The Anti-Aging Supplement You Should Be Using Daily
Updated: Jan 1
If you frequent any health food stores, read articles on websites like my personal fave mindbodygreen.com, or follow any wellness bloggers on Instagram, you have probably heard of a protein called collagen before. Collagen has become a huge trend in the wellness industry over the last year or so, being sold by tons of health and wellness companies in many different forms, from plain old powders, to gummies, bars, and even coffee creamer! Now I don’t always get behind wellness trends, but after learning about all of the health benefits of using collagen and realizing how dang easy it is to add into my daily schedule, this is a trend that I am SO here for !
Collagen is the most abundant form of protein found in the human body, making up 1 third of our protein, predominantly found in our nails, skin, hair, bones and joints. Collagen serves many purposes in our bodies such as making up the walls of our veins and blood vessels, working side by side with another protein called elastin to form the stretchy flexibility of our skin, and creating the strength of our bones in combination with minerals.
Endogenous collagen, the form that our amazing bodies naturally make, unfortunately starts decreasing as we age (this starts as early as your mid-twenties!!) which could be a causative factor for some of the common changes that come with age such as the wrinkling and thinning of skin, more frequent and easy bone fractures, and deterioration of joint function. This is where the use of exogenous (meaning of an origin from outside of the body) collagen comes into play to both slow the depletion of our natural collagen and repair damage that has already been done. Exogenous collagen is made up from the bones, joints, and cartilage of chickens, cows, and fish (sorry vegans), and comes in a few different forms which are explained below.
The most common form of collagen supplement is a good old protein powder called collagen peptides. Collagen peptides are a “hydrolyzed” form of collagen, meaning that the protein is broken down into small peptides of amino acids, creating a bio-available form of protein that is ready for use in the body. Another great benefit of the peptide form of collagen is that it is tasteless and does not change the consistency or texture of whatever you add it to, hot or cold. Essentially, you can put it in whatever you want without anyone even noticing!
Another form of collagen that is sold by companies like vital proteins is gelatin. This is made of the protein strands before they are broken down into amino acids to form the previously mentioned peptides. This form of collagen can only be dissolved in hot liquids and will gelatinize when cold. It is great to use in soups and can also be used to create gummy candies, however it is less digestible than peptides.
My favourite way to get my collagen in is by adding peptides to my morning coffee (see the recipe below to make your own collagen latte at home), smoothies, baking, and by sipping on homemade bone broth full of the gelatin form collagen. I personally use the the Organika brand enhanced collagen peptides powder as it is a pure collagen made from the hides of grass-fed, pasture-raised, hormone and antibiotic free cattle and is also tested for all heavy metals and microbiological contaminants (such as bacteria, yeast, mold, fungi, viruses, etc.) which can be found in the connective tissues of some animals.
Easy Homemade Collagen "Latte"
1 cup of your favorite brewed hot coffee
10 grams of Organika collagen peptides
1/4 cup of heated almond milk
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until well combined with some froth on top.