If you look around the supplement industry ... it's hard to find a product that's gained more popularity than collagen.
Every supplement brand on Earth now has their own version of a collagen product.
There's quite a few claims when it comes to the benefits of collagen...
Improving the health of your hair, skin, and nails
Helping with loose skin
Strengthening joints, tendons, and cartilage
Aiding in gut health and digestion
...and even helping with fat burning and muscle building.
The question ... do collagen supplements actually work?
In this article, we'll take a look at what collagen is, what to look for in a collagen product ... and if using this type of supplement is right for you.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein ... and one of the most abundant proteins in the human body.
It's actually what your skin is made of!
Collagen is quite literally like the "glue" that holds you together.
It's not only what makes up your skin ... but it's also a big part of your joints, hair, nails, and all the connective tissue in your entire body.
It even helps strengthen your bones.
It's also an important part of your digestive system and makes up a lot of the lining that surrounds your gut.
You'll often hear about collagen when it comes to staying youthful ... because you typically have higher collagen levels when you're younger. You'll have healthier hair and nails, stronger joints, smoother skin, etc.
As you age ... your levels of collagen will decline.
This is a big part of what causes wrinkles, balding, weaker nails ... and some of the other physical aging issues you see as well.
It's fighting the aging process that first made collagen supplements popular.
It makes sense ... why not add in more collagen if you're losing it as you age?
But ... does supplementing with collagen actually work?
The short answer ... yes.
I mean think about it ... eating protein is one of the most beneficial things you can do, and collagen is simply a type of protein.
You may think of protein in terms of weight loss and muscle building ... but protein is also very important for improving the strength of your hair, skin, nails, etc.
But there's a little more to think about here.
All proteins are a collection of amino acids ... that's what makes a protein.
Collagen is no different, but the amino acids that make up collagen are lacking in Essential Amino Acids ... mainly Leucine, which is one of the most important when it comes to fitness results.
This means that collagen supplements are not ideal when it comes to a protein source for building muscle and burning fat ... but that doesn't mean you shouldn't use collagen.
It just means you need to know what you're looking to get out of the product.
If your main goal is to add protein to your diet to help with muscle building and fat burning ... collagen isn't going to be the best option.
You'd want to look into a whey protein supplement if that's your goal.
Now, if you're looking to stay youthful, improve the health of your hair/skin/nails, and strengthen the connective tissues in your body ... collagen can be a great tool to help you do so.
Collagen can even be helpful if you struggle with issues like leaky gut or IBS ... given it plays a large role in strengthening the lining of your gut.
Collagen supplementation maybe a little more beneficial if you're older and have lost some of your natural collagen stores ... but it can still be very helpful if you're younger too.
The point here is to make sure you're grabbing a product the fits your needs and goals.
How to Pick The Right Collagen Supplement
Let's say you're looking to use a collagen supplement now ... how do you know what to pick with all the options out there?
Well, let's take a look.
There's actually multiple types of collagen sources ... and the best collagen products will contain all of those sources.
It's because each different source has different benefits ... so why not have them all in your collagen product.
The best of the best collagen products will contain 4-5 different sources.
You can even take this a step further, and look for collagen supplements with additional benefits ... such as adding in other ingredients that also help with skin, nail, and joint health.
Ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, biotin, and dermaval can all amplify the benefits of collagen.
For example, dermaval and collagen together can help with skin elasticity ... and may even help prevent loose skin.
You'll even see some products with "hydrolyzed" collagen peptides ... meaning the collagen has been broken down for you, making it easier for your body to digest and use.
We carry many different, high-quality collagen supplements that can help you get these specific benefits.
Some of our most popular options include:
- 1st Phorm Collagen with Dermaval
- Allmax Collagen with Biotin and Vitamin C
- Evogen Collagen Plus Hydration
...and this is just to name a few. Our selection is constantly growing due to the popularity of this product category.
If you're curious about supplementing with collagen and how it may help you ... you can stop by your nearest S2 location and we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.
*This article was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. He is also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.