It seems like collagen is all the rage right now. People are putting it in everything from their morning coffee to their brownies. Often times it is advertised as a "beauty aid" for women that want healthier hair, skin and nails, but men you should take collagen too!
While it may seem trendy right now, there are a TON of health benefits to using collagen daily. Here we will discuss different sources of collagen (peptides and gelatin), why its beneficial and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.
Let's start here. What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body (about 30% of our total protein makeup). Collagen is found in our ligaments, bones, teeth, skin, hair, cartilage, and muscle tissue. It provides a ton of structure to our tissues.
Dietary collagen is sourced from hides and bones of animals. There are two forms of collagen available to us - hydrolyzed collagen (collagen peptides) and collagen protein (gelatin).
How are these different?
Though the genetic make up of these two sources is the same, collagen peptides are more easily used in our bodies. Collagen peptides easily dissolve in hot or cold liquids, while gelatin can only be used with hot. Peptides do not have any flavor, while gelatin can have a slight one. Gelatin will also help substances turn into gel.
Does the source of collagen powder matter?
As with anything, choosing a high quality collagen supplement is going to be important and something you want to focus on. You want to make sure that you collagen is sourced from grass fed cows. This will help ensure you are not consuming any antibiotics or hormones that are used in conventional cattle farming.
What are the health benefits?
Taking a collagen supplement helps to support your body's ability to build healthy hair, teeth, skin, nails, and connective tissue. Here are some other awesome health benefits:
1) It supports a healthy gut. Gut health is so incredibly important and directly relates to our overall immune health. Collagen can help strengthen and rebuild gut lining.
2) Keeps your skin looking younger. The glycine an proline in collagen helps our skin to build more of its own natural collagen, keeping our skin higher and more vibrant as we age.
3) Keeps your hair and nails growing strong. Same as with your skin, the building blocks in collagen help your body produce healthy hair and skin.
4) It supports healthy sleep. the glycine fights stress hormones and allows your body to naturally calm down and prepare for sleep without sleep aids.
5) It supports joint health. Collagen can help reduce inflammation and help rebuild stronger tissues over time, therefore reducing pain and potential for injury.
Why do we need to supplement with collagen if our body produces it?
As we age our collagen production slows down, thus making our body less efficient at repairing tissues. Our body is in a constant state of losing and rebuilding body tissues, by supplementing with collagen your are giving your body the tools it needs to continue to do this effectively as we age.
How can I use collagen?
You can take a collagen supplement daily, shooting for at least 20g per day. Collagen peptides can be added to pretty much anything (think your morning coffee or tea, water, smoothies, baked goods).
Gelatin can be used for making homemade jello or protein gummies.
Personally I used collagen products from Vital Proteins as I know their products are responsibly sourced and high quality, but as long as you look for a grass fed collagen source you should be good to go!
Have questions about collagen? Reach out to Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org!