COLLAGEN: WHAT IT DOES TO YOUR BODY + WHY I'M OBSESSED!
Hey guys, happy Friday! Today, we're talking about something I've been wanting to share for a while: Collagen. Or, rather, my obsession with it.
Most people hear collagen and they immediately think of skin. And it's true, collagen has a huge role to play in the way our skin ages.
But it doesn't stop there, far from that! The thing is, our bodies naturally produce collagen. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. And it's not only in skin, but also in bones, joints, cartilage, blood vessels, hair, nails and teeth.
So technically, by taking collagen, we should get stronger bones and teeth, and better skin, nails and hair, right? Well, turns out, it's not that simple. Collagen is a protein, and it's made naturally by our bodies, by putting together a bunch of amino acids. Kind of like building a tower with Legos. If you already have a thousand building blocks, wether you get more won't change anything in building a tower that requires fifty of them.
That being said, not everyone's bodies are the same. Some people lack some of the building blocks necessary to produce enough collagen. In that case, taking a collagen supplement can be beneficial.
At the moment, the FDA doesn't regulate dietary supplements, so basically any charlatan can bottle horse pee and sell it as a "healthy" supplement. Which is why we should all be careful and do our research before taking any supplements.
At first, I was drawn to collagen not for my skin, but for my knees. As some of you know by now, I have had knee pain for a few years. I've been to the doctor a few times, but no one seems to know what the fuck is wrong with my knees. I'm in my twenties, I'm far from overweight, I don't practice any extreme sports... It seems kind of unlikely that I would have knee pain. But somehow, I do.
When I figured out no one was gonna help me get rid of the pain, I started looking into solutions myself. And then, I found collagen. I researched it enough to know right off the bat that it wasn't guaranteed to make a difference, but I thought what the hell, it's not that expensive anyway!
So I got two different types, and gave it a go. Before getting into how it changed my body, let's take a look at exactly what I take, shall we?
First, I ordered these collagen chews. I really liked the idea that I could ingest a supplement without having to eat pills. I've mentioned this before, but I'm weird about pills. Swallowing them makes me feel sick, and I just hate it. Weird, I know, but I can't help it, ha!
As you can see, these ones are marketed mostly for skin, but I didn't give a shit. I figured, collagen is collagen. And if it helps my skin along the way, I'm for sure not gonna complain about it. Basically put, I love these because they're super convenient. 3 of them (one serving) gives you 2500mg of collagen peptides. They taste good too, it's basically like eating candy. They also contain hyaluronic acid, which is known to hydrate the skin, and vitamin C, which is essential to the production of collagen. Yep, you've read that right, one more reason to eat more grapefruit!
The only downside of these chews is that they contain 5g of sugar per serving. It's not a humongous amount, but since I've been trying to cut back on sugar, that's something I've been super mindful about. 5g here, 7g there, they all add up quickly. And if I'm gonna eat sugar, I'd much rather eat chocolate, gelato or pastries than some collagen chews, let's be real. That's why I started looking into another option...
There are about 649856364 types and brands of collagen powders out there. I like the one pictured below, because it's super affordable, certified non-GMO and grass fed. It also contains 19 amino acids and 6600mg of collagen per serving.
Before getting this one, I was tempted to buy one that's super trendy with a cute packaging, endorsed by so many bloggers, but then I read the reviews and they all said the product tasted horrible. Since I like to add my powders in my morning smoothie bowl, taste was really an important factor for me. I love this one, because I really can't taste it AT ALL. It's like it's not even there. The scoop is not huge either, so it's not like you need to add a pound of powder to your drink, like for some protein powders. I add one scoop to my smoothie every morning (along with a spoon of maca powder) and I don't even know it's there, which feels like a win-win to me.
Does It Work?!
I'll be brutally honest here: I can't really say it has changed my skin too much. I don't have a lot of wrinkles, and the one I had, I still want to get Botox for. My skin isn't naturally dry (quite the opposite, actually) so I can't really vouch for that either. I will say, though, that I feel like my skin responds much better to facial massage, if that makes sense.
The real difference is definitely regarding my knee pain, hair and nails. Before I started taking collagen, I used to have mild knee pain pretty much every day. Now, unless I'm walking all day-long and jumping around, I'm practically pain-free. And that's a huge change for me, one that's more than welcome. The last time my knees hurt was last weekend, when we climbed Red Rock. But that was a crazy climb, very demanding on the knees. Before that, I don't even remember the last time I had real, noticeable pain. So yeah, I can definitely say taking collagen daily has changed my life, since I no longer have to wear my knee braces, unless I'm doing something extreme.
It also made a difference in my hair, which seems to be growing a little faster now. My nails have always been strong and hard, but they definitely seem to be breaking less often now. That's a great plus too, since I like to wear them long and natural, just with a fresh coat of nail polish.
I'm obviously not a doctor, and I'm just sharing what works for me, but collagen has made a huge difference in my lifestyle, because it got rid of pain. And that, to me, is much more important than how your skin looks or how hard your nails are. I feel like the most important thing when it comes to this supplement is to take it CONSISTENTLY. At first, I was eating the chews here and there, but it wasn't until I got the powder and really took it everyday that I saw a significant difference.
That only goes to show that it's best to know what works best FOR YOU. I know that I eat a smoothie bowl every morning (tutorial right here), so it makes sense for me to take it in powder form, because I'm sure not to forget. But I also keep the chews around, because it's much more convenient when I'm travelling and don't have time or access to a smoothie bowl. Collagen is also available in pill form, so if you don't mind pills, it might be the perfect solution for you.
The key here, as I mentioned above, and as with taking any supplements, is to really do your research, try it out and do what works for you. If you want to get the benefits of collagen but don't want to bother with supplements, you can also increase your intake in vitamin C, which, as I mentioned above, is necessary in the natural production of collagen by the body. Or, you can also make bone broth a part of your diet. It has natural collagen, and lots of other benefits too. You can check out my recipe here.
So, are any of you taking collagen supplements already? Anyone tempted to try it? Hit me up with deets, either in the comment section below, or on Instagram. I'll have a post on collagen today, so we can discuss there!
I hope you guys have an amazing weekend, and I'll see you next week!
Love, Jenny xx