Tuesday Tip: Collagen – worth the hype? 💊
Collagen supplements are a common topic, in relation to skin, joint health and fitness but does it actually work and do you really need the supplements?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It provides structure and elasticity in muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, blood vessels, and connective tissues. As we age, collagen levels drop, resulting in wrinkles, saggy skin, joint pain, stiffer tendons and ligaments, and weaker muscles. A diet high in sugar, excessive sun exposure, and smoking also diminish collagen levels. As a protein source, collagen is an excellent one, with more protein per calorie than other sources and less sodium and sugar.
Social media is full of endorsements from celebrities for collagen products. They’re certainly no miracle product but there is a growing body of evidence suggesting it can improve skin, joint health, promote wound healing, and fend off muscle wasting. Studies show improvements in skin elasticity, blood circulation to the skin and less dryness. Interestingly a small study of men with age related muscle loss showed that collagen combined with weight lifting led to more muscle gain than just lifting weights alone. While research is mixed, a few studies have also shown that collagen can help with arthritis pain and sports-related joint pain.
Although research is limited it is promising and it’s certainly worth considering including more collagen in your diet but you really don’t need to spend money on supplements or fancy drinks etc. As with anything it’s always best to get your nutrients from a healthy, balanced diet.
If you’re a meat eater the easiest option is bone broth, chicken, pork or salmon skin. Egg yolk is also a great source as are any foods with gelatin in (haribo included lol!). For vegans or vegetarians it’s more challenging but foods like soybeans and other legumes, spirulina and agar, both derived from algae can help. In addition eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, citrus, eggs, berries, tomatoes, cabbage, pumpkin seeds, avocados, and garlic, which can provide your body with nutrients to support it’s own collagen growth.
Happy Tuesday 🤗