The potential energy boosting effects of collagen
Collagen is one of the most talked about supplements in the health and wellness industry. This structural protein is found throughout the body and provides many important functions. One of the most intriguing proposed benefits of collagen is its ability to boost energy levels. Keep reading to learn more about how collagen may help increase your energy and vitality.
- What is Collagen and What Does it Do in the Body?
- Collagen Production Declines with Age
- Collagen is Made of Specific Amino Acids
- Potential Effects of Collagen on Energy Levels
- Collagen Shows Promise for Increasing Vitality
- The potential energy boosting effects of collagen. Conclusion
- Resources used to write this article
What is Collagen and What Does it Do in the Body?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up 30% of total protein content. It is the main component of connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, skin, bones, blood vessels, and muscles.
Collagen gives structure and strength to tissues. It forms a scaffolding network that supports the growth and maintenance of cells and organs. Without sufficient collagen, the body becomes prone to injury and general wear and tear.
There are at least 16 types of collagen in the body, but 80-90% consists of types I, II, and III. These collagen types are made of long chains of amino acids wound together into a triple helix structure.
Collagen Production Declines with Age
When we are young, our bodies produce high levels of collagen. This keeps our skin supple, joints mobile, and bones strong. However, starting in our 20s, collagen production begins to decline. Each year after age 20, we lose about 1% of our body’s collagen.
Some factors that deplete collagen levels include:
- Natural aging process
- Too much sun exposure
- Poor diet
- High sugar intake
- Excess alcohol consumption
The loss of collagen causes the outward signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging skin, stiff joints, and decreased bone mass. But the effects go deeper than the surface. Declining collagen also affects the functioning of tissues and organs.
Supplementing with collagen may help counteract the depletion that comes with age. Consuming the right collagen types can potentially stimulate your body to produce higher quantities on its own.
Collagen is Made of Specific Amino Acids
Collagen contains high amounts of certain amino acids like glycine, proline, lysine, and hydroxyproline. These amino acids are not produced by the body and must be obtained through the diet.
Foods especially high in collagen-boosting amino acids include:
- Bone broth
- Dairy products
- Nutritional yeast
Getting sufficient glycine, proline, lysine, and hydroxyproline from foods or supplements helps provide the body with the right building blocks for collagen production.
Potential Effects of Collagen on Energy Levels
So what does collagen have to do with energy levels? Here are some of the top ways collagen may provide an energizing boost:
1. Glycine Helps Form ATP
Glycine is the most abundant amino acid found in collagen. It makes up about 33% of collagen’s total amino acid content.
Glycine plays many crucial roles in the body. For energy, glycine is needed to synthesize adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the main energy currency of cells.
ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism. Glycine is required for ATP production in the Krebs cycle. More glycine may help optimize ATP levels and cellular energy.
2. Better Sleep Quality
Collagen supplements, especially those containing glycine, may improve sleep quality and duration. One study had participants take 3 grams of glycine before bed. Those taking glycine fell asleep faster, woke up less during the night, and felt more alert the next morning compared to the placebo group.
Restful sleep helps increase daytime energy. If collagen can help you achieve deeper, more restorative sleep, this can translate to better energy levels.
3. Lean Muscle Mass Support
Taking collagen, along with exercising, may promote the growth of lean muscle mass. In one study, men who combined collagen peptide supplementation with resistance training for 12 weeks gained significantly more muscle mass and strength than those who only exercised.
Having more lean muscle mass boosts metabolism and overall energy expenditure. Your muscles will use more calories throughout the day, including at rest. More muscle mass means more available energy.
4. Joint Support for Staying Active
Collagen makes up the bulk of connective tissues in joints. Consuming more collagen may keep joints well-cushioned and flexible, allowing for easier movement.
In clinical studies, collagen supported joint health and reduced pain in athletes and those with joint disorders. Keeping your joints in good shape enables an active lifestyle, further promoting energy.
5. Possible Increase in Mitochondria
Early research shows collagen may stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis - the growth of new mitochondria in cells.
Mitochondria are the energy powerhouses of cells. They take nutrients and oxygen and turn them into ATP. More mitochondria means greater energy production capabilities.
By boosting mitochondrial function, collagen could support cellular energy metabolism. However, more research is needed to confirm collagen’s effects on mitochondria.
6. Contains Tyrosine for Alertness
Collagen naturally provides small amounts of the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine is used to produce catecholamine neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
These brain chemicals play major roles in mood, focus, mental alertness, and motivation. Consuming tyrosine-containing proteins like collagen may help maintain optimal levels of energizing neurotransmitters.
7. Antioxidant Protection
Collagen and gelatin (hydrolyzed collagen) have antioxidant properties. They help counteract oxidative damage from free radicals and environmental toxins.
Antioxidants preserve cell health and vitality. By fighting free radicals, collagen may prevent declines in energy production that can occur when cells are under oxidative stress.
8. Possible Blood Sugar Regulation
Some early evidence shows collagen supplements may assist with blood sugar control. Keeping blood sugar balanced prevents energy-draining spikes and crashes.
In one study, patients with type 2 diabetes took 10 grams of collagen daily for 3 months. The collagen group had significantly lower hemoglobin A1C levels compared to placebo, indicating improved long-term blood sugar regulation.
9. Contains Energizing Micronutrients
In addition to amino acids, collagen provides an array of micronutrients that support energy levels, including:
- Iron - carries oxygen throughout the body
- Copper - required for ATP synthesis
- Selenium - supports thyroid hormone production
- Zinc - involved in cell metabolism and creation of ATP
- Manganese - aids nutrient absorption for conversion into energy
Consuming these key minerals along with collagen supplies cofactors needed for cellular energy production.
10. May Strengthen Energetic Organ Systems
Your vital organs require ample collagen to perform at their best. Collagen enhances the structure and function of energizing organ systems like the heart and lungs.
Strong respiratory and cardiovascular systems maximize oxygen delivery throughout the body. Oxygen is used to help generate ATP during metabolism.
By supporting organ integrity and activity, collagen helps ensure your organs have the strength and stamina needed to sustain energy.
Collagen Shows Promise for Increasing Vitality
Early research reveals collagen holds exciting potential for boosting energy levels in both men and women. Its unique amino acid profile provides direct support for ATP synthesis, muscle growth, joint health, and antioxidant status.
Collagen also contains nutrients that fuel organ function, fight inflammation and aging, balance blood sugar, and maintain optimal neurotransmitter levels for alertness.
While more studies are needed, the evidence so far indicates supplemental collagen may have anti-fatigue effects and help sustain daily energy. Adding clean collagen protein to your diet could be a tasty way to keep your get-up-and-go.
The potential energy boosting effects of collagen. Conclusion
Collagen is gaining popularity as an anti-aging and health-boosting supplement. There is growing scientific interest in collagen's potential effects as an energy enhancer.
Collagen provides essential amino acids for ATP production, the fuel source for all cells. Its amino acid glycine directly assists with ATP synthesis. Consuming collagen may also promote muscle growth, joint mobility, restorative sleep, and mitochondrial function - all of which translate to higher energy levels.
Collagen naturally contains energizing micronutrients like iron, zinc, copper, selenium, and manganese as well. Preliminary studies show promising effects on physical performance, mood, and metabolism. More research is still needed, but collagen could provide a novel protein source for supporting vitality as we age.
Adding collagen supplements or collagen-rich foods like bone broth to your diet may help counteract declining energy levels. Collagen remains one of the most versatile and multi-functional superfoods for overall wellbeing.
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