The term “collagen” is something that has been getting quite a lot of buzz the past few years. Collagen has become a popular supplement which is widely available. You probably see influencers adding collagen peptides to coffee, baked goods, smoothies and more. But what exactly is collagen and does it really work?
First, let me give you a little information on collagen (natural collagen, not the one that comes in a pretty container).
Collagen is a protein that is responsible for part of the make up of our bones, skin connective tissue and more. It acts like a “glue” that holds our bodies together.
Then there are collagen peptides (the one you are probably most familiar with). Collagen peptides are proteins found in animal products (unfortunately there are no known plant sources). The most common sources of collagen peptides are found in bovine hide and fish scales. You can find collagen peptides in the form of a supplement or capsule. Many who add collagen peptides into their routine add it to coffee, smoothies and baked goods in hope to help rebuild and restore natural collagen.
So, do collagen peptides rebuild and restore our natural collagen?
We are born with natural collagen, and as we age we lose it little by little. According to scientificamerican.com, after the age of 20 we lose about 1% of the collagen in our skin each year. This causes the skin to become fragile and thin over time as we age. While there is no supplement that can actually rebuild the collagen in the skin, there are lots of ways to help maintain collagen and slow the loss of collagen.
How can I maintain the collagen in my skin?
Collagen peptides are a great way to help support and maintain the collagen in the skin. Collagen peptides are easily absorbed and digested by our bodies which is why it is such a great supplement for hair, skin, nails and joint health. Collagen peptides mimic the collagen in the human body which is why they work so well to maintain the collagen in our bodies. Studies have been shown that collagen peptides do in fact help to maintain the collagen in our bodies as well as slow the aging process. This collagen powder is a great pick. It is made with pasture raised bovine hide, vitamin c and hyaluronic acid- all of which help to promote healthier hair, skin and nails. I also love this one which is pescatarian friendly and made using the scales of wild caught fish.
I also recommend supplementing with medicinal mushrooms. I love adding them to my smoothies in the morning. Medicinal mushrooms can help to hydrate, prevent cellular damage and promote healthy collagen production. Medicinal mushrooms contain Vitamin D which is also important for healthy collagen. This is my favorite mushroom powder! If you are plant based and want to take it up a notch, this vegan collagen protecting creamer is the perfect addition to your beautifying routine. You can mix it up in your coffee or smoothie. This creamer is filled with healing mushrooms and hyaluronic acid.
You can also maintain collagen in your body through diet. There are many foods available in plant form that help slow the aging process. Eating foods that are filled with Vitamin C and antioxidants will help to promote healthier hair, skin and nails. Vitamin C is a vital component for collagen production and it is the key to sustaining healthy collagen in the body. Antioxidants are also important for protecting the health of the collagen in the body. My favorite collagen loving foods are lemons, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, black berries and strawberries. I love to start my day off with a beautifying breakfast: warm lemon water followed by chia seed pudding with lots of berries.
So, do I need to supplement with collagen peptides?
I like to think of collagen peptides as an “add on”. Collagen peptides are expensive, but if you have the room in your budget I would say go for it. Supplementing with collagen peptides (as long as you have no know sensitivities or allergies) adds extra support and beneficial vitamins and nutrients to your diet. However, if buying collagen peptides are out of your budget, filling your plate with beautifying foods (like lemons, leafy greens and berries) will be sufficient for maintaining healthy collagen in the body.
I also want to note that water and sleep are just as important as food when it comes to promoting healthy collagen in the body. Water is about 60% of collagens weight. If you deprive collagen of water, it won’t maintain its healthy function. Sleep is also vital for collagen production. The skin produces collagen during sleep and if you aren’t getting enough sleep you won’t produce more collagen.
Please note that collagen peptides are not a supplement for protein powder. Collagen peptides contain short chain amino acids, while protein powders contain long chain amino acids that are important for muscle growth and recovery.
A little recap:
-Collagen peptides are an amazing “add on” to your diet for healthy skin, hair, nails and joints
-You can maintain collagen in the body by filling your plate with Vitamin C filled foods, antioxidants and dark leafy greens
-Medicinal mushrooms are a great plant based supplement for collagen protection
-Filling your plate with beautifying foods, hydrating and getting a goodnights rest are all important for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Disclosure: This blog post is intended only to inform. The information here is not medical advice. Always consult a licensed doctor when it comes to your personal health, any changes to health, and before you begin any treatment. The information in this blog post is from online research.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!