Ordering more Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides today made me realize that we haven’t ever talked about collagen around here. That seems like a shame. It is for sure one of the ‘it’ supplements of the year with bloggers and influencers flapping their gums about it non-stop.
But is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Or is it just another wellness fad without a lot of organic, grass-fed meat to it?
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Why is everyone taking collagen supplements?
Wait first, what the hell is collagen?
The most common place you’ve probably heard of it is in those lotion commercials that talk about “collagen elastin”? They’re pretending that their chemical-filled body lotion is going to give you the collagen needed to repair your tissue and make you look young and beautiful. And sure, collagen does do that, but it doesn’t quite work like they’re implying. Collagen is better ingested than rubbed onto our skin but, I’m already digressing.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. Especially type 1 collagen (there are 16 types but, we only really need to concern ourselves with about 1-3). It’s the building block for almost everything: muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, the digestive tract and our tendons. It’s what gives our skin its strength and elasticity and what replaces our dead cells.
Think of collagen as the regenerating glue that holds the body together.
As we age and our skin loses its elasticity, our joints begin to ache, and we get wrinkles, these are the results of the body’s natural production of collagen slowing down. We simply stop making as much as we get older.
In conjunction with this natural slowdown in production, lifestyle factors and diet, of course, have a big effect. Eating lots of sugar, smoking, high amounts of sun exposure and other unhealthy habits contribute to this grinding halt. Other factors include nutritional deficiencies and digestive troubles which, let’s be honest, are pretty damn common.
So that stinks.
The good news though, is that we can replenish this vital protein and reap all the benefits of it by consuming collagen-rich foods and supplementing. There’s even been a double-blind placebo study done recently that shows women who took collagen regularly for 8 weeks saw a 20% reduction in wrinkles! That’s pretty sweet, right? If supplementing works to reverse the most visible sign of collagen depletion, it’s likely working on the other non-visible signs as well, right?
I mean, I’m assuming.
So what are the benefits of increasing collagen levels?
- Improved skin, hair and nail health
- Reduced appearance of cellulite and stretch marks
- Reduced joint pain and degeneration
- Healed leaky gut and digestive issues
- Supported liver health
- Cardiovascular protection
What are the best ways to get more collagen into your bod?
- Drinking good-quality or homemade bone broth
- Taking collagen supplements
- Eating a well-rounded, paleo-type diet
- Avoiding the habits and lifestyle factors that contribute to depletion (listed above)
For me personally, immediately postpartum seemed like a great time to start taking a collagen supplement. My hope was that it will help heal my gut and acne scars and support my body in healing and retaking shape after a human being came out of it. I have to say, my guts working great and my skin is improving drastically.
And since I don’t a ton of time on my hands to be brewing homemade bone broth, I’m going to stick with this creamer in my coffee. It’s Whole30-approved, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, paleo-friendly etc., etc., etc.. Whoop!