If you read nutrition blogs or follow health and fitness enthusiasts on social media, you’ve likely come across testimonials about collagen products. This protein is found in abundance in the body, and thus collagen supplements have wide-ranging benefits and applications.
From enhancing skin appearance to supporting a healthy gut microbiome, increasing your collagen intake or supporting natural collagen production can go a long way for your health. A few other noteworthy collagen benefits include:
- Supporting heart health
- Strengthening joints and ligaments
- Helping build muscle mass
- Building bone density
Because collagen has so many potential benefits, many people of all ages and lifestyles use collagen supplements. If you want to tap into these benefits, you can choose between various product types to find the supplement that best suits your needs and lifestyle.
- Topical Lotions, Serums, and Creams
Studies show that collagen can improve skin hydration, elasticity, and roughness. For that reason, many beauty brands sell topical lotions, creams, and serums that stimulate collagen production in a targeted area. Many of these products contain antioxidants and hyaluronic acid along with the collagen-building peptides.
- Collagen Capsules
Collagen capsules are ideal for those looking for larger doses of collagen for internal health benefits. Many manufacturers make collagen capsules by filling hydrolyzed powder into gelatin (soft or hard) shells, making it easier for the body to digest and absorb.
Collagen capsules are typically more effective than tablets, as they have higher bioavailability. There are plenty of benefits of taking collagen capsules, such as improving skin health, alleviating joint pain, and preventing bone loss.
- Hydrolyzed Collagen Powder
Hydrolyzed collagen powder, also known as collagen peptides, allows for easier absorption because of its broken-down composition. Many manufacturers create powdered collagen protein supplements by drying hides and connective tissue of animals, extracting the naturally-present collagen, and hydrolyzing the protein into easily-digestible peptides.
Because the best collagen peptides dissolve in liquid, you can incorporate collagen powder into many food recipes, ranging from drinks, smoothies, salads, main courses, and desserts. Adding collagen to a liquid won’t alter the taste or texture, making it a versatile additive.
- Collagen Protein Bars
You can consume collagen protein bars as a quick go-to snack to boost your daily collagen intake. Collagen protein bars are an ideal snack if you need energy for an upcoming workout or feel hungry and want to enjoy something low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Many athletes and weightlifters like these protein bars because collagen may help boost muscle mass and reduce joint pain.
- Vegan Collagen Supplements
While you can procure collagen from animal sources, you can also source it from genetically altered yeast and bacteria. The process involves adding human genes that create collagen to modified structural microbes. After placement, they begin to make collagen building blocks.
While many people may confuse collagen and gelatin, they are different, although they come from the same source and have similar benefits.
However, they have different chemical structures, and gelatin only dissolves in warm water then thickens when cooled, unlike collagen. For this reason, many people use gelatin for culinary purposes to thicken individual dishes and provide a unique texture.
Despite these differences, collagen and gelatin have the exact same nutritional profiles—they just have different uses.
Natural Collagen Sources
If you prefer natural food sources over supplements, you can add foods to your diet high in collagen or the nutrients that aid in natural collagen synthesis. You can try out bone broth (which contains the necessary amino acids for collagen production), chicken, egg whites, fish, berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, beans, avocados, and soy.
Whether you prefer capsule supplements you can take on the go or enjoy incorporating powder supplements into your favorite recipes, you can increase your collagen intake any way you choose.
The protein serves a long list of functions in the body, making supplementation beneficial for numerous areas of your health. To match the wide range of collagen uses, manufacturers also offer a wide range of products that suit virtually any lifestyle or preferences.