Although collagen is most often touted as a skincare supplement and promoted to women across many markets, the collagen benefits for men are just as diverse and important as they are for women.
Yes, any and all genders are likely to benefit from collagen, but there are a few reasons why men benefit in particular.
Since men and women are biologically different in some ways, the way different foods and supplements interact with our bodies can differ. Each body is unique and has nuances, but there are also anatomical similarities between them that make collagen a beneficial supplement.
Some of the collagen benefits for men will overlap with collagen benefits for women, but they will not all be the same. That’s why we rounded up five different collagen benefits for men that you need to know, and how to get the most out of your collagen supplement each day.
What is collagen, and why do we need it?
Before we jump right into the collagen benefits for men, we should discuss what collagen is and why you should be integrating it into your diet. Collagen is a protein that your body naturally produces. Although you naturally produce collagen, as you age, your collagen production decreases.
Since collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body, you need it to produce new skin cells, repair damaged cartilage, and rebuild other connective tissue structures like organs, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
This decrease in natural collagen synthesis is the reason why so many of us start to notice stiff joints, sore muscles lasting for days after a workout, or even wrinkles and hair loss as early as in our mid-twenties.
Adding a hydrolyzed collagen protein supplement to your diet is one way to combat some of these facts of aging. And that’s not all that collagen can do - so let’s dive into some of our favorite collagen benefits for men.
5 collagen benefits for men
Although there are numerous benefits of collagen, the five collagen benefits for men we have chosen to list reflect some common complaints and experiences men have reported as they age. Not all men will experience these to the same degree, and some of these collagen benefits for men help women as well!
1. Collagen may combat male pattern baldness
One of the most noticeable things many men experience as they age is thinning hair or even baldness. Some men will begin to experience a receding hairline early in their twenties, while others may not start to notice any thinning until later in their 30s or early 40s.
Whenever it begins, if you have started to notice your hair thinning or hairline receding, then collagen may benefit you.
Because collagen is an essential protein necessary for skin elasticity and skin health, it can also help improve hair strength, so one of the collagen benefits for men is less hair loss.
This may seem like a strange correlation at first, but the reason this is true is that the skin layers that hold your hair in place may be weakening as you age, causing your hair to fall out prematurely.
Collagen makes up 70% of the middle layer of your skin, the dermis. The dermis is the part of your skin that contains the roots of your hair and holds each strand in place. So, if you have a healthy dermis, you are more likely to have a healthy head of hair.
Collagen is also a protein structure that is made up of three amino acids. Amino acids are a vital part of your hair structure because your hair is comprised of a protein called keratin. Since keratin and collagen are both proteins, some of the amino acids in collagen are necessary for keratin production.
When you take a collagen supplement, your body will break down the collagen into the amino acid structures and then distribute them throughout your body where they are most needed. This means that some of the amino acids in collagen will go towards collagen construction, and some may be diverted to help synthesize keratin instead.
It is important to note that collagen benefits for men (including for hair health) are likely more effective when collagen is taken orally versus applied topically. When you consume collagen, your body can direct it to where you need it most, and the absorption rate of the collagen tends to be higher.
2. Collagen may help maintain muscle mass and strength
If you are trying to put on muscle, you’ll be pleased to know that one of the collagen benefits for men is that it can help build and maintain muscle mass.
Did you know that anywhere from 1-10% of your muscle structure is made up of collagen? While this doesn’t seem like it would be a considerable percentage, you also must consider that blood vessels, nerves, and other connective tissues contain collagen as a structural component.
So, without the right amount of collagen, all of these structures would struggle to keep up with a muscle-building routine, and, even worse, some men will lose muscle mass as they age.
Sarcopenia is a syndrome defined by the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and muscle strength as you age. This loss of muscle mass can be caused by various factors, including a physical disability of some kind, poor diet, and a lack of physical activity. The severity of muscle strength and mass lost as you age will differ according to gender, age, and overall underlying health.
Although muscle loss in men may not get to the point of being technically classified as sarcopenia, muscle strength loss is prevalent among men as they age. To continue to do the activities you love, it is important to continue to be physically active as you age. To do that, though, you’ll have to feel healthy and strong enough to get up and move!
The amount of collagen that you need to maintain healthy muscles will differ from person to person. Still, no matter the amount, collagen is one thing that provides your body with the tools it needs to keep muscles strong and continue to help build muscle structures. Collagen may also benefit other structures important to muscle strength, including blood vessels and tendons.
3. Collagen may improve joint health
As many athletes can attest, the health and mobility of your joints is just as important as the health of your muscles. Well, did you know that collagen is one of the main structural proteins vital to healthy and functional joints?
Since collagen is such an important structure in your cartilage, ligaments, bones, and other joint tissues, one of the collagen benefits for men is healthier joints.
Not only is there evidence to suggest that the right kind of collagen supplements integrated into your diet could alleviate joint pain associated with athletics, but it also has the potential to be a strong joint injury preventative.
This is likely because collagen is such an integral part of your overall joint structure that when your body’s natural collagen production decreases, your body cannot keep up with the demands of an active lifestyle.
Since your body will distribute amino acids to the areas of your body most in need of collagen, some of your joints may be left out to favor other parts of your body like our vital organs or an area of injury.
4. Collagen may promote heart health
One of the little known potential collagen benefits for men is that it could promote heart health.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death among men in the United States. While this is largely due to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices, there is some evidence suggesting that one of the collagen benefits for men is that it can support healthy heart structures.
Collagen provides some vital structures within your arteries. Your arteries are an essential function to your heart and the rest of your body, and when your body isn’t producing enough collagen, then your arterial structures become weaker and weaker with time.
One study that had patients with atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries) consuming collagen for 6 months found that the intake of collagen improved their artery structure and increased HDL levels (good cholesterol.)
While there is some evidence that one of the collagen benefits for men is the potential to reduce some risk factors related to heart-related health conditions, more research is needed to conclusively determine all of the benefits of collagen for men and their hearts.
5. Collagen may help prevent male urinary incontinence
The last benefit on our list of collagen benefits for men is that collagen may help prevent male urinary incontinence. This may not be much on your mind until you are older, but some ailments that you may encounter when you are geriatric should be addressed earlier in your life using preventative measures like a healthy diet and lifestyle.
In the case of urinary incontinence, one of the primary causes is weak bladder muscles. As you already know from discussing muscle health earlier in the article, collagen helps you maintain muscle mass and muscle strength. This applies to muscles like your bladder muscles as well.
Research has been looking into the role collagen could play in combating male urinary incontinence with some promising results. Many of the participants in this study had major improvements in controlling their bladder, which may be due to their body’s ability to repair and rebuild muscle structures surrounding the intrinsic sphincteric deficiency causing urinary incontinence.
How to choose a collagen supplement for the best results
With so many potential benefits of adding a collagen supplement to your diet, it is tempting to want to go out and buy the first one you find. That’s why you should know that not all collagen is created equal.
When shopping for a collagen supplement that will work well and allow you to fully receive all the collagen benefits for men, look for a hydrolyzed collagen supplement or collagen peptides. These are synonymous, and often used interchangeably to describe the same products.
Hydrolyzed collagen protein supplements like Frog Fuel Ultra have gone through the process of hydrolysis. This process takes the large collagen molecules and breaks them down to be small enough for your body to process effectively.
There are so many collagen benefits for men, and we couldn’t possibly touch on them all, but hopefully by now you realize it is much more than a beauty supplement.
Collagen can help make you stronger and healthier. It can help you look and feel younger and combat arthritis and other issues brought on by aging. And, by using a hydrolyzed collagen, it not only is easier for you to digest, it also acts faster, making it the perfect partner to a hard workout.