Collagen seems to be a buzzword in the beauty, health, & exercise industries: collagen as an ingredient in face creams, products that promise to plump your collagen, collagen that you eat, collagen that you drink, the list goes on.
What exactly is collagen? And, is it necessary?
Collagen is the most common type of protein in our bodies. It’s found in the skin, joints, tendons, and in the web of fascia that holds our body together. The discoveries about facia are emerging every day, which makes collagen’s involvement here interesting. Fascia is sticky and looks like cobwebs, and it holds our muscles to our bones and our skin to our muscles.
What does it do? Besides being found in our connective tissue, it is said that collagen aides in digestion, boosts immunity, reduces joint pain/inflammation, and gives skin & hair a healthy elasticity and vibrance. Makes sense that there are huge applications here in the ‘anti-aging’ space, alone.
What to add some collagen to your diet? Natural sources are bone broth (use it as stock in soups, chili, etc.), bone marrow (as spotted on menus at fancy restaurants), and in fish scales (makes a case for keeping the skin on your salmon). Additionally, and quite conveniently, it’s widely available nowadays in supplement form, too. Here are my favorite ways to get in some collagen for that healthy glow:
1. Powders: Collagen powders are the most versatile way to work in some collagen. You can add it to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and more. Find it large tubs, right next to the traditional protein powders. –They contain an impressive amount of protein, for sure. In fact, my husband has going with collagen powder over his usual whey-based protein for post-workout shakes.
2. Coffee: This is how I take mine. Simply adding collagen to my morning coffee is an easy way to remember to take it. Incorporate flavors like vanilla or chocolate and make it into a latte with these packets from Primal Kitchen. You won’t notice a change in texture at all. Or, these grab-n-go cold brew coffees from Bulletproof are convenient when dashing out the door.2. Bars: Super-easy, but not your average granola bar. Treat them like you would any other high-protein bar: takes some time to chew, very thick & hearty, and can be a meal replacement or an afternoon snack. I’ll nosh on half a bar on the way to the gym and eat the other half on the way home. Or, take a note from my friend who keeps an emergency bar in her glove box for when the hubs gets hangry, lol.
4. Individual Packets: Another super-convenient option are these single-serve sticks. Original plain collagen can be added to water with no significant change in taste. Surprisingly, many unflavored powders on the market have no color and are completely tasteless. I’ll add one to my tap water when dining out. Or, this “Golden Turmeric” flavor I found from Primal Kitchen is cool…just add hot water & maybe warm milk and you’ve got an instant Golden Milk Latte to cozy up with!
Do you use collagen? Tell us about what you use!