Collagen Deficiency Symptoms: Are You Getting Enough?
Collagen powder isn’t just another fad. The truth is that most of us don’t get enough collagen through our regular diet. While our ancestors used to eat and use every part of the animal (including the collagen-rich connective tissues!), we tend to consume mostly muscle meat, which isn’t rich in collagen.
But how do you know if you’re collagen deficient? What are some collagen deficiency symptoms? And how can you obtain more collagen? Below, we explore the answers to these questions and more.
Collagen Deficiency Symptoms
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It’s necessary for healthy joints, reducing wrinkles and signs of skin aging, and is essential for bone, muscle, tendon, and cartilage health. As we age, the body makes less collagen, resulting in increased wrinkles and other symptoms.
While not everyone has a deficiency, symptoms of a collagen deficiency may include:
Slow Recovery After Exercise or Injury
Collagen plays a key role in muscular recovery and the repair of muscular proteins. If you are deficient in collagen, you may struggle to bounce back after exercise or injury, taking much more to get back to 100%.
This is one of the main reasons many people take collagen powder. With less collagen in the body, the skin loses its elasticity. This may result in more wrinkles and even slower wound healing.
Collagen is a major ingredient when it comes to keeping your intestinal wall healthy. When damage occurs, collagen helps repair the gastrointestinal tract, ensuring your digestive function isn’t disrupted. Yet, without enough collagen, repairing any damage may take longer and also cause digestive issues.
Thin and Brittle Hair and Nails
Collagen contributes to strong nails and optimal hair follicle health. Being deficient in collagen could mean your hair may thin out, and your nails may break easier.
Joint Aches and Pains
Cartilage requires collagen for repair and maintenance. As we age, collagen at major joints, such as the hips and knees, naturally becomes worn down. However, with the right resources, the body is very capable of repairing and maintaining these structures. Yet, a lack of collagen may lead to faster deterioration of your joints, causing increased pain.
What Causes a Lack of Collagen?
A lack of collagen may result from not getting enough of this protein through your diet. But this isn’t the only driver of decreased collagen in the body!
Surprisingly, too much sun, excessive sugar, and smoking can impact your collagen levels. The ultraviolet rays from the sun actually erode the collagen fibers. The toxins in cigarette smoke may also lead to damaged collagen, causing saggy and wrinkled skin. Lastly, excessive sugar may lead to reduced elasticity in the skin due to the cross-linking impact that sugar has on collagen proteins.
So, how can you combat these effects? What can you do to tackle any collagen deficiency symptoms?
How to Get More Collagen
Luckily, collagen deficiency symptoms can be halted by increased collagen intake and production. And there are a few ways you can do this!
1. Use Aloe Vera for Wound Healing
Aloe vera actually increases collagen production in the skin. The same effects occur when taking aloe vera orally or using it topically.
2. Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis within the body. By consuming adequate vitamin C, you may boost your collagen production. A few foods you may want to add to your regular rotation include orange juice, red peppers, Brussels sprouts, kale, and strawberries.
3. Consume Collagen-Rich Foods
Eating more foods containing collagen can help boost this protein in the body. Some collagen-rich foods include bone broth, chicken neck and cartilage, fish, and shellfish.
As mentioned above, vitamin C rich foods can help your body create collagen. Additionally, foods rich in proline, like egg whites, and foods high in sulfur, like garlic, can also contribute to increased collagen production.
4. Add Collagen Powder to Your Diet
Collagen powders, such as So Body Co’s Multi-Collagen Supplementation, also offer an easy way to obtain more collagen and prevent collagen insufficiency symptoms. With any collagen supplement or powder, make sure you follow the instructions on the label.
Generally, the amount of collagen per day that you should consume ranges between 2.5 and 15 grams. All in all, there haven’t been any negative effects found with the overconsumption of collagen.
Collagen powder offers a really easy and convenient way to consume this protein, allowing you to add it to your morning coffee, smoothie, sauces, soups, and more!
Ensure You’re Getting Enough Collagen
Collagen deficiency may result in less-than-desirable effects, including increased wrinkles, joint pains, gastrointestinal issues, thin hair, and brittle nails. Assess your diet. What are you missing? Are you getting enough vitamin C? Should you consider taking collagen powder?