What is Collagen Protein—And Should I Be Taking It?

What is Collagen Protein—And Should I Be Taking It?

What is Collagen Protein?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Among many functions, it's absolutely critical to the healing and recovery of your joints and bones. Your body naturally manufactures it by breaking down dietary proteins into amino acids. But as you age, it's harder to absorb and synthesize nutrients essential to this process. Add the beating your joints take from HIIT, burpees and OCR training, and you may have a recipe for inflammation or chronic pain. So to support healthy joints and bones, it's not a bad idea to use supplemental collagen to compensate for those deficiencies, according to Dr. Nada Milosavljevic, MD and Director of Integrative Health at Mass General Hospital.

Related: Collagen Protein: Why Your Body & Your Skin Need More

3 Ways Collagen Protein Can Support Healthy Aging

Taking collagen can support many functions in the body, namely: arthritis, sarcopenia (muscle loss, due to aging) and skin elasticity. Here's how:

1. Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful disease in which the body as an autoimmune response against its own cartilage. "One supportive measure that you can take to help mitigate or lessen repeated joint stress, is to use collagen orally, or through a capsule or powder," says Dr. Milosavljevic. There are a few theories as to why this works. First, collagen may accumulate in the cartilage and stimulate the production of more cartilage. Second, it may actually lessen the severity of the autoimmune response itself by increasing the body's tolerance to collagen by repeated exposure.

2. Sarcopenia

Loss of muscle mass happens to almost all of us, as we grow older. Sarcopenia increases the risk of falls and bone breaks. However, there are ways to reduce the rate of muscle loss. A combination of weight training and the use of collagen supplement may help. A recent study by the British Journal of Nutrition found that a group of subjects taking collagen protein (derived from chickens) increased their strength and fat-free muscle mass, much more efficiently than the control group.

3. Skin Elasticity

We all know that aging skin gets wrinkly. It's inevitable and goes hand in hand with earning your years. That said, taking collagen protein can help support elasticity and keep your skin (a.k.a. your body's largest organ!) looking more youthful. "While the sun has its own impact on your skin, aging alone can decrease the quality and quantity of collagen that your skin uses," says Dr. Milosavljevic. The good news? It turns out that using collagen supplements orally can compensate for those decreases and help maintain a youthful look.

Related: Is Collagen a Fountain of Athletic Youth?

Listen to the Podcast: What's the Deal with Collagen Protein Supplements?

TRY IT: Spartan Fuel Collagen Protein

spartan fuel collagen protein

Taking Spartan Collagen Protein daily will help to promote youthful skin, healthy bones, nails, hair, muscles and joints, and help keep your body functioning at its optimal level so you can rise to the Spartan challenge. Unlike other proteins, collagen protein is stable at higher temperatures, which means you can add it to any hot or cold drink, soup or saucy meal. (Hint: crank up your morning coffee with a scoop!)

Plus, you can feel good about your purchase. We donate 2% of proceeds from every package sold to our Spartan Kids Foundation, dedicated to making "healthy" the new normal for generations to come.

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