Collagen for Athletes: More Than Just a Beauty Supplement
Collagen is hot. Celebrities and regular folks alike swear by it for healthy hair, skin, and nails. But collagen isn’t just a beauty supplement. It may also help you work out harder and recover more quickly. That probably sounds good whether you’re an elite athlete or just someone who’s trying to stay fit.
Exercise: A Double-Edged Sword
Exercise is good for you, but it can also be hard on tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, especially if you really go at it. Collagen helps these tissues regenerate, so it can help speed recovery after intense exercise. In fact, a study of athletic young men found collagen helped them feel less sore two days after a difficult workout. As a result, they were able to jump higher. Two-fer!
Some research indicates collagen may support joint health and comfort in middle aged folks and seniors, too. That’s a very basic way collagen can help you exercise. It’s hard to convince yourself to get off the couch and lace up your sneakers when your knees are bothering you.
What Exactly is Collagen, Anyway?
Collagen is a connective tissue animals make. Guess what? People are animals, which means your body makes its own collagen! That’s the good news. The bad news is it produces less collagen as you age, starting as early as your mid-20s. Even worse, collagen loss accelerates with time. Women may lose as much as 30% of their collagen stores in the first five years after menopause. Yikes!
How to Get More Collagen
How to get that precious stuff back? Collagen injections were popular in the 80s and 90s, but the effects don’t last long, and the shots sometimes cause allergic reactions. No thanks! Collagen supplements from fish, chicken, pigs, and cows are more common ways to get a collagen fix these days. But if you’re following a plant-based diet — or you’re turned off by the ick factor of consuming boiled animal scales, hides and bones — you may wonder if there are vegetarian alternatives.
Florasil: Plant-Based, DIY Collagen
Remember how we said your body makes its own collagen? What if there was a way to spur it to make more? Then you wouldn’t need some poor cow’s collagen. Well, there is — more than one way, in fact. The first is to eat plenty of vitamin C-rich foods, because vitamin C helps your body manufacture collagen. So load up your plate with strawberries, bell peppers, and citrus fruits.
The second is a mineral called silica. Like vitamin C, silica plays a role in your body’s synthesis of collagen.* It can be found in some plant foods, such as green beans, bananas, brown rice, oat bran, and lentils. If you don’t eat those foods on the regular, consider supplementing — just choose wisely.
Most silica supplements are either synthetic or made from quartz, rock, or sand. Not so appetizing. Luckily, there’s a plant-based source of silica: the spring horsetail plant! This plant got its name due to its long, segmented stem and thin, needle-like branches radiating outward, giving it the appearance of a horse’s tail. (You may have seen this prehistoric plant growing alongside rivers and creek beds; it adores water.) Silica is abundant in the spring horsetail plant, where it appears with 30 naturally occurring trace minerals and flavonoids that help your body absorb it.
Flora has harnessed the power of natural silica from horsetail with Florasil. This much-loved product is gently extracted, without chemical solvents, from the aerial parts of spring horsetail. We use a special process developed by French scientist Louis Kervran at the University of Paris that preserves the bioflavonoids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, boron, iron, phosphorous and other minerals naturally present in the horsetail plant so your body can make more of its own collagen.* Pretty cool DIY project.
Right now, Florasil is 15% off. Just enter the code collagen15 at checkout. Offer valid until August 16, 2021.
 Clifford T, et al. Amino Acids. 2019 Apr;51(4):691-704. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30783776/
 Bruyère O, et al. Complement Ther Med. 2012 Jun;20(3):124-30. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22500661/
 Marshall L, Nazario B. Collagen: ‘Fountain of youth’ or edible hoax? WebMD. 2019 Dec 12. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20191212/collagen-supplements-what-the-research-shows