Collagen supplements are great for our overall health and, more specifically, our skin health. The type of collagen you choose is important because its quality can play a role in its effectiveness. Quality collagen is worth it because of all the benefits you can receive. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is formed through chains of amino acids, which act as building blocks in our body. The two most important amino acids for collagen formation are glycine and proline. Collagen can offer you a variety of health benefits when in supplement form. It helps strengthen connective tissues, improve joint health and bone health, increase skin elasticity and skin hydration, help with gut health, and give you glowing skin. As we age, our collagen production begins to decline. This starts when we reach our 20's, when we produce around 1% less collagen per year. Read on to learn more about the different collagen products and what they can do for your health.
What are the different types of collagen?
There are several collagen types, which can be both convenient and confusing. It's convenient because you have plenty of options to choose from, but confusing because it's hard to know which one is right for you. It can be taken on most diets, except for those who eat vegan. Here's a brief overview of the different types of collagen so you can be more informed when choosing a supplement.
Collagen peptides: Peptides are broken down more and therefore easier to digest and absorb more quickly. It's the same as marine collagen that is hydrolyzed. The process of hydrolysis is what breaks the particles down into an easily absorbable amount.
Collagen protein: Collagen protein has two basic uses. One is to get the benefits of collagen, and the other is to increase your protein intake. That's why it's such a great option as a supplement, because you aren't only getting protein like you would from other supplements. Instead, you get a multitude of benefits. A great thing about collagen protein is that it's versatile in how you use it and consume it. Adding it to to your pre or post-workout smoothies is one option. Some people have even found baking it into healthy treats and snacks is a good option as well. Collagen protein can come on its own, or with an added protein powder blend. This is often referred to as a multi-collagen protein. If this is the case, be sure to see what ingredients are in the protein powder to ensure it's clean.
Hydrolyzed collagen: This is sometimes referred to as collagen hydrolysate. The end result of hydrolysis is hydrolyzed collagen. Through the process of hydrolyzation, the collagen protein’s amino acids (basically building blocks in our body) get broken down into tiny particles that allow us to absorb and digest nutrients significantly faster than those that are not already broken down. By already being broken down, your body is able to move the digestion and absorption process along. When you can digest the nutrients faster, you can also absorb them faster, which means better results and quicker improvement in your skin and health!
Collagen pills: These collagen capsules are typically preferred by people who don't want to deal with mixing their collagen into something. They can quickly take the pills with a glass of water and be done. Collagen pills are simply encapsulated collagen powder, with no additional benefits than the powder. A possible con of this supplement is that if you have trouble digesting things it might be harder to break down a pill rather than pure powder. Another thing to consider is the dose. Capsules obviously aren’t that big and therefore you might have to take more pills in order to get the same amount as just scooping in some collagen powder. With those minor cons aside, collagen pills are still a good option and will help you with your supplemental goals. They offer all of the same benefits as collagen powder.
Collagen water: Collagen water (or liquid collagen) is a drinkable form, rather than an edible or mixable form. It is essentially dissolved collagen in varying mixtures, depending on the product. Just be wary of the added ingredients, and if it comes with flavorings. These are oftentimes made with syrups and juice concentrates, which are not good for you.
Besides these different forms of collagen supplements, you can find collagen in different varieties and types. Collagen is derived from animals, some of which are better choices than others. Whichever variety of collagen you choose, always try and get the cleanest version of it. There is more risk for contamination with land mammals when compared to marine collagen. With land mammals there can be added hormones and additives in the animals’ feed. This means looking for grass-fed bovine collagen, and either organic or non-gmo marine, porcine, and chicken collagen.
Bovine collagen: This is derived from cows. It is made from their bones and hides.
Marine collagen: This comes from fish. Scales and skin make up this supplement. It is typically the most sustainable and cleanest form of collagen.
Porcine collagen: This comes from pigs. It is made from the bones and skin, similar to cows. It is the least common type of collagen.
Chicken collagen: This is derived from chickens. It is the same as bovine and porcine collagen, as it comes from bones and skin. It is not as popular as bovine and marine collagen.
There are different types of collagen that refer to where the collagen is found in the body. Type I is a protein and helps form our bones, skin, and other tissues. It’s also the most abundant type of collagen found in the human body. It’s the strongest type, meaning it works the most effectively to heal and rebuild in your body. Type II collagen is found in the body’s cartilage. This means that it is used to support joint and connective tissue health. Type III is similar to Type I, and is largely found in our skin and organs. It’s the second most abundant type of collagen in your body. Both Type I collagen and Type III collagen help with elasticity in the skin and gut support. Type V is what composes the cells in the placenta of a woman during pregnancy. Type X is typically found within our cartilage, and is important for bone and joint cartilage growth.
What are the different forms that collagen can be taken in?
Collagen can be taken as a powder, a liquid, or as a bar. There are also a few brands that make collagen gummies or collagen chocolates. These are considered dietary supplements which typically are taken daily. You do need to be cautious if you choose liquid collagen for your supplement form, because oftentimes there are additives for flavoring, coloring, and sugar, like sucralose, manufactured citric acid, and ascorbic acid. Some will say they are made with an antioxidant blend, but just use extracts like green tea extract or blueberry extract, which don't really contain that many nutrients. Similarly, many use a juice concentrate for their liquid, which is typically packed with sugar. For example, they can say they are pomegranate or kiwi flavor, but really just use flavored syrups and dyes. This is why liquid shots are less popular than powder or pill supplements. Similarly, gummies and chocolates may contain sugars and additives as well. Even if they are made with all-natural ingredients, it's always best to get your supplement in the simplest and cleanest form available. You can also get collagen through bone broth. This is a broth made by simmering the bones of animals for hours or overnight. The result is a broth that is packed with nutrients and collagen. One of the different sources of collagen is our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars. They are made with 12 grams of hydrolyzed marine collagen and 15 grams of protein. They also contain collagen boosting ingredients, such as lemon (vitamin C), sweet potato (vitamin A), and cocoa (antioxidants). A great thing about collagen supplements is that there are no known side effects. They are safe to try in whichever form you choose. If you are unsure of which type will work for you and your health, you can always ask a healthcare professional.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.Sources: