Collagen products have been picking up popularity in recent years. There are products everywhere and you’ll find celebrities in magazines talking about the health benefits of collagen at any grocery store.
I also have noticed them popping up at fitness conventions during the past couple of years.
In 2018, U.S. consumers spent over $122 million on collagen products, according to WebMD. However, with the growing number of the product available on the market, U.S. consumers are expected to spend $293 million on collagen in 2020, according to market research firm Nutrition Business Journal.
What is collagen?
Should you be adding collagen to your diet?
Collagen is the main structural protein found in our bones, muscles, skin and tendons that provide strength and structure to the entire body. It is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is also the main connective tissue found in animals.
As we age, collagen production naturally decreases, so it is important we’re getting adequate amounts of different protein from our diet that help supports collagen formation.
The collagen protein we get from our diet comes mainly from animal sources. Some collagen-boosting foods include salmon, tuna, green leafy vegetables, citrus, berries, eggs and avocados. They are foods that are naturally high in omega-3’s, vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.
I started supplementing with collagen in powder form last summer. Collagen supplements are available in the form of tablets, capsules, liquid and powders.
Here are four main types of collagen and their roles in your body:
- Type I. This type accounts for 90% of your body’s collagen and is made of densely packed fibers. It provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth.
- Type II. This type is made of more loosely packed fibers and found in elastic cartilage, which cushions your joints.
- Type III. This type supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.
- Type IV. This type helps with filtration and is found in the layers of your skin.
I buy and have been using Neocell Collagen Protein Peptides. It’s only been a few weeks but I have noticed a difference in my nails. I will begin taking progress pics for competition prep so that will help me with noticing more about my skin and the other health benefits of collagen peptides.
Types of Collagen Powders
Collagen peptides: These are gelatin proteins made from beef hides. You can mix it into both cold and hot liquids and it will dissolve instantly.
Beef collagen: Beef collagen is also made from bovine hides, but it differs in formulation from collagen peptides because the powder becomes a gel.
Marine collagen: Marine collagen, also known as “fish collagen,” is made from fish scales and can also be used in hot and cold liquids
Collagen whey: You get double the protein sources with this type of powder because it’s a combination of whey protein and beef collagen.
Cartilage collagen: This powder is made from the tracheas of cows and is geared toward people who are specifically looking to boost the health of their tendons and joints.
Are they suitable for vegans and vegetarians?
Believe it or not, yes. While the majority of collagen supplements are derivative from animal sources (like beef and fish), there is such a thing as vegan collagen.
Vegan collagen is relatively new on the supplement market and hasn’t always been as accessible as animal-based collagen supplements. But it’s safe to consume.
Vegan and keto collagen powders:
- Sunwarrior Plant Based Collagen Peptides
- Sunwarrior Clean Keto Collagen Peptides
- Ancient Nutrition Keto Collagen
I’m not a vegan and I personally haven’t tested out any vegan collagen supplements. But I did want to note that there are vegan-friendly and keto collagen options available.
What are the health benefits of collagen peptides?
For the skin:
- Promote younger looking skin by improving elasticity and moisture level
- Improves the sign of deep wrinkles
- Improves skin suppleness
For your bones:
- Taking collagen peptides is great for bone and joint health, and may have been shown to support bone health through…
- increased bone and mineral density
- increased bone size
- less brittle bones
Helps with joint pain:
- Helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage
- Help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall
What are easy ways to add collagen?
After you pick your favorite collagen protein powder, here’s how you can add it into your diet. Remember, collagen is water-soluble so it doesn’t gel or firm up. It just blends right in:
Add it to your coffee
Coffee or tea is one of the easiest ways to add collagen into your daily routine. It dissolves easily and is virtually tasteless. Use a personal Nutribullet blender and blend your collagen into the cool liquid and then pour it into a glass over ice.
Add it to your oatmeal
If you’re an oatmeal fan, it’s really quick to add collagen peptides into your cooked oatmeal. All you have to do is make your favorite oatmeal and just stir it in at the end.
Add it to your smoothie or protein drink
Add a scoop of collagen to any smoothie for the added benefit.
I usually add it to one scoop with a scoop of protein, a half cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 cup of water, 1 serving of PBFit, 50 grams of banana and ice.
Looking for a smoothie recipe? Try this Blueberry Banana Recovery Smoothie. You can add a scoop of collagen to the recipe.
Do collagen pills work?
If the powder is not your thing, you can easily switch to the pills. They do the same thing as the powder.
One of the major differences between the two is the dose per serving.
For example, a scoop of one Neocell contains 20 g of collagen peptides, whereas the brand’s own collagen capsule (which contains collagen peptide powder within the capsule) contains only 5 g of collagen peptides per dose, which is six capsules.
I made the switch to the pills and am pleased with it. I usually split the dose up into three pills in the morning and three pills later in the day. Even though the powder is unflavored, it had a slight smell to me so every time I put a glass up to drink it I would almost have to hold my breath.
Do you use or have you ever tried collagen peptides (animal-based or plant-based)?