Nutrition For The Whole Self
Collagen is everywhere these days, and it’s being infused into everything from makeup to hair products and protein shakes. Why is it so popular among the athletic crowd, and could it really make a difference in your performance and/or physique? Turns out the hype is grounded, and getting your fair share of this important source of protein could mean the difference between fab and fabulous.
Collagen is a complex protein composed of numerous amino acids, and about 30 percent of all the protein in your body is collagen. At its most basic, collagen functions to give strength and structure to the tissues of your body — sort of like a protein “glue” that supports and holds you together, inside and out. It is the main component of connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments and is also found in smooth muscle tissue (e.g., blood vessels, heart, digestive tract and kidneys) as well as in your skin, hair and nails.
Generally speaking, athletes get plenty of muscle-building protein from things like eggs, poultry, fish, beef, beans and tofu, and yes, your body can construct some collagen from the amino acids derived from these sources. But if you’re athletic, you probably need more, and about 20 to 30 percent of your daily protein intake should come from collagen-rich sources.
Here’s why: Your tendons and ligaments are composed primarily of collagen, and when you lift weights, you essentially break down your muscle cells, stimulating your body to build your muscles and make them stronger. Your tendons and ligaments also need to get stronger or else the increased force and tension generated by your newly built muscle mass could result in an injury such as an ACL tear, tendonitis, runner’s knee, tennis elbow and neck or lower-back pain. But if you supply your body with plenty of circulating collagen, it will allow your ligaments and tendons to grow and strengthen alongside your muscles.
There are dozens of types of collagen, but for athletes who need to perform at high intensities, type II (chicken-based) collagen is most important. This kind is sourced specifically from the ligaments, tendons and cartilage of chickens or is derived from eggshell membranes, and it works to create the majority of your cartilage, fascia, ligaments and tendons.
Other kinds of collagen include type I for healthy skin, hair and nails and type III for optimal organ health. So when it comes to overall health and well-being, using a multi-collagen protein powder or supplement is the easiest way to ensure you’re getting everything you need.
and also type III derived from Bovine and hydrolyzed collagen.
Are there different types of collagen?
Some 28 types of collagen types have been identified. They differ by how the molecules are assembled, the cell components that are added and where the collagen is used in your body. All collagen fibrils have at least one triple helix structure.
The main five types of collagen and what they do are:
- Type I. This type makes up 90% of your body’s collagen. Type I is densely packed and used to provide structure to your skin, bones, tendons and ligaments.
- Type II. This type is found in elastic cartilage, which provides joint support.
- Type III. This type is found in muscles, arteries and organs.
- Type IV. This type is found in the layers of your skin.
- Type V. This type is found in the cornea of your eyes, some layers of skin, hair and tissue of the placenta.
What happens to collagen as I age?
Your body produces less collagen as you age, and existing collagen breaks down at a faster rate. The collagen is also lower in quality than when you were younger. Women experience a significant reduction in collagen production after menopause. It’s normal for everyone to experience a decline in collagen production after age 60.
According to Fitness Professional Lifestyle Association and research from Cleveland Clinic;
Can I tell if my body’s collagen level is decreasing?
Collagen can’t be measured — for instance, in a blood test — but there are signs that your collagen level is decreasing. These signs and symptoms include:
- Skin that’s wrinkled, crepey or sagging.
- Hallowing in and around your eyes and face.
- Shrinking, weakening muscles and muscle aches.
- Stiffer, less flexible tendons and ligaments.
- Joint pain or osteoarthritis due to worn cartilage.
- Loss of mobility due to joint damage or stiffness.
- Gastrointestinal problems due to thinning of the lining of your digestive tract.
- Problems with blood flow.
What lifestyle habits damage collagen?
What can I do to improve skin collagen loss to slow the signs of aging?
To slow the effects of skin aging, wear sunscreen every day. Exposure to ultraviolet light damages collagen. Use products with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses with UV protection and lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants while outside. Look for clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor label for extra protection. Avoid tanning beds.
Eat a well-balanced diet, like the Mediterranean diet, which is loaded with vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and fruits and a moderate amount of seafood, meats, poultry, dairy and eggs.
What are collagen peptides?
Collagen peptides are small pieces of animal collagen. Collagen can’t be absorbed in a whole form. It has to be broken down into smaller peptides or amino acids. Oral collagen supplements come in the form of pills and powders. They usually contain two or three amino acids. They are sold as collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen. Collagen peptides are absorbed through your gastrointestinal tract.
Collagen Meal Plan
How to Use This Meal Plan
Most people don’t realize that they are collagen-bankrupt and might not be consuming enough collagen as it relates to their muscle-building protein intake. The plan is designed to boost your collagen intake across a wide spectrum of sources, and the meal plan incorporates collagen-rich foods as well as foods that support your own natural collagen production, such as mushrooms, matcha, red bell peppers and açai. Because collagen is a protein, there is no best time of day — or way — to consume it, and the more you can add it into your diet throughout the day, the greater the benefits will be. Find More Collagen based recipes here
Copy and Print Out 14 day plan and post on your refrigerator.