Should you take collagen supplements for stiff muscles?
April 22, 2019
Many of us take supplements for stiff muscles, but it can be difficult to know what works and what doesn’t.
So what are the best supplements for stiff muscles?
To answer that question we need to understand a little more about what happens inside the body when our muscles are sore and aching.
What makes muscles stiff?
Stiff muscles can happen for any number of reasons: sleeping awkwardly, exercising, physical work, injury, arthritis, and so on.
Stiff muscles can even be a side effect of some medications. But what exactly goes on inside the body that makes our muscles feel so tight, sore and swollen?
Let’s take a quick look …
* Restricted blood flow: If the body feels like it is under stress, it can tighten the blood vessels and restrict blood flow to the part of the body that has incurred injury or that has been damaged.
* Inflammation: Swelling and inflammation can occur as a result of an injury. Inflammation is the body’s natural defence mechanism, but it can result in sore, stiff and aching muscles.
* Joint friction: Joints are very closely connected to the fibres of the muscle, so you may feel stiffness in the joints even if the actual source of your pain stems from your bones and joints.
If you’re looking for supplements for stiff muscles you need to consider what types of supplements can address the most common underlying causes of the pain; restricted blood flow, inflammation and joint friction.
Collagen supplements tick all the boxes and are an effective way to ease muscle pain.
How can collagen help?
Collagen is vital for a number of reasons. However, we only really hear about the benefits of collagen in terms of beauty.
What we don’t hear quite so often is how collagen can benefit our overall health.
So let’s take a look at how collagen can directly affect some of the most common causes of muscle pain:
* Restricted blood flow
Have you ever heard someone say that improving circulation can boost the appearance of your skin?
It may sound like an old wives tale, but there’s actually some truth to it, and it’s all to do with collagen’s relationship with blood flow.
Why? Because they do the same for the blood vessels as they do for the skin; they help keep it flexible.
Flexibility is essential so that the vessels can easily dilate and constrict to carry blood through the body.
Collagen can help to ensure that there is good circulation to the muscles, reducing pain and tension that is often felt when there is restricted flow.
Inflammation in the muscles can occur very easily, either due to injury or simply just through overusing the muscles when exercising. It’s this swelling that causes pain and stiffness.
Collagen has been shown to have excellent anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties, helping to ease muscle aches thanks to the amino acids that make up collagen.
There is one amino acid specifically that is believed to give collagen it’s anti-inflammatory properties: Glycine.
Glycine has been shown to prevent activation of inflammatory cells to minimise swelling in the body.
* Joint friction
When we move, our joints move with us, and our bones will glide seamlessly along each other to create movement.
Bones glide thanks to a natural protein in the body called lubricin, which lubricates the joints and protects the bones from wear and tear.
But there are many things that can reduce secretion of lubricin, such as inflammatory arthritis and joint trauma.
When this happens, there is not enough lubrication, meaning that bones scrape together as we move and cause pain and stiffness.
Researchers have found that the interaction between lubricin and collagen enhances the lubrication effect as collagen encourages the lubricin that the body does make to adhere to cartilage.
Are supplements necessary?
The body can produce its own collagen, but the issue when it comes to stiff joints is that the damage and injury within the body can affect the structure of the collagen that’s produced, leaving it vulnerable to deterioration. Inflammation especially is known to affect the structure and function of collagen.
Therefore, when there is existing damage to the body, we can’t rely exclusively on natural collagen production to accelerate healing.
The body will usually need a little helping hand through collagen supplements.
Other supplements to consider
Along with collagen, there are a number of other supplements for stiff muscles that you may wish to consider. These are:
Glucosamine: an amino sugar found naturally in the joints that support muscle health.
Low levels of glucosamine in the body could affect how your joints and muscles act and feel.
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish act as a type of oil for creaky joints.
They increase lubrication of cartilage and may help to reduce joint friction by helping bones to glide, rather than grind.
Green tea is a good source of antioxidants. Extreme exercise increases free radicals in the body but antioxidants can fight them.
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bone development, and experts believe that it can improve muscle strength and stability.
Vitamin D is derived from sunlight, so supplementation is often necessary.
Choosing the right supplements for you
If you’re thinking about taking collagen supplements for stiff muscles it’s important to understand that there are many different types of collagen supplements available.
We recommend looking for hydrolysed peptide marine collagen products that are derived from fish, such as Absolute Collagen, to help with stiff muscles.
This is because this specific type of collagen is more easily absorbed by the body.
Absolute Collagen is also infused with Vitamin C — a vitamin that has been shown to reduce muscle soreness after exercise — and gives you not one but two highly effective ways to reduce your muscular aches and pains.
So if you’re looking for a supplement that can help with stiff muscles as well as other areas of the body, then Absolute Collagen is a must.