Collagen! What is collagen and how can it help us?
I first got interested in supplementing with collagen because I wanted to grow older with as little wrinkles as possible (yes, some dudes care about this ha!).
After looking into how we can benefit from adding collagen into our diet, I quickly realized this important amino acid will help me in more ways just keeping a pretty face longer.
Since then, I have been consuming collagen regularly for overall health. I don’t have any of the issues collagen specifically helps with (I’ll get into those below), but it helps me PREVENT these problems from occurring as I age… or at least slow them down…
… cause I’m all about that youthful life no matter how old I actually am.
So let’s get into it.
First, What Is Collagen?
We’ve all heard of the world collagen, especially if you’re someone who’s into maintaining great skin. But what exactly is collagen?
Collagen is an amino acid. It’s a protein your body naturally produces to maintain the health of your bones, joints, ligaments, elasticity of your skin, and more. Collagen is absolutely vital to your survival.
The problem we have is that we naturally produce less and less collagen as we age. Various people have said different things about how much less collagen we can produce, but basically, at around age 25 and up, your body will begin to lose its ability to make collagen.
And it just gets worse as you get older….
So that means your skin starts to sag (collagen is what keeps your skin wrinkle free and elastic)…. your bones get weaker and are more susceptible to breaking… your ligaments aren’t as strong and your more susceptible to tearing it.. and more.
These are all NATURAL things that happen as you age.
BUT, supplementing with collagen will give your body that BOOST of amino acids (collagen) that it isn’t able to produce as efficiently as it once could.
Roughly 70% of the amino acids in your body is COLLAGEN. I think it’s super important to make sure your collagen levels are as optimal as possible because of how important it is to your body.
Before I get into the benefits of collagen, I need to explain the difference between collagen and hydrolyzed collagen (collagen hydrolysate).
What’s The Difference Between Collagen And Hydrolyzed Collagen (Collagen Peptides)
Hydrolyzed collagen (hydrolysate collagen), also known as collagen peptides, is simply just collagen that has been broken down (hydrolyzed).
An amino acid (what collagen is made up of) is the building blocks of protein. Collagen proteins are longer chains of amino acids, however, when the amino acids become hydrolyzed, the length of the chain is smaller…. while still containing the same amino acid profile as collagen.
Why hydrolyze collagen? Because it makes it EASIER to digest. This is crucial for making the most of collagen supplementation, and why it’s better to consume collagen peptides rather than straight up collagen.
Because the amino acid chains are shorter, your body can absorb it and get it into your blood stream with as little resistance as possible.
This is especially important if you have problems digesting food, like if you suffer from a leaky gut. You’ll be more able to absorb the nutrients and actually benefit from it.
Another benefit of collagen peptides is that they are water soluble. This means you can dissolve it in water (hot or cold). Collagen (similar to gelatin) isn’t so easily dissolved, especially in cold water. Gelatin is used as a thickening jellying agent in many foods, but collagen peptides won’t do that.
And the last big benefit of collagen peptides is that your body can absorb it fast and get it into your blood stream quickly for you to use.
When you buy collagen supplements, just look for collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen (I’ve found they’re usually advertised with this name).
4 Main Benefits Of Collagen
Adding additional collagen in your diet is all about giving it the supportive nutrients it needs if you don’t have enough, and to maintain good levels of collagen at all times to prevent injury, slow down the onset of aging, and more.
Here’s how collagen can help you:
1. Keeps your skin looking youthful
The middle layer of your skin (the dermis) is where collagen is produced. Collagen is what keeps your skin plump, soft, elastic, wrinkleless…. basically, youthful!
As I mentioned earlier, we lose our ability to produce optimal amounts of collagen as we age. It’s a major reason why our skin starts to wrinkle and sag. We can help PREVENT the onset of sagging and wrinkles by adding collagen to our diet.
Also, studies has shown that supplementing with collagen can help you reduce wrinkles and fine lines too. So it’s not too late if you’re already your later years.
If you’re into skin care, you’ll know many anti-aging products have collagen in it. These products will help keep your skin youthful from the outside…. which is great. But if you want OPTIMAL skin, it’s more effective to get it from the INSIDE OUT. That means supplementing with collagen.
You can 100% support the youthful look of your skin from the inside and from the outside by supplementing with collagen and using skin care products with collagen in it.
2. Maintains healthy bones, joints, and ligaments
Your bones are 50% protein! Collagen makes up the majority of this protein, so it’s important to maintain healthy levels of collagen to prevent your bones from becoming brittle and weak.
Also, to keep your joints and ligaments strong, collagen supplementation will help that too, because your joints/ligaments are also made from collagen. If you suffer from joint pain or any similar types of tissue pain like knee pain, collagen can help relieve your pain.
3. Can help you sleep better
Collagen will help you sleep better by controlling cortisol levels at night. Cortisol (stress hormone) can prevent you from falling asleep and keep you up at night for hours at a time. Collagen will have the affect of relaxing you in a healthy way so you can naturally get better sleep.
4. Great for healing gut issues like leaky gut syndrome
If you suffer from digestive problems like a leaky gut, collagen could be the answer for you. Glycine, a important amino acid contained in collagen helps to heal a leaky gut and supports your digestive track.
For those who don’t have gut problems, collagen will help you continue to digest nutrients at optimal rates.
How To Use Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
Perhaps my favorite thing about collagen peptides is that it can dissolve in any drink you make – hot or cold.
Collagen is virtually tasteless as well. You can put it in anything.
I really recommend mixing it in a drink. A few popular ways to get your daily dose of collage is to mix it in your smoothie, juices, coffee, or just mixing it in water and drinking it. Again, it’s tasteless and you won’t even know it’s there.
Ultimately, collagen peptides is quick to absorb into your body, tastes like nothing, and mixes easily in liquids. It’s one of the easiest supplements to use.
How Much Collagen Do You Need?
This is a bit of a tough question to answer. It depends on what you need collagen for. If you are supplementing to maintain healthy functioning of your body overall, you likely won’t need as much as someone who is trying to heal an issue like joint pain or leaky gut syndrome.
I take one scoop of collagen day. Some people may need maybe 3 scoops. This doctor recommends 20-60 grams of collagen per day depending on the person, which is equivalent to about 1-3 scoops of collagen.
What Are High Quality Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides?
Collagen is naturally present in animals. Like any supplement, it’s only as good as where it came from.
I highly recommend getting collagen from grass fed and free range animals. They are much healthier than caged/constrained animals that are fed an unnatural diet and injected with antibiotics and steroids.
I only buy high quality collagen and I recommend you do the same. You want to build a strong and healthy body with quality nutrients from quality supplements. Grain fed cows don’t provide you that.
The best way to know your collagen is high quality is to buy from high quality brands.
Where To Buy Collagen Peptides
You’ll find them at your local health stores. I buy most of my stuff online and tend to find cheaper prices online too.
Who Should Use Collagen Peptides?
Well… this is an interesting question. With supplements, they are meant to SUPPLEMENT you. So, if you’re young and your body functions normally, you should be creating enough collagen for optimal health.
If your body isn’t creating enough collagen, or you have any of the issues collagen can help with, I recommend supplementing with collagen.
If you are health conscious and approaching your mid 20’s or even if you’re older, and don’t feel you have any particular issue like joint issues or aging skin, but you want to help your body stay as young and strong as possible, then supplementing with collagen is a good idea.
That’s what I’m doing. If I can look younger for longer, hell yea I’m down for that. If I can delay the onset of joint pain and weakening of my bones, I will absolutely do that!
Bone broth contains good amounts of collagen! Collagen peptides aren’t the cheapest supplements (but actually, buying grass fed and finished bones aren’t that cheap either). But anyway, bone brother is another excellent way to get collagen in your body.
I make and drink bone broth from animals like bison, cows, and chickens. I mix it up, along with my collagen supplements.
Any Questions About Hydrolyzed Collagen?
Hit me up in the comment section below if you have any questions about supplementing with collagen! I always like hearing from readers!