Is Collagen Good For Men? – Even though we may associate it more with products that appeal to women, collagen has a lot of potential benefits for men. One common application is as a skincare product. Men shouldn’t be afraid to try it to keep their skin looking good, especially as they grow older.
Usually, when we think of collagen we tend to think of it as an ingredient in a body lotion or vitamin supplement in some health and beauty aisle.
It’s not just about skin, though. There are a host of other properties that men could benefit from by adding collagen to their diets. We’re talking about recovery from injury, fighting hair loss, increasing metabolism – all that good stuff.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is an important protein in our bodies and there’s plenty of it. It makes up about one-third of all the protein in our body. Collagen is abundant in our bones, skin, muscles, and tendons.
Collagen is important because it provides our bodies with a framework that supports and strengthens its system of connective tissues. It’s the “glue” that keeps everything from falling apart.
The molecules in collagen fit together to create long, thin fibrils. These structures are what keeps cells connected, and provides our skin with elasticity and strength.
In general, there are two kinds of collagen: endogenous and exogenous collagen. Endogenous collagen is what our body makes naturally. Exogenous collagen is synthetic and comes from outside of our bodies, from food or supplements. Marine collagen is common in supplements and comes from the skin of fish.
Sixteen different kinds of collagen are present in our bodies. The majority of these are categorized as Type 1 or Type 2 collagen.
Type 1 is the most prevalent and strongest; helping to shape our bones and support our gastrointestinal tract. It’s what gives our skin its integrity. Type 2 collagen is found in cartilage in the connective tissues that support joint health.
Unfortunately, our body produces less collagen as we get older. When this happens, our skin becomes less elastic and more fragile. Joints also become less mobile and our hair starts losing its color.
Other environmental factors like exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays or smoking further decrease our ability to produce collagen.
That’s where the collagen supplements come in handy. Collagen supplements can vary in the time taken for them to work. This depends upon the specific use case.
7 Benefits Of Collagen For Men
1. Healthy Joints
Recent research has found that using collagen in conjunction with vitamin C strengthens tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles while ligaments connect bones.
The goal of this study was to see if using gelatin supplements would increase the production of collagen.
Results showed that incorporating gelatin into your exercising program improves the production of collagen and even has some impact on injury prevention and tissue repair.
You can include collagen in your diet by consuming beef, fish, chicken, or eggshell membrane. If you are vegan, however, low-starch foods like almonds, beans, olive oil, and avocados are good options for increasing your collagen production.
Be sure to include vitamin C in your diet as it helps the body to absorb it. It assists collagen synthesis because vitamin C helps create enzymes necessary for the process – Prolyl hydroxylase and lysyl hydroxylase.
Prolyl stabilizes the collagen molecule while lysyl gives structural strength cross-linking in the molecule.
2. Muscle Growth & Repair
Collagen also contains the amino acid glycine. Glycine is important in creating muscle tissue, and collagen helps to increase muscle mass which in turn boosts our metabolism.
Not only that, but glycine also helps to reduce symptoms of aging by supporting posture, digestion, bone health, and even our central nervous system.
Glycine acts as a transmitter in the central nervous system.
It’s an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps in the processing of motor and sensory information. This allows for the majority of basic movement, vision, and hearing.
Collagen also contains other amino acids like arginine and glutamine. These help to repair muscles, heal wounds, and support proper development and growth.
3. Heart Health
Proline is yet another amino acid found in collagen. It’s good for clearing up fat accumulated in the arteries, repairing those arteries as well as joints. It also helps to maintain healthy blood pressure.
Arginine has the added benefit of widening the blood vessels and relaxing the arteries for improved circulation. One study led researchers to believe that collagen could strengthen the arterial walls, reducing the risk of heart disease.
This particular study was conducted as an open-label, single-dose trial that lasted for half a year. Participants ingested collagen tripeptide (CTP) twice every day. The daily dose was 0.56oz and was taken at breakfast and dinner.
The study concluded that collagen tripeptide had a positive role in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis in healthy individuals.
4. Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut is a condition that affects the digestive system. It specifically affects the lining of the intestines. This creates small gaps that allow bacteria and other toxins to enter the bloodstream.
Inflammatory bowel symptoms like diarrhea, constipation and bloatedness are indicative of a leaky gut. Researchers found that people suffering from this condition had lower concentrations of collagen.
Collagen can relieve the intestinal lining and heal the damaged cell walls. Collagen supplements help against these issues by building the necessary tissues that make up the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and the colon.
It does this through amino acids like glycine and proline. These are necessary for repairing the intestinal lining. Regular consumption of foods like bone broth, collagen powders, and gelatin can be helpful. Does collagen make you poop? We get this question quite frequently so created an article to investigate.
5. Energy Levels
As we age, we experience a drop in our energy levels. Without our morning coffees or energy drinks, we tend to feel fatigued throughout the day.
Collagen plays an important role in cellular repair and in energy production. It’s a structural protein and contains high amounts of glycine. On top of everything we covered above, glycine also increases your metabolism and energy levels. It fuels your body and aids in recovery from injuries.
If you’re not planning on taking collagen supplements as a long-term solution, consider more natural avenues. Consuming organic sources of collagen encourages your body to make more of its own.
6. Hair Loss Prevention
The biggest culprit of hair loss in men is genetics. While there’s nothing we can do about our genes, collagen can still help us manage and slow receding hairlines.
Keratin is the protein responsible for maintaining our hair, nails, and teeth. To create keratin, our body uses certain amino acids. Many of the amino acids necessary for keratin production are abundant in collagen.
Collagen helps maintain our hair follicles, reduces hair loss, and also creates healthier hair. Your body breaks down the collagen proteins to get to the composite amino acids. These amino acids are then used to build new compounds and proteins.
What amino acid, you say? It’s proline, and it’s the main acid component in keratin. Consuming collagen-rich foods and supplements can prevent galloping alopecia.
7. Skin Care
Collagen is found in the layer of our skin called the dermis. This is where all the new skin cells grow. As we age, the number of new cells goes into decline, this causes our skin to become weaker and vulnerable to wrinkles.
Collagen supplements in conjunction with other healthy habits like drinking lots of water, being active, and eating less junk food, can help maintain and protect your skin.
For example, using a collagen supplement can help to clear up crow’s feet after a month or so, and it improves your skin tone after about two months.
Conclusion – So Is Collagen Good For Men?
Yes – collagen can be beneficial for men. From maintaining our hairlines to keeping our hearts in good shape, there’s not much that collagen isn’t good for. Yet, many of us neglect to include a healthy portion of collagen-rich food in our diet.
Fortunately, there are lots of great sources of collagen that don’t require us to take expensive supplements or force down unpleasant “superfoods.” Chicken, beef, berries, eggs, and citrus fruits are all great sources of collagen peptides that don’t need you to take out a loan to afford.
With all this in mind, there’s really no reason not to increase the amount of collagen in your diet. After all, who doesn’t want luscious hair, rock-hard bones, and glowing skin?