Collagen has been hailed as one of the biggest health trends of recent years, and it’s no surprise the supplement has been so in-demand in wellness circles. It’s health benefits range from clearer skin, to thicker hair, and even better digestion, but it can also help with your workout routine.
Since it’s the most prominent type of protein, collagen helps to build tissue in the body, when consumed in its most organic form: from lean cuts of animal protein. As you work out, your tissues and muscles change, and the longer you maintain your fitness routine, the more your muscles age, and natural collagen in the body is destroyed.
Therefore, adding some more to your diet could be the key to maintaining a healthy body, alongside your fitness schedule.
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A 24-week study that looked at college athletes found that increasing an intake of collagen could help to improve a person’s overall joint health and reduce the risk of joint damage (aka ailments like runner’s knee, which can seriously hinder your marathon plans).
Another 2008 study found that consuming collagen pre- and post-workout could help increase the amount of protein in your muscle, and boost the creation of creatine in the body. Creatine, on its own, improves performance during a quick workout, and can even help to decrease body fat in athletes.
“Collagen is a protein which contains amino acids, which our body absorbs. Although its not a complete protein, it does contain the amino acids (glycine and arginine) which are necessary for the body to create creatine,” explains Emma Cronin, Sporteluxe’s resident nutritionist. “Creatine gives us energy for our muscles to contract, it also allows our muscles to grow, providing strength.”
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Even Sporteluxe’s own Bianca Cheah is onboard the collagen trend.
“I consume collagen powder every day—I add it to my morning smoothie,” she revealed, in an in-depth look at her daily routine. “It tastes like nothing, yet I swear it brings back to life my hair and skin. I look like I’ve drunk six litres of water and been on a summer holiday in Greece, that’s how amazing this product is.”
But as with all supplements, our nutritionist does warn about intake.
“As it’s a protein, [collagen] should be consumed as part of an individual’s total daily protein requirements,” our resident nutritionist warns. “Protein guidelines for a normal active female are 0.8-1.2g per kg of body weight per day, split evenly over each meal for optimal absorption.”
And if you want that optimal level of amino acid absorption, consume your collagen within a half-hour of working out. That way, your muscles can repair and grow, exactly when you want them.