Collagen Peptides Powder Benefits – Beyond Skin, Bone, and Joint Support

collagen peptides supplement benefits

Collagen is the foundation of our skin, connective tissues, cartilage, and bones.

It is the scaffolding, so to speak, that gives strength and youthful vigor to these important tissues.

With age, smoking, drinking, or chronic inflammation – collagen can break down and lead to signs of premature aging, osteoporosis, joint degeneration, arthritis, and more.

Peptides of collagen are high in amino acids, which promote mucosal health – such as in the eyes, mouth, and gut.

Collagen is also high in the amino acid glycine – which promotes calming neurotransmitters in the body, and plays a role in detoxification.

One theory behind why red meat consumption may be correlated with some health problems is that humans are not getting as much of the glycine residues that are rich in the skin, collagen, and cartilage of animals, as they do when most parts of the animal are used – not just the meat.

Some of this deficiency can be replaced with collagen supplementation – and collagen peptides and related amino acids are some of the most popular products in the store.

Collagen Peptides Powder Support

Collagen peptides have different strengths and flexibility to them that yield different benefits in the body.

The best baseline collagen support that I use is Collagen Peptides: Skin, Joint, and Muscle It contains the collagen peptides most associated with general skin, hair, and nail support, with added extracts specific to the strength and flexibility of muscles and joints.

The same peptides also offer some promotion of benefits for eye health, joint lubrication, and the gut mucosal lining.

For general support, or joint pain, mobility, and muscle health are a concern, take Collagen Peptides: Skin, Joint, and Muscle.

And, if bone density is also a concern, take Whole Body Collagen which includes a Fortibone extract known to support bone formation and strength.

Collagen is high in peptides such as proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline – which are the raw materials used in the body’s production of collagen (1). Collagen is like elastic rebar that can cross-link and give structure, function, vigor, hydration, stability, and more to hair, skin, nails, bone, organs, and more.

Most diets are deficient in collagen peptides.

Our ancestors living even hundreds of years ago were known to use the entirety of an animal. They’d use the hide, muscles, and organ meat. Broth was also made from the bones and the remaining fat and connective tissues.

This “nose-to-tail” approach is rich in collagen peptides. This is important for amino acids found in the typical animal muscle we primarily eat today.

Collagen on its own can be tough to digest and free up its individual peptides. Collagen hydroxylates (hydrolyzed collagen) will break down the collagen into easy-to-digest peptides that serve as structural building blocks and communication messengers in the body.

It’s been shown in an analysis of human blood that a marker of skin and joint support does increase and peak over a 2-hour period following the ingestion of collagen peptides (
2). The same marker is correlated with a boost in tissue-building activity and hyaluronic acid levels (3).

The research supports a general “proof-of-concept” that supplemental intake of collagen peptides triggers tissue-building activities and repair and the peptides are not just being used up as energy by the body.

Some collagen peptides will add more rigidity to tissues, others more elasticity. 

As skin appearance is a strong motivator, many formulas focus on skin-focused collagen peptides – but generally, a need for skin support likely indicates a need for collagen support across the entire body – including the joints, muscles, connective tissue, and other mucosal surfaces like the eyes, and gut!

While not intended to be a full protein supplement, collagen contains an array of amino acids that serve as important building blocks to body tissues, including the mucosal layer of the gut and the relaxing neurotransmitter GABA. 

I will add collagen powder to smoothies or in addition to prebiotics or other supplement powders – especially after workouts. It’s a seamless addition to the other habits I’m already doing.

If using as part of post-workout recovery, remember that not all essential amino acids are provided by collagen powders and dietary protein or other supplemental protein may be needed to meet intended recovery needs.

Collagen Peptides Powder Benefits

Anti-Aging Benefits – Skin and Hair Structure and Qualitycollagen antiaging benefits

  • Aging mice supplemented with collagen improved skin appearance and structure – including objective improvements in collagen levels, the ratio of collagen subtypes, and antioxidant functions of superoxide dismutase and glutathione.

    The authors reported that hair quality, color, and “luster” were also visibly improved in the mice receiving supplemental collagen when compared to the control mice (
  • A human, double-blind, randomized controlled trial was conducted with 64 individuals. The treatment group was given a collagen peptide with high glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline amino acid content. The findings were published in a 2018 issue of Nutrients.
    • Results of the trial showed significant improvements in skin hydration, wrinkling, and elasticity over 6 and 12 weeks of supplementation (5)
  • A 2019 article in Nutrients further supported the findings with a randomized trial involving 72 women over 35 years of age. The treatment group received a drink that contained collagen peptides, vitamins, and botanicals.
    • Results of the 12-week study demonstrated improvements in hydration and elasticity, and expanded analysis also revealed improvements in skin roughness and density (6)

Collagen Peptides – Bone, Joint, and Muscle Health and Recovery

  • collagen bone joinit muscle healthA larger, 120-person trial examined the results of fish collagen peptides taken alongside, vitamins, minerals, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine.
    • Results demonstrated a 40% improvement in skin elasticity, a 39% increase in joint mobility, and a 43% decrease in joint pain after 90 days of supplementation.
    • Microscopic evaluation of skin biopsy showed improvements in collagen organization and elastin health (7).
  • A randomized, clinical trial of 102 post-menopausal women taking 5 grams of a collagen peptide supplement per day over 12-months had significant increases in bone mineral density of the femur and spine, as well as improved blood markers of bone formation and bone degradation when compared to placebo (8)
  • A small randomized controlled trial was recently published in Amino Acids that reported moderate improvements in 48-hour muscle soreness and quicker recovery of muscle performance when collagen peptides were taken after a strenuous workout (9)
  • A larger randomized controlled study of 139 athletic individuals with knee pain also reported significant improvements in knee pain for the treatment group when compared to placebo. The study used 5 grams of a collagen peptide supplement over 12 weeks (10).

Whole Body Benefits of Collagen Peptides Powders

  • whole body collagen benefitsProline peptides like those in collagen can have effects beyond the structure of skin, hair, bone, and cartilage. They can support the health and repair of the gut mucosa, immune function, and cardiovascular system (11).
  • Collagen peptides may also help with cell activities such as growth and the ability of specialized cells to migrate to their target areas of the body (12). The connective tissue of the body was thought of just as structural “filler” – but it is increasingly recognized as biologically important.

    The connective tissue scaffolding offers support and elasticity, but may also serve as a web-like highway system for cells and their byproducts to move around the body.

Collagen Peptides and Tryptophan

Thousands of people take collagen peptides with no issue. It is a safe supplement used widely and available in most health shops and major grocery chains.

Collagen peptides are not a complete protein source and do not contain the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), which is then a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin imbalances (both high and low) can cause mood disturbances.

When you take a bunch of amino acids – your body uses them to build things in the body. When you take collagen peptides you increase the amino acids available to make things – and this helps with everything mentioned above – bone health, mucosal health, and more.

But if your protein source lacks key amino acids, over time, you might promote a relative deficiency in those missing amino acids.

Because collagen peptides do not contain tryptophan – if you over-depend on it as a source of protein in your diet as a supplement, in smoothies, and more, your relative need for tryptophan may increase when taking collagen peptides.

If collagen supplementation seems to be associated with excitation, insomnia, or anxiety (when collagen’s high glycine content should preferentially promote relaxation), it may indicate an extra need for tryptophan – not necessarily a poor tolerance to the collagen itself.

If one suspects that collagen may be contributing to anxiety – one might start with 500mg of L-tryptophan and see if it helps.  A tryptophan powder can also help you get specific with intake – and be added directly to smoothies or drinks with collagen.

You should know within 30 minutes -2 hours if it’s helping or if the tryptophan need is related to your symptoms. You may need to take 1000mg or more initially but I wouldn’t play too high with L-tryptophan if you’re unsure of what you’re doing.

If you are on serotonin medication (ex/ SSRIs) – check with your health professional before experimenting.

Also, once you resupply your tryptophan levels – it is possible that you may only need to cycle it in occasionally.

You may also make sure that you’re including whole protein food sources (eggs, beef, turkey, chicken, fish, quinoa, etc) during the day, or simultaneously supplementing with a complete protein powder.

Collagen, Oxidative Stress, and Vitamin C

collagen vitamin c and stressCollagen is unfortunately an easy target for harmful free radicals.(13; 14)

The degree of oxidative stress on the body from inflammatory disease can be measured, in part, by looking at the amount of collagen damage.

Skin health is an important sign of deeper issues smoldering under the surface that should be addressed before other chronic disease processes develop.

The easiest way to describe free radicals is to visualize them as ricocheting bullets bouncing around causing damage to cell membranes and the vulnerable DNA and organelles. Collagen fibers inevitably take the brunt of the collateral damage.

Smoking, high stress, sun damage, immune compromise, and poor diet (high sugar, high intake of unstable fats) are associated with oxidative stress, loss of protective antioxidants, and ultimate damage to the body, including collagen.

The inability to keep up with collagen production and repair leads to the physical and cellular signs of aging. 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that humans are unable to make on their own. It is involved in the production of collagen and a lack of vitamin C levels may inhibit collagen production. It also can be used up faster when under higher amounts of stress.

Vitamin C also promotes the repair of mucosal tissues like those in the mouth and gut, acts as a general antioxidant, and serves valuable immune functions.

It’s one of the most researched vitamins in existence and just because it’s not the newest compound in the anti-aging conversation – doesn’t mean the decades of research on vitamin C just were voided either. 

Collagen can be an effective anti-aging supplement, the biological functions show the benefits can extend far beyond just skin, bone, and joint health.

Support a wide range of collagen functions with our Collagen Peptides: Skin, Joint, and Muscle.

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