Collagen is a type of protein that is found in the connective tissue and bones – it’s the foundation for healthy skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. Although collagen supplements can be frequently found in the women’s hair and skin section of health food stores, its benefits apply to both men and women. Going beyond skin and hair health, regular consumption of hydrolyzed collagen can benefit heart health, increase energy levels, improve body composition and reduce joint pain.
What is hydrolyzed collagen?
Like all proteins, collagen is made up of amino acids linked together. Each chain of amino acids forms a peptide, and these peptides fold and attach to one another to make up protein. However, the body is unable to absorb protein or collagen in its whole form. They must be broken down into peptides and amino acids during the digestive process. As such, collagen supplements are available as “hydrolyzed collagen peptides”. This means that the collagen is broken down into smaller chains, and therefore is more absorbable.
During normal digestion, protein is broken down into various peptides of different sizes. You will not always create the exact peptides that help your body produce collagen. The peptides can be used to make other proteins too, if collagen is not a priority. Consuming hydrolyzed collagen peptides encourages the body’s natural ability to produce collagen. Depending on the size of the chains, each peptide will target specific parts of the body – whether it be muscle, joints, bones or the skin.
How does collagen benefit men’s health?
Collagen is a unique, complex protein because its main amino acids consist of glycine, proline and hydroxyproline, each with their own unique function.
Keeps the hair on your head, not in the shower drain
Though balding is common among men, losing large amounts of hair can take a toll on your confidence and self-esteem. Hair loss or early balding may be due to genetics, hormonal changes or medical conditions. Most of the time, it is a normal part of aging.
One of collagen’s primary amino acids, proline, is the main component of keratin. Hair is primarily made up from keratin, making collagen an important building block of hair growth. The added boost of proline from collagen supplements gives your body the tools it needs to make collagen and build up healthier hair follicles.
Prevents stiff, creaky joints
Everyday movement can cause hips, knees, feet and spinal joints to be particularly prone to wear and tear-related damage. These joints are held in place by cartilage, which can also degenerate with use and age. Dysfunction in the joints or cartilage can lead to painful conditions like arthritis or osteoarthritis.
The cartilage matrix is made up of chondrocyte cells. In order to keep the joints and cartilage healthy, chondrocytes must consistently be replaced with new cells as injured ones die off. The hydroxyproline in collagen helps increase chondrocyte renewal, decrease inflammation and can even regenerate cartilage tissue.
Increase muscle growth
Without sufficient collagen, you could be working out every day but see little difference in your body composition.
Creatine is the amino acid that provides your muscles with energy during workouts such as weightlifting or sprinting. Glycine is needed in the production of creatine to stimulate muscle growth after exercise. Your body naturally creates creatine, but if you don’t have enough glycine, creatine production is greatly reduced.
During heavy lifting and high-intensity workouts, you rely on creatine for strength and building muscles. In fact, studies show that men who take collagen gain significantly more muscle mass and strength compared to the men who did not take collagen.
Boosts energy levels
Your body primarily burns sugars for energy. In order for this process to occur, insulin must accomplish its task of transporting the sugar into cells. The glycine in collagen increases insulin’s response and as a result, energy levels rise as well. When insulin is working efficiently, blood sugar and energy levels are stable throughout the day, preventing energy crashes.
Nothing beats a healthy heart!
A healthy heart requires strong arteries to carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Without enough collagen, the arteries can become weak and prone to plaque buildup. This narrowing of the arteries is very dangerous and can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
Taking collagen supplements can help stiff and weakened arteries become more flexible in order to efficiently transport blood throughout the body.
Choosing the right collagen for you
If you would like to boost the collagen stores in your body, hydrolyzed collagen peptides are a safe and effective supplement that can be taken daily. Depending on your health goals, here are scientifically-proven formulas featuring peptides of various sizes, for specific health goals:
The peptides in this collagen help counteract the loss of muscle mass. In combination with resistance training, Collagen Muscle Tone can increase muscle strength and tone. If your goal is to improve your body composition, or prevent age-related muscle loss, this is an excellent option.
Targeted joint support
This collagen features peptides that help repair joint-cartilage tissue and increase joint lubrication. If you suffer from arthritis, joint pain or inflammation, Collagen Joint & Cartilage can help reduce the pain associated with these conditions.
Collagen Bone stimulates collagen production at your bones to support strong bones and teeth. Adults over 55 years or those at risk for osteoporosis can benefit from this option, as it helps improve bone mineral density. This formula also contains bone-supporting nutrients like vitamin D3 and K2.
Whole body health
Collagen Full Spectrum contains a range of peptides to improve all aspects of health, including muscle health, bone strength, joint pain and skin elasticity.