Can Collagen Help With Exercise Recovery? Here’s What Science Says…
Written by: Shelby Torrese - May. 3, 2021
Collagen has easily become a go-to pantry and gym bag essential. It’s not only rich in protein, which is great after your workout, but also contains necessary amino acids that our bodies need to improve joint mobility, speed muscle repair, and strengthen our integumentary system. When it comes to collagen, muscle repair, wound healing, and exercise recovery, science can tell us a lot about it! In this blog, we’re going to look at the science, benefits, how to use collagen for exercise recovery, and what types of collagen supplements to use.
Collagen, Muscle Repair, & Exercise Recovery
There is a common misconception that you only need to supplement with protein if you’re trying to gain muscle or gain weight. That could not be further from the truth! Our bodies need protein. It’s one of the three primary macronutrients our bodies require. Collagen, on the other hand, happens to be the most abundant protein in our bodies, and unfortunately, production begins to decrease as we reach our mid-20’s, and drastically declines each year the moment we reach 30. So, it’s important to add an effective collagen supplement in your diet, especially to help with exercise recovery!
Collagen: muscle repair
Collagen peptides help to repair the micro-tears in muscle that occur during exercise.  In the same way we always restock the fridge after a big party, broken down muscles (protein filaments) need to be replenished. We can help this replenishment via a healthy diet or protein supplements, such as collagen. 
Collagen: wound healing
Why is wound healing important for exercise recovery? On top of the muscle repairing “wounds”, think of the blisters you get from wearing the wrong shoes, gripping bars without gloves, or even scraped knees from attempting to jump rope on gravel. (Oh, that’s only happened to me…?) Collagen helps to speed up the healing process by quickly addressing any inflammation or breakage along dermal (skin) wounds.  Especially a must for anyone that plays sports!
Collagen: bone & joint health
Collagen peptides are a popular supplement for people suffering from osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.  One study showed that hydrolyzed collagen decreased aches and pains in anyone at high-risk of joint and bone deterioration, such as sufferers of arthritis and athletes. 
Best Collagen For Workout Recovery
With hundreds, if not thousands, of collagen peptides on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you and for recovering post-workout. After a lot of shopping and research myself, here are the easiest ways to narrow down a great collagen:
- Contains five types of collagen—Having the five main types of collagen in your collagen peptides supplement is key. Look for Types I, II, III, V, and X. Type I collagen is known for supporting and repairing joints , type II collagen promotes lubricated, mobile joints , type III collagen is associated with increasing our immune system response efficacy , and types X and V collagen contribute to total-body wellness.
- Natural sources—Knowing where your collagen comes from is so important. The best sources of collagen are pasture-raised eggs and chickens, grass-fed cows, and wild-caught fish, such as salmon or cod.  Also try and find products that are made in the USA, even if the ingredients are sourced globally!
- Hydrolyzed formula—In my opinion, hydrolyzed collagen is the most important thing to look for! Hydrolyzed means the collagen has been broken down enough prior to entering the body, making it easier to absorb. This also helps with digestion (no tummy aches!), because the body doesn’t have to create as many enzymes to break it down itself. 
My favorite collagen peptides are Super Youth Multi-Collagen peptides. It’s a hydrolyzed collagen powder with all five types, and is made from four amazing natural sources. It dissolves so easily, and it comes in four amazing variations. Super Youth Unflavored is great for adding into coffee, tea, and even baking with. It also comes in a delicious orange pineapple flavor that you can quickly and easily mix with water—perfect for keeping in your gym bag or taking on-the-go!
No matter what stage you’re at in your exercise journey, a good collagen peptides supplement is a must! Get the results you want (fast!) while taking care of your body. We’re only as strong as our recovery processes, and collagen peptides are the best way to speed up recovery.