What is all the collagen hubbub about?

Collagen is naturally produced in the human body and provides structural support for connective tissue, muscle and skin. Simply put, it helps your joints move well, promotes gut health, encourages muscle growth, keeps you from getting injured, grows hair and nails and helps keep your skin supple with good elasticity.

GREAT, you say? Well, sort of. One of the fun things about ageing, besides our metabolism slowing down (rude) is that our bodies stop making the amount of collagen we need. We appear older than we probably are, our skin looks dull and has more visible wrinkles and we start feeling achy all the time, especially after we sleep. What’s a young-at-heart person to do?

Enter the fun, confusing and expensive world of supplements! They promise the world, but what do they really offer in the way of helping ease joint pain, get rid of wrinkles and grow strong hair and nails? Who can you trust, which brand should you try? Bovine or marine? What does “hydrolized” mean and why do I care?

Let’s take a look at some of the top brands, their claims and how they can help you.

Keep in mind that almost NOTHING supplement-wise works when you do it once. You’ll need to try adding collagen to your morning shake (or coffee or tea, the good brands are colorless, tasteless and dissolve immediately) for about THIRTY DAYS before you see any results. But the good news is, there is a great chance you actually will see results. Collagen has been around for a while and the market has gotten much better as demand has grown. Let’s dig in.

Before we go any further, I will tell you I use two different kinds and for two different purposes. You don’t have to use both, one is usually enough, but as a fit pro, I usually do 2-3 times more than regular people do of physical work in a day, which is harder on my body. I am a personal trainer, a group fitness instructor and I do my own workouts. It’s a lot and not necessary for the average person.

One of the brands I use I have no affiliation with, the other I do. Just wanted to give you full disclosure, I am promoting these because they BOTH work for me, one I actually do represent. As with any of the brands I use, if they work, I will tell you and if they don’t, I will tell you that too.

Bovine vs Marine

Yep… ground up cow bones and connective tissue or fish bones, you get to pick. Sounds gross, but so is gelatin and we seem to eat a ton of that. These days, more in shot form, but I digress.

So, if you’re an omnivore, which I currently am, then Bovine is for you. Bovine is the most potent and effective.

If you’re Pescatarian, then go with the Marine. If you’re a vegan, you’re not completely out of luck, but there are a few brands you can try. Keep in mind, collagen is a protein so you’ll need to find it in your current sources of vegan proteins you get in your diet. Here is an article explaining more about Vegan Collagen.

Hydrolyzed Vs Non-Hydrolyzed

You can go down this scientific wormhole forever, there are a lot of different levels of hydrolization, but most people find that hydrolyzed collagen is easier on their stomachs. Basically, it means the amino acids have been broken down so it is easier to digest.

Does it work?

Yes. It actually does work. How well, depends on you, your body, chemical make up and needs, but yes, it does do what it says it does.

Top Brands

My two “go to” brands are Vital Proteins which you can buy directly from them, find on Amazon or, if you’re lucky like me, I found a HUGE tub at Costco for what I usually pay for the small one. I like this brand for a lot of reasons. It has 20 grams of protein, which I need after a workout anyway. It doesn’t taste like anything, so I can just add it to water and boom. DONE. I like easy and fast. I am busy and don’t make extra time for things that don’t need it. I am Extra enough on my own, trust me.

My other brand, which I DO represent is a surprise for me, and in a good way. Since I was already taking a collagen supplement, I wasn’t sure I needed another one, but this was specifically formulated for growing hair and nails, two things I struggle with.

My hands get pretty beat up in the gym and my nails are always jagged and broken. This helps keep them strong and not as brittle. I also have very fine hair that is snatched up in a ponytail all the time, so I will take whatever help I can get.

I have tried the Livewill brand, Essential Elements brand and the Sports Research brand. None performed as well for my body and they had a lingering taste or didn’t mix/dissolve well. I encourage you to try a few, for 30 days and see how you do and which brand works for you. Links to the ones I like are in the above text.

Feel free to email me with any questions at jenjaxon@jen.fit or find me on Facebook and Instagram @JenJaxon I will always be honest with you since I have been through most of the garbage to find the winners. No need for you to have to do the same, unless you really want to.

References to more articles and information below. Always look to see if the article is written by an affiliate. Everyone should disclose this information, if so.

What is Collagen? Medical News Network
The Best Collagen Supplements of 2019 Smarter Reviews
What To Know About Collagen Supplements Medical News Today
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Beachbody Collagen Boost

If you’d like to workout with me and are local to DC, we can train at Vida Fitness Navy Yard. If you aren’t local, we can still work together via the interwebs! Set up a totally free consultation call with me here.

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