Collagen is a hot topic these days. Many people are searching for healthier, non-surgical alternatives to cosmetic procedures to improve their appearance, and products like collagen peptides are helping them do this. Yet, collagen can also have many benefits for the body when ingested as collagen peptides. We’ll give you the low-down about this powerful protein.
Collagen Is Already in the Body
The good news is that our bodies already make collagen, but the bad news is that this collagen production stops between the ages of 25 and 30. Interestingly, this is the same time that we begin to develop noticeable wrinkles in our skin. It’s no coincidence. Collagen supports skin structure, elasticity, and hydration.
The older we get, the faster our collagen production decreases. Habits like sugar consumption, exposure to UV rays, and smoking, when added to decreased collagen production, only contribute to its depletion. In our later years, continued collagen depletion can lead to sore joints, muscle loss, and osteoporosis. Supplementing with collagen peptides can prevent, reduce, and slow these processes down.
Can’t I Get Collagen from Food?
Collagen does exist in many foods, including dairy products, eggs, and beans, which are easy to prepare and consume. However, other sources are more difficult to get collagen from. Bones and marrow, ligaments, tendons, and skin in cows, poultry, and fish all contain collagen, but in a concentrated form that needs to be extracted. A great way to do this yourself is to make bone broth.
Simply place bones in a crock pot with a few cups of water and cook on high for 12-14 hours. When you can mash the bones with a fork, the bone broth is ready. Place in a glass container and freeze for later or consume right away. There are also several brands of bone broth available at grocery stores.
While bone broth is one of the healthiest foods you can consume, it may not provide you with a therapeutic or effective dose of collagen; you may need a higher amount to meet your body’s needs. This can be achieved by supplementing with collagen powder.
Collagen Types and Their Sources
Of the 20-plus types of collagen that exist in the body, the largest percentage consists of types I, II, and III. Type I collagen, available from bovine sources, is ideal for supporting ligaments and tendons, as well as skin, hair, and nails. Type II collagen supports cartilage and joints, and the best source for it is poultry.
Type III collagen supports the structure of the skin and internal organs and can also be obtained from bovine sources. Collagen peptides are available in individual formulations, such as marine collagen and bovine collagen, or may be sold as a mixture of collagen types.
Gelatin and Collagen
There has been some confusion in the past regarding the difference between gelatin and collagen. They are both the same thing; gelatin is simply a different form of collagen that is created when collagen is heated or cooked. You might notice that when you try to stir your bone broth after it has cooled down and it has a jelly-like substance to it. That substance is gelatin.
Collagen vs. Collagen Peptides
When you eat protein-rich foods, your body combines those amino acids with copper, zinc, and vitamin C to make collagen. Just as the body’s collagen production decelerates as we age, so, too, does our ability to absorb nutrients. When this happens, our bodies are not able to fully utilize nutrients in the foods we eat, even if that food is packed with them. As a result, we still aren’t able to get the amount of collagen our bodies need.
Collagen peptides solve this problem. They’re not only readily absorbed by the body, but they are very easy to consume, as they can be dissolved in any liquid, hot or cold. What makes collagen peptides so powerful? They are mixed with enzymes to reduce their particle size. The smaller the particles, the more easily they can be absorbed. In addition to powder, collagen pills
are also available.
Why Collagen Is Important for the Body
Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the body, and for good reason; its job is to support the structures in the skin, joints, bones, and body tissues. Everything from our arteries to our tendons contains collagen.
In the skin, collagen supports skin structure, improving elasticity, fullness, and hydration. Bones benefit from collagen, which nourishes bones, improving their density and ultimately reducing painful symptoms. Tendons, joints, and ligaments all need collagen to maintain their flexibility and structure. Collagen relaxes, smooths, and hydrates arteries to prevent strokes and heart attacks.
When ingested, collagen peptides can repair and heal any intestinal tissue which has become damaged. This is incredibly important. When intestinal tissue is damaged, large food particles can pass through, causing a host of other issues. Intestinal permeability, also called leaky gut syndrome, also negatively affects the beneficial bacteria in the gut, whose job it is to protect the body from viruses and bad bacteria.
The liver is the body’s filter and can become loaded with toxins. Glycine is instrumental in detoxing the liver, and collagen protein contains high amounts of it. Finally, collagen helps to repair and build muscle following a workout, as well as helps to shorten recovery time from exercise.
Dosage and Other Considerations
When taking collagen peptides, you will need a minimum daily dose of 5 grams. If you have a condition such as leaky gut, arthritis, or osteoporosis, a higher dose between 15 and 20 grams may be ideal. Although you can take a maximum of 30 grams of collagen peptides per day, this dosage is typically only needed by athletes or bodybuilders who are keen to build muscle.
In order to fully absorb the nutrients contained in collagen, take vitamin C with collagen peptides. Vitamin C is necessary for the collagen production process and will also protect your skin from collagen-destroying UV rays. You can take this vitamin in supplement form but try to first get it from foods like oranges, lemons, kiwis, and kale.
It’s also important to note that collagen peptides should be considered a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating a diet that’s rich in nutrients, as well as ensuring you receive 2.5 hours or more of exercise per week, is just as crucial to your overall health as getting enough collagen. When in the sun, protect skin with a hat or light clothing, stay hydrated, and do what you can to reduce or eliminate smoking, sugar, and alcohol from your lifestyle.
Finding the Right Collagen Supplement
There are many collagen supplements on the market and, when choosing one, it’s a good idea to know what to avoid. The first thing to understand is that collagen peptides, whether in powder or pill form, are tasteless and colorless. That means you can mix them in your coffee, juice, or water without any difference in taste.
That being said, it isn’t necessary to purchase flavored collagen peptides. Flavored collagen might also contain unwanted sugar. The sources of the collagen in peptide supplements are also important. Ensure that the one you choose has been sourced responsibly.
Bovine collagen peptides should be sourced from grass-fed animals, chicken from free-range animals, and marine peptides from wild-caught animals and not from those raised in fish farms.
Additionally, any supplement you choose should be GMO-free and tested and certified by one or more credible groups.
A Company You Can Trust
Collagen peptide products from Healthy Living Proteins contain only responsibly sourced collagen that’s certified for purity. Our products are always GMO-free and of high quality so that your body can get the best collagen benefits. It’s easy to increase your collagen levels; just view the selection of collagen peptides on our website.