A Pilates workout can provide many benefits for your body and your mind. If you're ready to take Pilates exercises to the next level, you need more than just a good mat and a commitment to success. Eating properly can give you an edge for Pilates class. Read on to learn more about the connection between Pilates and nutrition and why the benefits of collagen peptides may help you achieve your goals.
What Is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of conditioning developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates to help dancers recover from injuries. As a result, many exercises are inspired by ballet. During a Pilates workout, you perform flowing movement patterns at a steady pace while focusing on breathing. Studies have found that Pilates can:
- Increase flexibility
- Build body awareness
- Strengthen the bones and joints
- Improve posture and coordination
- Ease muscle tension
- Reduce stress
Pilates Vs. Yoga: What's the Difference?
Yoga is another exercise that involves performing poses in a flowing pattern while regulating breathing. It offers many of the same benefits as Pilates. However, their origins are different. Often, yoga involves a spiritual element. Chanting and meditation are sometimes incorporated into practices. Also, Pilates sometimes includes exercise machines, while yoga typically doesn't contain anything beyond props for modifying poses.
Pilates, Diet, and Nutrition: What's the Connection?
What you eat has a significant impact on your body. A well-balanced diet provides the fuel needed to power your body during workouts for those who practice Pilates. Exercising puts strain on the muscles, and after workouts, your body must work to repair stressed tissue. It's this recovery process that helps you grow stronger over time. Even though you can't feel it taking place, recovery uses tremendous energy and involves many vital nutrients. If you have any nutritional deficiencies, the process may be slow or inefficient.
What To Eat for Pilates
So, what does a well-balanced diet for Pilates look like? Here are some features:
- Complex carbohydrates like whole grains help provide energy
- Lean protein supplies the body with amino acids needed to build muscle
- Fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors supply vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Low-fat dairy products like yogurt and milk provide calcium
- Healthy fats are supplied by avocado, nuts, and olive oil in moderation
- Collagen powder, hydrolyzed collagen in supplement form
What Is Collagen?
Hydrolyzed collagen is frequently recommended as part of a healthy diet for Pilates. Collagen is an essential protein found throughout the body. It's what supports your skin, and it's a vital component of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Your body manufactures collagen from amino acids, but this process slows naturally with age. In addition, certain things can get in the way of collagen production, including:
- Lack of sleep
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Certain chronic health conditions
Collagen supplements can help increase the amount of collagen present in your body to make up for shortfalls in production. You may sometimes see them referred to as collagen peptides because peptides are small pieces of collagen found in supplements.
What Is Collagen Good for?
Some benefits of collagen that are especially good for Pilates include:
- Stronger bones and joints
- More flexible ligaments and tendons
- Improved joint mobility
- Less risk of bone loss with age
- Support for post-exercise recovery
- Enhanced metabolism function to help your body convert food to energy
Studies have shown that collagen supplements may also:
- Diminish signs of aging like sagging skin and fine lines
- Support immune system function
- Assist with blood sugar regulation
- Promote cardiovascular health by keeping arteries supple
- Aid in digestive health
- Reduce inflammation
How To Take Collagen Supplements for Pilates
To get the most out of supplementation, follow these tips:
- Choose a collagen powder. Collagen powder gives you the flexibility to drink a quick glass or prepare shakes and smoothies. Evidence suggests that it may be easier for your body to absorb and utilize collagen powder than pills.
- Compare dipeptide counts. Not all collagen powders are created equal. The amount of dipeptides found in products varies. Make sure to consider the number of peptides you'll be getting per serving, not just the amount of collagen.
- Select a product with multiple collagen sources. Powders containing grass-fed bovine and fish collagen may provide a more complete amino acid profile than supplements that feature just one type.
- Use the supplement as directed. Follow the directions for use printed on the packaging. While the side effects of consuming collagen powder are rare, you should only take the recommended amount.
- Talk to your doctor first. Anytime you begin taking a new supplement, you should clear it with your doctor first. Collagen is generally safe for most individuals but err on the side of caution by discussing it with your medical provider.