The Collagen Craze: Explore the Health Benefits!

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With the rise in popularity of collagen over the last few years, a lot of clients have been asking how it works, what the difference is between protein powder and collagen supplementation and what brand to buy. So let’s explore the health benefits of collagen!

What is collagen?
In the body, collagen is a protein found in our hair, nails, bones and in our connective tissues such as the skin, tendons and ligaments. Collagen essentially acts as a building block to renew bodily tissues, promote healthy aging and improve joint and bone health. Numerous studies have shown that supplementing collagen has many internal and external health benefits.
Similar to humans collagen is found in the bone, cartilage and hide of cows as well as in fish skin and bones. Vital Proteins, a reputable collagen producer, collects their collagen from the hides of grass-fed, pasture raised cows living off the land in Brazil. “The hides are first cleaned and soaked in hot water to remove the fat. They are then soaked in an alkaline or acid solution to facilitate the release of collagen.” Ok… moving right along from that fun fact ; )

What’s the difference between collagen peptides and protein powder supplementation?
Because collagen is technically a protein it makes sense why there is confusion here. When we’re talking about protein breakdown in the body it’s important to understand the difference between complete and incomplete proteins. There are twenty different amino acids that can form a protein. Our body naturally produces eleven of these amino acids on it’s own. We call these non essential amino acids. The other nine are essential amino acids because the body cannot produce them on it’s own. We must get them from a food source since our we don’t make them ourselves. A protein is considered a complete protein when it contains all nine essential amino acids. We can get these from foods such as whey, eggs, hemp or soy but collagen is not a complete protein.

Most protein powders contain all nine essential amino acids and this is what helps your body build muscle and repair tissue. Collagen on the other hand targets ligaments, tendons, hair, skin and nails. Both are good, they just serve different purposes. So if you’ve been mixing collagen into your coffee, smoothies or baked goods that’s great but it’s not going to help you build and repair muscle like protein powder will.

Also, it’s completely safe to mix your collagen powder with protein powder but of course always consult with your doctor before starting any new supplementation.

What brand do you recommend?
Vital Proteins collagen peptides is a brand I trust, support and use on a daily basis. Click here to buy! I’ve been using their collagen for about a year now and I notice a difference in my skin, specifically hydration and firmness, increased hair and nail growth and less joint pain in my knees after activities like skiing, hiking or high impact strength training. Which is so awesome because knee arthritis runs in my family generations deep so anything I can do now to help prevent a knee replacement in the future is worth the investment!

Happy collagen-ing and let me know if you have any questions!