The Collagen Supplement Hype: Worth It Or Not?
I started using Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides on May 20th. After nearly 20 days of adding it to my morning iced coffee and the changes have already started.
Today, there are constantly new supplements gaining popularity in the market and it can often be overwhelming to try and prioritize those which are actually beneficial to a healthy diet. One supplement that I saw popping up all over my instagram stories is collagen, which has been making waves in the health community for the past few years.
The big question…is it worth my time and money? After adding it every morning to my coffee for the last several weeks, my initial answer is, “Yes.”
First of all, what is it? Collagen is a protein found in most protective tissues, to include cartilage, bone, and skin. Unfortunately, it becomes more difficult for the human body to produce collagen with the passage of time. As such, the depletion of collagen in the body can lead to aged skin, painful joints, and achy bones. The good news is that the increased popularity of collagen has made it easier to supplement into the diet.If you want to keep it simple like me, you can try capsules or collagen powder. Some aficionados swear by bone broth in liquid or powdered form. If you prefer a traditional methodology, try supplementing your diet with lean protein such as salmon, lean turkey, or eggs. These should all increase your collagen intake.
I did a little research and ended up going with the brand Vital Proteins. I liked the price and I liked that it was unflavored and easily dissolvable in liquid. I’ve been putting 1-2 scoops in my morning iced coffee and I cannot tell at all that it is in there. I like that it doesn’t make my coffee clumpy either, like some added supplements do.
But what does an increased collagen intake actually do?
From what I’ve read and heard from others, those who do supplement with collagen tend to swear by it, and this seems to be with good reason. Here are some of the purported benefits of collagen supplementation.
- Healthier hair and nails. My nails are growing like weeds and I am not mad about it! If you can believe it, collagen plays an important part in hair and nail growth! It is said to help fight free radicals, thicken hair, and strengthen nails.
- Decreased pain in joints. Because of the nature of collagen, there is a significant amount of support for the idea that it can improve joint health. One study showed that use of a collagen supplement for six months decreased joint pain for athletes both during their workout and at rest. I’ve never had sore joints, so I cannot comment whether I have seen improvements or not.
- Improved skin elasticity and moisture. Many of its users point to collagen as a critical part of skin health. In one study, a group saw 32% aging improvement and 39% dryness improvement in their skin over 60 days purely from a collagen supplement. I’ve struggled with extremely dry skin my entire life. I’ve tried everything from Vaseline to Shea Butter to Coconut Oil and nothing has seemingly worked as quickly + efficiently than supplementing my moisture game with collagen peptides. I have eczema on my inner arm and shoulders and it is nearly gone – guys! this is huge! I’ve been so itchy and so uncomfortable and tried so many creams + serums and nothing has worked, until now. Honestly, for this reason alone I can highly recommend Vital Proteins Collage Peptides.
- Better gastrointestinal health. Gut health has become a hot topic in recent days and the microbiome is an important part of overall health. Thankfully, collagen can theoretically help improve your gastrointestinal tract. While there is still much research to be done, it is suggested that it may reduce symptoms of IBS and GI inflammation. I don’t want to get to graphic here, but I struggle with a lot of weird allergies that lead to uncomfortable illness in the bathroom. I can honestly say by ~ Day 8, I was feeling like a super hero and have spent only a fraction of time that I used to in the bathroom or laying on the couch due to an upset tummy!
While there is certainly research attesting to the positive impact of collagen supplementation, many scientists caution that the jury is still out on this topic. One undeniable fact is that collagen is of critical importance to the human body, and I look forward to continued research and information on the topic.
I hope this helps you make a better-informed decision as you navigate the health supplement market!
Next “self-health” blog post in the works is going to be about how Caleb & I added a magnesium supplement to our nightly routine. Stay tuned!
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