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    Everything You Need to Know About Collagen

    Everything You Need to Know About Collagen

    You guys have likely heard the term “collagen” tossed around a lot lately. I talk about it a lot on Instagram and it is in over 20 recipes here on the blog.

    Yes, many people are using collagen peptides daily. But when I first heard about them, I was so confused and did not know if it was something I wanted to dive into or just see if the trend wore off. It is hard to know what to believe on the hype about these days, you know?! It is safe to say though that collagen peptides are definitely here to stay and the “trend” has really become an impactful supplement for us to take. It has also been a popular ingredients for brands to innovative with over the past few months in various bars and more.

    In a space where there are many brands to choose from, it isn’t always easy figuring out what to use versus another. I have personally been using Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides for over two years now and don’t plan on switching anytime soon. It is so crazy how fast that went and I remember when I first started adding it to my hot tea or smoothies or baking with it, people would ask me what the beep is that white powder?! I still get funky looks from people at coffee shops when I whip it out of my travel packet.

    I bring collagen peptides with me everywhere I travel. It is one of the only supplements I make sure to incorporate daily (even when on vacation) as I have personally seen benefits from using it. I don’t use many adaptogens or potions or add 10 different things to my smoothies. I try to keep things simple, easy and add what I think is best for my body. Collagen is pretty much it.

    A few weeks ago, I asked you guys if you had any questions about collagen and wow did a lot of questions come in. I cannot thank you enough for sending through your questions so I had an idea on what kind of info you wanted to learn about. I have rounded up the most common inquires here for you! Everything you need to know about collagen is here in this blog post for you to reference anytime.

    1) First things first, what is collagen? What are collagen peptides?

    Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our bodies. It pretty much holds our bodies together. It is a key constituent of all connective tissues and provides the infrastructure of the musculoskeletal system, essential for mobility.

    Collagen peptides are short chain amino acids naturally derived from pasture-raised, grass-fed collagen protein. There is also Marine collagen, which comes from fish (look for wild-caught !). Collagen is filled with amino acids that are identical to the protein found in skin, hair, nails, cartilage and our joints. Just like when we buy animal protein, you want to buy quality collagen.

    2) Which collagen brand do you use?

    I personally have only used Vital Proteins ever since starting my health journey with collagen. Their products are high quality and I have seen benefits from taking many of their supplements. My favorites are the collagen peptides (from grass-fed pasture-raised cows) and the marine collagen (from wild-caught fish) and the bone broth collagen. I use them in many recipes here on the blog as well as just in my daily life. Jordan loves their coconut collagen coffee creamer and they also sell a matcha flavored one! You can order them directly from their website or in many grocery stores. I recommend their sampler pack if you are new to collagen so you can find what works best for you.

    3) How do you use collagen?

    Every single day I have a large cup of hot tea and add two scoops of collagen peptides or marine collagen to it. I have found that it dissolves best in hot liquids but it also blends very well into smoothies. I use it in the morning or at night, no specific time. I do not recommend adding collagen to cooler drinks or iced tea or coffee as it doesn’t dissolve as well. Jordan and my Mom both add it to their coffee everyday. Plus it adds about 20 grams of protein to the beverage and you don’t even taste it! I recommend their travel packs too when you are going away!

    Everything You Need to Know About Collagen
    a few of my favorite Vital Proteins products and what collagen looks like

    4) Are collagen peptides okay for someone with a sensitive stomach? Are there any benefits for someone to take collagen if they do have a sensitive stomach?

    Collagen peptides provide amino acids that may help promote digestive health. A few small percentage of the population is sensitive to collagen, so the likelihood of it irritating anyone’s digestion is quite small. You can also start off with 1/4 scoop or 1/2 scoop when you start taking collagen and test it on your digestive system. I personally have not had any negative side effects from taking it. If anything it has helped boost my digestive system.

    5) What is the recommend amount of collagen to take? Can you take too much?

    Collagen is pure protein. Consuming 10-20g of collagen is ideal for those wanting to experience the benefits of taking it but there isn’t an exact limit. Especially for hair, skin, nails and joint health, it is recommended to have at least 10-20g of collagen per day. Some may choose to take more depending on their daily protein intake, so you can do what works best for you. It all depends on your own protein requirements (I recommend asking a Nutritionist if you aren’t sure how much works for you!). I personally don’t count protein (or macros in any way) and I do try to add more protein into my daily eats and drinks to keep me satisfied and full longer.

    6) How long did it take for you to notice a difference from consistently taking collagen peptides?

    After about two months of using collagen every single day, I started to notice a difference. My hair was so much thicker, my nails were stronger than before. I also had many other people notice the difference in my hair too, which seriously was the best compliment. Some say they notice a difference as soon as two weeks after taking it, so everyone is different.

    7) Can collagen peptides be used as a protein source? Is it a complete protein on its own and will it build muscle?

    It is recommended that collagen be used as a “supplemental” protein source. Collagen contains 18 amino acids and does not contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid, which is obtained from meat, dairy and other plant protein sources. Collagen provides high concentrations of glycine, proline and hydroxyproline, which are collagen-building amino acids. It does help support muscles as it has a wide variety of amino acids like BCAA’s and glutamic acid. Many use Vital Proteins collagen as a protein powder as well. If you have a sensitivity to protein powders, definitely try collagen peptides!

    Everything You Need to Know About Collagen

    8) Does temperature change the benefits of collagen?

    Using collagen in various temperatures does not effect the benefits of it. You can bake with it in the oven or add to hot beverage and the benefits do not burn off.

    9) Does adding collagen to ingredients have any effect on the recipe? Does it make it thicker like chia seeds?

    Collagen peptides are pretty much soluble. It doesn’t add any dramatic “thickening” effect.

    10) How does the body process and use collagen via diet?

    Collagen is tested and absorbed like any other protein. Amino acids are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream and those amino acids are used as building blocks where the body needs.

    11) What is the different with collagen with bone broth versus collagen peptides?

    There are more similarities than differences between bone broth collagen and collagen peptides. Vital Protein’s collagen peptides are extracted from bovine hide and undergo an enzyme process that ensures cold water solubility. It is recommended to add bone broth collagen to hot water/liquids (not smoothies!) .

    12) Is there an absorption difference between powder and capsule form of collagen?

    Nope, capsules are typically fully digested within 15-60 minutes as well as powder.

    13) For vegans curious about collagen, what do you recommend they use as a plant-based supplement?

    There are currently no sources of vegan collagen. Vital Proteins does sell spirulina supplement as well a vitamin C/biotin supplement that are both vegan. I did use collagen peptides even when I didn’t eat meat but it is totally a personal preference.

    14) Why are Vital Proteins not USDA certified organic/non-GMO project verified besides marine collagen?

    Vital Proteins is currently exploring organic and non-GMO certification for their bovine collagen and all products. They do note that nearly all of their other ingredients such as coconut milk powder or fruits and vegetables in the products are certified organic and non-GMO. So while the entire product is not “certified” organic, most of the ingredients are.

    15) What are some of your favorite recipes using collagen peptides?

    There are so many recipes here on the blog using Vital Proteins. A few of my go-to’s are Chocolate Banana Collagen Snack BarsHomemade Paleo BreadOne-Bowl Chocolate Zucchini BrowniesCacao Nib Coconut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bars.

    BOOM baby! Now you guys have the scoop on all things collagen and I hope this is helpful in beginning your journey with collagen peptides!

    xx, Rach

    Thank you Vital Proteins for sponsoring this post. It means so much to me to work with brands I love and believe in!

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  • Reply Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite May 1, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Vital Proteins is my favorite brand as well!!

    View Comment
  • Reply Easy Collagen Breakfast Crepes (gluten-free + dairy-free) - rachLmansfield June 4, 2018 at 7:00 am

    […] They are made with just a few simple ingredients like a pasture-raised egg, oat flour, non-dairy milk and collagen peptides. Adding collagen peptides to this recipe makes them more filling because of the protein and also adds many nutritional benefits for us as we are stuffing our faces with bananas and peanut butter. If you are wondering what collagen is, head on over to my blog post where I breakdown everything you need to know about collagen! […]

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  • Reply Doughy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza (with collagen peptides!) - rachLmansfield July 18, 2018 at 7:00 am

    […] It is so delicious, flavorful and easy to make. Almost too easy to the point where you will want to make it after dinner because there is minimal clean up and effort involved. The upside is that this recipe is refined sugar-free, gluten-free and I added some extra collagen peptides in there. By adding collagen, we just added some protein to this recipe (you don’t even taste it) and it’s a extra boost for our hair, skin, digestion, SO MUCH. More on my love affair/obsession with collagen here . […]

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  • Reply 4-ingredient Blueberry Collagen Jam (no added sugar) - rachLmansfield August 7, 2018 at 7:00 am

    […] I added the collagen to the jam to add a bit of protein and a nutritional boost. You don’t even taste the collagen in there! It’s like a secret weapon to help the jam not spike your blood sugar and make it a bit more filling. I chat all bout my love for collagen and what you should know about it in this blog post. […]

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  • Reply Barb August 7, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    I just started taking gelatine. How does this differ from collagen?

    View Comment
  • Reply Melanie August 9, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    I LOVE Collagen! I use the Great Lakes brand personally and haven’t restocked lately and have noticed the difference when I’m not taking collagen. I add it to my smoothies in the morning and it’s a great way to add protein to it 🙂 Thank you for this super informative article!

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  • Reply Leslie Olson September 16, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Hi Rachel

    I just started taking Collagen Peptides. My question is can I take my vitamins, fish oil at the same time or should I wait a few hours after taking Collagen to take vitamins.

    Thanks so much



    View Comment
    • Reply Rachel September 17, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      please ask your doctor or RD about this 🙂 i cannot give advice like that but i personally drink my hot tea and vitamins at same time.

      View Comment
  • Reply Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cake (gluten-free) - rachLmansfield September 24, 2018 at 7:01 am

    […] grown tremendously and it helps with digestion, joint health and adds extra protein to anything (more on that here). I use Vital Proteins and their many varieties of collagen they offer. The best part is you […]

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  • Reply Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread with Collagen Peptides - rachLmansfield October 15, 2018 at 7:01 am

    […] in it adding a nutritional boost and protein to the recipe. And you don’t even taste it (more on baking with collagen here). Baking and cooking with Vital Proteins collagen peptides is one of the most underrated […]

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