You’ve heard the word before, and you’ve probably seen lots of people talking about how they’re adding collagen to their coffee, drinking homemade bone broth, or taking collagen supplements on a daily basis. But what is it exactly? And why do we need it? Let’s start with the basics.
What Is It?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up around 30% of the body’s proteins . It’s found in our bones, muscles, skin, and connective tissues and it’s basically the “glue” that is holding us together. Collagen is always what gives our skin its smoothness and elasticity.(1)
As we age, our collagen production decreases which can result in the lovely formation of lines and wrinkles. It can also contribute to the type of bone loss seen in Osteoporosis. Stress, poor diet, and autoimmune disease can also inhibit our body’s ability to make the necessary amount of collagen our bodies need to thrive. (2)
What kind do I take? (Collagen vs. Gelatin):
When it comes to supplements, there are two different forms you can find on the market these days. (3) Collagen peptides, which are the hydrolyzed or “broken down” form of gelatin. It is easy to digest and often suggested for people who gut health or digestive issues. It does not “gel” and it dissolves quickly in hot or cold drinks. It is also tasteless. This is the brand of collagen peptides I have been using for about a year now. I like that it is sustainably sourced, grass-fed, and pasture-raised. They recently came out with a new Collagen Creamer which is great for adding to your coffee in the morning!
Gelatin is the natural form of collagen that is found in many food items like gummies, jello, etc. and is also naturally found in homemade bone broth and other animal protein sources. This is why you know you have good bone broth when it “jiggles” before it’s heated up! It’s proof that the collagen has been broken down from the animal bones and is now in a drinkable form in your soup or broth. I also get the same brand gelatin powder.
What are the benefits?
Many studies have shown that taking collagen on a daily basis can assist with:
-Reducing wrinkles and signs of aging/increasing the skin’s elasticity – many people report having the “glow” after a couple months of using collagen
-Aiding in healing/sealing the lining of the gut for people who are experiencing “leaky gut” symptoms. It can also aid in digestion.
-Reducing joint pain and inflammation
-Promoting hair and nail growth and strength
-Deeper sleep (4)
It’s important to note you have to be patient when it comes to this stuff! The results won’t be immediate. Also, I am not a doctor…I am just sharing what I use on a daily basis and what works for me. It took about 2-3 months before I saw a noticeable change in my skin and hair/nails.
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