Why I Take Collagen
Collagen is the only supplement I take: and it’s something I really do believe provides me with real results and tangible benefits. I’ll talk about my own collagen story first, and then answer frequently asked questions afterward— followed by my favorite collagen products (if you’re wondering “what is collagen?” just scroll down to the FAQ in the middle!).
MY COLLAGEN STORY
It’s been two years since I started taking a collagen supplement daily. As I mentioned before, it’s the only supplement I take because it’s the only one I’ve really felt had real and true benefits to my diet.
There are more than a few things I notice when I take collagen daily. Here’s my experience with each benefit:
LONG, STRONG NAILS
By far, my nails have shown the greatest improvement through taking a collagen supplement. They’re so much stronger, grow so much faster, and can get much longer than they ever had before I started taking collagen. Here’s a shot of my nails 2 weeks post-manicure: look at that visible growth!
SHINY, STRONG HAIR
I’ll admit, my hair has always grown really fast— so I can’t attribute that to collagen (though a lot of people do take collagen to help hair grow faster). Personally, what I’ve noticed most is that my hair is SO much shinier when I take collagen daily, and it’s MUCH stronger as well.
I find that what helps me prevent acne the most is drinking a lot of water every day, and cutting out both added sugar and dairy from my diet. I knew that about my skin before I started taking collagen, but once I added the supplement daily, I noticed that a sugar or dairy filled weekend didn’t affect my skin quite as rapidly or intensely as before. While I still would get some spots, there were a lot less and they weren’t likely to appear at all if I only had a meal or two of sugar or dairy. I consider collagen my “skin health buffer”— while it takes more than just collagen for me to maintain clear skin, collagen can help to keep poor skin symptoms at bay.
Depending on what kind of collagen you choose to consume and how much, a collagen supplement can add quite a bit of protein to your diet. I find when I add one scoop of unflavored collagen peptides to my coffee (10g protein), have a cup of collagen matcha (9g protein), or make a protein shake with their flavored peptides (18g collagen), that I feel fuller longer, and that the additional protein helps me get to the next meal without snacking. This is a benefit of collagen supplements that most don’t mention: but it really is collagen protein, and it can be quite helpful in my experience!
I’ll also mention that collagen protein was a really easy way to consume protein during my pregnancy: especially in the first trimester when meals were hard to eat, and in the third trimester when I needed to eat smaller, more frequent meals. Adding a scoop of collagen to a smoothie gave me the extra protein my body needed without the queasiness or heaviness of eating meat.
Where I buy my collagen
I buy my collagen from Vital Proteins— as unflavored collagen peptides. I also buy their other products that contain collagen like their matcha, creamer, and flavored collagen peptides. Vital Proteins is the only brand of collagen I’ve ever used: because they’re so transparent about their sourcing and quality expectations. Since I take collagen every single day, and collagen peptides are made from animals, I know it’s not the place in my diet that I want to skimp on quality. Other brands I love that sell collagen peptides (never tried them, but may try someday) include Thrive Market and Primal Kitchen.
How much collagen I take
One scoop per day of unflavored collagen peptides is my usual serving (and usually in my morning coffee— but it doesn’t matter what time of day you take it). If I plan to make a protein shake with dark chocolate blackberry collagen (my favorite collagen product!), I use one scoop of that with 16oz nut milk and skip taking the unflavored peptides. Same with matcha collagen or collagen creamer: I really just have one “collagen thing” once a day.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein. It’s the protein that makes up our hair, skin, nails, and bones. Our bodies produce collagen on their own, but we also need to consume collagen in our diets in order to help increase our body’s store of collagen.
Why take a collagen supplement?
You don’t need a supplement to add collagen to your diet: you can consume collagen naturally through bone broth, certain types of fish, and really tough cuts of beef like oxtail. But because most modern diets don’t contain as much foods like these with naturally occurring collagen than previous generations, collagen supplements are now popular in helping to fill the gap.
What’s the benefit of a collagen supplement?
The benefits of a collagen supplement vary from person to person, so I explained my personal testimony above: but the primary claims are glowing skin, hair and nails that grow stronger, longer and faster, improved digestion, and satiety.
How are collagen supplements made?
Called “collagen peptides”, it’s produced from the bone, cartilage and connective tissue from animals (usually beef, sometimes fish). Thus why my husband calls my morning coffee with collagen “cow coffee”. Ha!
What does it taste like? And look like?
If you buy the right brand and store it the right way, unflavored collagen peptides are tasteless and odorless. They’ll dissolve in liquid and are also colorless. It looks like a fine white powder.
If you notice a taste in your collagen, it’s likely because you’ve stored it improperly, or it was shipped to you improperly. This happened to me once when I kept a canister by the coffee maker— the heat slightly dissolved the collagen in the canister, which caused it to have a taste and not dissolve properly. I’ve also noticed this can happen when people order their collagen from Amazon (even Vital proteins Collagen). I don’t think Amazon always ships items at neutral temperatures— so I recommend ordering it direct from the manufacturer or at a grocery store, where they’re careful not to get it too hot or too cold in transit.
MY FAVORITE COLLAGEN PRODUCTS
My favorite ever way to have collagen. It doesn’t taste like chocolate and fruit— I hate that combo! It actually tastes like sweetened chocolate (even though there’s no sugar added in it). I mix this in a blender bottle with 16oz unsweetened nut milk and drink it at the gym. Sometimes I’ll add a shot of espresso, or blend with ice and powdered almond butter for a little more fun! Buy it here.
The easiest and most common way to consume collagen. Dissolves in any kind of liquid and is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. I usually add a scoop to my morning coffee or evening tea. I prefer to add it to hot beverages: when adding to an iced beverage I usually dissolve the collagen in a bit of hot water and pour the dissolved bit into the iced drink (it’s just easier that way IMO). Buy it here.
I’ll admit a bit of obsession with making this iced in the summertime. I know plenty who make it year-round, and I’ve made it hot with unsweetened almond milk fairly often, but nothing beats drinking an iced matcha in the summertime— especially when it has your daily collagen in it! Vital Proteins also sells a peach flavor of matcha collagen, but I don’t care much for it. Original is the way to go! Buy it here.
I use this creamer most often when traveling, since it’s in powder form and also sold in single-use packs. While I do use nutpods creamer most days, every once and awhile I get really into collagen creamer (my favorite two flavors are mocha and vanilla). It’s less creamy and more buttery: probably from the coconut in it. It’s especially good with dark roast coffee, in my opinion! I also put the vanilla creamer in smoothies which is really yummy. Buy it here.
I hope this blog post answered your questions about collagen and my own experience with collagen!
Did this post help you decide to try collagen? Purchasing your collagen through the affiliate links on this post help to support my blog so I can continue to provide reviews like this.