The Best Collagen Supplements
Collagen is a protein that helps make up the structure of our bones, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues. When our bodies start producing less collagen (this typically begins in our late-twenties to mid-forties), we often experience saggy skin with fine lines (due to decreased skin elasticity) and achy joints, and slower hair growth.
To combat this, many of us turn to collagen supplements. They can help boost our collagen levels when our bodies can no longer maintain adequate collagen synthesis (which is the process of producing collagen). But with so many different options available, how can we figure out which one is the best collagen supplement for our needs? Well, the answer depends on what you want from your collagen product.
So let's talk a little about the different types of collagen supplements available—from bovine collagen to marine collagen—and how they differ from each other. We'll also discuss how to choose the right one for your body's needs.
How To Pick the Best Collagen Supplement for You
When looking for the best collagen product, it's important to keep a few things in mind. First, different collagen supplements may be formulated with different collagen types (such as Type I, type II, type III, type IV, and type V collagens). Some types are better suited for skin hydration and skin health, while others support bone and joint health. Still others promote healthy hair growth and improve muscle mass.
Second, collagen supplements can be derived from different sources (such as marine collagen, bovine collagen, chicken collagen, and even vegan collagen). Different varieties of collagen have different amino acid profiles and may help aid the body in various ways.
Third, collagen supplements come in different forms, including collagen powder, collagen drinks, collagen tablets, collagen capsules, and even collagen gummy products. It's essential to choose the most pleasant and easy form for you to take while also being the most healthful. For example, if you can't swallow collagen pills, a powder designed to be mixed in a drink is probably a better choice for you.
And finally, if flavor is important to you, you'll need to choose carefully when selecting a collagen powder product. While collagen itself is nearly tasteless, most products use some sort of flavoring to improve the taste. Some collagen powders are flavored with artificial ingredients, while others are flavored with natural ingredients.
What To Look for in the Best Collagen Supplements
The best collagen supplements are those that are formulated with hydrolyzed collagen peptides. When collagen is hydrolyzed, it is broken down into peptides that are easier for the body to digest and absorb. This is because collagen peptides contain fewer amino acids than regular collagen molecules.
There are various popular collagen supplements out there, including Vital Proteins Collagen Peptide, Biocell Collagen, bone broth, and Hercollagen. Let's talk about the pros and cons of each.
The Vital Proteins collagen protein supplement contains bovine collagen from the bovine hide, but it doesn't contain any flavoring ingredients. It is marketed as an odorless, flavorless product. Some may prefer flavorless collagen supplementation, while others may prefer some flavor to make drinking straight collagen powder a bit more pleasant.
BioCell Collagen is composed of type II collagen peptides. It comes in the form of capsules, so the lack of flavoring is irrelevant. However, the capsules do contain magnesium stearate, which is an additive that prevents ingredients from sticking together. Though its generally considered safe to consume, magnesium stearate may cause the bowels to spasm and irritate the bowels' mucosal lining.
Bone broth is another great way to increase your collagen intake. It contains collagen type II, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid (in chicken bone broth specifically), and a variety of amino acids. Unfortunately, the amount of collagen in commercially available bone broths varies significantly. Some products contain as much as 11.5 grams of collagen per serving, while others contain just 2.5 grams of collagen per serving.
While this doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy bone broth and the health benefits it provides, you may want to turn to a more reliable source of collagen for all your skin elasticity and health needs.
Hercollagen is a collagen peptide powder formulated with only five ingredients: collagen, soluble fiber, cane sugar, natural flavors, and stevia. It's a simple bovine collagen product that provides the benefits of hydrolyzed collagen without the potentially damaging effects of unnecessary fillers. It also has a pleasant taste, thanks to the natural flavors and the stevia extract in the formula.
Many loyal Hercollagen fans love to add a packet of the great-tasting collagen protein powder to their water or milk each morning. You should also try blending it up as a smoothie with spinach and fruit. Don't forget to add lots of ice. Yum!
Another benefit of Hercollagen hydrolyzed collagen peptide powder is that it contains 18-19 grams of protein. The protein is not added separately. It is already present thanks to the natural collagen content. Since protein is essential for many different processes and structures throughout the body, it's vital to get enough of it. If you struggle to get adequate protein from your daily diet, you can always supplement with collagen protein.
What Are the Benefits of Taking a Collagen Supplement Daily
Whether you decide to take marine collagen, bovine collagen, or some other type of dietary collagen supplement, you're doing your skin, hair, nails, and body a favor. Collagen is known to improve skin elasticity. It also boosts the skin's overall health by strengthening its own production of collagen and elastin. Elastin is a protein that helps the skin become stretchier, so it bounces back more efficiently instead of sagging down.
Additional benefits of collagen supplementation include:
- Improved skin hydration
- Healthy hair growth support
- Stronger and faster-growing nails that are prone to less breakage
- Reduced joint pain
- Stronger bones
- Improved digestive health
To maximize the benefits of type II collagen or any of the other collagen types, you may want to take them with a hyaluronic acid supplement. Hyaluronic acid may help boost the body's natural production of collagen. Another benefit of hyaluronic acid is that it can help hydrate the skin by binding water to collagen in the skin, thus improving elasticity. This is a significant benefit as we age, and our bodies can no longer maintain the same level of collagen production as they did when we were younger.
But to experience these incredible benefits, it's necessary to take collagen supplements every day for at least four weeks. Most people begin noticing the benefits of collagen supplementation between 4 and 12 weeks of consistent daily consumption.
Ideal Dosage of a Collagen Supplement
Different collagen supplements have different dosage recommendations, and it's essential to follow them. However, consuming 2.5 to 15 grams of collagen per day seems to be perfectly safe. It's best to take collagen before bed, so your body has time to fully process it and make good use of it during the natural tissue repair process that occurs while you sleep.
Of course, if the refreshing flavor of Hercollagen makes you feel invigorated and energetic, you can always take it first thing in the morning when absorption is optimal. There's no "wrong" way to consume Hercollagen, so take it whenever you prefer and reap the benefits of this incredible health and beauty tool!