What are collagen peptides? Why do you take them? Should I take them?
These are questions I get asked pretty much every time I give you guys a peek at my morning routine on insta-stories… and they are all valid questions! You should know what you’re putting into your body!
I personally started taking Vital Proteins collagen peptides a little over a year ago. It was something I was hearing a lot of buzz around in the wellness space, so obviously I wanted to see what the fuss was about. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely convinced at first. But as someone who likes to eat more plant based, and who doesn’t eat red meat at all – the thought of easily incorporating collagen protein into my diet was intriguing.
But before we dive into collagen peptides, let’s talk about plain old collagen. To put it simply, it’s the substance that holds the body together. It can be found in the skin, bones, muscles, and connective tissues. It’s what gives our skin elasticity, strength, and even a little glow because it helps replace dead skin cells. It also helps keep our joints nice and healthy. Unfortunately, our bodies produce less and less collagen as we age… hence why wrinkles start to appear, our joints become more stiff, and our skin starts to sag. In addition to aging, this can also happen even quicker if you don’t take good care of yourself. If you’ve been smoking cigarettes or consuming too much sugar, cut that out ASAP!
But what about collagen peptides?
Collagen peptides supply amino acids that are needed to build new collagen, like Glycine and Proline. Collagen peptides also help maintain and restore the protein content of the muscle – making it a really smart pre/post workout choice. Plus there’s no sugar in it, unlike a lot of other typical protein powders/supplements out there.
These peptides are amino acids that have been derived from pasture-raised, grass fed bovine hides. If that is outside of your comfort zone, I understand! It seemed strange for me to say no to beef, but yes to Vital Proteins collagen peptides all the time, so I gravitated towards their marine collagen as well. Now I switch off between the two – and even though I’m not sure if that’s entirely necessary, it works for me!
How do you consume collagen peptides?
I usually mix the collagen peptides or marine collagen right into my coffee, and/or blend it into my smoothies. If I don’t do that, it’s usually because I had a cup of Vital Proteins Matcha instead, which has collagen in it.
Can you taste it?
What are the benefits?
Cosmetically, collagen peptides promote younger looking skin by reducing fine lines, preventing the formation of deep wrinkles, and improving skin moisture levels. It also strengthens our hair and supports nail growth. Internally, it helps your bone and joint health, as well as your gut health. In fact, collagen contains 18 amino acids that can help increase stomach acid, heal stomach ulcers, aid digestion, and heal/seal the gut lining. Vital Proteins has a great article about these benefits on their site – I highly recommend checking it out if you’re interested in reading more!
How long before you started noticing a difference?
I personally didn’t see “results” right away. It’s not something you add to your coffee one morning and wake up the next feeling and looking different. That being said, about a month in, I started noticing some changes.
What were the biggest changes you saw?
My hair has always been very thin, and this has definitely helped it get stronger, healthier, and even a little thicker. I can also go months in between hair cuts now, because I rarely get split ends. Plus, it grows faster! All around good things for the hair.
I’ve also noticed a difference in my skin. Collagen is essentially the protein that keeps your skin looking youthful. It gives it the elasticity and glow that we all want. I’ve always had a “young face” so I love that this is an easy way to keep that part of my identity ? As a 31 year old, I aways appreciate healthy preventative steps rather than dramatic anti-aging treatments!
And of course, my nails! I don’t think my nails have ever been this strong. Who wouldn’t want that? I also like to believe that it helps my gut health too, although that’s a little bit harder to pinpoint.
What makes some collagen from certain companies better than others?
I think it’s all about reading ingredients and researching the brands you want to try. Vital Proteins has always been my go-to because they’ve always been very transparent about their products and ingredients. I also love that they have headquarters in Chicago, and you can purchase all of their products on their website, Amazon.com, or even at Whole Foods!
Whats the difference between the beauty water mix and regular collagen mix? Same benefits?
The Beauty Waters are basically collagen + some, and they vary based on the flavor you get. I personally love that they have the addition of probiotics! Here are a few examples:
- Lavender Lemon includes 10 grams of marine collagen, organic lavender, organic lemon, hyaluronic acid and probiotics.
- Melon Mint includes 10 grams of marine collagen, organic peppermint, real honeydew melon, hyaluronic acid and probiotics.
- Strawberry Lemon Collagen Beauty Water contains 20 grams of bovine collagen peptides, organic strawberry, organic lemon, hyaluronic acid, and probiotics.
Does it provide a good source of protein for plant based eaters?
If by plant based, you mean that you try to eat more veggies than meat – yes! If by plant based, you mean strict vegetarain – definitely NOT!
What would be a comaprable substitute for vegetarians?
Unfortunately, you need to go a different route if you are a vegetarian – but there are still options! First of all, you can make adjustments to your diet. This article has a great list of vegetarian food sources that increase collagen production. You can also find supplements with ingredients that help you naturally produce collagen. The most interesting one I’ve found is silica. Silica actually boosts collagen production by 50%!! If I was a vegetarian, I’d start there (this one looks good!), but definitely do some research on your own. There’s tons of information out there!
What do you mix the matcha green tea with?
Just to warn you – this is not a super concise recipe, but it does the trick! I start by heating some water in my tea kettle, and adding a scoop of matcha to a mug. Once the water is heated, add a few tablespoons of water to the matcha in your mug. Whisk until all of the matcha powder is dissolved, then add more water – about 3/4 of your mug. After that, I add a few tablespoons of almond milk or coconut creamer. If I’m feeling like I want a treat, I’ll also add a few drops of a vanilla stevia sweetener I have. And that’s it! So easy, and so good!
What is the recommended amount of collagen that a person should take?
I personally use one scoop of Vital Proteins collagen peptides or marine collage each day. That translates to about 10 grams. According to my research, that’s pretty normal – but as I always say, every body is different! Feel free to experiment and/or ask questions until you figure out what’s right for you.
Are there any side effects or cons?
I had a follower tell me that she had an awful reaction to collagen peptides – stomach ache and more. After hearing that, I did some googling and found this article about side effects. Turns out collagen supplements can contain a high amount of calcium, and too much calcium in the body can cause constipation, fatigue, nausea, and more. I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, so I really can’t speak any further about these side effects. All I can say is that you should listen to your body and pay attention to how it reacts to what you put in there!
What do you think of Vital Proteins’ other products?
As I mentioned above, I’m a BIG fan of their matcha. It comes in original and peach, and while I’m partial to original, I love them both. I’ve also tried their collagen creamer, which comes in super convenient to-go packets for when you’re traveling! And lastly, I just got their Strawberry Lemon Beauty Water recently. I’ll admit that I don’t really love it alone in water, but I think adding a little fresh lemon squeeze and some unsweetened iced tea would be delicious. I also think it would be great in a refreshing summer smoothie – something with coconut water instead of almond milk. Maybe throw some watermelon in there, too? Lots of ideas to try…
Do you have any other questions about collagen?
Would you like to see any particular kinds of recipes using these products? I’m all ears! And if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, check out VitalProteins.com or shop the widget below:
*This post was sponsored by Vital Proteins, but (as always) all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that make Lake Shore Lady possible!