I have to say, I have been seeing collagen peptides everywhere. if you're like me and are wondering 'why the heck is everyone using collagen?', then this post is for you.
I first started learning about collagen with the big bone broth explosion last year. everyone was about the bone broth, mainly because of the collagen benefits. I started drinking bone broth every once in a while (mainly because it tastes delicious), but then more seriously in the past 3 months, I've been taking collagen peptides daily to every other day (sometimes I forget!)
so what is collagen and what are its benefits?
what is collagen?
collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. collagen is what helps give our skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells. some say it's like the "glue" that holds our bodies together.
sadly, our body’s collagen production naturally begins to slow down as we age, causing signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sagging skin and joint pains due to weaker or decreased cartilage.
what are its benefits?
MANY! here are a few highlights and the main benefits I reap from taking collagen, although there are other benefits as well:
- helps your skin look firmer, increases its smoothness, and helps skin cells keep renewing and repairing normally. LOVE these benefits, especially in the wintertime when my skin dries out.
- reduces cellulite, because improving your skin’s elasticity through collagen helps reduce that dimpling on your skin. I notice cellulite decreases based on my diet, so I'm not sure how much the collagen has to do with it, but I've noticed in the past 3 months that my cellulite has diminished tremendously.
- reduces joint pain. if you follow me, you know I had some bad joint pain from training and running a half marathon last summer. I haven't run much since, because of the continued pain, but ever since I started incorporating collagen into my diet, I barely notice the joint pain at all.
- improved gut health and digestion. consuming more collagen helps form connective tissue and therefore strengthens the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
- boosts metabolism, muscle mass, and energy output. many people tell me "your energy is endless!" and I have to say, it's only been since about January that I've felt this way and that's when I really got serious about taking collagen. just sayin'.
- strengthens nails, hair and teeth. who wouldn't want this? I haven't noticed a big difference in my nails (but I've been biting them lately), but I have to say my hair has been shiny AF and I thought it was because of my new non-toxic shampoo & conditioner, but I'm thinking it's the collagen.
how do I get more collagen into my diet?
there are a few ways to get more collagen through whole foods, without supplements or special drinks:
- orange or red vegetables, like carrots, tomatoes & peppers
- dark green veggies, like spinach & kale
- citrus fruits, like oranges and limes
- protein - animal protein of course (like egg whites) or a vegan option, like nuts (especially peanuts)
if you want to supplement, I love:
- vital proteins collagen peptides, in both the tub and these individual, travel-friendly packets for my purse
- drinking bone broth! you can make it at home OR you can get it through a company like Bonafide Provisions or an actual bone broth cafe, like Brodo in NYC (my favorite.)
my favorite ways to sneak collagen into my day is through a morning or afternoon smoothie. I either dump in one of these individual packets or use two scoops out of this tub. the collagen is tasteless and dissolves, so no icky texture or flavor. it's just all benefits!
I have also stirred it into my hot tea, cold tea, and decaf coffee (I'm currently off caffeine!) you can also bake it into baked goods, but I'm not much a baker, but you could!
how often do you supplement with collagen?
I try to supplement with collagen 5 days a week! I've been enjoying smoothies lately, so it's been easy, but on the days I don't have a smoothie, sometimes I forget. the travel packets have been really helpful for the weekends!