Collagen: A Great Way to Improve your Workouts

Collagen: A Great Way to Improve your Workouts

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Why you should take Collagen Before a Workout

collagen ligaments hair muscles tendons bones

Collagen is the most abundant protein source that is in your body.

Supplementing this protein before a workout with proper dosage and timing will benefit you immensely.

It is made of amino acids, the building blocks of life.

It makes up about 6% of your total body weight and 30% of your bone tissue. It makes up significant amounts of your tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, and muscles.


What is collagen?

Collagen is a fantastic protein. It is a long-chain amino acid that is crucial for our skin, bones, and connective tissues. Three primary amino acids constitute collagen: proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine.


long chain amino acids 

These three amino acids give collagen its unique functional properties compared to other proteins in the body.

Pinch your skin. Go ahead. Do it. I'll wait…

See how it reforms back to its normal shape? Thank you, collagen! Skin elasticity at its finest!

The problem with the long-chain amino acids is that they can't be absorbed into our diet. They are not ingestible collagen.

What are we to do?!

Relax. Enter collagen peptides/gelatin.


What are collagen peptides/gelatin?

 collagen peptides collagen gelatin

Collagen peptides and gelatin basically have the same chemical structure. Gelatin is a cooked form of collagen and is a degraded form comprising shorter amino acid chains.

When collagen is broken down into collagen peptides, the amino acids are shortened (short-chain amino acids), making them easily digestible as a dietary supplement.

Collagen peptides are also known as hydrolyzed collagen or collagen hydrolysate.

Enzymatic hydrolysis is the official name of the process.

Collagen peptides are typically found in powder form and are granulated. They are used as a supplement and can be mixed with hot or cold beverages.

Gelatin only dissolves in hot liquids. It is used as a gelling agent in cooking. Gelling agents thicken or stabilize different types of food when added to the ingredients.

They are both excellent at improving skin, alleviating joint pain, strengthening bones, connective tissue, and gut health.  


How are collagen peptides beneficial?

The body basically has four main types of collagen (there are at least 16 types). The four main types of collagen are as follows:

  • Type I
    • Accounts for 90% of the body's collagen
    • Made of densely packed fiber
    • Gives structure to teeth, connective tissue, skin, bones, tendons, and fibrous cartilage
  • Type II
    • Made of more loosely packed fibers (found in elastic cartilage)  
    • Cushions your joints
  • Type III
    • Supports the structures of
      • Muscles
      • Organs
      • Arteries
  • Type IV
    • Helps with filtration in the body
    • Found in layers of skin


As our biological clock ticks, the quality of this collagen in our bodies begins to degrade. The most viable sign is in your skin; it starts to loosen and become less firm as we age.


biological clocks collagen aged skin               

Other than age, the following also contributes to the deterioration of collagen in the body.

  • Too much refined sugar and carbs
  • Excessive sun expose (UV radiation)
  • Smoking

Think about those habits. Making minor changes can have a significant impact on your health.

Enter collagen peptides.

To recap, they are collagen broken down into short-chain amino acids. This allows them to become easily absorbed by the body. They pack eight of the nine essential amino acids the body needs.

Since collagen peptides are in an easily digestible form, they can move throughout the body with ease. They work on replenishing the collagen we naturally lose by being shipped to areas that need it.

These short-chain peptides are turned into full-length collagen helices. Collagen helices (the structure of collagen in your body) work to repair our skin, bones, joints, connective tissue, and any cell that uses this amino acid specifically for energy.


What is collagen synthesis?

Collagen synthesis is your body's step by step process of producing usable collagen for the body. It's how you produce collagen.

There are two ways it can occur within a body's cell: intracellular or extracellular. That's a fancy way of saying inside the cell or outside the cell.

The cell in question is called a fibroblast. These are special collagen-producing cells that are inside of the connective tissues.

The absorption of collagen peptides leads to this process. It informs your body that it is time to produce that lovely collagen.


How does Vitamin C help promote collagen synthesis?

vitamin c

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels


Vitamin C and collagen synthesis go hand and hand.  Vitamin C is a crucial co-factor when it comes to the production of collagen. It acts as a catalyst to get the process going.

Long story short, if you add Vitamin C to your collagen peptides, you're going to get the most bang for your buck. Your body will be able to get the process going efficiently.


Should you take collagen before a workout?

Of course! The answer is 100% yes.

workout collagen vitamin c


Studies have found that collagen is beneficial for your workouts. These studies show support that taking it before your workout is a good idea.  

It's all about repairing that connective tissue and fascia. Suppose you supplement it with a pre-workout and vitamin C. In that case, it'll improve the body's collagen synthesis during that crucial post-workout recovery time.

This has the potential to give your joints more strength, make them healthier, and make them more resilient when it comes to injury. That's one hell of a trifecta!  


How much collagen should I take?

The research indicates that taking 15 grams of collagen and 50 milligrams of vitamin C 30-60 minutes before a workout will help with collagen synthesis.

Again, the type of workouts we're talking about are anaerobic in nature (quick bursts of energy for a short period). We're talking weightlifting and high-intensity movements you'd see in HIIT or plyometric type workouts.



Suppose you're looking to repair that soft tissue, improve the quality of your skin and bones, and make your body's overall structural integrity better.

In that case, collagen is the way to go. It's great before a workout within that hour window. Having it as a staple in your diet will contribute to bettering your health for the long haul.