Everything you need to know about Collagen!
Today’s blog post comes to you as its topic is a request I’ve recently received, both online and in my client sessions. I’ve previously covered this topic in a Q+A Monday video, which I have linked at the end of this post for your convenience.
In today’s day and age, social media and other media sources have an overwhelming influence on the choices we make for bettering our health and happiness.
The unfortunate part, is that there is a lot of mixed information out there in regards to what is actually good for you- and what is merely being promoted as a good investment.
Collagen supplements are one of these things that have recently (over the last couple of years) been gaining more traction and time in the ‘spotlight’. It seems that everyone and their mother are using collagen now- and for some of you it begs the questions: what IS all the hype about?
Today we are covering just that, and discussing whether or not supplementation would be a good option for you.
Lets dive in!
What is collagen & what does it do?
Collagen is the main protein in our body that makes up between 25% – 35% of all of the connective tissue in the body.
It is found in tendons, ligaments, muscles, teeth and more- and is basically like the ‘glue’ that holds our body together. In fact, the word comes from the Greek word “kólla,” which means glue.
There are at least 16 different types of collagen, and they all have various roles including:
- Providing structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth
- Cushioning your joints
- Supporting the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries
- Helping with filtration
Each protein source (collagen included) is made of amino-acids, which are basically like the building blocks of proteins or what comes together to form those protein chains in our body. There are nine essential amino-acids, meaning our body cannot make them, and that we have to get them from an outside source. Collagen contains eight of these essential amino-acids.
Is a supplement worth it?
In my personal opinion: no, not really.
Let me explain-
Collagen in its whole form actually can’t be digested from our body, as our body is unable to break it down properly. If we were to take collagen in its whole form, it would actually just be excreted or eliminated from our body and we wouldn’t be able to utilize it at all.
Therefore, the collagen that we’re taking in a supplementation form has been hydrolyzed, which means that it’s been broken down into smaller components.
These are small little broken pieces of amino-acids that our body can properly digest and absorb.
But here’s the thing: when we’re taking a protein source, like a collagen supplement, our body prioritizes what it needs and how it needs it. So even though collagen is hyped up as a way to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve or eliminate joint pain, help with weight regulation, build muscle, etc., that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to see those specific benefits from it.
Well, for instance, let’s say we have a wound that needs healing or we need support somewhere else in our body- our body is therefore going to focus the incoming protein source on being able to manage and heal that problem first and foremost before anything else.
This happens because our body has this awesome capability of prioritizing what needs to be done first.
Of course, any protein source can have these benefits over time- but it is ONLY when your body decides to use it for that reason and doesn’t require it for anything else. So, with that being said, there is no guarantee that you will see these alleged benefits from it.
Finally, another big thing to keep in mind is that it hasn’t actually been proven that taking collagen improves the collagen production in our bodies or increases it in any way.
At this time, there are zero long-term studies showing the benefits versus the cons of a collagen supplement, which means we can’t really say that it is necessarily improving the collagen production of our body.
This means that our collagen production is still likely to continue decreasing as we age- even when taking a collagen supplement.
Good sources of collagen include:
My advice therefore, is to save your money and use it on a natural supplement that will be guaranteed to give you some benefit, versus taking something that you can get from other sources!
Here are some great ways to naturally increase the collagen production of your body, therefore making it much more likely you will see the results you are after:
- Ensure you are getting all four of the nutrients that help produce collagen, which are vitamin C, proline, glycine, and copper.
- Eat high quality protein to give your body the amino acids it needs (like meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, legumes, and tofu).
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- Get adequate Vitamin D but avoid excessive, unprotected sun exposure.
- Avoid/quit smoking.
- Consider incorporating Bone Broth into your daily regime as it is a particularly rich source, or utilize other awesome sources like ginseng or aloe.
There you have it babe! I hope this post helped to shine some light on collagen and why I personally don’t recommend utilizing it as a supplement.
If you have any other questions, by all means, please let me know. And if you’re looking for a video version of today’s topic, you can view that HERE.
I hope you have a fabulous rest of your day. Talk to you soon.