What is Collagen and Should You Take It?
You may or may not have heard about a buzzy new white powder called collagen (not that kinda white powder… this is legal, we promise). But what is it? And who should think about taking it? Well let’s start first with what collagen is.
What is Collagen…?
Collagen is a protein peptide made up of amino acids found in hair, skin, and nails, as well as important connective tissues. It’s what helps to give your skin strength and elasticity (that youth glow), it makes your hair strong and shiny, and it prevents your nails from breaking. It also helps to keep your joints working properly, and your gut lining strong and healthy.
You can think of it as a key ingredient in the fountain of youth, or the glue that holds your body together.
As we age, unfortunately our natural collagen production decreases, and our body breaks it down faster than we are able to replace it. (And by aging we mean starting around your 25th birthday… so you can now avoid young driver surcharges when renting a car, but you’ll also start to notice that your skin is duller, and that spontaneous beach volley ball make your knees ache…)
Fortunately, while you can’t stop the aging process completely, you can slow down the decrease in collagen production through diet. This can be done by incorporating foods that boost natural collagen production, and by adding in a hydrolyzed collagen supplement to your routine (more on that in a minute).
Here are 10 fantastic collagen boosting foods to incorporate into your diet:
Dark Veggies (kales, green beans, broccoli)
Now that we’ve covered what collagen is and the important role it plays, let’s talk about the buzzy white powder version. Collagen powder is an excellent way to increase (not just boost!) collagen in your body. It can help fill in the lag we experience in natural production, especially during periods where you have limited access to fresh fruits and veggies.
Collagen powder is typically sourced from either beef, chicken, eggs, or fish. There are not (as of yet) a vegan or vegetarian option that contains the full comparable amino acid profile found in animal sources. The powder is created by extracting intact amino acids from collagen rich sources, dehydrating and then hydrolyzing them (a process that reduces the size of the amino acid molecule so that it is more easily absorbed by the body).
Should you take it…?
We highly recommend that if you are over the age of 25, you take a collagen supplement. Always check with your doctor if you have any additional concerns, but even if you are just looking to ward off those forehead wrinkles, collagen will help (and it will have a positive impact on many other functions in the body too!).
If you’ve just started taking it, be patient! As with any new wellness routine, you gotta give it time to work its magic. It takes about a month for your body to turn over new cells, so you will start noticing smoother skin and stronger nails around that time. Also be on the lookout for brands that do not contain chemical additives, preservatives, or added sugars (this can work against what collagen is trying to do).
How do you use it…?
Add it to your morning coffee, or beverage of choice!
Most brands are unflavored and will easily dissolve into your favorite cup of joe (umm, coffee with benefits, yes please!).
You can also add it to a smoothie, a protein shake, your afternoon tea, or even your oatmeal. It’s flavorless, so the sky is the limit!
Be sure to store it where you’ll see it most often, the benefits and magic come from consistency!
Interested in giving collagen powder a try? Shop our unflavored hydrolyzed collagen here!