Once upon a time, collagen was something that only your grandma talked about. But in recent years, collagen has been having a moment—and for good reason. This overlooked protein actually has a lot of benefits, from reducing wrinkles to aiding in digestive health. Read on to learn more about this buzzy protein and why you should start incorporating it into your diet.
What is Collagen?
Before we get into the benefits of collagen, let's first answer the question: what is collagen? Collagen is a protein found in the connective tissue of animals. It's most commonly derived from cow or pig sources, though you can also find it in fish. You can take collagen in pill form, or as a powder that dissolves in liquids.
Benefits of Collagen
Now that we know what collagen is, let's get into some of the benefits of taking it:
It Can Improve Gut Health
Research shows that collagen can help heal the lining of the gut, which is beneficial for people who suffer from gastrointestinal issues like IBS or leaky gut syndrome.
It Can Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is linked to a number of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and arthritis. Because collagen can help reduce inflammation, it may also help reduce your risk of developing these conditions.
It Can Improve Skin Health
Collagen is often touted for its anti-aging benefits, and there's some evidence to back this up. One study found that taking a collagen supplement improved skin elasticity and reduced wrinkles.
It Can Boost Muscle Mass
If you're looking to gain muscle mass, adding collagen to your diet may help. A study showed that people who took a collagen supplement while resistance training gained more muscle mass than those who didn't take a supplement.
It Can Improve Joint Health
Collagen may help reduce joint pain and stiffness associated with conditions like osteoarthritis. This is because collagen helps keep joints lubricated and prevents the breakdown of cartilage—the tissue that cushions joints.
It Can Aid In Weight Loss
One small study found that people who took a hydrolyzed collagen supplement lost more weight and body fat than those who didn't take the supplement. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects.
It Can Improve Sleep Quality
Getting enough quality sleep is important for overall health, and taking a collagen supplement may help you get better sleep. One study showed that people who took a hydrolyzed collagen supplement before bed slept better and felt more rested when they woke up than those who didn't take the supplement.
If you're looking for a way to improve your overall health, you might want to consider adding collagen to your diet. This protein has a variety of potential health benefits, ranging from improving gut health to aiding in weight loss. Plus, it's easy to add to your diet —you can simply mix it into your favorite beverage or add it to a smoothie.