Everyone is after glowing skin these days, and it seems they'll do just about anything to get it. From pills to facials to injections, powders, and potions, it's hard to know what really works and what’s just trendy. One supplement that has actual evidence-based success is collagen. This super supplement helps you achieve better skin, hair growth, and even alleviates pain in your joints and bones. There are tons of supplements available, so it's important to do your research. Once you find one that contains clean, simple ingredients and that you like, daily use will, over time, allow you to see great improvements in your overall health.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It can be found in multiple areas, but it’s specifically found in the skin, bones, joints, and your connective tissues, making it a structural protein. Collagen protein is a building block for your whole body, because it essentially holds it together. This building block is created with amino acids. Over time, your natural collagen production starts to deteriorate. This is due to aging, genetics, sun exposure, and other environmental factors. Besides aging, one of the greatest causes of collagen deterioration is high sugar consumption with your diet. It is absolutely detrimental to collagen production. Maintaining a clean and healthy diet that is rich in protein, proline, (found in egg whites, cheese, meat, and soy) vitamin A, and vitamin C, can help you prevent a breakdown, and instead promote the production of collagen in your skin. Collagen supplementation is another way to help maintain your collagen, with other added health benefits. The great thing about collagen supplements is that there are no known side effects reported as a result of taking a supplement. 4
What does collagen do for your body?
Skin- The collagen in your body helps with skin elasticity and skin health because it is flexible and strong. It is found in the dermis, which is the middle layer of your skin. The two important elements in your skin are elastin and collagen, which both help give your skin a healthy appearance. Collagen is essential in generating new cells, which in turn means it also helps with restoring and rejuvenating dead skin cells. Healthy skin is a result of a combination of things, (diet, skincare, etc.) but collagen certainly plays a key role.
Hair and Nails- Some people have found that through taking a collagen supplement, their brittle nails break less often, grow faster, and their hair becomes stronger and shinier as well. Collagen can help strengthen the skin on your scalp that your hair attaches to, making it grow faster and longer. 3
Joints and bones- Your joint cartilage weakens as you age. Collagen is essential for joint health and preventing joint pain. People suffering from arthritis or who have weak joints and bones may find some relief by taking a daily collagen supplement. Over time, it will help restore lost collagen and prevent further deterioration. This is good news for both sufferers of arthritis and athletes who have poor joint and bone health as a result of their high activity level.
How to choose a collagen supplement:
- As with any dietary supplement, you want to choose one that is made with simple ingredients. This is important. A lot of times brands will add extra ingredients that don’t necessarily make the product better; in fact, they could be detracting from the collagen’s benefits. Additives may be there to extend the shelf life of the product, or to make health claims that simply aren’t true. Supplements with added flavoring (especially fruit flavors) are typically filled with sugar or sugar-like ingredients. Sugar actually significantly hinders your body from utilizing the benefits of collagen, and actually helps to speed up your natural collagen deterioration process. Stick to supplements that have only a few, simple ingredients, and try to choose ones that are unflavored to avoid excess sugar.
- Choose supplements that are grass-fed or wild-caught. That way, you know you are getting the purest and best ingredients. Bovine collagen and marine collagen have the potential to contain hormones and other harmful elements if they are not sourced properly, the same as meat and seafood. In order to ensure your supplements are only benefiting your body, and not harming it, it’s important to read the label and know how your supplement was sourced.
Types of Supplements available:
- Collagen protein powders, as is or encapsulated as a pill, are typically the most popular types of collagen supplements. There are several brands and types available at health food stores or online. Collagen supplements are sometimes labeled as collagen peptides, which just refers to the way the collagen was broken down. Generally people use collagen powders in their smoothies, mixed into juice or water, or baked into healthy snacks. The one downside of using powders is that you have to have something to mix them with or put them into, which isn’t always convenient. If you have the time and want to spend the extra money on a juice or smoothie, then this is a good option.
- Another form of collagen is a liquid shot. Again, it is important to read all of the ingredients before consuming the product. Since it is in a liquid form, there will be additives for flavoring, which means it’s a potential sugar bomb.
- A third option is our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars, which are completely different from other collagen supplements. Our bars contain a full daily serving of 12 grams of hydrolyzed marine collagen. Each bar also contains 15 grams of protein, and tons of superfoods that will help your skin to glow and keep your body strong and healthy. With three flavors (Cocoa Kiss, Lemon Love, and Sweetie Pie), the bars are delicious but also serve a purpose. Antioxidant rich foods, digestive aids, and energy boosters are packed into every bite, which gives you glowing skin, sustained energy, and keeps you full!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.