Do Collagen Peptides Really Work?
Collagen supplements seem to be everywhere right now, specifically collagen peptide supplements… even more specifically, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. After hearing person after person tout the benefits, I had to give them a try for myself. For the past two months I have religiously incorporated a serving of collagen into my daily routine and now I’m here to share my thoughts.
But first… what the heck are collagen peptides and why should anyone take a supplement?
Collagen 101. Disclaimer: I am not a science chick so I’m going to keep this pretty brief. Basically, collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, found in muscles, tendons, bones, skin, blood vessels and even our digestive system. Collagen helps give our skin strength and elasticity, and is responsible for replacing dead skin cells. For joints and tendons, collagen is basically the glue that helps keep everything together. So yeah, collagen is pretty clutch.
Our body produces collagen naturally (science is crazy, ya’ll), but our production of the stuff begins to slow as we age - like everything else. As this happens, we start to experience common signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging skin and joint pain. FML.
Luckily, you can boost your collagen supply with a handy, dandy supplement!
Choosing a collagen supplement. When buying a collagen supplement you can pick between powders, liquids or pills - they all get the job done. The important thing is to find a high quality, collagen peptide supplement. Collagen supplements that contain hydrolyzed collagen (aka collagen peptides) are waaay more effective because they contain the complete amino acid sequence. In other words, collagen peptides are actually absorbed and transported to the dermis of your skin so they provide all the fantastic health benefits you want.
I did my research before buying a supplement and I definitely stand behind the collagen peptides from Vital Proteins, which are produced exclusively in Brazil and made from pasture-raised bovine hides. A lot of other collagen protein powders are derived from grain-fed chickens that are kept in high-stress environments, so the collagen quality and integrity is compromised. On top of that, many products have tons have added sugars, fillers, binders, sweeteners and nasty coloring agents. No thanks.
I decided to go with a powder and purchased the Unflavored Collagen Peptides (which I LOVE), as well as a sample pack with one stick pack each of: Marine Collagen, Beef Bone Broth Collagen, Strawberry Lemon Beauty Collagen and Lavender Lemon Beauty Collagen. I’ll be honest, I thought all of the flavors in the sample pack were not-so-good. They all had funky tastes and I was just not feeling them. The unflavored kind, however, is solid. I add it to my morning cup of coffee and cannot taste it at all. In terms of texture, it mixes in really well and even gives my coffee a nice creamy, frothy consistency which I enjoy. I also tried mixing the unflavored powder with water and wasn't a fan. The unflavored variety doesn't really have a flavor (it's unflavored, duh) but it does have a slight texture that makes your water taste like gelatin. I definitely recommended sticking with coffee, juice or a smoothie for your mixing agent… anything that has a somewhat strong flavor and will mask the powder is a good idea. Vital Proteins has lots of flavors though so there's something for everyone. I definitely have my eye on the matcha flavor to try out next.
Why collagen peptides are so good for you. According to Vital Proteins, here are some of the benefits from taking collagen peptides:
A more youthful appearance
Tendon & bone strength
Increased athletic performance
How has collagen helped me? After about 60 days of taking collagen peptides, I am starting to see and feel the benefits. First of all, my nails have been growing like CRAZY and they feel amazingly strong despite my consistent gel manicures. My hair also seems to be very healthy even after recently coloring it for the first time, although I think it was also healthy before but hey, I'm give some props to collagen.
I also just feel really good when I take it, so I think it has been supporting my gut health and my digestion. I’m excited to keep taking it and share an update in a few more months.
Side note, I'm usually not a big fan of supplements. I prefer to get my vitamins and proteins from whole foods but I do see a benefit from collagen peptides. I have experimented with multi-vitamins in the past and also tried biotin, which is marketed as a miracle worker for hair, skin and nails. But after reading about countless studies showing that biotin can wreak havoc on many people’s stomachs and digestive systems, I decided to stop. If you want healthy hair, skin and nails I’d say collagen peptides are the way to go.
If you have any questions or personal experience to share, please leave a comment below!