Collagen is the glue that holds your body together. Whether it’s your hair, your skin or your nails, collagen provides the structure your body needs to keep everything intact. That’s one of many reasons it’s been trending so much in recent years. Your body makes it by combining amino acids from foods you eat like chicken, fish, eggs, beans or other dairy products. However, eating collagen-rich foods isn’t always enough to reap all of the health benefits. That’s where supplements can be beneficial.
Why do you need collagen?
Your body produces less collagen as you age. Unfortunately, this decrease in production can reduce skin elasticity and hydration, meaning your skin could start wrinkling sooner. Low collagen production can also weaken joint support, as joints are made up of Type 2 collagen.
Collagen is also crucial for your heart health. Recent studies show that Type 3 collagen is essential for normal collagen Type 1 production in your cardiovascular system and other organs. When collagen production is low, it can increase your risk for various heart-related conditions, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Exercise, a balanced diet and the right blend of supplements can provide the right environment to help your body produce a healthy amount of collagen, which can allow you to look and feel your best.
“Collagen is not the fountain of youth,” says Dr. Lauren Horton, senior director of research and development at AdvoCare. “However, choosing the right collagen supplement combined with proper diet and exercise can help support you and your health goals. If you’re interested in taking collagen supplements, it’s important to do your research so you can separate fact from fiction.”
What should you look for in a collagen supplement?
Horton suggests looking for a collagen supplement that:
1) Supports natural collagen production
There are supplements available that can promote natural collagen production. These supplements typically source ingredients like bamboo extract, which complements collagen and supports your skin’s strength and elasticity.
You may also want to think about what collagen supplements will help you support your goals. Depending on what you’re trying to do, you may want to look for supplements that specifically support joint health or ones that support hair, skin and nails.
2) Includes peptides
Bone density can decrease as you age, which, in some cases, can lead to osteoporosis. The good news is people who took collagen peptide supplements for at least one year saw an increase in their bone mineral density compared to those who didn’t, according to a recent NIH study. The researchers concluded that the increase occurred because the collagen stimulated bone formation while slowing down bone loss.
AdvoCare, the company that makes Glow brand collagen supplements, uses marine collagen peptides, which tend to be more bioavailable. According to Horton, these supplements allow the collagen to absorb into your system better than traditional bovine collagen supplements, regardless of delivery method.
3) Comes in multiple forms
Not everyone takes supplements the same way; they can come in many forms. Some people prefer their supplements in pill or liquid form, while others may prefer a powder they can mix in with a beverage. One way isn’t better than the other, and it all boils down to your personal needs and healthy lifestyle goals. Taking supplements to fill in nutritional gaps is typically more important than the delivery form.
Horton says powders work better for those who want higher collagen intake. Others may be willing to trade off quantity and take pills for ease or convenience.
A path to feeling and performing better
Collagen alone can’t improve your health and well-being. But with the right diet, exercise regimen and supplement intake, you can look and feel better with the support of collagen.
So how much collagen is safe to have per day? While it can depend on the person, manufacturers typically say a 2.5 to 15 gram daily dose is acceptable. However, you should still check with your health care provider first before choosing the right amount for you.
For more information on collagen supplements, visit www.connect.advocare.com.