By Rachael Link, MS, RD
Collagen supplements have taken the health and wellness industry by storm lately, cropping up in pharmacies, health stores and beauty shops across the globe.
This superstar supplement is particularly popular thanks to the long list of benefits that it has to offer. In fact, not only can collagen support healthy skin, hair and nails, but it can even help support gut health and joint function as well.
However, with so many different types and varieties of collagen out there, navigating the supplement aisle can get pretty tricky. From collagen peptides to capsules to hydrolysates and beyond, even decoding the ingredients label of your collagen supplement can be quite a feat.
Fortunately, finding the right collagen supplement for you doesn’t have to be complicated. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about collagen, including the benefits and types, along with some simple strategies to start upping your intake.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein that is found throughout the body in the skin, muscles, joints, tendons and digestive system. In addition to helping to hold the body together, it also supplies skin with its structure, strengthens the skeletal system and generally helps turnover and replace dead cells.
As you get older, your body’s natural production of collagen starts to slow down. This can accelerate certain signs of normal aging, often causing a slew of unwanted outcomes.
Using a supplement can help boost your body’s levels of collagen to support a healthy gut, skin, hair, nails and joints. Plus, it can be a quick and convenient way to take advantage of the many potential collagen benefits.
There are plenty of reasons to consider adding collagen powder to your daily routine. Here are a few of the top benefits of collagen:
Supports Gut Health: Collagen plays a central role in gut health. Selecting a type of collagen that can be easily absorbed by the body, such as hydrolyzed collagen, is a simple strategy that can help support gut health.
Supports Healthy Joints: Collagen is considered a key component of the muscles, joints and tendons. For this reason, using a collagen supplement can be a great option to support the health and function of the joints.
Supports Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails: Because collagen is found throughout the hair, skin and nails, many people use collagen supplements for skin and hair health as part of a natural beauty routine.
Types of Collagen Supplements
There are several types of collagen supplements available, making it simple to find something that works for you, based on your specific health interests.
Type I: In addition to being the strongest and most abundant form of collagen in the body, type I collagen is also considered the best collagen supplement for overall skin health.
Type II: Because this type of collagen is a major component of the cartilage, it’s a great choice for supporting joint health and mobility.
Type III: Much like type I, this form of collagen is found in the skin and organs and is frequently featured in supplements designed to support skin health.
Type V: This type of collagen is involved in the development of collagen fibers within the connective tissue and is found alongside type II collagen in the cartilage.
Type X: Often described as a “network-forming collagen,” this type of collagen also occurs in normal joint cartilage.
While some supplements may contain only one or two types of collagen, others may offer a blend of several different types. Our Multi Collagen Protein (on our store), for example, features collagen type I, II, III, V and X and is formulated from four different food sources.
In addition to taking the type of collagen into account, you may also want to consider the many forms of supplements available as well.
Collagen peptides are one of the most common varieties. Also known as hydrolyzed collagen or collagen hydrolysate, this form of collagen has been broken down into smaller components so that it’s easier for your body to absorb and use. This type is often considered one of the best collagen supplements on the market and can be added to smoothies, coffees, baked goods and beyond.
For those looking for a quick and convenient alternative to powdered supplements, collagen capsules, like our Multi Collagen Capsules, are also widely available. These capsules can be taken with your favorite beverage for an easy and effortless way to bump up your collagen intake.
Bone broth protein is another option to help squeeze more collagen into your daily diet. Bone Broth Protein Pure (on our store), for instance, features collagen type II. It also offers 19 amino acids, along with beneficial compounds like glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid.
How to Use
So how can you start using collagen supplements? And how long does it take for collagen supplements to work?
You can easily mix hydrolyzed collagen powder or bone broth protein into your favorite drinks or add a scoop to the blender next time you’re whipping up a smoothie or shake. Collagen protein powder can also help ramp up the benefits of baked goods, including pancakes, cookies and muffins.
If you opt to use collagen capsules, on the other hand, simply find a time that works for you and take alongside coffee, tea, water or juice.
However, no matter which type of collagen you pick, it’s important to stick to the suggested use and serving recommendations and use only as directed. You can take collagen at any time during the day depending on what works for you, but you should be sure to take it consistently to maximize the potential benefits.
Keep in mind that your individual results can vary depending on a number of different factors. Therefore, it can be difficult to determine when you’ll start to see results after starting supplementation.
When searching for the best collagen powder, be sure to select a high-quality supplement from a reputable retailer. It’s also important to check the ingredients label carefully and steer clear of products pumped full of fillers, preservatives and additives.
If you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications, talk to your healthcare provider before adding collagen or other supplements to your routine.
Collagen is a protein that is found throughout the body and plays a key role in several aspects of health.
Collagen supplements can help support a healthy gut, skin, hair, nails and joints.
Using a collagen supplement is a simple way to increase your intake of collagen. There are several types and varieties of collagen available, including capsules and powders. Some supplements also contain a blend of different types of collagen for an easy way to help boost your intake.
Collagen powder can be added to smoothies, drinks and baked goods, making it easy to take advantage of the many potential collagen supplements benefits.
Rachael Link, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian based in New York City. She completed her undergraduate degree in Dietetics at the University of Central Missouri and later received her Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Rachael is passionate about plant-based nutrition and enjoys providing easy-to-understand information to readers looking to support their health.