Collagen powder is becoming increasingly popular as a form of natural supplementation. We are starting to see it in just about every store, in person and online. But why? What’s the big deal about collagen?
Let’s go over what collagen powder is, what to look for and its health benefits and you can determine if this incredible protein is something you need.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that’s found in our bodies naturally. It’s the most abundant protein in the body and can be found in connective tissues like skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen makes up approximately 30% of our body’s proteins and our muscular system has approximately 20% collagen, which helps to give strength and energy to our muscle tissue. Collagen’s primary function is to aid in the stretching tolerance of tissues.
Collagen loss begins between the ages of 18 and 29 and can continue at a rate of 1% per year after age 40. Collagen production may drop by 75% overall in people over 80 compared to those under 30 years old.
What is Collagen Powder?
The majority of collagen peptide powders on the market are derived from “hydrolyzed” type-I collagen harvested from hides, bones, or fish scales. The term “hydrolyzed” refers to the breakdown of protein chains into smaller units, which allows the powder to dissolve in both hot and cold liquids.
Collagen is a protein that has been used in skin products and supplements since the early 2000s and is gaining in popularity as people discover more benefits and ways to incorporate it into their daily routines. Collagen powder can be used to make everything from hot coffee and soups to cold brew and smoothies. Collagen peptides also pack a protein punch, with most servings containing around 18 grams of protein.
Is Powdered Collagen Effective?
Amino acids have blossomed into a multi-billion dollar industry. Whether you’re looking for a collagen pill, bone broth, or simply more meat and dairy products, there are plenty of options out there. These different foods contain important amino acids that make up these proteins. Amino acids are the building blocks to our physical health, vitality and life and they are essentially the reason why we buy these products and add them to our life.
Amino acids are necessary for the maintenance of your body’s tissues, including muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, hair, connective tissue, and more. There are many diverse types of amino acids in the world; however collagen is among the most common in humans. Collagen is a major structural protein that comprises your connective tissues and skin.
Adding powdered collagen to your diet appears like a no-brainer since as you age, your body’s collagen generation decreases and you need enough collagen for strong bones, joints, and skin. That’s why many supplement makers have started selling collagen powders and pills to make them more convenient and easy to fit into our daily lives.
What Do Collagen Peptides Do?
Collagen peptides are a specific type of protein that is derived from collagen. Collagen peptides have been found to be effective in repairing and maintaining connective tissues, skin, bones, and joints. Collagen peptides are also known to improve joint function and reduce inflammation.
Collagen aids in a variety of bodily processes, from repairing skin to enhancing bones. It derives its name from the Greek term “kólla,” which means “glue.” Collagen’s flexible fibers keep your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, and skin intact.
Health Benefits of Collagen Powder
Collagen powder is full of protein and amino acids that can benefit your health in many ways!
As you age, your body slows its production of collagen. This results is dry skin, immobility, joint pain, hair loss, brittle nails and an increase in wrinkles, just to name a few!
Collagen powder might help slow the formation of wrinkles and reduce dryness by reducing both. Skin elasticity was found to be significantly higher in people who took collagen, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Collagen may also make your skin more hydrated and improve its appearance. Collagen contributes to the cartilage strength in your body.
Collagen supplements can help you feel better by reducing joint discomfort. Cartilage, which is a rubbery substance that acts as a shock absorber between joints, is composed of collagen.
When you move, your cartilage absorbs the shock of impact, which helps to reduce friction and protect your joints. When you age, the decrease of collagen in your body raises the risk of osteoarthritis.
However, studies suggest that collagen supplements, such as collagen powder, may help with joint pain and joint function in persons who have osteoarthritis.
Collagen aids in the maintenance of healthy skin. Collagen’s flexible fibers keep your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, and skin together.
It’s no secret that as we age, our skin becomes less vibrant and more wrinkled. Collagen peptides, on the other hand, may help improve the appearance of aging skin. These peptides aid in the formation of firmer skin and softening it to maintain you looking years younger.
Collagen is a protein that gives your skin its suppleness and moisture. Collagen stimulates the formation of new blood vessels, which aids in wound healing. Collagen synthesis is reduced as you age. This is why our skin begins to sag, dry out and we notice more wrinkles developing.
Collagen peptides have been found to improve the appearance of nails. Collagen is beneficial for nail growth and helps keep them strong and healthy. Collagen aids in the production of keratin, which is a major component of nails. Collagen peptides have been found to improve the appearance of nails by increasing their thickness, reducing ridges and white spots, and making them less likely to split. Collagen also helps protect nails from environmental damage.
Collagen peptides can also help hair growth. Since collagen peptides are known to stimulate the production of keratin like mentioned above, not only does this help the health and overall appearance of your nails but your hair as well. Collagen is naturally the main component to our hair and nails. Collagen deficiency can lead to dry, brittle hair that is prone to split ends. Collagen peptides may help improve the health of your hair by increasing its thickness and reducing the likelihood of split ends.
After eating chicken or beef, some individuals may experience digestive issues like burping or stomach discomfort. That’s because our digestive systems have to work hard to break down and digest these proteins and for some their systems have an even harder time.
But collagen supplements are different!
They are hydrolyzed, meaning the collagen is broken down. This is a process that makes it easier for your body to digest. If your body is digesting your food easily then the nutrients will also be absorbed and utilized in the body where needed. Collagen supplements might be a more pleasant approach to get protein into your diet for many individuals.
Collagen supplements have been found to help improve sleep quality. One study showed that taking collagen before bed for eight weeks improved sleep quality and reduced the time it took to fall asleep. Collagen helps you sleep better because it repairs your body while you’re resting.
Collagen supports the manufacture of important enzymes and hormones that are necessary for healthy sleep. Collagen also helps you maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that regulates your sleeping and waking hours. Collagen supplements may help you fall asleep faster, spend more time in deep sleep, and wake up feeling more rested.
The ideal time to consume collagen supplements is before you go to bed. When taken at night, it might help you sleep better and feel less sore the next morning. Collagen that’s been hydrolyzed also allows collagen peptides to dissolve in water, making them easy to integrate into meals, drinks and snacks!
How to Choose a Collagen Supplement
Collagen powder is not something you want to skimp out on and grab just any brand. You want to find a trusted company who is transparents about their process to make sure you’re really getting a high quality collagen. Where the collagen is derived from is extremely important. This ensures your collagen powder will have all of the great properties we’ve mentioned in this article.
You want to be sure the company you’re buying from gets its bones and tissues from cage-free, free-range, and antibiotic-free sources. It’s important to also check out the company’s website to see find more details like, what it’s doing to keep heavy metals and other contaminants out of their products.
Choose ones with as few simple ingredients as possible. Collagen protein powder should just be collagen protein isolate, a.k.a. collagen hydrolysate, hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen peptides.
Opt for unflavored collagen. Not only do the flavored collagen powders often contain added flavors, sugars and other ingredients that can upset your GI tract, it’s also just added calories where you don’t want them. Grabbing the plain versions and adding them to your coffee, smoothies, soups and other drinks and food yourself is usually a healthier option.
If you do prefer a flavored collagen powder make sure to read the ingredients and choose one without artificial flavors, sugars and preservatives.
Collagen supplements should be avoided by those who are allergic to fish, shellfish, or eggs since many of them contain these components. Make sure to read the product’s full ingredients list, including any notes that indicate it was manufactured in a facility that handles other chemicals you may be allergic to.
When in doubt contact the company and ask what questions you may have to ensure you won’t be coming into contact with any allergens that are harmful to you.
Which Collagen Sources Should You Try?
You may have noticed there are different types of collagen on the market. Let’s go over the differences.
- Collagen Type I is derived from cowhide. It’s the most common form of collagen and is found in skin, nails, hair, tendons, ligaments and bones. It’s also the type of collagen that has been shown to improve sleep quality.
- Collagen Type II is derived from bovine cartilage and is commonly used to treat osteoarthritis.
- Collagen Type III is found in fish scales or skin and is most often used to improve joint function.
- Collagen Type IV is derived from chicken embryos and helps with healing wounds.
- Collagen Type V is derived from pork skin and helps improve digestion.
Collagen peptides can also be derived from marine sources such as lobster, crab and shrimp shells.
Overall, collagen supplements offer a wide variety of health benefits that can improve your overall health and well-being.
By choosing a collagen supplement that is sourced from clean and healthy animals, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible product to improve your health!