As we age, our body undergoes numerous changes, many of which are inevitable and unpleasant. Our skin develops fine lines and wrinkles and gradually loses its elasticity, we don’t have as much energy and strength as we used to, and it seems that nothing remains the same. While the aging process is simply part of life and there’s no way to freeze time, certain conditions can be prevented and successfully managed such as sarcopenia - essentially the loss of muscle mass and strength, which in turn affects balance, gait and overall ability to perform tasks of daily living. And, considering the role of collagen in preserving the health and tone of muscles, it is no wonder that medical professionals recommend collagen as one of the best dietary solution in the prevention of sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia is defined as a disease which results in a loss of muscle mass. Consequently, those affected by it also experience a significant loss of strength, balance, and mobility. As a result of these issues, patients are often unable to perform their usual activities, such as using stairs, walking, and especially lifting. Given that one of the main reasons behind sarcopenia is precisely inactivity, the condition can further progress if those affected give up on physical activity altogether.
The aging process has been recognized as the most prominent cause of sarcopenia, with a lack of physical activity being a close runner-up. As many studies indicate, people who neglect physical activity as they age are more likely to develop this condition later in life. Another factor which may contribute to the development of sarcopenia is an unhealthy diet and malnutrition. In order to maintain muscle mass, adequate protein intake is required, which is a dietary requirement often overlooked by many people.
Loss of muscle mass is a progressive condition which usually starts developing around the age of 40. Studies show that a loss of muscle mass is an inevitable part of the aging process regardless of physical activity but it is the rate of loss and the impact of the condition that vary. As time passes, sarcopenia has more noticeable effects, especially in the elderly. With every decade that passes, a person over 40 is likely to lose between 3 to 8 percent of their muscle mass, which doesn’t only affect the number of muscle fibers, but muscle composition as well.
One of the main factors accelerating the development of sarcopenia is a loss of protein due to decreased natural production. With age, the body is unable to create its own protein, the deficit of which may promote many issues, including the loss of muscle mass. Therefore, protein supplementation is an important factor, not only to make up for the lack of natural protein but also in the prevention of serious health conditions.
There is no medical cure or therapy for sarcopenia and this is a testimony to the complexity of this condition. There have been studies that suggest hormone therapy may be helpful, but it hasn’t been established by the medical community as a long-term management technique for sarcopenia. Instead of prescribing a medication, your doctor will likely propose specific dietary and lifestyle changes that could make a drastic difference.
Going back to the two prevailing causes of sarcopenia, the aging process and lack of physical activity, we could conclude that there is only one of them that can be genuinely altered. Therefore, physicians emphasize the importance of physical activity in overall health, especially in the prevention of muscular diseases, such as sarcopenia.
Resistance training, in particular, has been shown to improve the function of muscles, as well as the protein synthesis. However, muscles still need adequate protein “fuel” which helps to repair and renew them. This is precisely why many studies on sarcopenia prevention emphasize a combination of resistance training and collagen supplementation for the best results.
Collagen is a protein found in the structure of muscle tissues, protecting the muscle fibers, especially during contractions. More specifically, collagen is a major constituent of muscle, which creates the connection between muscle fibers, acting as a “glue” which keeps the groups of muscle fibers together. Another change the aging process brings about is a decrease in the natural collagen production in the body which is of critical importance for the health of muscles, among many its many other roles in the body. With the lack of collagen, muscle mass starts deteriorating, which may eventually lead to sarcopenia if not managed properly through diet, supplementation, and physical activity.
Furthermore, collagen contains nitrogen, which has an important role to play in the synthesis of protein necessary for healthy muscle structure, cell renewal, tissue repair, as well as metabolic processes. In addition, the readily available amino acids found in collagen may largely contribute to protein synthesis and muscle loss prevention. Arginine in particular is believed to be one of the elements responsible for nitrogen balance and muscle mass gain, just like creatine, which can also increase your overall energy level. Finally, glycine (also present in collagen) may help contribute to creatine synthesis.
Amino acid-packed collagen, such as Amandean’s Premium Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides and Marine Collagen from Wild-Caught Fish, can protect muscles during physical activity, as well as improve physical performance and recovery, which is required in the process of building lean muscle mass. Improving muscle mass and avoiding injuries by incorporating the right supplements is extremely beneficial, and not only when it comes to prevention of disease. The additional benefits include a boosted metabolism, as well as an increased ability to maintain our ideal weight as we age.
The amount of collagen found in our natural food sources often proves to be insufficient, especially in the prevention and treatment of muscle conditions. Only high-quality collagen supplements, such as the ones you can find in our online store, can provide the adequate dose of pure, bioavailable collagen.