I don't know if you've noticed but collagen is totally in right now, I don't remember the last time I went a whole day without seeing someone mention collagen in a post on the gram. Usually trends aren't my jam because I feel like they make health and wellness seem kind of unrealistic and unattainable to the average person in the sense that you can't be healthy if you don't take the newest superfood or supplement which is a total load of BS. That being said collagen is a trend that I can get on board with and have been using for over a year now and I can't get enough of it.
WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and is the key component of all connective tissues, it is found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, the digestive system and tendons. It gives skin it's elasticity and strength, keeps it looking youthful, easily adds a source of complete protein to any meal or drink and keeps our joints strong which is crucial in keeping our muscles and bones working properly.
After we hit 25 our bodies become less and less efficient at producing collagen, this can lead to bone and joint problems, reduced mobility and stamina, increased weight gain, lowered metabolism and wrinkled skin. This is where collagen supplements come into play..
BENEFITS OF SUPPLEMENTATION
1. Reduces joint pain - collagen is a gel like covering on our joints that holds our bones together and allows us to move freely without any pain. When we are deficient in collagen our tendons and ligaments move poorly which leads to stiffness, swollen joints and pain. It is also an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and other joint pains and degenerative disorders.
2. Boosts metabolism - collagen is a complete course of protein which is essential to promoting the growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass. Keeping lean muscle mass in a healthy range allows the body to burn more fat which is essential if you want to keep your metabolism running at top speed! PRO TIP: make sure you are consuming enough Vitamin C with your supplemented collagen so that your body can convert the collagen into a useable protein!
3. Helps heal a leaky gut - collagen forms connective tissue which helps to seal the gut and stops inflammation promoting toxins from leaking out. It also helps to break down proteins and soothes the gut’s lining and heals damaged cell walls with healing amino acids.
4. Improves skin, hair and nail health - less collagen = less elasticity, more wrinkles, looser skin and dry, brittle, easily damaged hair and nails. So obviously more collagen = the opposite of all of those, it promotes youthful, bouncy skin, prevents sagging EVERYWHERE (yes everywhere) and keeps hair and nails shiny, healthy and strong!
5. Improves liver health - the main amino acid in collagen is glycine which helps strengthen and detoxify the liver, it also minimizes previous damage to the liver from absorbing foreign substances, toxins or alcohol.
CHOOSING A COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENT
My favourite collagen products are made by Vital Proteins . Their Moto is; “There's nothing more important than one's health, and we believe the body needs and deserves high-quality building blocks for life’s adventures.” They are basically killing it in the collagen world and have literally covered all of their bases when it comes to variety! Their products are natural sources of essential proteins from either grass-fed pasture raised cows from Brazil and New Zealand or wild caught fish from Hawaii, all of their products are NON GMO certified and their processing standards are in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership 5-step animal welfare rating standards.
Everything that this brand does and stands for aligns with my values completely, they want to help people live a more vibrant and fulfilling life through nutrition and that is exactly what I strive to do as well! Health, wellness and beauty start with what we put into our bodies, since adding collagen into the mix I have never gotten so many compliments on my hair, skin and nail health as I do now and my digestion has never been better! I have used their products every single day religiously for the last year and can honestly say that they are the real deal.
MY TOP 5 FAVOURITE COLLAGEN PRODUCTS
Original Collagen Peptides - this was the first product that I ever ordered from VP and it has been a staple for me since the beginning, it is unflavoured, mixes easily into whatever you put it in making it a convenient way to add a quality boost of protein to anything you want. PRO TIP: I add this into almost all of my baking for an extra hit of protein and no one can ever tell!
Matcha Collagen - this is literally the perfect combo, a high quality matcha with a serving of collagen already added in, it doesn't really get much easier than that. Blend with hot water, almond milk and a little bit of coconut butter for a sustained energy boost in place of your morning coffee!
Vanilla Collagen Creamer - packed with a full serving of healthy fats and a serving of collagen, this is perfect for those of you who want to try a bulletproof coffee but don't want to run out and buy 5 different products in order to whip one up.
Beauty Water - a blend of collagen, hyaluronic acid, probiotics, organic strawberry and organic lemon, all of which help support the glow and tone of your skin. It also adds a fun, yummy twist to your water which is a total bonus!
Dark Chocolate Blackberry Collagen Peptides - okay I was hesitant at first about the flavour but these are a GAME CHANGER, the hint of blackberry is so subtle and the chocolate is so rich - perfect for satisfying chocolate cravings!
HOW TO INCORPORATE COLLAGEN
My favourite way to add collagen into my daily routine is in my morning coffee or my daily smoothie, I've put together a couple super simple recipes below so you can get your collagen on with ease, no excuses!
1 steaming hot cup of your favourite coffee (or matcha)
1 scoop original collagen peptides
1 scoop collagen creamer
.25 tsp raw honey
splash of almond milk
1. Blend everything on high in your blender for 25-20 seconds, pour and enjoy.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Super Smoothie:
2 scoops dark chocolate blackberry peptides
1/2 frozen banana
3 handfuls of spinach (you won't taste them trust me)
1/4 cup cooked sweet potato
3-5 ice cubes
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp ground flax
dash of cinnamon
1 cup almond milk
1. Blend in a high powered blender and enjoy!
I know that it can be super easy to get caught up in the latest health trends but as always before incorporating something new into your diet PLEASE do your research and make sure that it actually aligns with you, your goals and makes you actually feel good!