Influence of collagen on sports form and beauty
Collagen is a substance with a positive effect on many levels. It not only allows you to improve your sports performance, but also has a positive effect on many aspects of beauty. No wonder then that supplements containing collagen are gaining more and more popularity. What is its effect on the body, when it is especially worth reaching for it and what is it at all?
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that consists of 19 amino acids. Among them there is hydroxyproline, which is typical for the described substance, as well as proline and glycine. In the human body, collagen acts as a kind of "scaffold" for connective tissue. Thus, it ensures the skin's elasticity and tension, and gives the skin the possibility of deformation. This is made possible by the features of collagen itself, because it is a protein extremely flexible in its structure.
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body. It accounts for 1/3 of all of them, because apart from the skin, it is also found in the tissues surrounding internal organs, such as the kidneys, liver and stomach. It is also a building block for cartilage, tendons and ligaments, as well as for the eyes, teeth, arteries and veins. Among the properties of collagen, it is also necessary to mention the fact that it ensures adequate hydration and elasticity of the skin and supports its functions. It also contributes to the maintenance of proper bone density and protects the cartilage against too rapid decay, as well as against injuries. After the age of 60, this protein ceases to be produced completely, while after the age of 25, the level of its production drops. For this reason, it is so important to supplement it.
The role of collagen in the diet of athletes
There are almost 30 types of this protein, the most important for the proper functioning of the human body are types 1 - 12. For athletes, the most important are types with the numbers: 1, 2, 9, 10 and 11. In the case of taking supplements, the most important is the source of the protein used to produce the preparation, not the type of collagen.
Why should athletes especially take care of the supply of this protein? The exposure to contusions and injuries increases significantly with frequent and intense training. A physically active person, regardless of whether it is a professional or an amateur, also has a much higher need for building materials, nutrients and energy than people who do not play sports. Taking care of these elements is necessary for quick and effective regeneration, which translates into a reduction in the risk of injury.
When muscles are being rebuilt or regenerated - which is often the case with athletes - collagen fibers are systematically replaced. If this protein is supplied in too small amounts in the diet or with supplements, then the recovery process after an injury is significantly slower and less efficient.
Athletes also need collagen because it helps a lot with the joints. In particular, it improves the treatment process of developed degenerations and disorders that go along with joint pain. Thanks to collagen supplementation, the mobility of joints is improved, their stiffness is reduced and the perception of pain is reduced. The positive effects are confirmed by tests, at the same time it should be noted that you can feel them after about three months of using collagen.
The effect of collagen on the functioning of the circulatory system is also significant. As a result, athletes have better respiratory efficiency and heart endurance. Collagen is involved in building muscle tissue, just like any other protein. This is most important from the perspective of endurance and strength athletes. Collagen contains up to 10% of muscle proteins.
It does not matter whether you use collagen preparations before or after exercise. Regardless of the time you take it, this protein increases joint mobility while reducing the risk of abrasion. It protects ligaments against damage, prevents degeneration and injuries. It also improves the regeneration of the locomotor system, and supplementation with this agent is recommended for athletes in the treatment of overload and other pains resulting from high physical activity. You should also take collagen prophylactically.
Not only people who train in strength, but also do endurance sports such as running or cycling, can use collagen to improve their results. Fish collagen is especially recommended for them, as it reduces protein degradation, and the method of its production is delicate for them. In the case of serious injuries or diseases, taking oral supplements may turn out to be insufficient, and instead, sometimes you have to resort to collagen injections.
What negatively influences the optimization of the amount of this substance in the body? Collagen deficiency is caused not only by its insufficient supply in the form of supplements and in the diet, but also too high consumption of processed products and sugar, permanent stress, comorbidities (especially autoimmune diseases), toxins - including cigarettes smoking - and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Athletes should therefore minimize the presence of these factors in order to improve their recovery and increase the likelihood of avoiding injury.
The influence of collagen on beauty
Collagen particles are very resistant to deformation. This means that the tissues containing this protein are elastic, resilient, and when pressed, they easily return to their original state. Collagen also ensures a good level of skin hydration, which significantly reduces the risk of its dehydration. The task of this protein is to connect connective tissue cells with each other, which makes it resistant to the exerted pressure and to the separation of tissues. Thus, the increased amount of the main peptide in the skin, the lower is the risk of skin pitting and wrinkles.
Due to the natural cessation of collagen synthesis in the human body after the age of 60, not only the deterioration of the skin condition can be observed, but also visual impairment, worse hair condition and less efficient functioning of internal organs. This peptide also plays an important role in the work of the immune system. It takes part in preventing pathogenic, harmful particles, including toxic ones, from entering the body.
The most popular type of collagen is type I - it is most common, it is found in the skin, subcutaneous tissue and tendons, and it is it that is mainly responsible for the appearance of the skin. It can be most effectively supplemented orally, because the protein molecule is too large to penetrate the skin and all its layers. The use of a cream or spray for external use improves the condition of the skin, because it protects the epidermis from water, but it does not improve its elasticity from the inside.
A much more effective solution is also the use of collagen in the form of tissue fillers, applied with a thin syringe into the subcutaneous tissue of the face. In this way, collagen losses are supplemented and the skin looks healthy and at the same time natural, although it must be remembered that such supplementation is only temporary. This effect lasts for a maximum of two years, however, it guarantees the reduction of cavities and scars, smoothing out unevenness in the skin, making it more elastic and tight.
The use of collagen internally (orally) allows for the effect of smoothed and better moisturized skin. To obtain it, however, it is necessary to use high-quality agents, such as fish collagen. They can contribute to slowing down the aging processes and the resulting deterioration of the skin. Injections are a method that provides faster results, but at the same time more expensive. Supplements, on the other hand, are an inexpensive method that requires patience.
The skin under the eyes deserves special attention, because it is extremely delicate. The pores on it are even smaller than in most places, so the molecule of the described peptide has no chance of penetrating deep into the skin when applied externally. In order to reduce wrinkles under the eyes, therefore, you need to use collagen only orally or by injection.
The effect of collagen on hair
The amount of collagen decreases with age not only in the skin and cartilage, but also in the hair. It is important because the deficiency of this protein results in breaking and hair loss. It works primarily by the principle of occlusion - the coating ability that prevents hair loss. This results in their optimal hydration, which in turn translates into better flexibility and elasticity. An adequate supply of collagen also allows for more efficient combing.
The beneficial effects of collagen on hair include: making the risk of their fractures significantly lower. This applies especially to situations in which they are subjected to mechanical factors, such as wearing tightly tied hairstyles, brushing wet or very tangled hair, or vigorously wiping wet hair with a towel. In addition, collagen works antistatic, which means that it reduces static in the hair.
The amino acids contained in the aforementioned protein can build into the structure of the strands and thus help in their more effective regeneration. The action of collagen on hair is based mainly on reducing water loss and improving hydration, but it does not delay the aging processes. Nevertheless, it significantly nourishes the hair, which improves its condition.
The regenerating effect of collagen on the hair concerns its outer shell. This means that shampoos, hair conditioners and masks are the most effective methods of healing strands with the described protein. Their use is most advisable in the case of pods treated with invasive treatments, dyeing and dried ones. They will then be properly moisturized and revitalized.