WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is our body’s main structural protein and is predominantly found in our skin, joints and bones. Over half of our skin is made up of collagen, which gives our skin its structure, helps it retain moisture and nutrients, and keeps our skin firm and elastic. Our body can make its own collagen, which helps it repair the daily damage that our collagen structure faces due to the sun, pollution and even lifestyle habits like smoking. However, this ability slows down as we age, leading to a build-up of damage that becomes increasingly visible on our skin.
That’s where collagen peptide supplements come in. Collagen peptides are broken-down pieces of collagen which, unlike whole proteins in our diet, can be absorbed directly without further digestion. These collagen peptides make it easier for our body to produce new collagen. Research has shown that collagen peptide supplements can improve skin firmness and hydration, reduce skin roughness and wrinkle width and lead to healthier skin.
Setting the Record Straight on Collagen
I’m determined to settle a few myths out there and help you better understand how important collagen really is. So, here we go:
Myth No. 1:
“We’re born with natural collagen, so there’s no need to pump more of it in ourselves!”
Truth No. 1:
While it’s true that collagen makes up a significant amount of the body (and we are, indeed, born with it), production of it starts to decline as early as your mid-20s.
As you age, your body produces less of the glue it needs to hold it all together. Externally, this can show up on your skin as wrinkles, dryness, and decreased elasticity and plumpness.
A great way to combat this is by taking collagen supplements on a regular basis. Ingesting collagen — not just putting it on topically — allows your body to directly absorb its nutrients.
Myth No. 2:
“People take collagen supplements to boost hair and nail growth.”
Truth No. 2:
Biotin is the hair- and nail-boosting supplement, not collagen.
Most people who take collagen are not taking it solely to increase their hair and nail growth. It’s more of a bonus feature, because most individuals notice healthier hair and nails after taking collagen. But, it’s the more widely known, research-backed benefits, such as relieving joint pain and improving skin and bone health, that collagen supplements boost the most.
Although it’s technically true taking collagen can positively affect hair and nails, it isn’t one of the strongest claims to be made about collagen.
Myth No. 3:
“All you need to do to incorporate collagen into your diet is consume bone broth.”
Truth No. 3:
This is a bit of a loaded statement, because not all bone broths are created equal.
Bone broth is exactly that: a broth made up of bones that have been boiled down to create a nutrient-rich liquid typically ingested as a warm beverage, hot soup, or as a recipe base.
However, collagen bone broth differs as collagen peptides (a concentrated form of collagen) are added to the bone broth to provide an additional source of collagen. When shopping for bone broth, look for those that have collagen in the name and in the ingredient list.
Otherwise, you may be duped when you find your basic bone broth is just that … basic. While still nutritious and delicious, the extra benefits that are found from the collagen may not be as noticeable.
Myth No. 4:
“Collagen is just a trend; I don’t need to waste my money on it.”
Truth No. 4:
Yes, it’s trending right now, but our bodies NEED collagen.
We promise it’s for all the right reasons, and it’s not going anywhere. So much research on collagen has surfaced within the last several years, which has prompted brands to jump on the collagen bandwagon. Consumers are tuned into their health more than ever these days, and with an increasing market space for health and wellness, collagen fits right in.
The fact is, studies have shown that collagen is associated with a wide variety of health benefits, and that it is safe, easy to use, and worth the investment into your daily routine.