What is Collagen Peptides Good For?
About 75% of the skin’s dry weight consists of collagen, meaning it’s important if you want to maintain radiant and healthy skin at every age. Yet, collagen isn’t all about looks! It’s also essential for maintaining muscle and bone mass and joint health. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body.
So, what’s the deal with collagen peptides? Most importantly, what are ‘collagen peptides’? And how can it help improve your health? What should you know? Below, we explore the answers to all of these questions and more.
What are Collagen Peptides?
Collagen peptides is collagen but a broken-down form of it. Collagen peptides and associated products are made through a process called hydrolysis. This process heats up the collagen and breaks down the peptide bonds via the use of specific enzymes into smaller amino acids. This makes it easier for the body to digest and absorb these essential proteins.
What is Collagen Peptides Made Of?
Collagen peptides consist of amino acids, which is extracted collagen from bovine (cow), marine (fish), or poultry sources. Amino acids are the building blocks of the body and are required for various bodily functions. In fact, the body requires 20 different amino acids to function properly.
Many collagen peptides contain around 19 of these amino acids, with a particularly high amount of glycine and proline. The main amino acid missing from collagen peptides is cysteine, which can be obtained by eating meat, dairy, eggs, buckwheat, quinoa, and vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and bell peppers.
What Do Collagen Peptides Do?
Taking collagen peptides comes with various benefits. Most notably, it’s known for its skin and joint health advantages. In the following sections, we explore the benefits of collagen peptides in more detail.
1. Improves Skin Health
As time goes on, the body naturally produces less collagen. This means that as you age, it’s even more important to obtain collagen through your diet. Supplements, like collagen peptides, can offer an easy way to do so without spending hours in the kitchen.
Collagen peptides contribute to improved skin health by improving elasticity, firmness, and hydration, as well as by preventing fine lines and wrinkles.
2. Alleviates Joint Pain
Collagen peptides are very effective at helping combat joint pain, especially joint pain associated with increasing age. Unfortunately, the older we get, the more wear and tear our joints face. Yet, collagen peptides can help by providing joint support, reducing joint stiffness, lowering inflammation, and decreasing pain.
3. Enhances Muscle Mass
Collagen is further an important building block when it comes to lean muscle mass. In fact, some research shows that individuals who consumed 15 grams of collagen per day and exercised experienced significantly more muscle gains than those who didn’t consume collagen.
4. May Improve Heart Health
A lack of collagen can lead to less flexible and less elastic arteries, which can lead down a slippery slope toward developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, hardening and narrowing of the arteries, is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Yet, some research indicates that taking 16 grams of collagen per day for six months may reduce arterial stiffness and improve overall cardiovascular health.
5. Promotes Strong Hair and Nails
There’s a reason collagen peptides is frequently associated with healthy hair and strong nails! Including more collagen in your diet may lead to enhanced nail growth (and fewer brittle nails!), as well as healthier, stronger, and longer hair.
What is the Difference Between Marine Collagen and Collagen Peptides?
Actually very little.
The amino acid profile of a type I marine collagen and a type I bovine collagen are very similar.
There's a common misconception that marine collagen is better, while others claim it offers greater bio-availability. But there is no scientific evidence of this.
In fact studies on absorption rates show that the average molecular weight decreases as collagen is exposed to digestion enzymes and broken into smaller peptides. It has been detected that collagen of different animal sources become more similar when the average molecular weight drops along the digestion and the absorption process.
The main difference between marine collagen and collagen peptides is that marine collagen is strictly sourced from marine, or fish, products and can only provide a type I collagen. Meanwhile, a greater variety of collagen peptides, can be sourced from other sources, including egg and bovine (cow) sources which provide a wider range of collagen types that provide a wider range of benefits.
When to Take Collagen Peptides and How Much
So, how much collagen peptides per day should you aim for? Most research indicates that an effective daily dose of collagen peptides ranges between 2.5 and 15 grams.
However, taking too much won’t necessarily result in any adverse effects. There are some minor, although rare, symptoms, however, most individuals don’t have any issues with taking the recommended daily dose described above.
What is Better: Collagen or Peptides?
Collagen Peptides (also known as hydrolysed collagen) is denatured collagen that has been processed to improve it's bio-availability.
Ensure that your collagen is hydrolysed for the best results.
The Bottomline: Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Collagen
Collagen powder is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to ensure you’re getting enough. Most individuals require at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Plus, eating enough collagen ensures you age gracefully, with fewer wrinkles and fewer joint aches!
Take a look at your diet. Are you eating enough collagen and protein? Maybe collagen peptides are exactly what you’re missing.