With all this talk about healthy skin, hair, and nails through superfoods powders, you may have come across some of the collagen powder benefits as well.
If you have ever eaten a gelatin-based dessert, then you’ve consumed collagen. But today, the protein-based connective tissue is more than just an ingredient in snack food.
The beauty market acknowledged the benefits of collagen early on, and a host of products contain the substance to revitalize skin that suffers from the effects of aging.
But injection and direct application aren’t the only ways to use collagen, nor are they the most effective. (Um, injections? No thanks…)
Consuming collagen via powder form shows promise for reducing or curing a host of health issues, along with soothing our vanity by reducing wrinkles.
Plus, there are plenty of nearly invisible perks to consuming collagen daily, if you’re up for the challenge.
So what is collagen powder and how can you use it to achieve beautiful looking skin and a healthier body? We’ll discuss what this mystery substance is, how to use it, the range of collagen powder benefits, and its overall safety.
What is Collagen Powder?
Collagen itself is a natural component of our biology. Its structure composes our bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. In short, it’s a flexible ingredient in the softer parts of our bodies.
But, as Vogue’s expert dermatologist explains in an article by Elizabeth Varnell, natural collagen levels start to decline as we age, even as early as our 20s or 30s.
Unfortunately, as a result, we start to see wrinkles and experience creaky joints.
Animals have collagen in their bodies too, and it’s that animal-sourced collagen that makes up dermatologists’ creams and facial treatments.
We also consume collagen whenever we eat meat, although it’s not exactly visible.
The substance contains protein, which is essential for almost every part of our bodies. Your body digests the collagen and uses it to rebuild your own internal parts that need a protein boost.
Because of the nature of the body’s use of collagen, each person’s requirements for optimal function can vary, making it difficult to establish a specific daily value for the substance.
Also, collagen creation slows as we age, so younger people, children especially, don’t typically need supplementation for healthy growth.
How to Use Collagen Powder for Healthy Skin
Collagen naturally occurs in bone broth. Bone broth hails as a versatile food item that has a host of health benefits on its own, but the taste and preparation time can deter many who seeks those benefits.
We like to make bone broth from the leftover carcass of the organic chickens that we cook from time to time. This is a great way to use up ALL of the chicken, and you can leave it cooking overnight in your crockpot (recipe here).
If bone broth doesn’t appeal to you, there are alternative methods of consuming collagen, including in powdered form. Powdered collagen is flavorless and nearly free of texture when stirred into foods or drinks.
I personally put two tablespoons in my coffee every morning! You can also add them to smoothies, soups, salad dressings, and more.
It also comes in a gelatin form, but we recommend using hydrolyzed collagen because it dissolves easily. This version of powder won’t gel the way gelatin does, so mixing it in coffee or other beverages is super easy!
This is our favorite brand:
Collagen Powder Benefits
Collagen helps fight wrinkles and plumps skin whether it’s applied or taken internally.
Also, people with arthritis who have a natural lack of collagen may benefit from supplementation.
Although this isn’t an absolute vital supplement to take, it typically doesn’t hurt to add it to your diet, since we can’t identify a true measure of how much collagen our bodies need.
I personally like it as well because it contains PROTEIN! This helps me get in my daily protein consumption with a few extra benefits!
Supplementing with collagen powder just might be the jumpstart your body needs to refresh your skin and lubricate your joints.
Vogue’s expert dermatologist also points to a 2015 study that showed supplementation with collagen peptide improved skin hydration in participants, but he notes that few studies use placebo controls to show distinguishable results.
Collagen Complete lists tendon healing and repairing tendencies as one side effect of collagen consumption, as well as maintained elasticity and mobility of joints.
They also point out that collagen has been part of the human diet for thousands of years, although not as a separate supplement. This is because our ancestors weren’t eating lean, 98% fat-free chicken breasts for dinner every night.
They were consuming as much of the animal as they could (including tendons, ligaments, etc.) because food was often scarce.
Research indicates that collagen offers restorative effects for aging skin that was previously only available via injection or permanent surgery, and without side effects.
Stephanie Eckelkamp at Prevention shared her personal experience with giving collagen powder a try. Her preliminary research included a study that showed women experienced a 20% reduction in the visibility of their wrinkles.
Now guys, I can’t attest to that claim personally. I immediately think of those skin creams claiming the same, and many of them don’t seem to work. But I do still believe that there are too many collagen powder benefits to ignore giving it a try!
Another perk that inspired Stephanie to test drive of collagen was the research that claims daily supplementation can relieve knee pain for osteoarthritis patients, and she suffered from ongoing knee discomfort before trying collagen.
Stephanie reported that she experienced a few benefits during her trial with the powder, including feeling full longer due to the heaping amount of protein included in each serving.
See what I mean about the protein?? – It’s a great change-up with bonus benefits if you are tired of whey protein or the usual meat sources.
She also noticed that her previously creaky knees quieted down substantially and that her gut seemed to appreciate the healing benefits of the protein-rich substance as well.
Gut health, too!? Y’all know how passionate we are about gut health around here!
While Stephanie maintains that she’ll keep taking collagen to support her joints and her digestion, she doesn’t claim to have reduced any wrinkles, although her skin did feel more supple following the treatment.
What Are the Risks of Consuming Collagen?
There aren’t any great risks that come along with consuming collagen, but like with all diet changes, you should start slow and monitor your results to make sure that you don’t personally have any adverse effects.
Allergies to collagen are also a possibility, although they are quite rare.
Most people consume collagen without any adverse effects, even in long term instances.
In the long run, collagen and gelatin substances can help repair leaky gut and other digestive issues, but dosing must follow specific guidelines for the best and most comfortable results.
Also, collagen supplementation is not ideal for vegans and vegetarians, as its source is directly animal. Unfortunately for these groups, the nature of collagen dictates that it must come from an animal source to be compatible with the human body’s protein and amino acid needs.
However, there are products available that are vegetarian and vegan which claim to be “collagen builders.” These products do not contain actual collagen, only nutrients that claim to promote your body’s own collagen regeneration.
Here is one by Garden of Life that is very highly rated on Amazon, although I have not personally tried it.
I prefer the Zint brand to travel with because the other brands come in canisters and take up more space in my luggage. In fact, I am drinking it in my coffee in Costa Rica right now as I am writing this! 🙂
You can check it out here.
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