Collagen occupies the largest volume in the extracellular space and is found everywhere in the body including bones, skin, muscles, and tendons thus making it the most plentiful protein in the human body. It is made up of amino acids that are wound together forming triple-helices which form elongated fibrils. One of the amino acids forming the triple-helix is arginine and the other is glycine both of which are essential in the synthesis of creatine. Creatine provides the energy needed for muscle contraction and aids in building muscle strength, power, and size.
A dosage of 8 g of hydrolyzed collagen as a daily supplementation is recommended for at least 4 – 12 weeks has been shown to bring about improvement in metabolism thus adding lean muscle mass and in the formation of muscle tissue thus recommended for post workout.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein made of a triple helix that consists of two similar chains and another chain that is different in its chemical composition. The composition of amino acid in collagen is unlike that of most proteins due to its high hydroxyproline content. Glycine-X-hydroxyproline and glycine-proline-X are the commonest motifs in the sequence of amino acids of collagen. X is normally any other amino acid other than hydroxyproline, proline, or glycine.
It is the major building block of connective tissues, joints, and bones. Dietary sources of collagen include foods like collagen-rich animal organs, bones, fatty cuts of meat, and skin. Connective tissues form the second largest organ and mass of the body and form a large part of tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage, and muscles are made up of mostly collagen.
It is worth noting that there are different types of collagen and each has its unique benefits.
Type 1: This the most abundant and usually considered the strongest since it is made up of eosinophilic fibers It aids in bone formation and in holding together tissue thus preventing tearing.
Type 2: Majorly helps in the formation of cartilage primarily found in connective tissue. The wellbeing of our joint is dependent on cartilage formed out of type 2 collagen.
Type 3: This is made of reticular fibers and is majorly found in the extracellular matrix of internal organs and skin. It is normally found with type 1 and aids in giving the skin its firmness and elasticity.
Other types include Type 4, 5 and 10 which are found in lower quantities in the body and play a minor role in the general health of a person.
Chronic, strenuous exercises, as well as the aging process, leads to collagen degeneration. However, the degradation occurs slowly over a long period of time and progressive development of symptoms such as pain occur only in advanced stages. This is why as a fitness enthusiast there is need to consume collagen throughout your training especially for post workout.
Recommended Dosages and Side Effects
There is currently no standardized recommended dosage for collagen supplements from the FDA, thus, users should actively consult with a doctor and closely review the manufacturer's recommended dose information prior to taking products that have collagen.
However, most trusted sources recommend 400 mg capsules, to be taken three times daily. While doing so it is recommended that you drink at least 1.5 liters of water daily in a bid to get the maximum benefits out of the ingested collagen especially when it for post workout.
Supplementation with high doses of collagen has been found to bring about some side effects one of them being hypercalcemia which is simply high levels of calcium in the body as documented by MedlinePlus a website associated with the National Institute of Health. Consequently, bring about complications such as bone pain, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Other side effects include hypersensitivity reactions and bad taste in the mouth.
Products That Contain Collagen
Collagen is readily available from retailers that specialize in natural supplements as well as drug stores. Some of the products containing collagen include:
Pure Marine Collagen Peptide Powder - packed with 30 servings of 6.6 gm of collagen
Collagen Advanced Formula – 18 amino acids and 6 gm of collagen per serving
Super Collagen + C – 6 gm of collagen per serving
Neocell Super Powder Collagen - 30 servings of 6.6 gm per container, and is gluten and soy free
Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides - 41 servings of 11 gm per container and is paleo-friendly, gluten and soy free.
Youtheory Collagen Advanced Formula – 6 gm per serving, hydrolyzed and gluten, dairy and soy free.