Collagen is definitely one of those wellness buzzwords that’s making the rounds right now, especially in the blog world. But, contrary to the many "magical" supplements on the market that claim to change your life, collagen peptides are one of my tried-and-true staples that have actually given me real, tangible results! So, I wanted to write a post for those of you who may be interested in adding collagen to your diet, along with some tips for how I include it in my daily routine.
But first things first: What exactly is collagen? And what the heck are collagen peptides?
Collagen is basically the “glue” that holds our body together. It’s a key protein (30% of the proteins in our body are collagen-based) that ensures the flexibility and elasticity of our connective tissue, including skin, bones, and ligaments. As we age, we naturally begin to produce less collagen, making supplementation important. Some of the side effects of lower collagen production include thinner skin (aka wrinkles), fragile bones, and a general loss of muscle mass.
Collagen peptides are basically a much smaller and more easily digestible form of the protein. They are quickly absorbed and act as the building blocks for our bodily tissues. Some benefits of collagen peptide supplementation include stronger hair, skin and nails, a healthier gut, and cellulite prevention. Ok, well, the verdicts out on that one, but I like to hope it helps! 🙂
So, what benefits have I seen since I started taking collagen peptides a couple of years ago? Well, I am happy to report that I have seen an improvement in my digestion and overall appearance of my skin. I'm sure Entyvio and Beautycounter help too, but things are better on both fronts. All I know is that I look back at photos of myself in my early 30s and think my skin looks so much better now! My hair and nails also feel stronger, much healthier, and less prone to breakage. Plus, the extra protein source in my diet doesn’t hurt, especially as someone who lives an active lifestyle.
I use a marine-based collagen. Marine collagen is sometimes less likely to trigger food sensitivities or destroy the gut lining like some of the crazy chemical-laden protein powders on the market. This particular brand is really affordable compared to many others on the market, and you can Amazon Prime it right to your house. I actually have it on a subscription to come every other month, so it's even cheaper!
Edited to add that I recently started using a vanilla bean-flavored collagen in my morning iced coffee, and I absolutely love it. It adds a subtle flavor without sugar and extra calories while also helping me get some quality protein into my diet.
Collagen is super easy to mix - in both hot and cold foods as well as liquids - it's a staple in my morning iced coffee! To get my iced coffee perfect, I typically add half to one full scoop (10g) of collagen. (You could totally add more/less depending on your personal preferences.) I’ll often add a scoop of collagen AND a scoop of protein powder into my iced coffee, and they mix right in, no problem. Here's a quick tutorial about how I get it to all mix together without any clumps as well as a few of the other supplements I like to add and tools I like to use. I know that some of you may be skeptical about adding collagen peptides to your morning cup of joe, but trust me when I say you can’t taste it! Another quick tip for mixing collagen into cold liquids: Just mix it with a little warm water first (a watery gel will form) and then mix that with your cold liquid.
Collagen peptides also work great in all kinds of recipes. Try it in my Almond Butter Collagen Cookies, Banana Flax Protein Cookies, or Meal Prep Breakfast Cookies as a way to get in an extra dose of gut-healing, skin-boosting protein through a healthy, fun treat!
Question of the Day
Have you tried collagen? If so, how do you like to use it?