Collagen is my best-kept secret for everything beauty and health wise. You may have heard about this buzzword in the past year all over social media, but is it another marketing tactic or is it all worth the hype?
After some major researching and using it religiously in the past year, I think I have an experienced answer to that.
I noticed drastic changes since using it daily. Here is a nice organized bullet list of the benefits of incorporating collagen into your diet on a regular basis:
Hair growth and strength
Nail growth and strength
Better skin elasticity
Helps with joints
The benefits are great, but before rushing to Amazon to buy a tub lets first discuss what collagen is, the science behind it, the different types of collagen, and what to look out for when purchasing it.
What is Collagen?
Collagen can be found naturally in our bodies, in fact, it is one of the most vital proteins in our body in order to properly function. By the age of 25 our collagen production starts to deplete. It can be found in our connective tissues, skin, digestive system, tendons, and our bones. In other words, collagen is the glue that holds our bodies together. There is collagen found in fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C. But, if you are looking for a stronger version of this protein then bovine or marine collagen is for you.
What Collagen does
As I mentioned, collagen is great for your gut, but how? Those who struggle with bloating, upset stomach, fatigue, constipation, then you may have a condition where your digestive tract is irritated or inflamed. Making it difficult for the nutrients and vitamins in your food to pass through. Collagen will help repair your gut because you will be consuming bioavailable collagen, therefore your body will use it quickly resulting in healing and reducing inflammation. Collagen basically acts as a glue in your body to hold and stick everything together.
Joint pain can happen no matter how old you are, sometimes you just move a certain way and it results in pain, or you may be a runner, work at a desk all day, no matter what your hobbies or profession, it happens and collagen helps with natural relief.
Collagen improves skin elasticity, now what does that even mean?
It means that it helps with anti-aging properties for our skin health. There have been numerous studies done and scientists found out that the women who took the collagen supplement showed a noticeable difference in their skin elasticity as well as their skin’s moisture levels.
When purchasing collagen, make sure it is “hydrolyzed” because this form of collagen gets immediately absorbed by our gut then straight to our skin and joints. Hydrolyzed is a more processed form because cold enzymes have been added to break the protein down, but it allows the body to absorb it much easier.
Now if you don't care about having skin like Jennifer Aniston’s at age 49 then maybe having stronger nails is more up your alley. Collagen will help your nails not only be chip-free but also it increases nail growth. There have been studies done on participants taking collagen in a 24 week period for their nails, and 88% of the participants reported the amazing changes being noticeable in as little as 4 weeks. So say goodbye to carrying around a nail file!
There are so many different types of collagen in the market that it may be confusing to pick the best one for your goals. There is Type I, II, AND III. Although all types will be beneficial for your joints, bones, hair, skin, and nails, if you wish to be conscientious then continue reading.
Type I and III collagen is the more vital component of the organs, tendons, bones, and skin. Type I is the most abundant and is more geared towards beauty (hair, skin, nails).
Type II collagen makes up more of the protein in cartilage. Therefore, containing more cartilage and joint support.
Marine or Bovine Collagen?
Not all collagen is created equal, there are two major sources: marine from fish or bovine from cows. So which one is best?
Bovine collagen is high in type I and III collagen and is made from the bones and muscles of cows. This type is great for gut, joints, and bone health. Bovine collagen is also rich in amino acids: glycine and proline. Marine collagen is made from fish scales and bones. Just like bovine, it is high in type I collagen and amino acids glycine and proline. However, marine collagen is more bioavailable and digestible due to their smaller proteins. Marine collagen is also known to be more of the beauty collagen.
How to get your daily dose?
Collagen is tasteless so it is easy to add to everyday dishes. I personally consume it in my bulletproof coffee (recipe on the blog) but you can add it to smoothies, muffins, soups, baked goods, oatmeal, or even water/juice.
I have heard that collagen absorbs better when there is vitamin C available so try to take it before or after some water with lemon, or another form of vitamin C.
My favorite Collagen brands are:
BioSil Liquid Collagen - $26 (I recommend taking it 2x a day and mix with juice because it tastes terrible with water)