It’s the natural cycle of life: as we age, collagen levels in the skin, bones, and muscles decrease. Unfortunately, this process begins for most around the age of 25, leading to the development of wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, hair loss, bone loss, arthritis, and a number of other issues.
You don’t have to accept these inevitable signs of aging and diminished health. Instead, you can gain a better understanding of why and how collagen production decreases and learn 5 ways to combat it to ensure you don’t suffer the same consequences.
How Collagen Works in the Human Body
Collagen is in a constant cycle of creation and destruction in the human body. Several cells, including fibroblasts and fibroclasts, osteoblasts and osteoclasts, as well as chondroclasts and chondroblasts are responsible for this process.
Here are the basics of how each cell functions in the process:
- Fibroblasts create collagen and elastic fibers while fibroclasts are skin cells that break down these fibers.
- Osteoclasts are large bone cells that absorb bone tissue during growth and healing while osteoblasts secrete the materials necessary for bone formation.
- Chondroclasts help the body reabsorb cartilage while chondroblasts are one of the cells responsible for cartilage production.
|Cells That Produce Collagen||Cells That Destroy Collagen|
Each of these cell pairs work together in the constant process of collagen breakdown and creation. However, as we mentioned above, collagen production slows as you age as destruction speeds up.
Age isn’t the only contributing factor to this issue either. Environmental factors, including exposure to free radicals, sun damage, and other toxins also compromise fibroblast functionality and even breakdown collagen. This decreases collagen levels more than age alone, leaving many in search of a solution.
If you’re looking to increase collagen production for any reason, there are a few key ideas to keep in mind.
2 Key Ideas to Keep in Mind as You Work to Increase Collagen Production
If you’re interested in increasing collagen production, you’ve likely considered creams or other products that promise results. Unfortunately, the skin’s inner layer, the dermis, is impenetrable by collagen molecules on the skin’s surface because they are too large to be absorbed. If anything, using these products wastes money and only temporarily conceals wrinkles.
Though age and environmental influences cause breakdowns in the collagen mesh that keeps the skin looking soft and young, there are a few key ideas to keep in mind to address the problem correctly:
- Stimulate Collagen Production – It’s inexpensive and safe to stimulate your own collagen production. The best part is that doing so is completely natural and doesn’t require any surgery or medications. By taking amino acids used to build collagen chains, you’re giving your body what it needs to build new collagen. But other factors, such as Vitamin C, copper peptides, and hormones are all essential to collagen stimulation. By making adjustments that address your intake of each, whether through diet or supplementation, you can increase the body’s natural ability to produce collagen.
- Protect Existing Collagen From the Environment – As we mentioned above, environmental damage worsens the collagen destruction cycle. If you live in an urban area full of dirt and dust particles, smog, and other air pollution, you’re at an increased risk of environmental challenges for your skin. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, the potential damage is far greater. By regularly cleansing your skin every morning and evening, exfoliating regularly, moisturizing, and nourishing your body with vitamins and minerals from a healthy diet, you can do your part to protect existing collagen.
With these two key factors in mind, how can you increase collagen production without ineffective creams or other products? Below, we share five ways to help you get started.
In the section above, we shared that you should always work to stimulate your skin by consuming the nutrients your skin needs most. However, achieving optimal levels of each of these nutrients in your diet can be challenging. This is where supplementation comes in.
For example, Collagen Complete contains vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed collagen. Each of these ingredients protect collagen production, stimulate collagen production, or do both. Let’s examine how each of these essential ingredients works to the benefit of your skin, hair, bones, and joints:
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is used to make all 18 types of collagen found in the body. It combines with lysine and proline, two amino acids, to form the first precursor of collagen, known as “procollagen.” As an antioxidant, vitamin C also protects existing collagen from damage.
- Hyaluronic Acid – Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body and regulates and repairs cell growth. It is found in connective tissues and is needed to bind collagen and elastin. By doing so, it increases elasticity and protects cartilage throughout the body as well as the skin.
- Hydrolyzed Collagen – Hydrolyzed collagen contains amino acids, including glycine, proline, and lysine, which the body uses to build connective tissue and regulate cell growth. This offers comprehensive, collagen-related benefits to the hair, skin tissue, muscle, cartilage, ligaments, and blood cells.
- Other Antioxidants – Antioxidants such as vitamin E, rosehip, and acerola cherry can also protect existing collagen from free radical damage. You’re regularly exposed to free radicals through the body’s normal processes (like digestion), as the body breaks down medicine, and through environmental pollutants. By consuming fruits, vegetables, and supplements with a wide range of antioxidants, you can protect against this damage.
Most supplements don’t contain this full range of ingredients. This forces you to purchase and take multiple supplements every day just to provide the bare minimum of protection necessary for existing collagen and to increase future collagen production.
By consuming Collagen Complete instead, you will need only one supplement to enjoy all of these benefits and keep your skin, hair, and other body structures feeling and looking great!
2. Get At Least 7 Hours of Sleep Every Night
Sleep is the time when your body repairs and restores damage that occurs every day. If you aren’t getting at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night, you’re cutting into this restorative process and diminishing your body’s ability to produce collagen.
Poor sleep has long been connected with increased stress hormones, which increases inflammation in the body. This can exacerbate existing skin problems, including the breakdown of both collagen and hyaluronic acid. As we mentioned above, both of these molecules are responsible for a glowing, healthy complexion and a reduction in fine lines and other age-related issues. To put it simply: The longer you’re asleep, the more time you give your body to produce more collagen and hyaluronic acid.
Studies have also found a connection between sleep and the production of human growth hormone (HGH). Without sufficient levels of HGH in the body, it’s common to experience issues such as lower cell reproduction as well as growth problems. Adequate sleep helps combat these issues because the body secretes the most HGH shortly after the onset of sleep and continues through the first phase of slow-wave sleep. And, because HGH stimulates collagen production in muscles and tendons, sleep is necessary for the body to repair, rebuild, and refresh each night.
If you struggle to fall or stay asleep, there are steps you can take to improve the quality of your rest. Many natural ingredients, including melatonin, passionflower extract, valerian root, and GABA, can help with this.
Consider the benefits of each:
- Melatonin – The pineal gland secretes melatonin when the body is exposed to lower levels of light, especially at night between 2 and 5 am. Melatonin regulates circadian rhythms and is commonly used as a sleep aid.
- Passionflower Extract – Passionflower extract is a well-known sedative that stops muscle spasms, calms the mind, and helps those who feel anxious fall and stay asleep.
- Valerian Root – Valerian is a tall, flowering grassland plant that is known to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and may help individuals sleep better. Nervous, anxious, and depressed individuals benefit most from valerian, as do those with epilepsy, ADHD, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
- GABA – GABA is a natural neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety while increasing alpha waves in the brain. It is often used to prevent insomnia, combat restlessness, and works against muscle spasms.
If you still have trouble falling asleep, you may want to consider other natural remedies.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet Full of Proteins, Fats, and Other Nutrients
Your diet is essential to collagen production. After all, amino acids are found in an array of fresh fruits and vegetables. This is why when you want to address collagen deficiencies, external creams aren’t effective but internal health is.
As we mentioned above, consuming adequate amounts of vitamin C is essential for collagen production. That’s because it’s used for all 18 types of collagen in the body. By consuming foods high in vitamin C, such as tangerines, other citrus fruits, guava, and even vegetables such as yellow bell peppers and dark leafy greens, you can ensure you’re never deficient in this essential nutrient.
In addition to vitamin C, it’s important that you eat healthy proteins at each meal. Collagen is a protein made mainly of four amino acids: Glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine. By eating healthy sources of proteins such as meats, eggs, seafood, and plant-based sources such as beans and soy, you can ensure you have all the amino acids necessary for collagen production.
Another essential macronutrient, fat, is also vital for collagen production. This is because skin cells are surrounded by a fatty layer of skin, called the hypodermis, which is the innermost layer of the skin. When you consume healthy, omega-3 fats found in seafood, grass fed beef, flaxseed, and other sources, you can ensure your skin cells remain plump and disguise the wrinkles that appear with age.
One great option for those looking to increase collagen production through their diet is to make a Collagen Broth. ***VIDEO BELOW***Collagen broth, or bone broth, is an excellent source of amino acids, collagen, gelatin, and other trace minerals that support the collagen cycle in the body. In fact, hydrolyzed collagen offers the same nutrients as gelatin does. Because hydrolyzed collagen is quick to digest, often within 6 hours of consumption, it is an essential part of any healthy diet.
4. Exercise Regularly (and Do the Right Types of Exercise)
Like sleep, exercise stimulates the production of HGH, making it another important method on our list as to how you can boost collagen production. Some studies even suggest that exercise is even more critical to HGH production than sleep. The type of exercise you perform matters as well.
When you want to maximize HGH production in the gym, here are the types of workouts you should focus on:
- Resistance Training – How much weight you lift as well as how often you lift will impact HGH production. By lifting heavier loads more often, you can rapidly increase the amount of HGH created by the body. Likewise, you should focus on large muscle groups for the best results. By putting more muscle fibers into play, you’ll increase HGH levels quickly and efficiently.
- Endurance Training – Many people spend an hour or more on a bike or treadmill for cardiovascular exercise. For optimal HGH production, you should cut the training time to 10 to 15 minutes (i.e. HIIT training) and, if possible, perform these short bursts of exercise multiple times a day if you want too. If you exercise for too long at once, cortisol levels will rise and HGH levels will fall. When performed in shorter intervals, endurance training increases HGH levels almost immediately and continues to do so for up to 24 hours following a workout.
From this it’s obvious that weight training and HIIT are the best forms of exercise to focus on in the gym. Doing so will not only stimulate HGH production, but also stimulate collagen production due to their related processes. Weight-bearing exercises, such as strength training, are also known to stimulate bone and collagen growth, working to prevent conditions such as osteoporosis.
Once you’ve incorporated the healthy habits above into your routine, you can still do more to elevate collagen production. Two of the best ways to do so are through red LED light therapy and infrared light therapy, which is known to stimulate collagen production at deeper levels.
Red light therapy is UV-free and produces a wavelength outside of those that damage skin. This creates healing benefits for the skin, which can increase collagen production, reduce acne or other imperfections, and even treat scars and stretch marks. More scientifically speaking, LED red light therapy stimulates fibroblasts to produce collagen while decreasing the enzymes that then break it down. By using this therapy, you can influence the production/destruction cycle of collagen, creating both physical and aesthetic benefits.
Another light therapy, infrared light therapy, stimulates collagen type I and III production, improving elasticity while diminishing the appearance of wrinkles. Like red light LED therapy, infrared light therapy increases the levels of collagen and elastin produced by fibroblasts. Doing so improves skin texture, color tone, and the appearance of wrinkles.
Results are best for individuals in all studies when the treatments are consistently applied during the course of several months.
A Comprehensive Approach to Collagen Production is Best
When you’re serious about combatting the natural effects age, environmental stressors, and other factors have on the collagen cycle, approaching the issue from a comprehensive perspective works best.
This means you must:
- Get Informed – Understanding how collagen functions in the human body as well as the key factors that influence its production is essential. Before beginning any treatments or making changes, you must educate yourself.
- Adopt Healthy Lifestyle Habits – You can’t lay out in the sun everyday, never exercise, and get only 5 hours of sleep every night and expect to see a change. You must adopt a range of healthy lifestyle habits to ensure every step you take is working to your benefit.
- Focus on Nutrition – Because certain nutrients are essential to collagen production, it’s important that you understand what you may be deficient in. Then, by making adjustments to your diet and consuming a supplement such as Collagen Complete, you can ensure you aren’t leaving out any essential nutrients that may compromise your efforts.
It’s important to remember that collagen preservation is just as important as collagen production. Taking care of your skin now, and following the 5 methods provided above, is the best way to ensure that age and other uncontrollable issues don’t stand in the way of healthy skin, hair, joints, and other body structures.
Collagen production isn’t a cycle that’s out of your control. Use your new knowledge to your advantage to make healthy, lasting changes that keep you feeling and looking great at any age!