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5 Reasons Why Collagen Is Important As We Age

February 10th, 2021 | 3 min. read

5 Reasons Why Collagen Is Important As We Age

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By Jessica Petersen - Pilates and Group Fitness Instructor

As we age the production of Collagen in our body decreases.

 

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and the major component in the strength and functionality of our connective tissue.  Connective tissue is the matrix within the body that supports, protects and gives structure to the organs.  In other words, it’s really important!  Below I will discuss some of the benefits of adding a collagen supplement into your diet and how it made huge impact in the the healing of my Diastasis Recti (separation of the abdominal wall) after having two kids!  I will also share a recipe for collagen tea that I drink every morning if you are interested in a simple way of adding this into your diet.

First, let me mention that collagen can be found as a natural ingredient in the connective tissue of animals.  So, good sources of collagen are fish, beef, chicken skin, pork skin, and bone broth.  However, because digestive enzymes in our body need to first break down the collagen for absorption it has been shown that supplements have a much greater benefit because they have already been hydrolyzed or broken down for quick and efficient absorption into our system.

There are 5 substantial benefits to adding a collagen into your diet daily:

Improves Skin Health

With age the body produces less collagen which leads to dry skin and wrinkles! Ack!! By adding a collagen supplement into your diet it stimulates the natural production of collagen within the body as well as improving skin elasticity (less wrinkles) and hydration!

Helps Relieve Joint Pain

Collagen helps maintain the integrity of cartilage (connective tissue) which protects your joints.  Therefore, collagen has been shown to reduce joint pain and to lower inflammation helping prevent joint degeneration.

Prevents Bone Loss

Bones are mostly made of collagen which gives them structure and keeps them strong!  Collagen decreases with age as does bone mass, so with the addition of collagen in your diet you help inhibit bone breakdown.

Boosts Muscle Mass

Research has shown that taking collagen promotes synthesis of muscle proteins like creatine as well as stimulates muscle growth after exercise.  It is also a low fat source of protein to take quickly following a workout to allow for quick absorption aiding in the repair of muscle for quicker gains!

Promotes Heart Health

Without enough collagen in the body, arteries, which carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body, can become fragile or weak.  Collagen has also been shown to increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the body aiding in preventing heart conditions like atherosclerosis (build-up of plaque on the artery walls).

Other positive effects of adding collagen into your diet are increased growth and health of hair and nails, improved gut health, brain health and weight loss.

After having two kids I suffered from Diastasis Recti or separation of the abdominal wall.  After 8 years of struggle, through diet, exercise and physical therapy, I was unable to heal my Diastasis.  Once I added collagen into my diet, after learning it’s benefits with regrowth and strengthening of connective tissue, my Diastasis healed within 6 months!  In my body, it was the final piece of the puzzle in closing the gap.  A healthy diet, consistent exercise and collagen healed my Diastasis Recti.  Now, I incorporate collagen into my daily morning regime with a cup of collagen tea that I am excited to share with you!

DAILY COLLAGEN TEA

1 black tea bag (PG Tips is my tea of choice)
1 scoop collagen (Vital Proteins)
1 tbsp honey
8 oz boiling water

Combine all ingredients and give it a stir! Let steep for 5 minutes and enjoy! The collagen completely dissolves in the boiling water and it 100% tasteless. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

My collagen supplement of choice is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C Unflavored.

You can learn more about Diastasis Recti in my previous blog post.  EVERYBODY is different! 

It is important to note that I am not a licensed nutritionist or healthcare provider.