Collagen supplements are catching momentum in the nutraceutical industry day by day as more and more people are being attracted to their health benefits. You might be very well aware that collagen is a protein supplement, but if you are confused about whether to have your regular protein supplements or if collagen supplements alone are enough, then this article is for you. Read on and get all your doubts cleared. Let’s begin from the basics!
What are proteins?
Protein is one of the major macronutrients required by our bodies to carry out its vital functions. Protein has several functions in our bodies including growth, repair, immune support, formation of enzymes and hormones, etc. It plays an important role in gene expression as well. Proteins are made up of small chains called peptides which are in turn made up of a basic unit called an amino acid.
There are several types of amino acids depending on their chemical structure, and according to the combinations of amino acids and the way they are arranged, there are numerous types of proteins in the human body. Owing to its unique amino acid arrangement, each protein has highly specific functions and properties.
Why do we take protein supplements?
A normal, moderate working person requires 0.8-1 gram of protein per day, per kilogram of body weight. This requirement might get a bit altered according to the level of physical activity you undertake. These basic requirements can either be met through your diet or if not, through supplements.
These supplements are most useful in two situations, first, if your diet lacks the recommended daily protein requirements; second if you are aiming to build muscles. People might as well take protein supplements if it offers some health benefits.
Some major types of protein supplements
There are protein supplements sourced from plants as well as animals. In the case of plants, protein is extracted and concentrated from hemp, rice, and pulses like pea, almonds, soya, etc. In the case of animals, it can be from milk or animal body parts. Egg protein is also a great source of protein available in the market. Whey and casein are major milk proteins. The protein obtained from animal body parts like bone, ligaments, tendons, hide, etc. is collagen protein.
Can collagen replace other protein supplements?
The answer is NO. Collagen cannot replace other supplements like whey, casein, etc because collagen has different sets of amino acids while whey, casein, etc has entirely different types of amino acids. The ones present in Whey, the most commonly used protein supplement, are all essential amino acids that cannot be produced by our bodies and hence have to be externally provided. These essential amino acids are the ones mainly involved in growth, repair, and immunity.
The amino acids in collagen are hydroxyproline, proline, and glycine all of which promote the production of endogenous collagen but aren’t essential amino acids. Collagen supplements lack essential amino acids, especially leucine and tryptophan which are very essential for a healthy body, especially muscle building. As said earlier, each type of protein has different patterns and kinds of amino acids in them and thus has very different physiological functions. Let’s see what collagen protein supplements bring to the table.
Benefits of taking collagen supplements
- Uplifts your skin’s health – Collagen is the structural frame of our skin and to a great extent, the health of your skin depends on the collagen being produced. Collagen production gets diminished as we age which results in sagging, wrinkles, and fine lines. Researchers have proven that taking collagen supplements can successfully prevent various signs of aging while providing elasticity and hydration to the skin.
- Helps strengthen bones – Collagen is the predominant component of bones too. Adequate consumption of collagen protein has been scientifically proven to reduce the occurrence of osteoporosis which is a loss of bone mass.
- Might be beneficial for your cardiovascular health – Even if more studies are required in this area, from whatever we have, collagen protein seems to have quite promising results in reversing arterial stiffness. This is because collagen being the basic structural unit of blood vessels, helps in softening the vessels.
- Helps with joint pain – Scientific studies show that collagen supplements can be beneficial for people having osteoarthritis as they might help to reduce pain, and inflammation and uplifts the integrity of cartilages in between joints.
- Collagen might enhance your hair and nail health.
- It might be helpful in weight loss as it can speed up metabolism.
- It has gut-healing properties which might benefit gastrointestinal health.
How to select the best collagen supplement?
The best quality collagen obtained is from the bone broth of fully grass-fed, free-roaming cattle especially grown in the pastures of New Zealand. It’s worth noting that this is the only single source of all the college peptides including type I, II, III, V, VI, VIII, and IX.
No other source on this entire planet has all the collagen peptides in it, therefore, many times, manufacturers combine several sources of collagen to get the entire spectrum. This often reduces its effectiveness. So whenever you buy one, get it from a trustworthy manufacturer, selling New Zealand’s collagen protein from pasture-raised cow’s bone broth.
That’s it, pals. Hope all your doubts are cleared. Still, got some questions? Comment below!