What is Collagen? Exploring the Benefits and Origins of this Vital Protein

What is Collagen? Exploring the Benefits and Origins of this Vital Protein

Updated: Mar 26, 2024Veronika Larisova

Collagen is now the hottest new product in health based on new and rapidly evolving research into its unique benefits. It has been researched by the Australian Institute of Sport and is used by many of the world's top sporting teams for better recovery, healing and injury prevention. It's now also showing great results in the areas of anti-ageing as it turns out our body really needs the building blocks that collagen provides.


What is Collagen?

Collagen is essentially a structure of amino acids that makes up a type of protein. It’s made up of primarily proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine. These are amino acids that make up 30% of all of the protein in your body is collagen protein.

That's a huge amount of your body, but in some parts of your body, the percentage is a lot higher. Around 75% of your skin, 95% of the organic compounds of your bones, and 90% of your gut lining, digestive tract, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue, fascia and spinal discs are made up of primarily collagen protein.

There's more collagen in your bones than calcium and other minerals. So, what's more important to your bone health? Well, they're both vitally important, but you can't build bone health with just minerals. Collagen is what makes up the majority of them.


Collagen versus Whey.

A recent study found most people are consuming too many branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) along with methionine. BCAAs (found in proteins like whey) are good for muscle building, but they're not good for building collagen, supporting your skin, supporting your gut, and your digestion.

If you consume too many BCAAs, it can be hard on the kidneys and it can actually decrease your lifespan versus people that consume more glycine, which is found in collagen. Those consuming more glycine improved their liver function and increased their overall lifespan.


What are the benefits of Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body but as we age our natural collagen levels decrease. Supplementing with collagen improves your whole body.

Stronger joints and tendons
Studies show that taking hydrolysed collagen decreases joint pain after exercise and increases the density of cartilage, making joints more flexible.

Improved gut health
Collagen contains large amounts of the amino acids glycine, glutamine and proline which can be beneficial to the intestinal tract as well as the stomach.

An alternative to meat
Eating less meat also reduces your collagen intake. Supplementing with collagen is a great way to replace this important source of nutrients that you can't get from plants.

Better for the planet
Collagen is a co-product of animal agriculture. If we don't use it, it becomes landfill. As our population grows we need to be make better use of the resources we have.

Naturally curbs cravings
Collagen is 40% more satiating than other proteins like whey and is a great choice if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, or to naturally control your appetite.


Are you getting enough Collagen in your diet?

Most people are getting zero collagen in their diet or less than 5% of their total protein intake is collagen. As a guide, about 30% of your protein intake should be coming from collagen-rich proteins.

The biggest sources of collagen in our natural diet are bone broth, the skins of fish, the skins of chickens, and to a degree, a little bit of organ meat. For most of your life, have you been consuming one to two servings every single day of these? Probably not, but our ancestors got that in their diet regularly.  

So, that’s why we chose collagen as the protein source for our Collagen Bars. The collagen itself comes in an odourless white powder form which is hydrolysed to ensure maximum bioavailability. They're a great way to add more collagen to your diet without having to eat more bone broth, animal skin or organ meat.

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