When you’re young, you may not think much about your joints or ligaments (even though you use them constantly). It’s as you age that their importance becomes apparent, and in order for them to function properly and painlessly, you may want to consider collagen for ligaments and joints.
Your joints are in motion even during simple activities like standing up or walking from one place to another. As you age, your joints might become more stiff and achy, and you will probably start looking for some solutions to those symptoms.
Even by the time you get into your mid twenties, you’ll begin to notice some changes in joint mobility and even soreness after exercise.
When we talk about our joints though, we are not just talking about the connection between two bones that allows for easy movement - we are also talking about your joint structure as a whole.
Your joint structure is made up of cartilage, ligaments, synovial fluid membrane, muscles, tendons, and a bursa filled with more synovial fluid. All of these body parts work together to protect your bones at their connecting points and to allow you to move your joints freely.
In fact, without your joint structure, your bones would just grind together and be nearly impossible to move (not to mention painful).
Each of these pieces plays an important role in movement, but one of the most important parts of your joint is the ligament (which also happens to be one of the most commonly injured parts of your joint for athletes).
When you are taking care of your joints with a collagen supplement, you are also taking care of your ligament health and the health of the other connective tissues that help keep your joints in motion.
The good news is that the best collagen for joints also happens to be the best collagen for ligaments.
But before we get into what the best collagen for ligaments is and why you want to be taking collagen for ligaments, it would be pretty important for you to know what a ligament is.
So let’s strive to answer the question: “What is a ligament, and why is it so important?
What is a ligament?
The most basic ligament definition is: the tough, fibrous bands of connective tissue holding your joints together.
Your ligaments alone are not the only important part of your joint structure though, and they also rely on other tissues to help support the joint.
When discussing your joint structure, ligaments are often confused with tendons. As mentioned, ligaments are a tough band of connective tissue holding your bones together.
It is easiest to think of ligaments like you do a rope, because while ligaments have some elastic fibers to allow your joint to move, they are a series of very strong, intertwined cords.
Most joints have several major ligaments to keep the joint from moving too far in a given direction. By stabilizing your bones, healthy ligaments are effectively able to prevent your joint from twisting or becoming dislocated.
Much like a ligament, tendons are also tough cords of connective tissue, but they are more flexible than a ligament is. While ligaments are essentially holding the joint together, tendons are connecting to the muscles to help your bones engage in movement.
Your tendons effectively absorb some of the force of your muscles when performing a movement of any kind.
Because your ligaments are made out of such strong connective tissues, that means they are also made out of strong collagen fibers. Each joint structure varies slightly, and your ligaments will be various shapes and sizes because of this.
In some smaller joints, your ligaments won’t be much bigger than a string, while others will look like wide bands. No matter the shape or size of your ligaments though, one thing remains the same with all of them: they need a constant supply of collagen to continue to repair and maintain their structure.
Why collagen for ligaments? Well, let’s look at what collagen is and what it does for your body.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a prolific animal protein found in the human body as well as within other mammals. It is a fibrous protein that is created by combining three chains of various amino acids such as hydroxyproline, proline, and glycine.
Collagen proteins are the building blocks of connective tissues like tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
The strong structures that collagen proteins are able to create are what make up most of the foundational and structural parts of your body. Collagen makes up about 25-35% of your body's total proteins, making it one of the most abundant proteins in your body.
There are several types of collagen protein, but not all of them are important to human health. If you are considering implementing a collagen protein supplement into your diet to support joint health, then knowing how to identify quality collagen supplements will become an important skill.
Most collagen is going to be either type 1, 2, or 3, which are also the types of collagen that mammals in general need.
Knowing that alone will be beneficial, but it is also important to understand that collagen in its whole form when ingested is not very bioavailable to us.
The size of the collagen molecule makes it extremely difficult for our body to digest and effectively absorb the amino acids necessary to build new collagen molecules.
In order for your body to properly digest collagen, you need to look for collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen protein supplements. Read on until the end of this article to learn what this means and why it is important when looking for the best collagen for ligaments.
Now that you understand what collagen is, let’s take a look at why collagen for ligaments and joints is necessary, especially as you age.
Collagen for ligaments
Maintaining joint integrity means a lot at any age, and if just one part of the joint structure isn’t strong enough, the entire joint can become compromised. When this happens, it makes you much more susceptible to injury - and no one wants that!
Your ligaments specifically need to maintain their strength so that they are able to stabilize the bones and the muscle connection within the joint. If your ligaments are not strong enough, they will be more likely to restrict joint movement, which can cause injuries like sprains.
As you age, your risk of these types of injuries goes up. So does the risk of having weak ligaments that cause tight, stiff joints. This is primarily due to a drop in natural collagen synthesis in your body.
By the time you are in your mid twenties, your collagen production has begun to slow down, and it will continue to slow down with each passing year.
As your body’s collagen production slows, your body naturally directs the collagen you do have available to your most vital organs or injured parts of your body. That’s why you may start to notice changes in your skin or achy joints as you age.
Taking collagen for joints is a very generalized application, but when you do take collagen for joints, you are effectively also taking collagen for ligaments.
However, from what we know from the ligament definition above, how collagen for ligaments actually helps is important to understand. After all, when we are moving and using our joints throughout the day we want stable joints every step of the way.
To help support the joint structure, taking collagen for ligaments helps to promote connective tissue regeneration and overall strength. This will keep your joints healthy and mobile, and help to prevent injury to your joint structures.
When taking the right type of collagen for ligaments, you are providing your body with the necessary amino acids it needs to create collagen molecules in the body.
The only way your body can synthesize collagen protein is with access to the necessary amino acids to build its complex triple-helical structure. Simply by giving your body the proper tools, you are helping your body have access to more collagen protein.
That way, your body no longer has to delegate only to vital organs, and more collagen is available for other important parts of your body like your ligaments and the rest of your joint structure.
The best collagen for ligaments and joints
So, now that you know the importance of collagen for ligaments and joints, how do you know which supplements are the best and most effective?
As mentioned in an earlier section, the whole collagen molecule is not easily digestible within the human body.
This is because the collagen molecules in the whole form are much larger than your stomach pores and end up being passed before they can be broken down enough to be absorbed. A few amino acids may get through, but the majority will go to waste.
When you are looking for a collagen supplement to support your joints, look for collagen peptides or a hydrolyzed collagen supplement. When a collagen supplement is hydrolyzed, it means that it has gone through the process of hydrolysis.
What is hydrolysis?
Hydrolysis is a process where whole collagen molecules are broken down into smaller, more digestible molecules with water.
However, there’s a catch.
Hydrolyzed collagen is still slightly larger than your stomach pores. So, it is easier to digest than collagen in the whole form, but still not ideal for optimal absorption.
Beyond the molecule size, the type of collagen that is in the supplement matters as well. Most collagen supplements will use either type 1, 2, or 3 collagen. If you are looking for the best collagen for ligaments and joints though, you should try to look for type 2 collagen.
Type 2 collagen is sourced from cartilage. Since cartilage is a primary part of your joint structure, it is thought that type 2 collagen is the most beneficial choice when looking to promote joint health.
We took all these factors into consideration when creating our ProT Gold liquid collagen. ProT Gold has a mixture of Type 1 and Type 2 collagen to target your organs AND your joints and ligaments.
ProT Gold liquid collagen is also nano hydrolyzed. A nano hydrolyzed collagen has gone through the process of hydrolysis more than once, making it far more bioavailable due to the molecule size.
Not only that, but ProT Gold medical grade collagen even contains a predigested fruit enzyme to allow the collagen molecules to be absorbed within 15 minutes of consumption. Easy, effective, and the best collagen for ligaments and joints.