It is funny, but when it comes to bodybuilding most bodybuilders seem to have tunnel vision on what they think is needed to succeed.
For starters, the average bodybuilder would often say that all they need to be ripped is to train hard and heavy, eat proper, and get lots of rest.
On the surface this is actually true, but when you have been into bodybuilding as long as I have, you’d soon realise that training hard, eating right and resting only scratches the surface of your bodybuilding needs.
Amongst many other things to consider before, during and even after bodybuilding is supplementation and one supplement worth considering today is collagen. The best collagen supplements will greatly help your bodybuilding efforts.
In this post, I’ll explain what collagen is to the uninitiated, how it helps improve your bodybuilding performance, its benefits, and how much you should take a day.
What Is Collagen?
It may interest you to know that everyone has collagen. Collagen is simply a form of protein that is predominant in the human body. As a matter of fact, it is widely believed that collagen makes up to 30% of the overall protein in the average person.
The function of collagen in the body is multifaceted, as this protein promotes structure, balance, elasticity, strength, and support to cartilage, ligaments, connective tissues, skeletal muscles, skin, blood vessels, and bones.
The collagen in the body tends to depreciate with age which accounts for why the elderly tend to have sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. It is also why osteoporosis (brittle bone), and arthritis are common with old age.
But with malnutrition or a poor diet plan, your collagen level may also decrease even in your young age. This can lead to stiffness of the ligaments, tendons and cartilages of your joints, weak skeletal muscles, and joint pains.
Some of the foods that are rich in collagen include egg yolk, bone broth, pork, chicken, cow tail, foods with gelatin, salmon, soybean, and so on.
As a newbie, you may be surprised by the different terms associated with collagen. These terms may be confusing, especially when you’re buying collagen supplements for the first time and they include:
When collagen is broken into much smaller chains of amino acids, they are referred to as collagen peptides.
When collagen is hydrolyzed, they are referred to as collagen hydrolysate. Collagen hydrolysate is more or less similar to collagen peptides, as they are broken down into minute amino acids like peptides. The main collagen peptides benefits lie in the fact that they can be quickly absorbed by the body and are therefore easy to digest.
These are basically dietary supplements with peptides that are presented for use in powder form. This powder is soluble in liquid to form a drinkable, but tasteless protein-rich solution.
How does it work to Improve your Bodybuilding Performance?
As a bodybuilder that regularly engages in high-interval intensity training (HIIT), you are more than likely to experience skeletal muscle breakdown and joint pains caused by inflammation.
The collagen in your body naturally works to repair your damaged muscles and reduce inflammation in your joints whilst you recover (rest). However, with collagen supplementation, you can help to quicken your recovery time and be fit in time for yet another HIIT session.
How much Collagen per day for bodybuilding?
Between 30 to 60 minutes before you start your strength training or high intensity workout sessions, you should consume 15 to 20 grams of collagen supplement.
You can also drink between 50 to 100 mg of fruit smoothies or fruit juice in order to get a good daily supply of vitamin C along with collagen. This combination will help to speed up healing during rest days.
By taking 15 to 20 grams of collagen supplement daily, you will be able to build skeletal muscle mass, repair damaged muscles, boost your strength, and even lose body fat.
Benefits of Using Collagen Supplements
Using the collagen supplements will provide you with the following collagen peptides benefits:
Reduced Joint Pain
Your joints are lined with cartilage which prevent bones from coming in contact while providing both support and cushion to your joints.
However, with aging, the cartilage in your joints will wear down and even more so on in athletes or bodybuilders due to the stress continually exerted to the joints during training.
With the cartilage depleted, you will experience joint pain, but collagen supplementation would go a long way in repairing your cartilage, reducing inflammation, and joint pain.
Building Skeletal Muscle Mass
Sarcopenia is a condition characterised by the loss of skeletal muscle mass due to aging. This condition is caused by a drop in collagen levels as you age or as a result of severe malnutrition.
However, if you take collagen supplements, you can stop and reverse muscle loss. Collagen is rich in glycine and arginine amino acids which are prominent in Creatine which is known to boost skeletal muscle mass and strength.
Recovery is essential to your bodybuilding goals, as you build muscle mass during your rest days. But using collagen will go a long way in promoting quick recovery from muscle stress, break down, wear and tear. Collagen also helps in the recovery from joint-related injuries which may occur during training.
Indeed, the best collagen supplements offer you a number of bodybuilding benefits. Collagen will protect you from joint inflammation and pain while also repairing worn out cartilages. Collagen promotes both the repair and growth of skeletal muscle mass and aids recovery.
You can get collagen from different food sources including salmon, egg yolk, soybeans, pork and chicken. However, you should know that there is a risk that collagen supplements may have food allergens, such as; shellfish, fish, and eggs. You should carefully check the ingredients of the collagen supplements you intend buying, especially if you suffer from allergies.
In all, collagen supplements are definitely worth including in your bodybuilding dietary plan, so consider adding one today.