Collagen is everywhere! It seems like everyone is taking this skin-enhancing supplement. If you look around, you’ll see people drinking collagen shots, taking collagen gummies, and putting collagen creamer in their coffee.
Collagen is a protein found in the body. It is abundant in the skin, hair, nails, and joints. Collagen supplements, though, are sourced from cattle and fish. Collagen supplements are made with a broken-down version of the collagen protein called hydrolyzed collagen.
What is hydrolyzed collagen?
Collagen hydrolysis is a process by which collagen is broken down into smaller parts. Hydrolyzed collagen is broken down chemically into peptides and amino acids. Breaking down collagen makes it easier for your body to absorb. The entire collagen molecule is too big to be digested easily or to be absorbed through your skin in a cream.
To help your body absorb collagen, your body breaks it down first so that your body can use it more easily. That’s why, on collagen supplements you’ll often see the words hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides. Collagen hydrolysis is a necessary process in creating an effective collagen supplement.
Hydrolyzed Collagen Benefits
Improves skin health
Collagen helps keep your skin looking young and beautiful. As we age, the collagen in our body degrades, and our skin takes a toll. That’s why you get fine lines and wrinkles as you get older. To combat some of that lost collagen, you can take collagen supplements. Collagen has been proven to reduce wrinkle depth and increase skin hydration and elasticity.
May relieve joint pain
Collagen is so important to relieve joint pain because collagen is a major component of cartilage. Cartilage is the substance that pads your joints and keeps them feeling high and mobile. One study of athletes with joint pain showed that collagen supplements helped support joint health and possibly reduce the risk of joint deterioration.
Boosts muscle mass
Collagen is a protein, so naturally, it can help build muscles. Collagen has been proven more effective in building muscle than whey protein. In one study of older adults with a degenerative muscle disorder, those who took collagen supplements and participated in weight training exercises experienced increased muscle mass when compared to those who just participated in weight training.
May support heart health
Collagen is found in your blood vessels and smooth muscles, so it plays a vital role in your heart health. What isn’t clear is if or how taking collagen supplements can directly impact your heart health. Some scientists have studied this, but more studies are needed.
Strengthens hair and nails
Collagen hasn’t been scientifically proven to increase hair strength, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it can help! Clinical trials have shown that collagen supports nail growth and decreases brittleness and breakage.