You have probably heard of collagen as it can be a star ingredient in a range of products. It’s found in dietary supplements, skincare products, topical wound care gels, sports nutrition shakes and even pet food. Collagen is a fundamental protein in your body that provides strength and stability to various areas and processes.
As you age, your body’s natural collagen production decreases, which is why you may want to consider adding more collagen to your diet now. Loss of collagen can lead to signs of aging like wrinkles and reduced skin elasticity. Thankfully, with today’s wide range of collagen supplements, it’s easy to increase your daily dose to support your body and benefit your health.
But what is collagen? And how does it impact your body? The benefits of collagen are many, as we’ll explore. Ongoing scientific research continues to uncover exciting uses for this naturally occurring protein. We’ll also go over how you can get more in your diet, whether through collagen foods, collagen supplements, collagen protein powders or other sources.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that’s built with amino acids. There are 28 types of collagen but type I is the most prevalent, as it makes up 90% of the collagen in your body.1 Collagen provides structural support for skin, ligaments, bones and tendons.
Collagen foods you may already be eating include fish, eggs and bone broth. You can also boost your collagen production by consuming foods rich in vitamin C since it helps in collagen synthesis. These foods include red bell peppers, leafy greens, citrus, tomatoes and berries, for example.
To ensure you’re getting enough collagen, you can also consider taking collagen supplements. Supplements are a convenient way to control your dose and know exactly what types you’re taking. You can find many options on the market, including coffee with collagen, collagen peptides powder, protein bars with collagen or hydrolyzed collagen with gelatin.
However you choose to get your collagen, you’ll be able to enjoy many ways in which it positively impacts your health.
Benefits of Collagen
Collagen is a building block that supports many processes in your body. Here are some of the ways the benefits of collagen can improve your health:
Perhaps one of the most well-known benefits of collagen is its effect on skin health. It can help with skin elasticity, hydration and skin moisture, which improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.2 Both oral and topical supplements help your body delay the skin’s natural aging process.
Better Joint Health
Collagen can contribute to joint pain relief and joint function improvement.3 In joints, type II collagen makes up cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber between bones. Collagen peptides offer some protection against the wear and tear that happens to joint cartilage.
If you suffer from brittle nails or just want healthier nails, you may want to consider upping your collagen intake. Collagen can potentially improve the appearance and strength of nails4. That’s because it contains amino acids that are essential for nail growth, particularly arginine and proline.
Increases Muscle Mass
Collagen peptides powder can contribute to stronger muscles when taken post-workout.5 This is great not only for athletes but also for maintaining a healthy muscle mass. Pack a protein bar with collagen in your gym bag for a quick post-workout treat that could help boost your results.
Remember that although collagen offers a host of benefits, consider it like a building block in your wellness plan. To get the most of our collagen, having a balanced lifestyle and diet is also important. If you are planning on making a change to your diet, consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and recommendations that best suit your health goals.
The Science-Backed Benefits of Collagen
Here are some exciting research projects that highlight the impressive ways collagen can impact your body:
Collagen may help to support immune health according to a 2022 study. Using type I collagen, scientists looked at the effects of collagen peptides supplementation on respiratory issues in sick patients. Although the mechanisms are not fully understood, the study showed the promising benefits of collagen peptides for immune support.6
Healthy Skin Support
Another study demonstrated the effects of collagen on skin elasticity and wound healing.7 Type I collagen improved skin condition whether taken in food or accessed through cosmetics. Collagen has the potential to reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as possibly contribute to quicker closing of wounds.
Collagen can also positively affect bone mineral density.8 Researchers found that long-term supplementation of collagen peptides was effective in counteracting bone mineral density losses and improving bone stability. This is especially exciting for the treatment of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.
The Bulletproof Approach to Collagen
Our collagen includes thoughtfully sourced ingredients that are backed by clinical studies. We work hard to maintain high standards in all aspects of production to ensure the effectiveness of our ingredients. When you choose Bulletproof collagen, rest assured that you are getting lab-tested products that undergo scientifically proven methods for testing.
Types of Collagen
What is hydrolyzed collagen? And what’s the difference between collagen protein and collagen peptides? First of all, hydrolyzed collagen is the same thing as collagen peptides.
Hydrolyzed collagen just means that water particles have broken down larger collagen protein molecules into smaller peptides, or amino acids. This process is called hydrolysis. It makes collagen more easily digestible and soluble in water than collagen protein. Collagen peptides dissolve easily into hot or cold liquids making them an easy way to seamlessly add protein into your diet.
The high bioavailability of collagen peptides is a key reason why they are a preferred option for supplements designed to enhance skin, joint health, and overall well-being, as it means they are readily absorbed and effective in these applications. Collagen protein, on the other hand, is well-suited for cooking, for example as a thickening agent.
At Bulletproof, we use collagen peptides powders that mostly include type I collagen and type II collagen sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows without added hormones. Our collagen powder is easy for your body to absorb because it’s undergone the hydrolysis process. Plus, it dissolves quickly in water, making it an ideal add-in for your morning coffee or smoothie. We offer vanilla, chocolate or unflavored varieties, depending on what you prefer (or a variety pack if you can’t decide).
Our Supplement Testing Standards
We hold ourselves to high standards to make sure you get the most out of our products. Even though it will take longer, it is important to us that our products are formulated correctly for the best results.
We start by sourcing the highest-quality, clean ingredients. You’ll never find GMOs, gluten, artificial fillers or gluten in any of our products. Our team of experts determines and tests the quantities of each ingredient based on clinical studies. That way, we can ensure that our products are as effective as possible, based on scientific results.
We work closely with third-party labs to test the quality, purity and strength of our products throughout the production process. We require that all our products align with FDA regulations because we believe in the power of evidence-based ingredients. And, to make sure every production lot has consistent quality, we test each one for physical and chemical properties.
Finally, we also have a strict internal ingredient risk assessment process that’s overseen by our food safety experts. Their mandate includes the safety and well-being of our customers. You can trust that you’re getting the most out of incorporating our collagen into your everyday wellness routine.
There are so many ways you can include collagen in your meal prepping. Take a look at some of our favorite recipes to help you increase your daily collagen intake.
Yes, collagen production naturally decreases starting in your mid to late 20s. This contributes to the appearance of deeper wrinkles, joint paint and decreased skin elasticity. Increasing your collagen intake can potentially help counter these effects.
Collagen supplements are generally well tolerated since collagen is naturally occurring in foods you already eat. However, some people may experience digestive issues or even allergic reactions. It’s best to start with a low dose and adapt your intake according to your body’s reaction. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects.
It varies. You may notice benefits in a few weeks, while for others it may take several months. Keep track of your progress. For example, if you’re targeting wrinkles, take a photo every week to document changes.
When shopping for a collagen supplement, consider the source, type and quality of collagen. Make sure there aren’t any artificial fillers or added sugars that may counteract your health goals. At Bulletproof, our collagen supplements include types I and II, and are made with clean, high-quality ingredients.
There are various products on the market, like collagen powder, protein bars and more. The best collagen supplement for you will be the one that makes the most sense for your lifestyle. For example, investing in collagen powder to add into your daily cup of coffee is an easy way to integrate collagen into your routine.
Collagen supplements can be a great way to enjoy many health benefits. However, not all supplements are created equal. Quality matters, as well as the type of collagen in the supplement. Plus, you have to consistently take them over time to see potential results.