Oh collagen... My go-to health secret. I'm addicted to this stuff, and have been for quite a while now. I take it religiously every day, and I've really begun to see the benefits, mostly in my skin, but it does a lot more than just improve your appearance. Collagen has become pretty big in the recent months and has really taken off due to all the health benefits it offers. To summarize it, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, and is really important for healthy skin, hair and nails. It's pretty much the main ingredient in bone broth, a recent fad I'm sure you've all heard about lately. So just like bone broth, it also helps to heal your gut.
Collagen is full of amino acids, ones that are normally produced by your body, but when you're sick, stressed, or just exposed to outside toxins (like we all are), your body may not produce these amino acids completely by itself... Hence supplementing with collagen or bone broth. Below are the lengthly benefits of collagen. I was sold by the time I read the first, and I'm sure you guys will be too! Here's why you all should be adding collagen to your daily routine:
- Strengthens and adds elasticity to skin, hair and nails, and can also actually reverse the signs of aging.
- Decreases cellulite: weakened collagen can cause cellulite to be more apparent, so supplementing with this will help to eliminate it.
- Boots your metabolism: it increases energy levels and helps with muscle development
- Gut healing: helps with leaky gut by soothing and helping to heal and repair the intestinal lining.
- Improves sleep: Gylcine (in gelatin), has a anti-stress action, which promotes natural sleep.
- Balances hormones and thyroid function.
- Lubricates and heals your joints, as well as builds stronger bones.
What I love about collagen powder though, is that it is entirely tasteless (you can even put it in tea and you won't notice it), odorless, and dissolves completely in both hot and cold liquids. So unlike a lot of other supplement powders and such, you can add it to a variety of drinks, tonics or recipes and you won't even notice it. I love this because it allows me to get it into my diet daily, no matter what. Whether I'm drinking a smoothie, coffee or tea for breakfast, a scoop of collagen powder is always added! You can add it to many recipes to maximize the nutritional value too, and you'll reap the benefits. Some of my favorite recipes are below.
- Tulsi Tea Jello
- Ginger Honey Gummies (another flavor here)
- Matcha Latte
- Cake Batter Protein Bars
- Pumpkin Pie Protein Bars
So what's the difference between collagen peptides and gelatin powder? Not a lot, but collagen is not exactly the same thing as gelatin because of the way it's processed. They both have the same amino acids, but different chemical properties. Collagen peptides are processed so that it will not gel when you add it to liquids, so it's great to use in both cold and hot liquids (smoothies, juices, tea, etc.). Gelatin turns into a gel when added to liquids, so this is great to add to recipes like I listed above, especially the jello and gummies. I have added it to hot tea before and it did dissolve, but I prefer to drink the collagen peptides because of the consistency.
There are a couple different good brands that make these powders, but I highly recommend Vital Proteins. I have gone through about 4 cases of their collagen peptides already, and am thinking about trying the beauty greens one next! They also make a marine collagen version, for those of you who don't eat meat (but still consume seafood of course). The other great brand that makes this is Great Lakes. I own their beef gelatin, and this is what I add to recipes to make gummies and jello (or the occasional hot tea). If you're trying this out for the first time, I do recommend going with the collagen peptides as it is more versatile.