement reaches its fullest health-boosting potential.
But what are the benefits of collagen peptides? Let’s take a look at some of the health perks you can experience with a high-quality collagen supplement.
13 benefits of taking collagen supplements
Here are just some of the benefits of taking collagen on a regular basis:
1. Collagen can enhance bone health
As we age, bone health and density can decrease. This can lead to a greater risk of broken bones. Your bones are complex, made up of many different minerals like calcium and phosphorus. They also contain a large amount of collagen.
The effect of collagen on bone health has been studied extensively, and the benefits of taking collagen for bone health are amazing.
Collagen can improve bone health and density markers with as little as 5 grams a day! One study found that at the one-year mark, bone formation had increased and bone degradation had decreased significantly in all participants.
2. Collagen helps soothe arthritis symptoms
The most common form of arthritis is called osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the body’s natural cartilage begins to break down. Cartilage doesn’t have any blood vessels, so it can’t easily repair itself.
Until you’re about 25, your body is still building up the cartilage in your knees. After that, the cartilage can break down, but the speed at which this happens depends on a number of factors. Cartilage is about 60% collagen by dry weight. If your body doesn’t have enough collagen to maintain the cartilage in your joints, it’s going to break down quicker.
So what are the benefits of taking collagen for arthritis?
Even when you already have arthritis, the health benefits of collagen can help slow further damage. And its effect on your bones, ligaments, and blood vessels can soothe the inflammatory response caused by cartilage breakdown, helping reduce joint pain.
3. Collagen can strengthen ligaments and tendons
Yes, collagen can strengthen ligaments and tendons, too! Ligaments and tendons are up to 80% collagen, making this protein crucial to their health.
Ligaments are the strong, stretchy tissues that connect your bones to each other. In people with arthritis, stronger ligaments can take pressure off of the affected joint, making arthritis pain more bearable.
Tendons are similar to ligaments, but they connect your muscles to your bone. The benefits of taking collagen for tendonitis come from collagen’s ability to boost the strength and flexibility of these tendons.
4. Collagen may enhance muscle mass
The benefit of collagen peptides doesn’t stop with bones and tendons. Our muscles are up to 10% collagen. And, as a protein, collagen contains the building blocks our bodies need to build muscle during exercise.
Aging affects muscle mass, too, but collagen can improve muscle strength and body composition when combined with exercise.
For your body to build muscle, it needs to break down muscle fibers. Then, it repairs them stronger than they were before. The benefits of taking collagen as part of your workout routine are due to this phenomenon.
5. Collagen may reduce exercise-related injuries
Since the health benefits of collagen impact your tendons and your muscles, collagen can help reduce exercise-related injuries. When your connective tissues are stronger and more flexible, they are less likely to tear from trauma or sudden movements.
This is great news for everyone, but especially for athletes, who can supplement with collagen to help prevent injuries during their sport.
6. Collagen can improve gut health
The link between collagen and gut health is still being explored. The benefits of taking collagen on your digestive health are clear, but the precise ways in which collagen accomplishes this haven’t been fully uncovered.
A huge part of collagen’s effect on gut health is its effect on the lining of your stomach and digestive tract. This has a lot in common with collagen’s anti-wrinkle effects on skin.
Collagen’s ability to help the body smooth, strengthen, and repair tissue works just as well on the lining of your digestive tract as it does on your face!
When it comes to the supplement itself, collagen often leads to less stomach upset when compared to whey protein.
Not only is collagen lactose-free, but a clear benefit of collagen peptides is how digestible they are. The molecules are nearly half as small as whey molecules, making them much easier and more comfortable to absorb.
7. Collagen supports weight loss
Since collagen is a protein, is collagen good for weight loss? Absolutely! Getting plenty of protein is an important part of supporting weight loss goals. Using a zero-fat, ultra-low carb, sugar free, low-calorie collagen supplement is the perfect way to set yourself up for success.
Collagen’s ability to improve gut health and build muscle mass allows it to blend seamlessly into your overarching health plan. The benefits of taking collagen for weight loss have even been documented in scientific studies, with one showing significant weight loss in as little as six weeks.
8. Collagen aids in faster wound healing
Collagen plays a critical role in wound healing. How?
Collagen wound healing support starts immediately after an injury. It activates the clotting factors in your blood, leading to faster initial scabbing. Then, collagen helps to rebuild the damaged tissue, from the top layer of your skin all the way down into muscles and organs.
Medical-grade collagen is used in healthcare facilities in a number of capacities. Collagen wound dressings can speed wound healing, but you can also receive the healing benefits of taking collagen orally.
9. Collagen supports heart health
Cholesterol buildup is one of the leading causes of heart problems. Another is the hardening of the walls in your aorta, the largest artery in your body, which carries blood and oxygen to and from the heart and lungs. The benefits of taking collagen for heart health address both of these.
Collagen has been shown to decrease cholesterol levels and the hardening of aortal walls. The reason collagen has an effect on cholesterol is complex, but has to do with the way the amino acids interact with cholesterol. The aortal walls, on the other hand, interact with collagen in a very similar way to your digestive tract.
Since the aorta is a blood vessel, it’s about 50% collagen by dry weight. Supplementing with collagen helps your body to keep your aorta healthy by giving your body what it needs to repair and strengthen your aorta without hardening it.
10. Collagen can help regulate women’s hormones
Women’s hormone health is a delicate, constantly shifting balance. Age, pregnancy, stress, diet, and a whole host of other factors can impact hormones. Your hormone health can also impact collagen production, and vice versa.
At different points in the menstrual cycle, women’s bodies speed up or slow down many functions in the body. One of these is collagen production. At some points in your cycle, collagen production slows dramatically.
The benefits of taking collagen for hormone health are partly to balance your body’s collagen levels. Since your body regularly slows collagen production, you’re more likely to have a deficiency. This is partly why women struggle with bone density and skin problems more frequently in age than their male counterparts.
Taking collagen may also improve unpleasant symptoms throughout your cycle and even improve your mood.
11. Collagen may boost mental health
Mental health is just as important to our well-being as physical health. There are many different supplements for mental health – with varying degrees of scientific support. Collagen’s role in balancing hormone health is part of its success in mental health support.
The benefits of taking collagen for mental health are due to its glycine content. Specifically, the amino acid glycine has been shown to improve symptoms in patients with schizophrenia, and to be an overall “mood booster.”
Glycine operates as part of our normal sleep cycle, since its main function is to calm your central nervous system. Taking collagen may improve sleep, boost your mood, and reduce pain and inflammation in the body, which can also take a toll on your mental health.
12. Collagen can improve hair health
Like skin health, collagen’s effects on hair health are widely known due to the beauty industry’s influence. While using collagen-infused hair masks won’t do much, the benefits of taking collagen can absolutely improve hair health and reduce hair loss.
Taking liquid collagen for hair growth reduces hair loss by stimulating your dermis, the layer of your skin where hair is formed. Collagen can stimulate the dermis throughout your body, not just on your head.
Collagen is also rich in the amino acids your body uses to make hair. This means that your hair will be healthier and stronger, since there are no deficiencies your body has to make up for.
13. Collagen can improve nail health
Along with your skin and hair, your nail health suffers when you have amino acid deficiencies. Weak, cracking, brittle nails don’t just look unsightly. They can also be uncomfortable to deal with, especially long-term.
The benefits of taking collagen for nail health are astonishing. One study found that 88% of participants saw fewer broken nails, less brittle nails, and faster growth. This even continued for at least 4 weeks after participants stopped taking collagen daily!
Taking advantage of the health benefits of collagen
The benefits of taking collagen are numerous. Sure, it can improve the way we look as we age, but the real benefits of collagen are so much deeper. Collagen is the most crucial building block our bodies have, and without enough of it, we risk a whole host of unpleasant symptoms.
Collagen supplementation ensures that we have plenty of this vital protein. And the health benefits of collagen go from the inside out, supporting our organs, bones, brains, and muscles along the way.
The benefit of collagen peptides in your supplement, specifically, is in how accessible they are to your body. But when you’re choosing a supplement, don’t just stop at collagen peptides. For the highest-quality supplement available, look for medical-grade collagen.
A medical-grade collagen supplement can give you all the benefits of taking collagen, with none of the potential side effects you find in poor quality supplements. Most supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, and can contain excess sugars and harmful additives.
Medical-grade collagen, on the other hand, is FDA regulated and manufactured under the strictest conditions. It is trusted for use at medical facilities under the supervision of physicians, and will be a safe bet for your daily supplement.