Collagen: Your New Fitness + Beauty BFF
Chances are you’ve heard about collagen in skincare products, but what about as a dietary supplement?
In December, Well + Good reported that Collagen will be one of the biggest health and wellness trends in their Top Wellness Trends of 2017 report. All trends aside, are there any real benefits from drinking your collagen as a supplement instead of just using it in your skincare routine?
Lot’s of health and wellness experts are saying there are.
It turns out that collagen supplements are great for so much more than skin health. Collagen supplements can support joint health, help your body recover from exercise, and support muscle gain and fat loss. Sounds like a win-win to me.
According to Vital Proteins, “Supplementation with 30 – 70 grams of collagen peptides per day showed a reduction of risk for injuries on muscle, tendons, and ligaments in athletes.”
This month I’ve been sharing my Whole30 journey on the blog and decided to check out collagen when I read that Whole30 founder, Melissa Hartwig, uses it on a daily basis. (Collagen is one of the few dietary supplements that is approved on the program).
Melissa Hartwig shared in a blog post that the two products she uses everyday are the Collagen Peptides and Collagen Beauty Greens. Vital Proteins gave us the opportunity to try out the products, and we are excited to share what we thought about them and how we are incorporating them into our Whole30.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein that we can’t make ourselves and have to get from other sources, like in supplements or food. Collagen is difficult to get through dietary sources, which is why it is often recommended by experts to add as a dietary supplement. Collagen is necessary for optimal muscle, skin, bone and joint health- just to name a few benefits from Vital Proteins.
Why do we need it?
We need to supplement collagen, (or make sure we are getting enough of it through foods like bone broth) because oftentimes the food we eat is processed, which takes the collagen content out. People who exercise frequently can benefit from collagen supplementation especially because collagen peptides contain amino acids that Vital Proteins explains, “can protect the degradation of the connecting tissues in athletes,” and can help reduce risk of injury and strain on the body that can result from exercise.
1) Better Skin & Hair
Our skin is made up of 70% collagen protein, so it’s kind of a given that we need to maintain collagen content to have great skin. According to this study the proteins found in collagen supplements like Vital Proteins can promote younger looking skin.
2) Supports Bone & Joint Health
Vital Proteins’ website mentions that studies have shown that taking collagen supplements daily can help prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone mass density. And, collagen supplements can also contribute to our joint health and may even help reduce joint pain.
3) Boosts Muscle Mass + Increases Performance during Exercise
According to this article from Whole30 on collagen supplements, collagen peptides help promote the creation of creatine in the body, which helps with energy and performance during exercise. Creatine also helps with preserving the muscle’s protein content, which helps with reducing fat and boosts the metabolism.
Just a note: The Whole30 does not recommend using collagen supplements in the same way you would a normal protein powder (like whey) because it doesn't contain the same amino-acid profile. So, be sure to check out this post if you want more info on how to properly incorporate collagen into your Whole30 journey.
Keep reading to hear what we thought about the two Vital Proteins products we tried (special thanks to Vital Proteins for sending us these products!)
Collagen Beauty Greens
Collagen Beauty Greens contain marine-sourced collagen, raw greens powder, and probiotics to help support healthy hair and skin. This product is best for mixing into cold drinks (my favorite drink to mix this with is coconut water). The Collagen Beauty Greens would make a great booster for smoothies or juices. One of my favorite detox juice recipes is carrot, cucumber, lemon and ginger and I’m definitely going to be adding a scoop of the collagen beauty greens powder the next time I juice.
Vanilla + Coconut Water Collagen Peptides
Vanilla & Coconut Water Collagen Peptides are super versatile for adding into hot or cold drinks. I read that collagen is really good in coffee, and I knew I had to try this new flavor from Vital Proteins. I added this to my Bulletproof coffee, and it was SO good (see the recipe below). I tried the Collagen Peptides mixed into some almond milk, and thought the taste was great-- not too sweet and there was no overpowering vanilla flavor like some other supplements (Vital Proteins does not add any sweeteners or sugar to the product).
Vanilla Bulletproof Coffee with Collagen
2 1/2 tbsp. ground Bulletproof coffee (or your favorite brand of organic coffee)
1-2 tsp. ghee
1 tsp. Brain Octane Oil or MCT Oil
1/2 scoop of Vital Proteins Vanilla + Coconut Water Collagen Peptides
Blender (I like to use a handheld immersion blender)
Bring 8-10oz of water to a boil and measure your coffee into a French Press. While waiting for the water to boil, measure ghee and oil into blender or cup. When water comes to a boil, let sit for 30 seconds before pouring over the coffee grounds and stir with a wooden spoon. Place top of the French press back on and let sit for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, slowly press the coffee and pour over the butter/oil in your blender cup. Blend for 30 seconds until frothy. Stir in the half scoop of the collagen peptides or blend again for 5 seconds.
Low- Sugar Collagen Smoothies
If you’re feeling inspired by Jennifer Aniston to drink a collagen smoothie in the AM, here a few ideas for smoothies that are low in sugar and give you all of the great nutritional benefits from collagen.
Note: These recipes are technically Whole30 compliant, but Whole30 does not recommend using smoothies as meal replacements during the program.
Blueberry Coconut Collagen Smoothie
1/4 c fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tsp. of Brain Octane Oil or MCT Oil
2 tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup Almond Milk
1 scoop Vital Proteins Vanilla + Coconut Water Collagen Peptides
Strawberry Vanilla Collagen Smoothie
1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp. Brain Octane Oil or Coconut Oil
1 cup of spinach
1 scoop Vital Proteins Vanilla + Coconut Water Collagen Peptides
Have you tried collagen supplements yet? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!