Collagen, once obscure and only spoken of in the context of lip augmentation, is now a readily available supplement that can be found in nearly every health food store or purchased online. Collagen peptides, the hydrolyzed form of collagen, is an absolute powerhouse. Some have even called it the fountain of youth. Its incredible benefits are promoted by everyone from supermodels, to professional athletes to parents trying to reverse the signs of no longer sleeping! I’m part of the last group of folks, in case it wasn’t already obvious.
What is Collagen and What Are Collagen Peptides?
Collagen is made up of a group of amino acids that are found in around 30% of the human body. Collagen is a main component of our joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, skin and hair. As we all know, the older we get, the more these parts of our body start to break down, resulting in issues like lower bone-density, arthritis, hair loss, and wrinkles. Supplementing with collagen peptides and eating collagen-rich foods can help maintain and repair these parts of our body.
There are 3 different types of collagen. Type I makes up around 90% of the collagen in our bodies and is found in bones, ligaments, joints, skin, and tendons. Type II is found in the cartilage and type III is in the marrow and lymph.
Collagen peptides are a hydrolyzed version of collagen, meaning they undergo a process that breaks down the molecules and makes them much easier to digest and absorb by the body. Hydrolization also makes the collagen peptides soluble in water, making it very easy to use as a supplement.
Although it is very convenient, you don’t have to supplement with collagen peptides to enjoy the many benefits of collagen. Collagen is found in animal bones and joints and one of the best (and most affordable) ways to reap its rewards is in the form of bone broth. Unlike regular broth or stock, which does not cook for long enough to break down the collagen in animal bones, bone broth can take up to 72 hours. The result is an intensely flavored liquid that is delicious and packed with collagen.
The catch, of course, is that bone broth takes time to make and it isn’t the easiest thing to transport. This is where collagen peptides come in. They’re easy to store, can be carried with you, and can be mixed into just about any liquid or beverage.
Why Should You Use Collagen Peptides?
One of the main reasons collagen is such an effective compound and supplement is because of the presence of glycine. Glycine is an amino acid found in collagen. In a 2009 study, glycine was found to be a semi-essential amino acid that should be supplemented with to ensure a healthy metabolism. At the same time, it’s great for digestive health because it decreases inflammation in the lining of your gut. An intake of glycine before bed can also help improve the quality of sleep.
Some of the major benefits of collagen are that it:
- improves quality of skin, hair and nails
- repairs torn cartilage and damaged joints
- helps fix ‘leaky gut’ syndrome
- helps builds stronger teeth
- helps raise your immune system
- improves quality of sleep
- improves overall health
Unfortunately, our bodies don’t produce enough glycine to maintain and support our daily needs. Therefore, it’s important to supplement with collagen peptides or consume collagen-rich bone broths to up your daily intake.
When Should You Use Collagen Peptides?
Collagen can be consumed any time of day. It’s particularly good before bed time because it improves quality of sleep. It’s also excellent as part of a pre-workout beverage because it can help deliver nutrients to the joints and bones and decrease recovery time.
How Should You Use Collagen Peptides?
Because most collagen peptides are virtually flavorless and hydrolyzed, they easily dissolve in most liquids. In my experience, collagen peptides dissolve better in hot liquids. When mixed into a cold liquid they tend to clump up.
My favorite way to enjoy collagen peptides is in my Bulletproof coffee. I add one serving to 350ml of coffee along with 1 tablespoon of grass-fed butter or ghee and 1 tablespoon of MCT oil. I blend the ingredients together for around 45 seconds to make the richest and creamiest “latte”. It sounds strange at first but it’s delicious!
You can also add collagen peptides to smoothies, matcha lattes or even soups and broths for an additional boost of nutrition.
Which Collagen Peptides Should You Buy?
There are some amazing collagen peptides on the market these days. I’ve tried ones from Bulletproof and Vital Proteins, each of which are great. As mentioned, Thrive Market carries a wide variety of collagen peptides at around 25%-50% below retail so it’s a great place to shop.
Thrive Market also carries their private label collagen peptides. Along with their alternative flours, cooking oils, and MCT oil, I’m a big fan of the Thrive Market Collagen Peptides. It’s a great value and each 11.1 gr serving contains 2.5 gr of Glycine and 10 gr of protein. The collagen is derived from the hide of grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free, pasture-raised cows. It’s neutral in flavor and dissolves easily in liquids, making it a perfect addition to smoothies and Bulletproof coffees.
This post is sponsored by Thrive Market. All thoughts and opinions are the author’s alone. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me.