Alright, guys. Let’s talk collagen. If you have watched my stories or seen my recipes on instagram, you have probably noticed that I use collagen all the dang time. I add it to my morning matcha lattes, my coffee, my smoothies, oatmeal, YOU NAME IT. Collagen has been getting a lot of face time in the spotlight lately, and I myself was very curious. Being a science major in college, I’m the kind of person who wants to look into the facts, view the research that had been done, and see the actual tangible effects that it was having on people who were using it. I’m also just an innately curious person. I had a lot of questions–questions I am sure many of you are having as well.
First of all…
From all the courses I have taken, I knew that collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It is the main component that makes up the body’s connective tissue. To put it broadly, collagen is what holds us together. Collagen plays a huge role in our bodies. Not only does it strengthen our skin and provide increased flexibility, but it also provides the structure for our ligaments and tendons (Hemelstein). [If you want to learn more about the specific makeup and amino acid profile of collagen, check it out here.]
To make a long story very short, there are many benefits of taking collagen. Collagen helps to promote healthier hair, skin, and nails; it helps strengthen joints and ligaments (so important when working out); and provides 18g of protein in one serving.
Production of collagen decreases as we age, which is why I decided to try supplementing with Vital Protein’s Collagen Peptides. Also this little nugget of info kinda suckerpunched me:
Around age 25, your body naturally stops producing collagen and the existing collagen will begin to break down. This leads to the aging process: wrinkles, sore joints and the loss of elasticity, firmness, and hydration.
Uhm, yikes. Any other 25 year-olds out there low key panicking about this fact? I know I did. BUT, I am so thankful to have actually found amazing results since supplementing with collagen. Now, let’s get into that.
Like I said, I have started incorporating collagen peptides into my daily dietary regimen. Unlike many other supplements I have taken or tried out I have actually seen tangible results from taking this (obviously, or I would not be writing this long-winded post about it). My hair is incredibly healthy and grows a lot faster than it used to. I honestly get asked several times a week how my hair is so long and healthy. Cue shameless collagen plug. Likewise, I have actually seen my nails strengthen as well!
Another result I have seen is in working out. I exercise 5-6X per week, switching it up between hiking, running, lots of yoga, and intense HIIT workouts. Needless to say, I love being active! However, with a lot of activity comes a lot of extra stressors on the body. Since taking collagen, I feel a shortened period of recovery between workouts, as collagen helps to strengthen those overused joints and ligaments!
I now use collagen in place of almost all of my protein powders. I found myself getting super bloated and sensitive to a lot of the powders I was using in my smoothies, as most of them had extra fillers or additives in them. The collagen peptides I use are sustainably sourced from grass-fed, pasture raised bovine hides. One ingredient, no extra crap.
Now, obviously collagen is not plant based, nor vegan friendly. Although I do follow a loosely based plant-based diet, seeing and feeling the results I’ve had from taking CP and knowing its quality and clean sourcing, I have chosen to incorporate it into my diet. I choose to eat what makes my body feel good and contributes to quality nutrition for my body, not what is laid out in a particular dietary regimen or “label”. So if taking collagen peptides helps strengthen my body, well then by golly I’m going to take them!
In any case, everybody is different. Using collagen has been amazing for my body and I have seen great results, but as always, I encourage you to try it out for yourself. Vital Proteins has lots of fun ways to try collagen. I use the unflavored peptides because I can add them to anything and they easily dissolve, but they also have fun products like matcha collagen, coconut creamer, beauty water, and sports greens! ALSO, this is important: I AM NOT GETTING PAID TO SAY THESE THINGS!!!!! I just truly love the product and have greatly benefitted from them! I get so much joy from educating others on amazing products that can truly benefit you, and seeing others find the same amazing results!
Curious how I use collagen? Here are some of the things I love to put it in!
- Morning Matcha. I mix 1 tsp of matcha with hot water, 1 TBS coconut butter, and a serving of collagen peptides. It makes it perfectly frothy and has no flavor or weird after taste! Better yet, there is a new matcha collagen MIX that vital proteins came out with. And it is AMAZING. All I have to do is add hot water and my coconut butter, and its ready! Check it out here!
- Smoothies. I add collagen as the protein in my morning or afternoon smoothies.
- Coffee. If I make coffee in the morning (always decaf) or grab a latte at my local coffee shop, I add in a scoop of collagen. I love the on the go collagen packets so I can add it in myself at the coffee shop!
- Coconut Fat Balls. I added a couple scoops to my favorite fat ball recipe to incorporate some more protein into my favorite snack!
- Oatmeal or Yogurt. Mix it in with your favorite go-to breakfast!
If you want to check them out or try them out, here is their website so you can view what they have available:
Favorite products include:
www.vitalproteins.com –> provides TONS of information & cited sources.
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. “Collagen Facts and Functions.” ThoughtCo, Nov. 30, 2016, thoughtco.com/collagen-facts-and-functions-608923.