Your body badly needs amino acids, the building blocks of protein, because these help build your muscle, cartilage, connective tissue, bone, hair and skin. These come in different types, but the amino acids found in collagen are considered the most abundant and crucial because they are responsible for forming your skin and connective tissues.
But as you age, your body’s ability to produce collagen deteriorates. This means that your body won’t have enough amount of collagen to make your skin, joints, and bones healthy and strong. It is for this reason that health experts recommend adding collagen to your diet.
Excellent sources of collagen include slow-cooked organ meats, bone broths, whole crustaceans, baked beef hearts, stews, and whole-fish soups. But with the hectic way of life common today, it seems impossible for people to routinely prepare and eat these types of meals.
This is where a collagen protein supplement come in handy.
Bulletproof™ Collagen protein, for instance, is one of the best sources of this essential amino acid without the laborious meal preparation. It can easily be added to your soups, coffee, and smoothies – and voila! You get the protein boost you need to live a better, healthier life.
Amino Acids in Collagen Protein
Proline makes up about 19% of amino acids in collagen. It plays a crucial role in metabolism, immune response, joint health, wound healing, protein synthesis, and anti-oxidative reactions.
Derived from proline, hydroxyproline keeps collagen stable structurally. In fact, only collagen contains this amino acid.
Though it is the smallest amino acid, glycine makes up about 33% of amino acids in collagen. It plays a role in inflammation reduction, blood sugar regulation, muscle growth, DNA construction, hemoglobin synthesis, chemical signal transmission in the brain, and metabolism.
In addition to these three main amino acids, collagen contains other amino acids but in small amounts. These include glutamine, arganine, and alanine, which play roles in liver metabolism, immune system, mental health, cell energy, and insulin secretion.
9 Health Benefits of Collagen
- Skin hydration
Collagen will help maintain the firmness, integrity, and hydration of your skin. Though most anti-aging beauty products contain collagen, evidence says that collagen consumption is far better at keeping your skin smooth and looking younger.
- Joint health
Collagen helps make your joints stronger and more resilient. It decreases joint pain and inflammation after exercise while improving mobility, especially in athletes or people suffering from arthritis.
- Wound healing
Collagen builds everything from the tendons attaching your muscles to the bone to the connective tissues in your skin. Due to its flexibility, it allows new tissues to move and holds everything, bringing pieces of tissues together.
- Gut health
Due to the fact that collagen forms connective tissues, it strengthens your gut’s protective lining by sealing it. As a result, it alleviates acid reflux, leaky gut syndrome, IBS, and other gut issues. Moreover, it helps in digestion by lowering the acid levels in your stomach.
- Nail and hair growth
Collagen contains the essential amino acids necessary for producing keratin, a substance found in both your nails and hair. Thus, collagen is vital for nail and hair growth. In addition, it keeps them strong and healthy.
- Blood sugar regulation
Glycine regulates your blood sugar levels and helps release insulin. Proline, on the other hand, helps with liver glucose metabolism.
- Hormone balance
Collagen balances a lot of hormones in your body. In addition to insulin, this also includes the stress hormone known as cortisol.
- Bone health
Collagen provides the strong structure in your bones, including your teeth. Also, collagen peptides enhance bone density and prevent cavities, decay and gum disease.
- Mental health
The amino acids in collagen reduce anxiety and enhances brain function. Glycine, in particular, has mood balancing properties, making you feel calm. Also, it can improve the quality of your sleep.
Choosing Collagen Protein Supplements
When buying collagen protein supplements, choose one that is non-GMO, organic, and free of artificial colors, flavors, pesticide, and sugar. Most importantly, make sure that it is hydrolyzed because this form of collagen is easy to absorb.
Though you can purchase collagen supplements in pill form, it is highly recommended that you opt for collagen powders and collagen bars. Aside from being more effective, powders and bars are easier to consume than swallowing pills.
Indeed, collagen is a super nutrient with lots of health benefits. So if you are not yet taking any collagen supplements, now is the best time to incorporate collagen protein powders into your diet.
Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Bulletproof Diet.” Through his work, the Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.