It’s not uncommon for people to reach for supplements to fulfill their nutritional needs and deficiencies. In 2019, the CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements reported the most prevalent use of supplements in the U.S. since the annual surveying began 20 years ago. The 2019 review showed that 77 percent of Americans reported taking dietary supplements.
In recent months, collagen supplements have taken social media by storm. From fitness fanatics to beauty bloggers, everyone seems to have caught the collagen craze. But what are collagen supplements all about, and why do people take it in powder form?
Collagen is a hard, fibrous, and insoluble protein found in abundance in the body, making up one-third of the protein used by humans. When packed together, collagen molecules form long, slim fibrils that support structures and link cells together. You can think of collagen as the glue that holds your bones, tissues, joints, ligaments, and cells together. For example, the collagen within skin tissue keeps the outside supple and flexible. While the body produces collagen naturally, production levels decline with age and other factors such as exposure to UV rays and smoking and damage the existing proteins.
Why Do People Take Collagen Supplements?
The body has countless uses for collagen, making it extremely important to ensure your body has an adequate supply. While you can increase collagen intake through your diet, many people turn to supplements to meet their health and wellness goals. A few benefits of getting more collagen include:
Relief from Joint Pain–
Collagen provides structure to the spongy cartilage that protects your joints. As people age, they develop a higher risk of falling prey to osteoarthritis and joint pain. In an NCBI study, 73 athletes took 10 grams of collagen for 24 weeks and experienced significant relief from joint pain compared to those who didn’t.
Prevents Bone Loss–
As you grow older, and collagen production decreases, so do bone density, which often leads to osteoporosis. Many seniors take collagen supplements to help prevent that from happening.
Builds Muscle Mass–
Because some muscle tissue contains collagen, increasing intake of this protein may help you build muscle if combined with exercise. Studies suggest that collagen also promotes the synthesis of other proteins within muscle tissues.
As you age, the decreased production of collagen causes dry skin and creates wrinkles. Supplements can slow this process and encourage skin elasticity and hydration.
How Do Companies Produce Collagen Powder?
Collagen peptide powder is procured from cattle hides or the connective tissues found in cows, pigs, and fish. Scales, animal skin, or eggshells can also act as collagen-rich ingredients.
Most peptide powders undergo hydrolysis, making them easier to dissolve and absorb by the body. To make hydrolyzed collagen, producers wash and clean the skin or hides and soak them hot water to release the collagen. Next, the dry the extracted substance and use a mill to grind it into pure peptide powder.
Tips for Adding Collagen Powder to Food and Drinks
You can incorporate collagen powder into your diet in a number of delicious ways. A few ideas include:
Cinnamon Collagen Coffee Latte
- Add one teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 cups of unsweetened almond milk, and one scoop of collagen powder to a mixer and blend until frothy.
- Add two shots of espresso to the blender and blend for one second before pouring in your mug.
No-bake Almond Butter Protein Bars
- In a bowl, whisk one cup of almond butter, three tablespoons of coconut oil, and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
- Add in one scoop of collagen powder, ½ tablespoon cinnamon, one tablespoon flax seeds, one tablespoon chia seeds, two tablespoons unsweetened coconut shreds, and ½ cup chopped almonds.
- Use a spatula to fold in the ingredients.
- Line a loaf tin with parchment paper and butter and freeze for two hours.
- Cut into bars and freeze until you want to eat them.
Gut-friendly Green Juice
- Add three stalks of celery, one cup kale, one cup cut and cleaned oranges, one cup spinach, one juiced lemon, ½ inch peeled and cut ginger, two tablespoons of collagen powder, and one teaspoon of turmeric tonic to a juicer.
- Blend and serve.
Banana Mocha Collagen Smoothie
- Blend one cup almond milk, two ounces of coffee or espresso, one small frozen banana, ½ cup grated cauliflower, one tablespoon cacao powder, and one scoop of collagen powder on high speed.
- Serve and top with banana slices.
Choosing Better Health
If you are suffering from deficiencies or experiencing symptoms caused by insufficient collagen, make sure to choose the right collagen powder from the right company. Once you make a choice, you can find more tasty recipes to incorporate it.