What is Collagen? 5 Ways Collagen Can Boost Your Health

For the last 4 years I’ve been on a secret mission to discover how to hack my life, my nutrition and my exercise to maintain my physical health and youthfulness as long as possible.  As I approached 40 I began to really think about how my health and body is inevitably changing and so must I in my approach.

I have to be honest I don’t believe in “growing old gracefully”… I gonna fight that “mudha” the whole way.  Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know I can’t stop myself from aging BUT  thanks to research and scientific knowledge I can do a whole lot of things to slow down and even reverse some of the physiological changes that come with getting older.

I’m all about looking at the latest research and learning how to “how to hack my life”, “hack my health”, “hack my nutrition”, “hack my workout” , “hack my productivity”, “ hack my brain power”, “hack my mental health” heck if I can “hack if a my hack” I’m doing it.

So I’m going to be blogging and Vloging a lot about my fitness, nutrition, energy, weight loss, productivity, life hacks and if I find a way to “hack my hacks” I’ll let you know that to.  Make sure you subscribe to this blog to get my weekly updates.

I’m almost 42 in a couple days (March 13th) and my warm-ups before my workouts have been getting a little longer.  I use to be able to jog for five minutes on the treadmill and I was good to go but now I realize my muscles and joints feel much better when I do a 10-15 minute warm up instead.  That’s what lead me to Collagen and my need to “hack my joint health”.

 

WHAT IS COLLAGEN?

Think of collagen as the “glue” that holds our body together. It is the most abundant protein in our bodies, especially type 1 collagen. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. It’s what helps give our skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells, which is why it’s used in “anti-aging” skin care products. Black women’s ability to maintain our skin collagen is what help our “black don’t crack” youthful look.

Unfortunately internal collagen doesn’t hold up as well. As we age, the amount of collagen in our body decreases. By age 25, collagen levels are decreased at a rate of 1.5% a year. By age 40, collagen is depleted faster than it is produced! – Explaining my knees feeling stiff in the morning –  And by age 60, over half of the body’s collagen has been depleted.

#1 – IT MAKES YOU LOOK YOUNGER

You may recognize the word collagen as an ingredient listed on the anti-wrinkle creams in the drug-store aisle, next to claims that it reverse wrinkles and reduce the signs of aging.  Research actually backs this but come to find out ingesting it internally is looking to be a much better way to get rid of the “crows feet” around your eyes.  A  2014 study, 114 women who took daily collagen supplements for eight weeks experienced a 20% reduction in skin wrinkles. (source)

And that’ just the tip of the iceberg,

 

#2 – HELPS WEIGHT LOSS
I’ve talked over and over again about all the benefits of protein when it comes to losing weight.  Protein boost your metabolism, it helps keep you full longer and studies show that people who eat higher amounts of protein during a weight loss nutrition plan actually lose more belly fat than those who follow a lower protein diet. And Collagen is a great source of protein and provides 9 grams of protein per scoop! Another study specific to collagen showed that when people consumed collagen peptides consumed at breakfast they were 40% more satiated than other proteins (such as whey or soy) and it resulted in them eating 20% LESS food at lunch. (source)

 

#3 – DECREASES JOINT PAIN

Collagen may be just what creaky joints need, it seems that taking collagen as a dietary supplement benefits bones and joints in the same way it benefits the skin. The amino acids in collagen, glycine and proline, repair tissue, lessen inflammation and provide relief from joint pain, similar to taking cortisone or ibuprofen.  A double-blind, placebo study showed significant improvement in joint pain not just at rest but during various activities (source).

By helping the body’s natural production of collagen and providing a bioavailable source of these amino acids, particularly glycine, collagen improves stiff joints and promotes recovery.  A recent study of  250 people with primary osteoarthritis of the knee were given 10g of collagen peptides daily. The results showed a significant improvement in knee joint comfort, and subjects with the greatest joint deterioration benefited most. (source)

 

#4 – IMPROVES DIGESTION AND SOOTHES THE DIGESTIVE TRACK

This one has me excited to add more information to my “Ramadan Survival guide”.  Last Ramadan you may have seen me post about having stomach cramps at the end of a full day fast when I eat.  I finally found out what was happening. During complete food fast (Like Muslims do during Ramadan) the lining of the stomach actually thins as it turns over new cells and regenerates itself.  Collagen soothes and heals the digestive tract and helps repair the mucous lining. So beginning iftar (breakfast meal) with a little bone broth or collagen “spiked” tea has actually been extremely helpful.  In addition it also helps break down the protein and fat from foods, making them easier for the body to digest.

 

#5 – IT HELPS DETOXIFY YOUR BODY

If you are looking to help your body detox harmful substances your come in contact with on a daily basis and improve your overall health then supporting your liver is absolutely essential and collagen is extremely helpful. In my original 21-Day Reset program I help people understand how the liver is your main detoxification organ and its health is essential to doing any reset or detox program.  Glycine, which is found in collagen, can help with detoxification and reduce the damage to your liver from these toxins.  Studies have even found glycine to be so effective that it help reduce alcohol-induced liver damage. (source)

As if all this weren’t enough, glycine can be very calming and even improve the quality of sleep. It’s one of the reasons I love to drink collagen powder in my hot tea before bedtime.

 

HOW DO YOU TAKE COLLAGEN?

Bone Broth is a broth made from bones (beef, chicken or fish) because bones are loaded with collagen. A good bone broth is cooked and simmered over a couple days.  As the bones simmer in broth during the cooking process that takes place over one to two days, the collagen slowly breaks down into gelatin. Although broth can be made from any of the above sources, beef is the preferred source because it’s made of mostly types 1 and 3 collagen, which is the most abundant types created and found in the human body.

Collagen Powder Supplement:  Collagen supplement comes in a flavorless powder form and can be mixed into hot or cold liquids. I add mine to my tea, coffee and smoothies. But you can also add it to baked good and food.

I first found a certified kosher collagen which was okay but wasn’t from grass fed cows (which I prefer for better quality) then recently came a cross Hearthy Foods Halal Collagen and I am extremely happy.

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for the information. It’s important for us to maintain health rather than fight illness. This will be added to my supplements InshaAllah.

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