There’s no denying that collagen peptides have taken the health + wellness world by storm lately. Bloggers and ‘grammers galore have been posting about this dietary supplement for awhile now, but what exactly is it? Why are people so obsessed with it? How can you incorporate it into your diet? Let’s get down to business. (If you didn’t just sing the Mulan song in your head while reading that, can you be trusted?)
What are collagen peptides?
Collagen peptides are (apologies if this is obvious) a form of collagen. So what’s collagen? It’s a structural protein made of amino acids (glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine) found in animal and human bodies. Collagen is essentially the glue that holds us together—it’s the main fiber in connective tissue. “Peptides” simply refers to the short chains of amino acids. Collagen peptides are made from bovine cartilage, aka not vegetarian or vegan.
So if we already have collagen in our bodies, why would we want to ingest more? Collagen production is at it’s highest in our early lives, as our bones are growing, and peaks around age 20, at which point the production of collagen starts to slow down; hence, wrinkles and joint pain as we get older. Which brings us to…
What are the health benefits?
Since collagen is a protein, collagen peptides are a great source of digestible, nutrient-dense protein. For example, 100% grass-fed Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (our brand of choice) contain 15g of protein per scoop. Sure, you might get more protein from a protein powder supplement, but you might also struggle to digest said protein powder due to unnecessary fillers or additives.
Collagen has been proved to improve skin elasticity and overall hydration, leaving study participants with younger looking skin. It’s also been proven to contribute to strengthening joints and bones, and has been said to help strengthen hair and nails.
It’s important to note, however, that collagen peptides are not a magical powder and will not, on their own and/or in a short period of time, make cellulite disappear. Visual results from collagen peptides likely won’t be dramatic. But knowing that they are a great source of [gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, paleo-friendly, and Whole30-approved] protein—and proven to combat the effects of the gradual collagen decline in the human body—is enough to convince us.
How can you use collagen peptides?
One of the best things about collagen peptides is that you can add them to just about anything. At the most basic level, collagen peptides can easily be added to drinking water—they are flavorless and will dissolve in hot or cold liquids. Another easy way to get your collagen peptides fix is to add a scoop to your morning coffee, tea or matcha latte. You can also add collagen peptides to your smoothies, like we did in our Green Dream Smoothie recipe. Another way to sneak collagen into your diet could be through energy bites (protein bites, macro bites, fat balls, yadda yadda). Give our Chocolate Spice Macro Bites a try, and add a scoop while you’re at it. If you’re someone who likes to bake (disclaimer: we are not bakers), you can even add collagen to your baked goods—breads, cookies, pancakes, you name it.
So, who’s ready for a big ol’ scoop of collagen peptides?
This post is part of our WTF series—where we’ll break down some of the latest food, fitness, and health + wellness trends blowing up your Instagram feed.