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Does Collagen Protein Build Muscle? Why You Should Add Collagen to Your Workout Routine

by Melissa Mitri, MS, RD February 21, 2021 4 min read

 fit couple at gym

How you fuel your body can make or break your workout plan. If your goal is to increase lean muscle and burn fat, you need to fuel your body with the proper nutrients. High-quality protein intake will help you maximize muscle growth and support a healthy metabolism. 

Maintaining muscle and getting enough protein is critical at any age, but especially as we get older. We naturally lose muscle mass over time. One way to reduce the amount of muscle loss is through resistance exercise. However, as muscle breaks down during a workout, it needs to be replenished in order to rebuild new, stronger muscle. 

 So, does collagen help build muscle? Adding collagen peptides to your workout routine can help you build strength, preserve lean muscle and aid in post-workout recovery. 

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up 25% to35% of our total body protein. It provides structure to the connective tissue that makes up our tendons, ligaments, skin and muscles. Collagen has many known health benefits such as maintaining muscle mass and supporting skin, hair and joint health. 

In the diet, collagen is found in the cartilage and connective tissues of animals. Unfortunately, in our modern diets, we don’t eat a lot of skin, ligaments and tendons in meats. Therefore, most people have low collagen levels due to are not getting enough collagen protein from their diet alone.

Types of Collagen

There are around 28 different types of collagen, but the 4 most popular types include:

  1. Type I: This is the most prevalent type, present in all connective tissues such as skin, tendons, and bones, supporting structure and strength.
  2. Type II: Found in cartilage, and helps to provide cushioning and flexibility to the joints.
  3. Type III: Found in skin, blood vessels, and organs, contributing to skin elasticity.
  4. Type IV: This type is a key component of important organs, contributing to their proper function.

Collagen and Muscle Mass

If you are strength training regularly, one of your goals may be to increase muscle mass and size. The process of building muscle starts with breaking down the muscle fibers during resistance exercise and then rebuilding them. One key nutrient that can help increase muscle mass is protein. 

Collagen is a type of protein that  contains a set of amino acids, including essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body and must be obtained through your diet. This makes collagen a complete protein that can be effective for building muscle mass and strength when taken as part of a  workout plan. A daily dose of collagen peptides combined with regular strength training may lead to better results than strength training alone. However, collagen benefits go far beyond just muscle building . Not only are collagen supplements good for building lean muscle mass, but also for improving skin elasticity, supporting joint health, and improving digestive symptoms.

Additional Health Benefits of Collagen

Collagen's benefits extend far beyond just muscle building

  1. Maintaining skin elasticity 
  2. Promoting joint health
  3. Supporting overall vitality 
  4. Improved skin health
  5. Reduced joint discomfort
  6. Enhanced digestive function

Foods Rich in Collagen

While collagen supplements offer a convenient way to boost your intake, it's also beneficial to include foods that are naturally rich in collagen in your diet to promote collagen production. Here are some everyday foods that are rich in collagen:

  1. Bone Broth
  2. Chicken
  3. Fish
  4. Cashews
  5. Garlic
  6. Berries 

Collagen and Muscle Repair

After a tough workout, it’s critical to be able to both repair muscle tissues and recover. Your muscles need the opportunity to recharge, and they need fuel in order to do this. A faster recovery time leads to quicker results and less risk of injury, getting you back to the gym faster.

Increasing your collagen levels through a collagen protein powder may aid in faster muscle recovery and reducing muscle soreness. In one study, those who took collagen peptides were less sore and recovered more quickly 48 hours post-exercise, compared with those who did not.

Is Collagen Better Before or After a Workout?

The answer to this may depend on your individual goals, but what is more important is taking it regularly.

If you suffer from joint discomfort  or stiffness, taking collagen pre-workout may be a better choice. One study showed that supplementing with collagen peptides containing vitamin C one hour before working out improves collagen synthesis in the body. Incorporating a collagen peptide supplementation routine may increase joint strength, muscle strength, and resilience.

If your primary goal is to gain muscle, taking collagen post-workout may be better, as it can have an anabolic — or muscle building — effect.

Our hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides Powder can help you maximize your workout gains and support recovery. Our collagen powder also contains Vitamin C to further encourage natural collagen production. For maximum benefit for muscles and weight management combined with exercise and diet, take one daily dose of our hydrolyzed collagen peptides mixed with our natural appetite suppressant or Superfood Shake. To learn more about our products from customers who have used them first-hand, check out our Invigor8 Reviews.

About the Author

 Melissa Mitri, MS, RD
Melissa Mitri, MS, RD

Melissa is a health writer with more than 12 years of experience in the field of nutrition. She specializes in helping women move away from restrictive habits that lead to vicious yo-yo weight cycles. Melissa enjoys writing about health, nutrition and fitness with the goal of simplifying complex health topics. You can find out more about Melissa at melissamitri.com.

The INVIGOR8 Weight-Loss Family

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