You can see the benefits of collagen with a simple, single scoop
Collagen. I started adding it to my coffee about 6 months ago. It’s been amazing for my joints. I had a few different friends recommend it within a very short time frame so I figured it was a sign that I should give it a try. The benefits of collagen have been significant for me.
Many of you know I have rheumatoid arthritis. It is a terrible disease that can rob you of your mobility, your energy, and basically your life. I have a great rheumatologist that has helped me develop a solid treatment plan that is a blend of meds, supplements, exercise and diet. I was doing decent on our current plan, but adding in collagen has made a huge difference. My morning stiffness is much reduced and I’ve been able to amp up my workout which in turn has helped me get stronger and improve the issues I have with my hands. Even if you don’t have a chronic disease like RA, you can still experience the benefits of collagen.
I’ve used several different brands of collagen, and while they were all great, the Thrive Market brand has been a winner for price and quality. As per my normal, I did quite a bit of research at first because while I had seen it on the shelves at Sprouts, I really didn’t know much about it.
Is there a difference between collagen and collagen peptides?
Nope. The terms collagen peptides and hydrolyzed collagen or even just collagen are all basically synonymous and can be used interchangeably. The phrase ‘collagen peptides’ is based on the end product, where peptides are derived from collagen; ‘hydrolyzed collagen’ comes from the process called (obviously) hydrolization, the method by which collagen peptides are made. Many people simply use the term collagen and mean the same thing.
Collagen is an important structural protein found in animals (and people). Basically it gives strength and elasticity to bones, skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
Types of collagen
There are many different types of collagen in the body and all serve specific purposes. Ninety percent of your body’s collagen is known as type I. Type 1 is made up of long, tightly packed fibers and are found in ligaments, tendons, bones, blood vessel walls, and skin. It’s most noted for its anti-aging qualities, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and improving skin health and hydration.
Type II collagen fibers are shorter helping cartilage to absorb shock between bones and to cushion joints. You want to make sure to include this type of collagen if you’re interested in joint health. For people like me, with rheumatoid arthritis, studies have shown it to help tremendously. The benefits of collagen have been very evident.
Collagen makes up about one-third of the protein in your body, research shows. But, as we age, your body produces less collagen. This reduction generally starts in your thirties and forties. Adding collagen to your diet can help make up for this reduction. Eating foods rich in collagen can help. Egg whites, fish, beef, chicken, and bone broth are good choices though many people find it helpful to take a supplement. I don’t eat a lot of meat, so stirring a scoop into my morning coffee has been the ticket.
Collagen supplements are hydrolyzed, meaning the collagen is broken down in a process that makes it easier for your body to digest and be absorbed into your system. The hydrolization process also allows collagen peptides to dissolve in water, which makes it relatively simple to use them in everyday foods (like coffee or your morning smoothie) and allow you to get the benefits of collagen.
Honestly, I can’t stress enough how beneficial this has been for me. While I can’t say how or if it will be as helpful for you, it’s certainly worth a try. Obviously if you’re taking medications or have any health issues, it is a good idea to run any supplements past your doctor before adding them to your daily routine.
As I mentioned, it’s easy to add to coffee (or tea, smoothies, even water), but you can add it to baked goods, soups, or nearly any recipe. Keep in mind though that if you use a couple scoops in a recipe, you won’t get the same amount per serving. I use it more as a way to get bonus collagen rather than the main way to add it to my diet.
If you do give collagen a go, make sure you’re getting a blend of different collagen types. As I mentioned, I’m really happy with the Thrive Market brand. I use my Thrive membership at least once a month to stock up on staples that are both healthy and priced great. My daughter uses it to order gluten-free products along with her supplements that make it easier to manage a chronic issue while living in a college dorm. It’s a great company, well worth the membership. Here’s a link to get you 25% off your first order AND a free gift. If you choose to give Thrive a try, let me know what you love about it!