Although collagen is most often touted as a skincare supplement for women, collagen benefits for men are just as diverse and important – and way more than skin-deep.
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 our top six benefits of collagen for men that you need to know, and how to get the most out of your collagen supplement.
But before we jump right into the collagen benefits for men, let’s discuss what collagen is and why you should be integrating it into your diet.
What is collagen, and why do we need it?
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.
Although you naturally produce collagen, as you age, your collagen production decreases. This decrease in collagen synthesis is the reason why so many of us start to notice stiff joints, sore muscles that last longer, or even wrinkles and hair loss as early as in our mid-20s.
Adding a hydrolyzed collagen protein supplement to your diet is one way to combat some of these factors of aging. But that’s not all that collagen can do – so let’s dive into some of our favorite collagen benefits for men.
6 collagen benefits for men
Although there are numerous benefits of collagen, these collagen benefits for men we have chosen to list reflect some common complaints and experiences men have reported as they age.
1. Collagen may combat male pattern baldness
One of the most noticeable things many men experience as they age is thinning hair or baldness. Some men will begin to experience a receding hairline early in their 20s, while others may not notice any thinning until their 30s or early 40s.
If you have started to notice your hair thinning or hairline receding, collagen may benefit you.
The skin layers that hold your hair in place weaken as you age, sometimes causing your hair to fall out prematurely. Because collagen is an essential protein for skin elasticity and health, it can also help improve hair strength. So one of the collagen benefits for men is reduced hair loss.
Collagen makes up 70% of your dermis, the middle layer of your skin. 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 also promotes hair growth because of its protein structure. Proteins are made from building blocks called amino acids; a vital part of your hair structure.
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, too.
When you take a collagen supplement, your body will break down the collagen into amino acid structures and then distribute them where they are most needed. This means that some of the amino acids will go towards collagen production, 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.
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, consider that blood vessels, nerves, and other connective tissues contain collagen as a structural component.
There are a variety of types of collagen produced by the body to fortify the form of bone, muscle, or ligament cells but they all have the same principal function: to strengthen and protect that area of the body.
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 lack of physical activity.
Even if you don’t have sarcopenia, loss of muscle strength is prevalent among men as they age.
To continue to do the activities you love, it is important to continue physical activity as you age. To do that, though, you’ll have to feel healthy 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.
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.
This is likely because collagen is such an integral part of your overall joint structure. When your body’s natural collagen production decreases, your body cannot keep up with the demands of an active lifestyle. A stronger overall joint structure is a great way to support injury prevention.
4. Collagen may speed up recovery times
If you get hit with an injury, your number one priority is getting healthy again as quickly as possible. But you can’t get back to your regular routine until your muscles or tendons are ready to take on the strain of physical exercise again.
Decreasing the time it takes to recover could be one more of the great collagen benefits for men.
Recovery times vary based on the location and severity of the injury, but all injuries have something in common. The body needs time to clear away damaged connective tissue and replace it, fiber by fiber with new collagen tissue.
Even if you’re not in the gym, your body may still need a protein surplus to complete the recovery process as quickly as possible. Taking collagen supplements is a great way to make sure that you’re hitting your daily protein goals, which may speed up recovery times.
5. Collagen may promote heart health
One of the lesser-known potential collagen benefits for men is that it could promote good heart health.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death among men in the United States. This is a problem that is often only tackled by measures such as weight loss and healthy lifestyles.
These measures are helpful, but there is some evidence suggesting that one of the benefits of collagen for men is its support of healthy heart structures.
Collagen provides some vital structures throughout the circulatory system. Your arteries are an essential network connecting your heart and the rest of your body. When your body isn’t producing enough collagen, 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 risk factors for heart-related health conditions, more research is needed to conclusively determine all of the benefits of collagen for men and their hearts.
6. Collagen may help prevent male urinary incontinence
Last 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.
In the case of urinary incontinence, one of the primary causes is weak bladder muscles. As you already learned, collagen helps you maintain muscle mass and muscle strength. This applies to muscles in your bladder as well.
It’s important to remember that muscles aren’t just for physical activity. Muscles that contribute to overall gut health or digestive health are also very important.
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 bladders.
As you can see, the benefits of collagen for men are numerous. But how do you find the best collagen supplement for men?
How to choose a collagen supplement for the best results
With so many potential benefits of adding collagen to your diet, it is tempting to want to go out and buy the first supplement 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.
What is hydrolyzed collagen? Hydrolyzed collagen has gone through the chemical process of hydrolysis, which breaks the protein molecules down into smaller pieces. These small pieces are much easier for your body to absorb and utilize.
This makes hydrolyzed collagen the best collagen for joints, bones, and muscles alike. In particular, we recommend a liquid hydrolyzed collagen supplement for ease of use.
There are so many liquid 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.
The top collagen products can help make you stronger and healthier. They may help you look and feel younger and combat arthritis and other issues brought on by aging. And, by using hydrolyzed collagen protein, it not only is easier for you to digest, it also acts faster, making it the perfect partner to a hard workout.