The Many Benefits of Collagen for the Body
Collagen is all the rage lately, from bone broth for gut and immune health, to protein powder for muscles and joints. And now the specialty collagens, with powerful support ingredients, are available for skin health — a major breakthrough! There’s no denying that collagen is pretty amazing stuff, and with the convenience and ability to mix it into just about anything with endless flavor options, you can see why collagen supplements are here to stay.
Whether you currently add collagen to your smoothies or protein shakes or have been on the fence as to whether or not collagen is all that it’s cracked up to be, read on to learn about why this product has become so popular. Plus, we will explore different things collagen can do for your body that you may have never even heard of. Also learn which type of collagen to choose, depending on your goals.
5 Things Can Do for Your Body
Supercharge the Health of Your Skin, Hair and Nails
One of the most popular reasons people turn to collagen is to help support healthy skin — specifically to slow accelerated skin aging such as wrinkles, and dry, coarse skin. Since 80% of the collagen in your skin is Type 1, look for a collagen powder with mostly Type 1 collagen, with high amounts of glycine, proline, and hydroxy-proline for the skin. Type 1 is also best for hair and nail health. Use exclusively marine (fish) collagen for this benefit, as it’s the highest in Type 1. Make sure to look for a skin collagen powder with support ingredients that further help the production and preservation of your valuable skin collagen.
Reduce Achy Muscles & Joints
Collagen plays an important role in supporting muscle and joint health. Collagen can be a great supplement option for anyone who exercises regularly and needs a high-quality protein option for muscle repair, or to prevent joint pain. Studies have even found that collagen can be beneficial for those with osteoarthritis. Type 2 collagen is best for joints and tendons and collagen from bovine (cattle) sources is better for muscle. Do be very careful when taking any Bovine collagen — some of the sources can very undesirable (such as ground up hide and hooves), so it may be best to avoid bovine sources altogether.
Promote Better Sleep
Believe it or not, collagen may help you sleep better! That same amino acid glycine we mentioned previously is great for sleep, as it naturally increases serotonin levels. So, go ahead and add a scoop of collagen protein to a cup of unsweetened coconut milk yogurt as an after-dinner treat. You may just find it’s exactly what you need to get a better night’s sleep.
May Help Those with Leaky Gut
If you are looking for a protein supplement to help support gut health, collagen protein may be a great option. Collagen is naturally found in the gut’s connective tissue and plays a protective role for the lining of your digestive tract. When you have leaky gut, this barrier is damaged, which can lead to toxins and undigested foods leaking into your bloodstream and making you sick. Supplementing with collagen can help support this digestive lining and promote better gut health. Type III collagen is best for this, so try a bone broth if you’re looking for this benefit.
The liver needs amino acids in order to support complete detoxification and getting more collagen into your diet is a great way to give your liver a boost. Glycine has been shown to hold some impressive health benefits here, as it can help minimize damage to the liver caused by certain toxins. So, as part of your healthy diet, consider adding some collagen to help give your liver that little added boost to eliminate toxins. Stick with Type 1 Marine (fish) collagen for this; it has the highest percentage of glycine.
How to Get Collagen into Your Diet
While adding collagen protein to your diet is one of the most popular ways to supplement with collagen, there are many different ways to get it into your diet.
Here are some of the other options you can experiment with to see which one works best for you.
- Try Bone Broth: Bone broth is rich in collagen and can be a great base for soup, or you can just sip on a mug with a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt. Try making your own or buying an organic bone broth from your health food store.
- Add Powdered Gelatin to Your Morning Cup of Coffee: Powdered gelatin is another option and can be mixed into your morning cup of coffee or made into homemade gelatin squares or healthier gummy bears using raw honey instead of refined sugar.
- Collagen Peptides: This is likely the most popular and convenient way of getting more collagen into your diet as collagen peptides can be mixed into almost anything and won’t alter the taste. Collagen peptide protein powders should be hydrolyzed, which means that the amino acids have been broken down, making it even easier to digest. There are various kinds of collagen peptides available, but stick with marine collagen for hair, skin, and nails. Bovine, from ground up cattle parts, is better for muscle health, but is may not be worth it.
- Collagen Capsules: If you are used to taking your daily supplements in capsule form, there are collagen capsules available. There are just two problems with this method. First, you usually need 5 grams or more of collagen to be effective, which is too much for a capsule. And be sure that whatever capsule option you choose, you are picking one without added fillers like corn, soy, wheat, and dairy.
The Bottom Line
Collagen has a host of health benefits, and more people are turning to it as a natural way to support overall health because it’s so easy to add to your diet. From collagen peptide proteins to bone broth, there are plenty of ways to get more collagen into your diet to help support your overall health. Find the type of collagen and option that works best for you and your goals and get on board the collagen wagon!