Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
Collagen, Stress, and Cortisol
You probably already know that you don’t look or feel your best when you’re under stress. Did you know that stress can have long-term effects on your skin? Stress releases cortisol, a stress hormone, into your body. Collagen and cortisol levels are deeply connected. Elevated levels of cortisol in your bloodstream have several adverse effects on your body. One of these is the down-regulation of collagen production in your body. More simply, excess cortisol reduces the amount of collagen that your body can produce.
The upshot of all this is that prolonged stress can have harmful effects on your entire system. Connective tissue becomes weaker throughout the body, creating internal issues as well as visible signs of degradation such as wrinkles. Your nails may start to become brittle, as collagen is important for nail growth. A decline of collagen in your hair follicles may lead to your hair becoming less thick and silky.
While your complexion might be the most visible casualty, virtually every organ will be affected over time. For example, your muscles may become weaker as your collagen declines, since collagen is integral to your muscle fibers. Your joints might start to become stiff and even painful. Circulation, digestion, and even bone health can be affected by insufficient collagen.
It’s not just collagen production that’s affected, either. Stress, cortisol, and weight gain are also connected, as cortisol tends to make your metabolism slower and reduces your energy levels. Cortisol can raise your blood pressure, make you anxious, and causes other issues.
The effects of stress tend to creep up on most people. While the odd stressful day or two won’t have much of an effect, the presence of high cortisol levels over the long term can cause premature aging and other issues.
High stress can create a vicious circle. Because you’re stressed, you tend to be less able to make good food choices, take adequate rest, get enough exercise, or sleep properly. These problems, in turn, tend to exacerbate stress.
You can, however, break out of this vicious circle. Once you start paying attention to your stress levels and taking steps to reduce the stress in your life, you’ll quickly find that things improve. Some steps you can take include embracing a regular meditation practice, taking up a discipline such as yoga or Tai Chi, improving your sleep hygiene, and getting plenty of healthy exercise.
Nutrition is also essential for tackling your stress levels and reversing the damage done by excess cortisol. To re-start your body’s production of collagen, you can take a purified collagen peptide supplement. Body Kitchen’s Uplift & Unwind Collagen Powder is formulated specifically to help you relax and de-stress, while at the same time providing the collagen you need. L-theanine and powdered hemp seed help soothe your stress and improve your sleep. Body Kitchen formulas provide your body with the high-quality collagen peptides that it needs to produce plenty of this vital protein, rebuilding the structures that stress has broken down.
Taken regularly as part of a healthy, balanced, and varied diet, Uplift & Unwind Collagen Powder can help you put stress back in its cage. You’ll also see the benefits of pure collagen for your skin, hair, nails, and joints.