Should you be incorporating collagen into you supplement protocol? This is a question I get a lot.
Collagen supplements are having their 5 minutes of fame right now and have become a multi-million-dollar industry.
You are naturally born with a lot of collagen in your body. In fact, it is the most abundant protein we have because it’s in your skin, tendons, ligaments, bones and all the connective tissue. It’s what makes your skin plump, providing a more youthful look. Who does not want that???
But over time, your natural collagen diminishes and that’s when people begin to look to supplements to boost what has been lost.
So are supplements valuable to replace this lost collagen? Is collagen all it’s hyped up to be? Is it as beneficial as some of the claims say?
First of all, most of the collagen supplements out there are from animal sources so if that doesn’t fit your values, be mindful of that.
There are also three main forms of collagen: raw, gelatin and hydrolized. Hydrolized is the form that is best absorbed by the body so if you are taking a supplement, be sure it’s this form of collagen.
Can it help? Yes. Is it the fountain of youth? No. But it will improve the quality of your skin up to a certain degree and research shows that it’s also helpful for those with osteoarthritis.
But it takes time to work. It can take up to three months to see results and you have to be taking hydrolized collagen consistently during that time.
More research needs to be done for the other claims regarding bone and muscle health. In my opinion, the best thing for those is being active, particularly building your muscle through strength and impact workouts. Yes to running, jumping and burpees!
Collagen is usually safe as a supplement; some experience nausea but that’s about it. I do recommend you take the supplement with food so it has the best opportunity to react with other things happening in your body.
But collagen doesn’t have to be taken as a supplement. I always say food first, supplementation second because you can’t supplement your way out of an unhealthy diet.
So where can you get collagen from? Animal skin! While there is a lot of saturated fat, if you have it in limited amounts it is a good source of collagen. Cuts of meats that are on the bone are also beneficial. If you’re cooking a stew, cook it with chicken or beef with the skin and bones to get the collagen benefits. Oh yes, do make your own bone broth. Tons of collagen and other nutrients.
So there you have it. My collagen breakdown. I hope this is helpful for you in deciding if supplementing with collagen is right for you and how to get the most benefit from this vital protein.