You’ve little doubt seen collagen skyrocket in recognition (much like CoQ10 dietary supplements) in magazines and social media feeds. There are superstar endorsements and devotees supplementing their food regimen with powders and skincare with topicals. But is collagen only a buzzword for these seeking to cut back superb strains and wrinkles? What concerning the broader collagen advantages for males?
For males and women alike, “daily collagen consumption can be a proactive step toward nurturing your body’s structural foundation,” says Lara Clevenger, MSH, RDN, CPT, a registered dietitian and private coach. “From promoting supple skin and flexible joints to supporting strong bones and a resilient gut lining, collagen plays a pivotal role in multiple aspects of overall health.”
Of course the ingredient is just not a magic bullet. But given its fan-favorite standing, collagen warrants a deep dive into its potential perks. Here’s extra about collagen advantages for males.
What Is Collagen and What Does It Do?
“Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body’s connective tissues,” says Kim Yawitz, RD, proprietor of Two Six Fitness in St. Louis. “It’s like the mortar that holds a brick wall together, albeit more flexible.”
It’s a posh protein made up of 19 totally different amino acids—the first being glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine. The most essential amino acid right here is hydroxyproline, as a result of it’s wanted to provide collagen in all of the connective tissues.
“Collagen varieties a woven matrix between cells that make up pores and skin, bones, cartilage, and different connective tissues—giving them construction, stability, and elasticity to allow them to operate optimally.”
Types of Collagen within the Body
A little bit-known reality about collagen is that there are a lot of differing types—no less than 16 throughout the human body—however round 85 to 90 p.c of it contains varieties 1 and 2.
Type 1 is essentially the most ample; it is also the strongest, serving to to type bones and help the gastrointestinal tract. It’s essential for therapeutic and offers pores and skin its elastic high quality and integrity. Type 2 is discovered primarily in cartilage in connective tissues to assist help joint health.
Collagen comes from animal pores and skin, bones, and connective tissues—however curiously, eating these animal components received’t improve collagen ranges in your body.
“Unlike many nutrients, collagen from food isn’t absorbed whole and doesn’t go straight into use once you ingest it,” Yawitz says. “Instead, your body breaks it down into individual nutrients, which can be repackaged to form more collagen.”
When buying for dietary supplements, it is typically labeled as collagen powder or collagen peptides.
How Much Collagen Do Men Need?
There’s no official Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for collagen powder. With that in thoughts, there appears to be a normal consensus throughout the dietitian neighborhood about how a lot is appropriate for day by day supplementation. Depending on what therapeutic impact you need, dosages of 8 to 12 grams are proven to supply outcomes when taken day by day, Clevenger says. Meanwhile, in line with Yawitz, “doses ranging from 2.5 to 15 grams daily should do the trick.”
Still, collagen powder “hasn’t been studied enough to know if there’s an optimal dose, or if supplements are even necessary at all,” Yawitz provides.
Sources of Collagen
Looking to extend your consumption of the nutrient to reap a few of these advantages?
“Your best bet is to give your body the nutrients it needs to make more collagen while avoiding behaviors that break it down like smoking and sun exposure,” Yawitz says. “Proline, glycine, and lysine—all amino acids—are the building blocks of collagen, but eating foods rich in vitamin C, zinc, and copper can help facilitate the process.”
Yawitz provides that you could receive collagen by eating gelatin—which is collagen that’s been partially damaged down by warmth—or by supplementing with collagen hydrolysate (aka collagen peptides).
“These collagen molecules are smaller than those found in whole foods, potentially making them easier to absorb,” she says, per 2019 research revealed in Frontiers in Nutrition.
The big range of food sources for the vitamins described above, per Yawitz, vary from mushrooms and oysters to asparagus and nuts. Here are examples:
- Proline: meat, fish, egg whites, mushrooms, asparagus
- Glycine: meat and peanuts
- Lysine: meat, cheese, eggs
- Vitamin C: bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, Brussels sprouts
- Zinc: oysters, beans, nuts, pink meat
- Copper: liver, oysters, leafy greens, nuts
It have to be famous that although collagen protein has a posh and wealthy amino acid profile, it shouldn’t be used as a major supply for building muscle (you are higher apt to take whey protein and BCAA dietary supplements). The amino acids present in collagen assist to help pores and skin and joint health, however don’t essentially contribute to muscle protein synthesis.
The amino acid that is essential in activating this pathway within the body is leucine. Leucine content material is way increased in animal proteins, like whey protein, beef, hen, and cheese. To get one of the best of each worlds, together with collagen protein with a leucine-rich protein supply can provide the final amino acid composition to help health and strength.
Should You Consume Bone Broth Instead of a Collagen Supplement?
What about stylish bone broth, you ask? While it’s everywhere in the web and fast-casual eating places, Yawitz has a warning.
“Bone broth has become incredibly popular in the past few years, partly because it contains collagen, but collagen content varies quite a bit depending on the recipe,” she says. “In general, bone broth contains much less collagen than supplements.” (She factors to 2019 research revealed within the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.)
So, for those who’re seeking to make the most of all these collagen advantages for males, your cash is probably going higher spent on collagen dietary supplements than fancy bone broth takeout dishes or cartons to inventory your pantry.
To recap, collagen might be regarded as the glue that helps maintain the body collectively. It’s the pivotal structural protein that ensures the strength, elasticity, and regeneration of all our connective tissues, together with pores and skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones. Collagen advantages for pores and skin have a strong quantity of analysis backing them up.
According to 2012 research revealed in Dermato Endocrinology, “Your skin loses about one percent of its collagen every year beginning in your late teens or early 20s, leaving you prone to wrinkles and dry skin,” says Yawitz, so supplementation could possibly be useful.
There’s 2022 research from the journal Dermatology Practical & Conceptual that means collagen dietary supplements will help cut back wrinkle depth, restore pores and skin elasticity, and improve pores and skin hydration. Still, she cautions, there haven’t been sufficient research but to find out an optimum dose.
That mentioned, a 2020 study revealed within the International Journal of Dermatology famous collagen advantages for pores and skin. Researchers concluded that “ingestion of hydrolyzed collagen for 90 days is effective in reducing skin aging, as it reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity and hydration.”
Joint and Bone Health
Along with collagen advantages for pores and skin, advantages to joint health are the opposite fundamental draw.
“Collagen can help support joint health, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to protect and repair cartilage,” says Yawitz, highlighting that these advantages have principally been studied in adults with osteoarthritis, who’ve reported enhancements in joint ache, stiffness, and high quality of life when consuming collagen peptides day by day, per 2023 research revealed within the journal Nutrients.
For athletes, there’s emerging research within the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that means collagen and vitamin C will help strengthen ligaments and tendons—the connective tissues that connect bones and muscle tissue. Other research from a 2017 randomized, double-blind examine revealed within the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that including gelatin to an intermittent exercise program improves collagen synthesis and might play a job in harm prevention and tissue restore.
Related to joint health, bone health is one other enviornment during which collagen supplementation might show useful. “Collagen is a key component of bone tissue and contributes to bone strength and flexibility,” Clevenger says. “Some studies suggest that hydrolyzed collagen has a positive therapeutic effect on osteoporosis and osteoarthritis with a potential increase in bone mineral density, a protective effect on articular cartilage, and in the symptomatic relief of pain,” she continues, citing 2020 research from the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
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Best Types of Collagen to Take
As with any complement, you need to seek the advice of together with your doctor or registered dietitian earlier than incorporating collagen powder into your routine.
That mentioned, when buying for collagen powder, Clevenger recommends in search of out a hydrolyzed collagen complement, which is commonly marketed as collagen peptides. Look for manufacturers which are third party-tested, too. Here are some skilled endorsements:
1. Bubs Naturals Collagen Protein
Yawitz calls this collagen peptide complement an important alternative for complement purists. “One serving provides 20 grams of bovine collagen peptides with no added ingredients or flavors. It’s also tested for safety and quality by NSF Sport,” she says.[$47, 20 ounces; bubsnaturals.com]
2. NOW Foods Collagen Peptides Powder
Clevenger is a fan of this collagen peptide powder, which “has just one ingredient, and is naturally corn-, dairy-, egg-, and soy-free, as well as non-GMO.” Another win for this product? It’s comparatively budget-friendly.[$23.49, 8 ounces; amazon.com]
3. Naked Nutrition’s Naked Collagen
Clevenger likes that this model takes into consideration sourcing, manufacturing, and solubility. The collagen is “from pasture-raised cows, is produced in the U.S., and doesn’t clump like other brands typically do,” she says. It’s additionally gluten-, GMO-, and soy-free, and has only one ingredient.[$41.99, 20 ounces; amazon.com]
4. Thorne Collagen Plus
This ardour berry-flavored collagen is Yawitz’s go-to suggestion for shoppers seeking to restore a youthful glow. “One scoop contains 13 grams of bovine collagen peptides, with added antioxidants and hydration-boosting ceramides,” she says, including that since collagen dietary supplements can solely work with constant use, the nice style might make it easier to sustain the behavior.[$60, 17.5 ounces; amazon.com]
5. Klean Athlete Collagen+C
Another suggestion from Yawitz, this collagen powder “contains 15 grams of bovine collagen per scoop, plus 50mg of vitamin C to help your body make even more collagen,” she says. She additionally appreciates that it’s out there in three flavors (together with unflavored) and mixes nicely into heat or chilly liquids.[$41, 12 ounces; amazon.com]
Collagen Supplement Risks
“Collagen dietary supplements are typically thought of secure in doses up to 15 milligrams daily, with very few documented side effects,” Yawitz says, citing a 2022 meta-analysis revealed in Dermatology Practical & Conceptual. “Some products contain fish and shellfish, so they may not be suitable if you have seafood allergies.”
FAQs About Collagen
Should Men Take Collagen Every Day?
As talked about above, collagen dietary supplements are finest taken day by day if you wish to reap any potential advantages. “You won’t see any benefit from collagen supplements if you only take them sporadically,” Yawitz says. “You’ll need to take them every day for weeks or even months to know if they’re doing you any good.”
Add unflavored collagen powder to espresso, in a single day oats or oatmeal, and smoothies.
Is Collagen Good for Sperm Count?
Is collagen a slam dunk for sperm health? “Despite internet reports to the contrary, there’s no strong scientific evidence that collagen increases sperm quality or quantity,” Yawitz says. If you search healthy swimmers, preserve a healthy weight, exercise, eat a well-rounded food regimen, and persist with a sound way of life sans smoking and extra alcohol consumption.
Does Collagen Help Male Hair Growth?
Another potential collagen profit for males is assist in hair progress. But it’s essential to notice that analysis on collagen advantages for hair continues to be rising.
A 2022 single-blind study revealed in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology demonstrated that the day by day administration of a standardized nutraceutical was efficient in enhancing seen hair progress, quantity, thickness, fullness, and protection with much less noticeable hair shedding for males and women of assorted ethnic backgrounds, Clevenger says.
She provides that the nutraceutical within the analysis was Nutrafol Men or Women, which contains curcumin, Sensoril ashwagandha, noticed palmetto, tocotrienol/tocopherol complicated, and hydrolyzed marine collagen, in addition to nutritional vitamins, minerals, and different botanical and non-botanical elements.
But once more, she cautions: This doesn’t imply you need to run out to purchase collagen dietary supplements and anticipate your hair to develop in a single day.
Bottom line: Collagen falls into the class of dietary supplements that most likely received’t damage you but in addition might or might not assist, Yawitz provides. You can anticipate some collagen advantages for pores and skin and collagen advantages for hair but it surely’s not a miracle complement.
Related: 100 of the Healthiest Foods, Ranked by Protein Content