Here's Why Everyone Keeps Talking About Collagen Peptides | Health Benefits of Taking a Collagen
What are collagen peptides? How do you include them in your diet? What are the health benefits?
Collagen has recently become super popular in the health and wellness sphere, and for good reasons.
I was first introduced to collagen when Further Food reached out to me and offered to send me some of their collagen peptides to try out in my healthy recipes. Prior to this, I had never even heard of collagen as a supplement, but I knew it was a major component in building healthy skin, hair, and nails.
But it turns out, there are a lot more health benefits that come along with including a scoop of this flavorless powder in your daily diet. Further Food's collagen is super easy to mix in to your smoothies, protein shakes, oatmeal, yogurt, energy bites - you name it. Because it is flavorless, you can put it in any recipe without altering the taste.
You'd NEVER guess these healthy dessert recipes have a secret ingredient - collagen peptides.
So, first thing's first: what even IS collagen?
Collagen is the long-chain amino acid that acts as the building blocks for our connective tissue, skin, and bones. You could say it's pretty important; it's the most abundant protein in our bodies and there are more than 40 different types.
Collagen makes up:
90% of our connective tissue
90% of our organic bone mass
70% of our skin.
As we age and put our bodies under stress, we begin to produce less collagen, which can lead to decreased skin elasticity, stiff joints, and thinner hair. Some may not realize there is actually a difference between collagen and collagen peptides (I will admit - at first I thought they were the same thing). Collagen peptides are made of the same amino acid as collagen, but they are a fragment of the full chain. Peptides dissolve in liquids and are easily digestible, making them perfect to mix in to your smoothies, protein shakes, oatmeal, etc. without even noticing a change in the flavor or texture of your food.
The good news is: taking a collagen supplement like Further Food's collagen peptides can help reduce the effects we may begin to see as our bodies age and start to produce less collagen. Here are seven health benefits that can come along with adding a scoop of collagen peptides into your daily diet.
1. Increased skin elasticity.
Here's an interesting statistic: by the time we are 60 years old, we will have HALF as much collagen in our body than we did at age 21. Further Food also says by this point, our ability to produce collagen has decreased by 75 percent. Collagen makes up 70% of our skin, and more specifically, the dermis layer, which is responsible for our skin's elasticity and "plump" appearance. A collagen supplement has been shown to increase skin elasticity and hydration, decrease UV damage, and decrease wrinkles and cellulite.
2. Thicker, stronger, and longer nails.
If you're tired of broken nails and waiting what seems like an eternity for your nails to grow out: you're in luck. Some studies have shown a collagen peptide supplement can lead to stronger, longer nails that break less frequently. One research study conducted in December of 2017 found that taking an oral collagen peptide supplement lead to a 12% increase in nail growth rate and a 42% decrease in frequency of broken nails.
3. Improved muscle recovery and injury prevention.
When I make my post-workout protein shakes, I use 2/3 of a scoop of whey protein and 1 scoop of Further Food's collagen peptides. Like I said above, there are 8 grams of protein in one scoop of the collagen peptides, making it perfect to add to a post-workout snack to aid in muscle recovery. After an intense sweat sesh, like HIIT or weight lifting, our muscle fibers have been broken down and small tears have been produced in the fibers. Our body then begins the repair process through the formation of connective scar tissue and muscle fiber regeneration, which is where adequate protein intake comes in to play.
4. Reduces joint stiffness and pain.
High-impact workouts that put a lot of stress on the body can lead to joint pain and stiffness (epecially among athletes and competitors doing repetitive training for a specific event). Our joints are made of four main components: joints, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, which are all made of collagen. When stress is placed on a joint or injury occurs, our body produces collagen to heal it. While collagen peptides do not act as a direct pain reliever for our joints, making sure your body has enough collagen to heal the injured area will decrease the pain signals and swelling produced by the body in response to the injury.
5. Keeps you full and satisfied longer.
According to Further Food, "Collagen protein powder is 40% more filling than any other types of protein powders (soy, whey, casein) – this means that collagen protein will keep you 40% more full than any other type of protein powder." There is 8 grams of protein per scoop of collagen peptides, and making sure you include enough protein in your diet is important for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will be.
6. Thicker and longer hair and eyelashes.
Taking a collagen supplement can actually increase the diameter of your hair follicle, making your hair appear thicker and have more volume. Ever since I started using Further Food's collagen peptides, I have noticed a HUGE difference in not only the hair on my head - but also in the length and thickness of my eyelashes. I also take a biotin supplement, another important nutrient in maintaining healthy hair. Foods high in biotin include eggs, avocado, fish, almonds, and sweet potatoes. Your hair is a direct representation of the foods you are nourishing your body with; so while a collagen and biotin supplement can definitely improve the health and appearance of your hair, the most significant changes come from a healthy diet.
7. Improves gut health.
According to Further Food, the amino acid structure of collagen allows it to help in reducing gut inflammation, heal stomach ulcers, aid in digestion, and regulate stomach acid secretion. If you find yourself getting frequent bouts of heartburn, stomach ulcers, or indigestion, collagen can help reduce the amount of gastric juices produced in the body and prevent the symptoms associated with these discomforts.
Have you tried collagen peptides? What benefits did you see? Leave a comment below. I want to hear from you!
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