The Benefits of Collagen for Men
If you feel like you’re seeing collagen everywhere, you’re not imagining it. Collagen is one of the most talked-about supplements on the market, and it deserves its place in the spotlight. Collagen supplements offer a range of health benefits and are very well-tolerated by most people. One of the most commonly asked questions regarding this supplement is: do men take collagen? Absolutely, and our guide on the benefits of collagen for men explains why.
Collagen: The Basics
Collagen is a structural protein, meaning it plays a part in setting up the framework of our cells and connective tissue. Collagen is mostly made up of the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.
It accounts for about a third of the protein in our bodies. We actually produce collagen naturally, but it can also be found in foods such as seafood, berries, broth, chicken, and capsicum.
Collagen supplements are designed to give our bodies an extra boost so that we can reap the (many) rewards collagen has to offer.
Should Men Take Collagen Supplements?
So, is collagen good for men? Absolutely — and here’s why.
Collagen has long been associated with women’s health and skincare, but it’s just as important for men. All human bodies produce collagen, and all human bodies need enough collagen to function properly. Collagen helps our bodies repair tissue, aids our immune systems, and promotes better cell communication. It’s basically a wonder protein that keeps things running smoothly.
As we get older, the rate at which our bodies produce collagen slows. UV exposure, alcohol consumption, inadequate sleep, and inactivity can also cause a decrease in collagen production. When our collagen levels drop, our skin loses elasticity, which leads to sagging and fine lines. A lack of collagen can also lead to bone density deterioration and joint discomfort.
In order to keep our skin, joints, ligaments, bones, and hair healthy, we need to ensure our bodies are receiving enough collagen. By taking a collagen supplement, you are providing your body with essential amino acids that can then be absorbed and shared around the body as needed.
What Does Collagen Do For Men?
We know collagen is an essential building block within the structural framework of our cells and tissues. So, what are the benefits of taking a collagen supplement? Let’s take a look.
Increases Muscle Mass
Collagen is an important component within our skeletal muscles. Collagen is not a complete protein — it contains eight of the nine essential amino acids. This means it’s not as effective as whey protein for example, which is extremely effective in helping to build muscle mass.
However, collagen can still help to facilitate muscle growth as long as you’re also maintaining a healthy, well-rounded diet and structured exercise routine as well. One study showed that elderly men with sarcopenia — the loss of skeletal muscle due to ageing — who took 15g of collagen a day while taking part in a workout program gained more muscle mass than those who didn’t take collagen.
Promotes Healthy Bones And Joints
There are actually 28 different types of collagen in our bodies, but types I, II, and III are the most abundant. Collagen type II helps to maintain the structure of the cartilage that protects our joints.
This study found that people suffering from knee osteoarthritis who took a type II collagen supplement for 6 months experienced increased mobility and decreased discomfort in their knee joints.
It’s also believed that a collagen supplement forces collagen to gather in the cartilage, which prompts cellular tissue to actually create more collagen. This leads to smoother joint function and reduced inflammation.
Another study looked at people who were suffering from activity-related joint pain. The results showed that participants who took collagen supplements for 4 months experienced improved joint function while exercising, and could exercise for longer before joint pain set in.
Helps Muscle Recovery
Collagen’s high levels of amino acids help to promote muscle recovery. It can also speed up recovery time, because collagen formation is an essential component in muscle fibre regeneration and connective scar tissue production. Experts also believe that because collagen helps to strengthen the tendons and ligaments, it actually prevents injury in the first place.
Improves Skin Elasticity
Collagen makes up a mesh-like framework that forms the structure of our skin. It keeps the skin hydrated and elasticated, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Taking a collagen supplement can help to ensure our skin maintains these qualities as we age. It’s also believed that taking a collagen supplement can prompt our bodies to produce more collagen on its own. This study found that when taken at 1000mg daily, collagen can improve skin elasticity, hydration, and wrinkling within 6 – 12 weeks.
Keeps The Gut Healthy
The amino acid content in collagen helps to keep the gut healthy and balanced. The amino acids glycine and glutamine help to rebuild and strengthen the gut lining. Because collagen helps to keep the walls of the digestive tract intact, it also aids digestion and the absorption of nutrients. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation of the gut.
Does Collagen Help Men’s Hair Growth?
Collagen can help hair growth in a few different ways.
Amino acids are important building blocks within keratin, which is the protective protein that makes up our hair. Collagen contains these very amino acids. The main amino acid in keratin is proline, which can be found in most collagen supplements. So, by taking a collagen supplement, you’re providing your body with the amino acids it needs to facilitate hair growth.
While research is limited, it’s been suggested that collagen also prevents damage to hair follicles caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that appear within the body due to various lifestyle and environmental factors, including stress and air pollution. Free radicals can actually damage our hair follicles. Collagen may act as an antioxidant and help to fight against the effects of free radicals.
Collagen may also prevent age-related hair thinning, because it helps to strengthen and maintain elasticity within the dermis. The dermis is the middle layer of the skin that holds the root of each strand of hair. So, when we age and collagen production slows, the dermis becomes weaker and our hair begins to thin out. Taking a collagen supplement can help to keep the dermis strong and healthy, and therefore promote hair growth.
The Bottom Line
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our bodies, and it’s important for all of us to keep up our collagen levels, particularly as we age. From ensuring our bones and joints remain strong to keeping our skin elastic and hydrated, the benefits of collagen supplements are extensive for both men and women.
Shop our range of collagen supplements.