I’m almost certain you’ve heard of collagen. It’s become a hot-topic in the beauty, fitness and wellness world. There are plenty of collagen – stimulating skincare tools, like gua sha and jade rollers. And let’s not forget the beef broth trend last year which saw people spending in their local organic shop with the promise that it would provide a matrix of benefits. Then, there’s the recent craze with collagen peptides, hydrolysed collagen, collagen pills and collagen powders. The question is, should we be taking a collagen supplement?
What is Collagen?
Science Lesson: Collagen is the long-chain of amino acids that builds our skin, connective tissue and bones but cannot be absorbed through our diet. Generally, if something cannot be absorbed via food, companies hop onto the supplement train. Due to collagen’s structure, it is difficult to break down during digestion and too large to cross the intestinal wall, so in its unhydrolyzed, full-length form, collagen is not an effective oral supplement.
Which Collagen Should I Take?
Still with me? Here comes the term HYDROLYSED collagen. Now, I am sure you are smart enough to deduce that collagen in this form is more bioavailable. Meaning, it’s easier for your body to absorb. Another name for hydrolysed collagen, is collagen peptides. YES, THEY ARE THE SAME THING. Glad we cleared that up. It can be daunting shopping for supplements, especially in an already saturated market of “supplements you should be taking right NOW!”
As if it wasn’t confusing enough, there are plenty of types of collagen. However, the most spoken about are types 1,2 and 3. Type 1 collagen and Type 3 collagen are usually grouped together because they are widely available and have similar bodily functions. Both types are rich in amino acids glycine, proline, and glutamine, which all serve their own purpose in the body, including blocking endotoxins or acting as an antioxidant.
Bone Broth vs Collagen Peptides:
When our immune system needs some love or your body needs an overall boost, bone broth is a good go-to. When you are looking specifically for targeted support of skin, hair, gut or bone and joints, a collagen peptide supplement is your best mate as it is more concentrated and bioavailable.
So, obviously you’re also here to read about the benefits. Taking a collagen peptide supplement is associated with a number of health benefits and very few known risks. To start, supplements may improve skin health by reducing wrinkles and dryness. They may also help increase muscle mass, prevent bone loss, and relieve joint pain.
It is also a great source of protein – which is why I was drawn to it. I hated the fact that most protein powders came with loads of other funny ingredients and, not to mention, the sickening artificial sweeteners. Also, sometimes I want to change up the flavours of my smoothies and a chocolate brownie-inspired protein powder doesn’t bode well with wheatgrass powder and the likes.
So, Which Brand Should I Go For?
It goes without saying that when taking an animal-derived supplement, you need to be informed on where those animals came from and the lifestyle they have lived. It is much the same with being a conscious meat-eater. Rather spend a little more, and eat a lot less, if it means your meat is coming from a sustainable, non-GMO, free-range, organic, grass-fed and hormone-free diet. I know that’s a mouthful, but it’s important.
I set out to do some research on a collagen peptide supplement that ticked all the boxes. Eventually, I stumbled across a company called Hunter Gatherer over here in the U.K. Their ideas around health and wellness immediately hit home for me and their collagen powder weighs in at 11.7g of protein per serving. Added bonus, it’s also flavourless so the options are endless from your side. I like adding it to my second coffee of the day, or to my Green Glow smoothie. You can buy their collagen peptide supplement here.
So, to go back to our original question. Collagen supplements can be a great way to up your protein as well as lock in some decent skin and over-all body benefits. Like most supplements, they aren’t a necessity but they are a nice booster for every-day life.
(There are some affiliate links throughout this piece. I may earn a small commission if you purchase through some of the links and this will be at no extra cost to you)