Where would we be without it? Nowhere, that’s where! Collagen is a critical nutrient—it holds our whole body together! More than 80 percent of our skin is made up of collagen, and nearly 33 percent (that’s one third!) of our entire bodies. Yes, OUR ENTIRE BODIES.
I wrote all about what collagen is and why we need it back in 2015. If you haven’t read that post I encourage you to check it out. Collagen is a super important nutrient, and that’s why I wanted to talk a little more about it today. Why it’s great, and just as importantly, how you can get more of it in your diet!
You can check out my 2015 post for the full “scoop” (see what I did there?) on collagen, but I wanted to give you a quick refresher on it today.
Collagen 101 and Benefits
First, what is collagen?
Collagen is a substance that’s produced naturally by the body. It’s a type of fibrous protein that supports our various body tissues, including muscles, bones, and ligaments. It’s an essential component that holds us together! So if it’s produced by the body, why do we need to supplement with it? Unfortunately, our body’s production of collagen reduces as we get older.
Making sure you get enough collagen can make a huge difference in your overall health and enjoyment of life (especially if you’re no longer a spring chicken). Seriously! Here are just a few of the key benefits of collagen supplementation:
Skin health. Collagen helps to make the skin more firm and flexible, because it’s a fibrous and stable substance. It’s even injected directly into the skin during cosmetic surgery to address areas with wrinkles! (But you don’t have to go through that to get the benefits of collagen for your skin! More on that down below.)
Bone and joint health. Collagen can be helpful for people with arthritis, because it helps reduce the pain, swelling, and joint stiffness associated with this condition. And did you know that collagen makes up up to 90 percent of your bone mass? 90 percent! So you can start to see how crucial it is to get enough collagen.
Improved digestion. Collagen peptide supplements, like the one made by Vital Proteins, contains the amino acid glycine. This amino acid is great because it stimulates stomach acid production, which can help digestion and nutrient absorption.
Great protein supplement. Collagen also makes an excellent protein supplement! It’s important to get enough protein, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Some studies have shown that collagen supplements are more satiating (make you feel fuller) than other types of protein supplements like whey and soy.
In short, collagen is a fantastic substance that your body requires for so many reasons. It can help you achieve:
- Radiant skin and a more youthful appearance
- Stronger, healthier bones, tendons, joints, and cartilage.
- Improved athletic performance, smooth digestion, and better sleep.
Why I Love Vital Proteins
Thankfully, supplementing with collagen is pretty straightforward, and there are lots of products out there to help you do that.
But how do you pick the best one? My favorite is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein, and I want to tell you why.
Back when I first wrote about Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein, the response was overwhelming. You guys love Vital Proteins as much as I do! I use Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides every single day, and I feel amazing. I even add it to my morning coffee, and that has been a game changer for me. My energy is through the roof every morning, which is the way I love to start my days—feeling like I can take over the world.
As I mentioned in my first post, I had never used collagen until I tried Vital Proteins. However, whenever I recommended a brand of collagen or gelatin for people to use, I gave the name of Great Lakes Gelatin. As a result, this has become the biggest question that I get asked: why did I switch brand recommendations? My answer is, and I am not proud to admit it, I took the easy way out and did not do any research on Great Lakes Gelatin. I just assumed it was the best brand of collagen and gelatin and told you to use it. For that, I sincerely apologize as I recommended a brand that, once researched, I decided my family and I would never use.
Why? I’ll explain.
My Collagen Supplement Research
After extensive conversations with the good folks at Vital Proteins and well as carefully reading their website, here are some of the reasons why I decided to only use Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein:
Grass-fed. Vital Proteins produces their collagen and gelatin from cattle that are pasture-raised in Brazil and are exclusively grass-fed, which they clearly state on their website. On the other hand, Great Lakes Gelatin uses cattle that was raised in Brazil and Argentina and makes no statement on their website ensuring the cattle were entirely grass-fed as cattle from Argentina are typically grain-finished.
Ethical treatment of animals. Vital Collagen ensures pasture size for each animal is one animal per 2.67 acres, which are standards that are in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership 5-step Animal Welfare Rating Standards. However, Great Lakes Gelatin makes no statement on their website as to the conditions of how the cattle were raised.
No hormones. Vital Proteins does not use cattle that have not been injected with hormones or rGBH, which is given to dairy cattle to make them produce more milk. Great Lakes Gelatin makes no similar claim on their website.
Packaging. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein are packed in airtight, non-BPA canisters. Each canister is hermetically sealed, which prevents moisture and oxygen from entering the canister. Moisture causes the degradation of collagen due to bacteria formation, which the air-tight Vital Proteins canister prevents. When stored in the original canister, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein have a shelf life for up to 5 years! On the other hand, Great Lakes Gelatin is packaged in a cardboard canister, and, as stated on their website, extra measures must be used to store their product to prevent moisture from entering the canister.
Scoop. This might seem silly to some, but I love that each canister of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein comes with its own measuring scoop! I can easily and accurately measure the amount I need without any mess. I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get when I’m adding Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to my coffee every morning.
Tasteless and odorless. Simply put, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein does not have a funky taste or smell. Honestly, that was one of the reasons that I did not try collagen or gelatin before—I was afraid it would taste weird. However, much to surprise, I cannot taste Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides even when I add it to plain water!
Transparency. I have never encountered a company more open and honest about their product as Vital Proteins. They will honestly respond to any of your questions as they did mine. I did not get any special treatment from them because they treat all of their customers equally and with great respect. The information they provided to me is the same information they provide to anyone. Just ask them!
Those were the reasons that I, personally, decided to exclusively use Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein. However, I am asking you to do your own research and make your own informed decision. Like I previously said, I had recommended a brand of collagen and gelatin that was not up to my standards simply because other people recommended it. However, once I did the research, I found that Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein are the only collagen and gelatin that I trust to use for my family and myself. Do not make the same mistake I did. Do your own research and decide which brand is best for you.
Once you do the research or have tried both of the products, comment below on what you have found and which brand you have decided to use!
How to Use It
Finally, how to use Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein. Thankfully it’s dead simple! This collagen supplement comes in a convenient powder form, so you can add it to any beverage of your choosing, whether it’s your morning coffee, afternoon tea, post-workout shake, or a smoothie. It also works as a thickener you can mix into gravies and soups, or use them to make paleo fruit snacks or jello—heck even put them in your ice cream! The possibilities are nearly endless!
How do you like to use collagen to supercharge your recipes? Let me know!
***Disclosure: If you purchase any of the products linked in this post or products through the links on the right side of my page, I receive a small percentage from the respected affiliate programs***