Let's start by making something clear: your body doesn't need supplements to build muscle. With proper nutrition and exercise, it can build muscle just fine on its own. However, for people looking to amp up their muscle building game, there’s definitely a supplement you can use that will help you build and maintain more muscle mass, while also contributing to a more youthful appearance.
This supplement is by no means a magic bullet. It won't be able to undo poor diet and a wishy-washy attitude toward your workouts. It can, however, add fuel to your fire if you want to get max results from your resistance-based training and look and feel like you’ve just taken a dip in the fountain of youth.
What supplement are we talking about?
Your body naturally produces collagen on its own. It's the major protein building block that's present in the connective tissue of any animal. Collagen is made up of glycine, arginine and proline -- all of which are amino acids, and all of which make up the proteins in your skin, nails, hair, organs, bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and vasculature. In other words, this protein is a pretty big deal. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen. Collagen levels can also be compromised by drinking alcohol, smoking, excessive UV exposure and poor diet.
However, while you cannot reverse time entirely and you cannot repair a horrific lifestyle, a little collagen supplementation can go a long way to bolster your body's levels of this powerful protein. A mere two scoops of collagen powder can contain around 20 grams of protein, which will not only help you repair and regrow muscle fibres, but it will also increase feelings of satiety. It makes sense. Protein is famous for its ability to stimulate your body's release of leptin -- the hormone responsible for promoting feelings of fullness. This means adding a little collagen to your day can also help you avoid eating unnecessary calories.
Collagen has been proven to help balance hormones, promote good digestion and gut health, reduce joint pain, improve heart health and it can help plump up your skin and significantly improve its elasticity, smoothing out fine lines and making it appear more youthful.
There are several different types of collagen, with over a dozen types present in your body. On the market, you'll find type I, type II, type III and hydrolyzed collagen, which simply means it dissolves quickly and can be readily absorbed into the body. You'll hear a lot of marketing-speak around these types, but the truth is, your body produces them all and they will all help you see the results you want. However, if building muscle is your primary concern, go for type I, since this is the collagen found most abundantly in our bodies, found in ligaments, skin, hair, nails and organs. You can also opt for a total body collagen formulation, which will be sold as such. This will combine many types of collagen for a more holistic approach.
There are collagen pills, but the most effective and popular collagen supplements are powders. They tend to be absorbed into your system faster and more completely. You can get these powders in flavored formulations, or select an unflavored powder that can be added to coffee, tea, your favorite smoothies, water, juice -- just about anything. You get all the benefits, and no weird aftertaste.
This ease makes adding a bit of this muscle-building and skin plumping supplement to your diet super simple, and when done regularly, super effective.
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