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by Khyati Kapur
If you’ve heard anything about collagen, you may think it’s only about “skin, nails and hair.” That’s no lie. Since we produce less collagen from our 20’s onward, leading to saggy, wrinkly skin and hair loss, collagen’s popularity has been on the rise mainly thanks to its anti-aging benefits.
But hold on. It’s not just about the good looks. Collagen offers so much more for your body than you may realize. If you’re an athlete, work out in the gym, or just exercise in general, you’d be missing out on some amazing benefits that collagen can provide for your muscle and bone health.
In this article, you’ll find out exactly how collagen can take your exercise routine to the next level.
What is collagen and its function in the human body
Beyond collagen working great for skin, nails and hair, we need to understand exactly what makes collagen different than other proteins.
As one of the most abundant sources of protein in the human body, collagen is the primary protein found in connective tissue (joints, ligaments, tendons and fascia) .
Collagen by far is one of the best proteins to keep your joints and bones strong. Why is that?
If you suffer from any kind of joint or bone pain, you could be experiencing breakdown of cartilage (a form of connective tissue). Healthy cartilage acts as a glue and cushion to keep bones from painfully rubbing up against each other, and it’s made up of many collagen fibers. With enough collagen, you’ll be able strengthen your cartilage, and in effect, strengthen your joints.
If you want more details of how collagen can help improve your overall health, check out our blogs where we cover collagen-specific benefits for:
Benefits of collagen for athletes:
Collagen is a fantastic protein source for athletes since it contains 18 different amino acids and 8 of 9 essential amino acids. Hydrolyzed collagen, where it’s in powder form and broken down into peptides, is also more readily absorbed by the human body.
So how can collagen help you if you’re at the gym or just going out for a jog?
Some of the most recent research studies done on collagen’s benefits for exercise include:
If you’re doing any kind of weight lifting or using resistance machines and bands, supplementing with collagen can help you lessen the time your muscles are sore and gain more strength after recovery. We also know that collagen is needed for optimal joint health. Almost any kind of cardio exercise requires you to have your joints in the best shape possible. In that sense, getting enough collagen is crucial for a healthy cardio workout, and especially to recover if you suffer from a tendon or ligament injury.
But don’t forget that exercising would be in vain if you don’t couple it with eating healthy, nutrient dense foods and include collagen-rich foods too.
So what foods have collagen?
Our ancestors had much better health and greater strength than many people today. But why is that?
Research and observations from the famous dentist Dr. Weston Price has shown us that isolated human groups from across the world have maintained healthy physical features and incredible body strength similar to what our ancestors would’ve displayed. One thing they all had in common was following a “nose-to-tail” lifestyle, eating all the meat from animals and not leaving any spare parts. Collagen is the key molecule found in animal connective tissues that our ancestors wouldn’t throw away.
You may think that eating a nose-to-tail diet is the only way to get collagen. But remember that you don’t just get collagen directly from animal meats. Many healthy plant foods are also “collagen promoters,” which contain compounds that will increase collagen production naturally in your body.
No matter how you’re looking to boost your collagen intake, some of the best dietary sources of collagen and collagen promoters are found in the following:
Unfortunately it’s not easy getting enough collagen from food alone these days. Living a fast-paced lifestyle has led to many people eating overly processed foods that lack the essential nutrients that the human body needs to function best. Even healthy, organic foods that are good for your body just don’t have the same nutrient densities that they once did for previous generations. Modern agricultural practices are a big reason for nutrient loss, and we cover that in more detail in our magnesium blog.
What about collagen supplements?
Many protein powder supplements on the market today are loaded with artificial ingredients, fillers, and high amounts of added sugar that aren’t good for your body at all. Even worse, the most popular protein powders (we’re talking whey and casein) were found to contain significant levels of toxins, including pesticides, BPA, heavy metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, along with many other environmental toxins.
The saying that “you get what you pay for,” rings quite true with supplements. If you truly care about your body, cheaper protein powders will definitely not give you the best value for your health.
The best protein supplement can be ultimately boiled down to three key factors: Speed, purity, and potency. To get those three, you’ll need a high quality protein that’ll get absorbed in your body fast, free from toxic ingredients, and allow you to recover and get more strength to continue crushing your workout routine.
Seva Soul’s Collagen Peptides Powder is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a quick, clean, and efficient source of protein to supplement your workouts.
This article may have got you thinking. Got more questions about collagen? Be sure to check out our collagen FAQ page.
So the next time you’re working out, why not add some collagen powder to your routine. By putting in the kind of fuel that your body craves, you’ll be making a solid investment in your health over the long-term.
PLEASE NOTE that this article is not instead of medical advice from your doctor. All content found on this website, including articles, text, images, audio, videos, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
by Khyati Kapur