Since when are you old at 25?
Well, that’s about the age your body decides to slow down its production of collagen.
And your body continues to hit the brakes year after year until its collagen output is barely a trickle.
What really sucks is you can see the side effects of less collagen. You may notice your skin or hair isn’t as healthy as it used to be. You may start feeling some extra joint pain. Your digestion may feel a bit off. Or if you’re a woman around menopausal age, your hormones may feel even more out of whack.
Fortunately, you don’t have to leave it up to your body to dictate what your collagen levels should be. Just by adding a good quality hydrolyzed collagen to your diet, chances are you can start producing some positive changes in your body you can actually see and feel.
WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is a fibrous protein your body creates from amino acids to build and maintain the connective tissue of your bones, muscles, skin, blood cells, cartilage, tendons, arteries, organs and more. Collagen can also be commercially sourced from cattle, poultry, fish or eggs and taken as an oral supplement.
Of all the different proteins that make up your body, collagen is the most abundant.
• 30% of all the proteins in your body are collagen
• 70% of the proteins in your skin are collagen
• 90% of all the proteins in your bones are collagen
Collagen is hard at work almost everywhere in your body, from supporting blood vessels and your digestive system, to building and repairing muscles and joints. It really is the glue that holds all your body’s moving parts in place while allowing them to move freely.
Plus, the real beauty of collagen may be that it helps you look your best. Healthy hair, supple skin, and stronger nails are just some of the benefits of collagen.
DOES TAKING A COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENT PRODUCE COLLAGEN IN YOUR BODY?
Research varies on this one, but there is scientific evidence that hydrolyzed collagen peptides may either directly or indirectly help your body produce more collagen.
For the record, never assume any dietary food supplement you take will turn into the same thing once it is inside your body. Anything you swallow has to go through your digestive system first where enzymes are constantly at work breaking down almost everything into simpler forms your body can use.
However, there is limited research that shows some types of collagen may be able to make it through the hydrochloric acid in your GI tract.
And even if a collagen supplement is broken down by enzymes in your body, it will still be converted into 19 amino acids your body loves including arginine, glutamine, glycine, and proline. Some of those amino acids may be used to stimulate your body’s own collagen production.
WILL A COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENT HELP ME?
That depends. If you’re young, healthy and eat a well-balanced diet, then you can probably skip collagen supplementation for now – your body will crank out enough naturally. It’s not until your mid-20s or a little later that your body begins to slow down the production of collagen by 1% or 2% every year.
In addition to natural aging, there are other factors that can also deplete your body’s collagen including stress, a poor diet, processed foods, smoking, environmental contaminants, and even digestive issues.
One group that may benefit from collagen supplementation regardless of age are those who routinely push their bodies to peak performance including professional athletes, weekend warriors, and hard-charging fitness buffs. Overworked muscles, joints, and tendons may get a boost from routine collagen supplementation.
BENEFITS OF COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTATION
- Collagen boosts hair, skin, nail and teeth health According to the studies, digested collagen peptides may help stimulate the cells that create collagen fibers, as well as improve the density and diameter of those fibers so your skin will feel firmer and look smoother. Research also indicates supplementing with collagen can improve the skin’s elasticity and moisture retention which may help reduce wrinkling and sagging skin. Collagen supplementation may also help reduce stretch marks and the appearance of cellulite, again by increasing the elasticity of your skin.
- Collagen may help balance your body’s hormones Collagen is a great source of amino acids including arginine, glutamine, glycine, and proline which helps your body produce healthy levels of hormones. Collagen helps keep your thyroid healthy and may help offset a cortisol (stress hormone) imbalance. Collagen may even enhance your metabolism by adding lean muscle mass to your body which in turn helps you burn more calories.
- Collagen offers healthy bone and joint support Studies also show collagen peptides may help stimulate the cells responsible for bone formation. Research also suggests collagen may help alleviate joint pain, with some of the most severe cases of stiff, swollen joints may stand to benefit the most form collagen supplementation. As we lose collagen, tendons and ligaments don’t tend to move as freely as they used to. Collagen may even aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis, reduce the risk of joint deterioration, and help soothe other painful joint disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Collagen may help the digestive process and increase satiety at meals The amino acids in collagen may enhance your digestion, helping you break down nutrients easier while soothing your gut. Collagen may also help heal damaged cell walls in the gut including permeability in the lining (leaky gut syndrome). Collagen may also help mitigate IBS, acid reflux, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. Another benefit of collagen peptides appears to be they make you feel fuller. One study says collagen peptides are 40% more satisfying than other protein sources which could help cut your normal calorie consumption by 20% or more.
WHY I LIKE VITAL PROTEIN’S COLLAGEN PEPTIDES
This is the good stuff – 100% primo collagen peptides. That’s it – one ingredient. There’s no soy, whey or anything else in that blue container – just pure, odorless, tasteless, best of the best collagen.
This hydrolyzed collagen formula dissolves easily in any hot or cold beverage. I’ve made it a habit of putting a scoop in my first cup of coffee every morning so I don’t forget.
Here are a few things that make Vital Protein’s collagen products better than some of the other brands in my opinion:
- It’s sourced from pastured and humanely treated cattle in Brazil. Most collagen sources are grain finished – these cattle are pasture-raised and in accordance with the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating standards.
- Vital Protein’s products are packaged in non-BPA, hermetically sealed containers that are air-tight and keep out moisture. A common problem with high-grade collagen is it can degrade when exposed to moisture and other contaminants. Vital Protein’s packaging minimizes those risks.
- The collagen is analyzed and certified by an independent consumer safety group. NSF is an unbiased, third-party consumer safety group with more than 70 years of testing experience that certifies Vital Proteins products to be contaminant-free.
HOW TO USE VITAL PROTEINS COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENT
Vital Proteins collagen peptides are easily dissolved and almost completely tasteless and odorless. A great way to incorporate the product is in your daily hot or cold beverages. Here are some easy options:
- Blend into fruit smoothies
- Add to bone broth to give you an extra boost of collagen
- Put a scoop in your hot coffee, tea or soup
- Stir a couple of spoonfuls into homemade coconut “ice cream” before turning on your ice cream maker
- Add some collagen to your baked goods such as paleo muffins
Important: For best results, consume your collagen supplement with foods rich in Vitamin C (such as berries), or take a Vitamin C supplement. Collagen works in tandem with Vitamin C for maximum effectiveness.
LEARN MORE ABOUT VITAL PROTEIN COLLAGEN PRODUCTS…
While research varies on the effectiveness of collagen supplements, there are plenty of clinical studies that say collagen peptides can help diminish wrinkles in the skin, reduce joint pain, help soothe the digestive system, and can be beneficial in wound healing. More clinical evidence might be needed to verify some manufacturer claims that taking collagen supplements may lead to thicker hair, improved nail disorders, a healthier immune system, balanced blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, and better sleep.
However, enjoying a high-quality collagen supplement at moderate levels should be at the very least a healthy way to boost your protein consumption and increase your uptake of nourishing amino acids with very little chance of negative side effects. Experts recommend giving your experimental intake of collagen about 3 months to determine if the supplement is working as promised. And as always with any supplement, it’s best to consult with a trusted healthcare professional first.
This link will take you to Vital Protein’s website where you can learn a whole lot more and purchase their products if you like – which currently includes free shipping.
NOTE: This is NOT a sponsored post and I did not receive any payment to write it. This article is a combination of my own first-hand experience regularly taking Vital Protein products and some additional research on oral collagen supplementation. The links to Vital Proteins in this article are typical blogger affiliate links in which we receive a small commission from the company if you make a purchase.