Published February 27, 2018 — Share
If there's one supplement you've seen pop up everywhere lately, it's collagen. It's in the sports nutrition section of your health food store, it has been recommended to you to curb digestive symptoms, and it's even made its way into the beauty aisle. So what is collagen? And does it really work? Read on to find out what collagen is, what its proven, science-backed benefits are, and finally, how you can snag the right collagen supplement for your needs.
What is collagen?
In short, collagen is a protein naturally found in the body. While it's located throughout, collagen is mostly concentrated in the skin, muscles, tendons, and bones. Though the body produces collagen, there are many reasons why you might want to take collagen as a supplement, too. Read on to learn more.
The collagen your body produces is essential for a host of bodily processes. Like what? Think maintaining the structural integrity of the skin and connective tissue, for example, and acting as a protective cover for your internal organs. But upping collagen in your diet (either through foods or supplements) also has some proven benefits, such as:
Collagen also has some benefits when it comes to gut health, thanks to its high amino acid content.
Collagen supplements are considered safe. Since dosages and concentrations vary so much from one product to another, just stick to the recommended daily use on the product label. You can feel especially at ease if you opt for collagen-rich foods (like tasty, slow-simmered bone broths, an excellent source of collagen – choose grass-fed for extra benefits). You'll find a wide range of supplement options at your local CHFA health food store. But which one is right for you? Read on to find out.
Supplement-wise, you'll find collagen in several forms: liquid, powder, and even capsules. All of them have similar benefits. So which is best for you? It all comes down to your own personal health and lifestyle.
If you have poor digestive health, for example, you'll benefit more from a liquid collagen formula because you'll spare your body the extra work of breaking down hard gelatin caps.
A collagen powder is a great choice for someone who's willing to spike their daily juices and smoothies with it, and to play around in the kitchen by upgrading fave recipes with a healthy scoop of collagen powder to increase nutrition.
And finally, for someone who's on the go and travels lots, collagen capsules are the best choice: easy, convenient, never messy, and no awkward measuring for the right dosage – just swallow and go!
It's good to note that collagen can be taken any time with the same benefits (and the same goes for collagen-rich bone broth), so either add it to your morning routine, your afternoon self-care, or evening rituals without fret. Typical daily dosage for collagen supplements can range from 1,500 mg to as high as 10 grams.
Collagen is a go-to nutrient to support your overall health. Even though your body produces it naturally, collagen stores lessen over time. That's why post-menopausal women are more at risk of collagen deficiency. Other factors like stress, being a smoker, and eating a high sugar diet make collagen quickly depleted in the body and so act as risk factors for collagen deficiency. If your hair and nails are weak and lack shine, your skin is dry, and your joints ache, it's time to load up on collagen.
For all these reasons, collagen is a must-have supplement you can use to boost joint health and skin health, among other benefits like gut healing. Food-wise, you'll get your collagen from yummy, slow-simmered bone broths. So go ahead and add collagen to your wellness toolkit.