If you follow any wellness blogger or health and wellness website, you have probably heard about collagen. It’s one of the biggest trends right now. People are putting it in their coffee, tea, matcha, and smoothies. They say you can even bake with it. One of my goals this year is to experiment more with food so I thought, why not try it?
I was lucky enough to go to Whole Foods the weekend they were having a sale, so I picked up a tub of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. It is unflavored, but they make other products that are flavored called Beauty Water, previously Beauty Collagen. They had a Vital Proteins representative in store so I tried a sample of the Lavender Lemon one dissolved in chamomile tea. It was good! If matcha is your thing (it’s not mine), they make one mixed with that too.
So what is collagen? And why do people take it? It is a fibrous protein that we create in our own body. It’s a protein that helps build our hair, skin, nails, tendons, and ligaments. However, over time from living our life and aging, our bodies don’t produce as much of it. For an in-depth look at the different types of collagen and a scientific approach to using collagen, I highly recommend reading this article from Leigh Winters on mindbodygreen. She knows her stuff. I am not a scientist and all of the info in this post is a mixture of what I’ve read and my personal experience.
The collagen peptides we buy, whether in powder or supplement form, are usually from bovine hides. Vital Proteins boasts that their cows are grass-fed and pasture-raised. The representative I spoke with said the product we get in North America is from cows in Brazil (in other areas they might be from New Zealand) because they can live in better environments. I thought that was pretty cool. The packaging claims that their collagen products can help
“support the health and vitality of your skin, hair, nails, bones, and joints. Collagen helps to maintain healthy joints and supports bone strength. It also enhances skin hydration, can improve skin elasticity, and helps to maintain firm skin.”
Those are some pretty big claims. People also claim it’s good for gut health. According to the Leigh Winters article, there is an amino acid in collagen that may help reduce GI tract inflammation. Research is still new, so keep that in mind if you try adding collagen to your routine.
The day I bought my Vital Proteins, I was having some serious skin issues. I was breaking out all of my face, far more than normal. It was making me feel very self conscious. I suspected I wouldn’t get immediate results from the collagen, but I’ve seen it everywhere and I was curious, so I decided to try it.
The instructions are pretty simple – you can add it to hot or cold beverages. I made a chai tea at home, adding in a big scoop. It really is flavorless. My tea tasted just like normal and I drank it all up. I will preface that I was so desperate about my skin I also tried a homemade apple cider vinegar toner that same day (more on that another time). When I woke up the next day, my skin looked so much better. It is very likely it was from the ACV, but I was impressed.
Next, I wanted to try it in a smoothie. I typically use frozen fruits, spinach, a dash of orange juice, and water. For my experiment, I added in a scoop of the collagen and blended it up. Truthfully, this was not my jam. It made my smoothie creamier and kind of fluffy? It was weird and I was not a fan. I drank it all, but I prefer adding it to hot beverages. I have continued to drink it with my chai and herbal teas. I have zero complaints about that method, but don’t let me stop you from trying collagen another way.
I know it will take time to see results, but I really feel like it’s helping my skin and nails. My skin has looked amazing lately. I did have 2 little spots pop up this Sunday, but hey, I got into Easter candy early so I suspect they were from my diet. Normally my nails tend to chip easily and so far, nothing! My nails grow pretty fast, but for once they feel strong too. As for joint health, I could always use help as I’m more on the mobile side. Before I knew how to control and support them, they were used and abused for years. I’m not sure how/when/if I’ll feel a difference, but I am willing to keep going for any benefits.
Overall, I am into this trend. I love the idea of beauty from the inside out. I, personally, feel great. It’s made me more consistent with drinking tea, which creates a beautiful start to my day. I was a little disappointed I didn’t like it in smoothies as the weather is warming up, but I’m happy with my little system.
Are you interested in trying collagen? Pro tip – if you’re curious but don’t want to commit, Whole Foods has little packets of Vital Proteins that you can buy to try it! 1 packet can be split for 2 servings. If you already use collagen, what’s your favorite way to incorporate it into your life? Let me know in the comments!