What Is Collagen? Plus, 5 Reasons to Add It to Your Diet
It’s in supplements, added to skincare products, and talked about in health magazines: collagen. But, do you know what collagen actually is?
Collagen is the number one most abundant protein in your body, and for this reason, plays a number of roles. Approximately one-third of all proteins that make up your systems are collagen. It’s a major building block for skin, muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. It’s even found in more miscellaneous body parts like your teeth and blood vessels. Supplementing your diet with the best collagen supplements is the easiest way to reap all of the health benefits of collagen.
The Four Types of Collagen
With so many roles to play, collagen actually comes in a few forms, allowing your body to take variations of the molecule and use it in different ways.
Type I collagen makes up 90% of all collagen in your body. It’s made of densely packed fibers, which weave together forming an elastic yet strong mesh. This form of collagen gives structure to main body parts like those listed above, as well as fibrous cartilage and connective tissue.
Type II collagen is found only in elastic cartilage, which makes up body parts like your ears and the tip of your nose. It’s composed of more loosely packed fibers, giving body parts like your ears their signature flexibility.
Types III and IV
Type III and Type IV collagen have structures that vary intricately from the other two, though those differences aren’t vital to understanding collagen’s importance. Type III collagen supports organ, muscle, and artery structure, while Type IV is found in the layers of the skin and helps with cellular filtration.
5 Reasons You Need Collagen in Your Diet
Not convinced of collagen’s importance yet? Let us show you five top reasons you need more collagen in your diet!
Bone Support and Strength
When most of us think of bones, we think of calcium. The truth is all of the bones in your body are actually made primarily with collagen.
As you age, your bone mass begins to deteriorate. Collagen helps support longevity and bone strength in three ways. For one, the more collagen present means stronger bones. Additionally, abundant collagen reduces the presence of the molecule responsible for bone breakdown in the blood. Without collagen, bone breakdown may eventually lead to holes in the bones, a condition called osteoporosis. Finally, sufficient collagen leads to increased bone mineral density, meaning that calcium and other key minerals remain in the bones for structural support.
Joint Flexibility and Reduced Pain
Collagen also makes up the cartilage that cushions your joints. This rubbery tissue can wear thin as you get older, often resulting in osteoarthritis. By taking collagen, cartilage remains strong and thick, keeping joint pain at bay. Moreover, collagen can help lower inflammation in the joints, improving your ability to engage in physical activities. The more active you are, the healthier you become.
Increased Muscle Mass
Up to 10% of the muscle in your body is composed of collagen, playing a small but critical role in keeping muscles strong and functioning properly. If you’re consistently exercising, collagen can help you gain muscle mass and strength faster than if you don’t supplement with it. Researchers have also found that collagen promotes muscle healing by encouraging the synthesis of muscle-building-related proteins like creatine as well as muscle itself.
Better Heart Health
Researchers agree that collagen supports heart health. Collagen is the protein that creates strength and flexibility in arteries and blood vessels. Adequate levels help prevents vascular weakness and even prevents plaque build-up and the narrowing of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. All of this reduces the risk of heart-related conditions, including heart attack and stroke. Collagen also helps increase the ratio of HDL, the “good” cholesterol to LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.
Reduce Aging and Improve Skin Health
Aging bodies not only produce less collagen over time, the collagen produced is lower quality.
Supplementing your daily routine with collagen can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and aging skin. It encourages skin elasticity and hydration by providing it with structure. It’s believed that collagen may help with acne and other skin conditions, though that research is still ongoing. The Cleveland Clinic recommends collagen supplements as the second-best way to boost your collagen levels. (Their first is through bone broth, a time-consuming, palate-challenging route.)
Level Up’s High-Collagen Supplements
The importance of collagen certainly hasn’t been lost on Level Up, which is why we offer two high-collagen formulas. As with the rest of our products, these collagen-specific boosters are from pure, non-GMO, hormone-free, and cruelty-free sources. We use only the best ingredients, meaning there’s no gluten, wheat, yeast, or anything artificial. Whether you choose one of the supplements below or one of Level Up’s other all-natural supplements, you’ll be feeling better inside and out.
Bloom UP Multi-Collagen Complex
Our Bloom UP Multi-Collagen Complex is made with a blend of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. It provides hydrolyzed collagen peptides derived from chicken bone broth and eggshell, complete with all four types of collagen. This mix is ideal for rejuvenating joints and promoting vitality because of its high-absorption formula easily used by the body.
Glow UP Multi-Collagen Peptides
Our Glow UP blend with Multi-Collagen Peptides booster is a must for hair, skin, nail, and joint health. It contains hydrolyzed collagen — the type best utilized by the body — along with vitamins and amino acids. Other key ingredients include Vitamin C, for free radical protection, and proteins and hyaluronic acid for firm, hydrated, smooth, and healthy skin.
Up Your Nutrition With Level Up’s Supplements
You may be wondering how long it takes for collagen supplements to work, and the answer depends on your individual body. To see results, you’ll want a collagen supplement daily dosage that meets your needs each and every day. Give your body the nutrition it deserves today by using one of Level UP supplements with collagen formulas, or by shopping our other supplements. At Level UP, we put practical nutrients into formulas where each individual ingredient complements the others — and our collagen line is no exception. Healthier bones, increased muscle mass, and beautiful skin are just a click away; shop now!