Collagen Peptides- The Latest Health Craze
There’s always new trends in the health world, and one that I’ve been hearing about a lot lately is collagen peptides. What are these, what are the benefits- and are they actually safe?
What are collagen peptides?
Collagen is a protein naturally found in our bodies. It’s responsible for strengthening bones, and is part of the make up of our tendons, muscles, ligaments, and skin. While our bodies do naturally produce collagen, the production starts going down around the age of 25- hence a collagen supplement is particularly beneficial for those of us who have a few more years of life experience. There are several varieties, but powdered form is particularly popular right now. You can dissolve it in smoothies, sprinkle it on cereal, add it to baked goods- it’s quite versatile!
What are the benefits?
Probably the most well-known benefit of collagen is the improvement it gives your skin. Collagen gives your skin elasticity and keeps it strong and hydrated- which means healthier skin and fewer wrinkles. But there’s a lot more benefit to collagen beyond less-pronounced crow’s feet.
Another huge benefit is the relief of joint pain. I’m only 31, but I’ve already noticed a few more aches and pains in my body than I had 10 years ago- and I know this is something that can just get worse with age, especially if I stay active. Multiple studies have shown that athletes that took a collagen supplement had lessened joint pain and were better able to participate in their sports. It helps reduce inflammation and strengthens cartilage, so it’s definitely a great supplement for athletes of any kind!
While we’re on the topic of athletes, collagen also helps with toning up. Because it’s additional protein, your body is better able to build and maintain muscle mass- which also helps with weight loss! And again, because it’s a protein, it’s also great for hair and nails. You can prevent brittle nails and hair loss- and can actually make your hair (and nails) grow faster.
In addition, collagen has also been shown to have a good impact on heart health. Those who took collagen supplements showed significant improvement in their artery’s health over a period of 6 months. There are also studies to suggest that collagen assists in brain health, gut health- overall, a huge host of benefits!
Is it safe?
Overall, collagen is a great supplement to add to your diet. There’s a host of benefits, and it’s nothing new! Our hunter-gatherer ancestors got their collagen by eating every bit of what they caught- while we generally just eat the meat and skip the rest. So we’re not adding anything new to our diet; we’re just making up for a changed lifestyle! Just be sure to drink plenty of water, and as with anything else- don’t take more than the daily recommended dose. Moderation in all things- a good mantra for anything in life!
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