Over the past few months, I’ve seen a big hype on social media regarding collagen peptides. And because some celebrities, like Jennifer Aniston, claim they use them, everyone jumps in their car to purchase the powder (because obviously we all want to look like her as we age!).
At first I thought, “I’ve got to get these!” But, that led me to do some research which, was hard to find but there are some potential benefits. Let me share what I learned and you can determine if you really need to spend money on another supplement.
What are Collagen Peptides?
Collagen is a protein that is found in human and animal bodies. It’s like the glue that holds us together and as we age, we produce less collagen. Losing collagen causes loss of elasticity in your skin which can cause wrinkles and all of the other fun things that go along with getting older. It sounds like a great idea to add more collagen to your diet to avoid looking older (and looking more like Jennifer Aniston), right? But maybe not just yet.
Your body uses amino acids to build muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, hair, connective tissue, and a lot else. There are many different types of amino acids, but the type found in collagen are the most abundant in your body thanks to the role they play in forming your connective tissues and skin.
Collagen peptides are pretty much the same thing as gelatin. They are both derived from animal hides, bones, or fish scales. The main difference is that at the molecular level, collagen can be dissolved in both hot and cold water whereas gelatin can only be dissolved in hot water. So we might as well just eat a bunch of jello
shots, right?! Maybe, maybe not. 🙂
What do researchers say?
While collagen-containing products have grown popular, there’s little evidence to show they can deliver the benefits they promote, like, more youthful and smooth skin, and healthier hair, joints and bones. Trying to replenish collagen in your body when it’s gone by using a supplement or a skin care product isn’t going to help. What you can do to slow the rate at which your body will naturally lose collagen is to do things like not smoke, using 30 SPF sunscreen everyday, and eat a protein and anti-oxidant rich diet.
Most of the evidence out there can’t prove a whole lot other than, Collagen “might” help x, y, and z. Some of the claims that collagen might help are:
- Faster muscle recovery
- Increase nail growth and strength
- Decrease joint pain by reducing inflammation
What research can NOT prove yet:
- Curing leaky gut
- Use as a sleep aid
- Cellulite cure
What you might like about collagen peptides:
If you don’t get a lot of protein in your diet and don’t like the taste of protein powders, this may be a good option for you. Collagen peptides are “flavorless” and, because they can be dissolved in hot or cold water, you can essentially add it to anything. You could add it to your morning smoothies, soups at dinner, juices, etc. The nutrition of collagen peptides are pretty good: around 70 calories and 18 grams of protein per serving. But, if you follow a vegan diet, you need to steer clear of these as they’re made from animal by-products.
If you’re interested in collagen peptides and think they would benefit you, try them for 2 – 3 months and see if you like it or notice any differences. Since there aren’t many negative side effects, it won’t hurt you physically but, they can be pricey so it might hurt your wallet a little bit. Although I’m sure there are cheaper brands out there, I looked into the popular brand “Vital Proteins”. At $43 per container that contains approximately 28 servings, it’ll cost you $1.54 per serving.
Personally, I’m not going to rush out and buy these. I know I get enough protein and antioxidants in my diet and for me, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support any real benefits for me to spend that money when I can eat a chicken breast, eggs, and berries. 🙂 I also wear sunscreen everyday and I don’t smoke. For now, until more research is done (and I’m showing signs of aging haha) I won’t use the collagen peptides supplement in my diet. If you have found a protein powder you like and eat plenty of other sources of protein, I wouldn’t bother with it but it doesn’t hurt trying new things if you’re interested!
Do you use collagen peptides in your diet?
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Until next time…