The Collagen Hype
Updated: Oct 29
Collagen or collagen peptides, as you see on the label of collagen supplements, refers to the short chain amino acid content. Collagen is an incomplete protein, lacking one essential amino acid, Tryptophan. Essential amino acids cannot be made in the body and must be obtained through diet. Collagen improves skin elasticity, recovery of lost cartilage tissue, reduced joint pain, strengthened tendons and ligaments, increased lean body mass in the elderly, and increased bone density in post menopausal women.
There are 3 types of collagen:
Type I: most abundant type of collagen found in tendons, ligaments, skin, bones, and cartilage
Type II: found mostly in cartilage
Type III: found alongside Type 1 in muscles, organs, and arteries
Collagen supplements are from connective tissue in animals and therefore it is important to choose a high quality collagen that is grass fed, pasture raised, or from wild caught fish that has been third party tested for purity. There should not be any fillers or additives. Hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides are the same, meaning that the collagen proteins are broken down into a more absorbable form through hydrolysis.
Naked Nutrition Collagen is a reputable brand, containing no additives or fillers and made from pasture raised, grass fed cattle. Orgain also has a grass fed hydrolyzed collagen peptides protein with no added fillers available. Vital Proteins unflavored is another high-quality common brand that is grass fed, pasture raised and does not contain additives. Flavored collagen will contain additional ingredients and possible fillers so it is important to read ingredients. Most collagen powders come unflavored and can be easily mixed in with hot or cold foods or beverages such as water, coffee, smoothies, or recipes such as baked goods or soups and stews.
While using collagen supplements may have added benefits to health when it comes to skin and joint health, if you are consuming it as a main protein source, you are missing out on the benefits that other sources of supplemental complete protein -such as whey and soy products possess! They also tend to be costly! It is recommended to consume and stick to high quality food sources of protein such as chicken, beef, pork, eggs, fish, dairy, whey, soy, ect. for proper exercise recovery, facilitating muscle growth and repair, and staying full and satisfied longer.