You can add a scoop to your morning java, sprinkle it in your oatmeal, or pop it in pill form -- whatever you decide to do, there's no denying taking collagen after a workout can do wonders for your body. But I'll admit, when a nutritionist first suggested I try these supplements, I was initially skeptical AF. I always thought collagen is just that stuff you can inject into your lips to make them look more plump.
While that is, of course, still a thing, collagen also happens to be a complete protein found in the connective tissue of animals. It's basically the glue that holds all mammals' bodies together, and it's rich in a myriad of essential amino acids.
The gelatinous substance is also produced in humans -- but only to a certain extent.
As you age, collagen is used up faster than the rate at which your body can produce it, and that imbalance only gets larger if you exercise on the reg.
Here are five reasons to try throwing a scoop of collagen into your post-workout smoothie.
1. Your Bones And Joints Will Be Healthy AF
Routine runners, take note: Shin splints might just become a thing of the past with a few scoops of collagen.
Research involving athletes at Penn State University revealed that collagen did indeed benefit joint health, and kept the athletes' hard-working bones and cartilage nice and strong.
2. Your Muscles Will Recover More Quickly
You know that new killer HIIT circuit that feels like literal death?
Well, you're not far off -- high-intensity exercise actually places a lot of strain on your body, and can lead to uncomfortable inflammation (it feels pretty fatal, OK?)
Taking collagen after your sweat sesh can speed up the repair of your inflamed connective tissues, meaning you won't feel quite as debilitatingly sore after you leave the gym.
3. You'll Avoid Injuries
When you're hitting up the weight room on the reg, your muscles can start to grow faster than your connective tissues, potentially leading to those pesky injuries.
Your connective tissues are made almost entirely of collagen, so supplementing this stuff into your diet will help rebuild those ligaments at the same speed your muscles are growing.
4. Your Nitrogen Will Balance Out
I honestly had no idea what this meant either at first. But apparently, body-builders and athletes are all about that positive nitrogen balance life.
A good nitrogen balance allows you to be in an anabolic state, which is ideal for optimal muscle growth.
5. You'll Restore Nutrients Depleted By Strenuous Exercise
Sweating it out at SoulCycle feels amazing, but that sh*t gets intense.
Going hard at the gym stresses your body and depletes it of natural collagen. However, arginine, a component of collagen, is said to improve athletic performance and restore and maintain muscle mass.