Move over, cream and sugar – I’ll take collagen with my coffee!
Collagen, the most abundant protein in mammals, is taking the health and food industries by storm. Already a staple in beauty products for decades, the protein can now be ingested. The bold idea of adding collagen powder to food and drinks has been around for years, but recent research points to a number of health benefits from usage, including skin de-aging and bone quality improvement.
Collagen powder is a tasteless substance, so adding this hot new “it” supplement to your food and drink is practically foolproof. Many products and natural food sources are also rich in collagen. Therefore, incorporating it into your diet is not as challenging as it seems.
Some of the best-known benefits include skin elasticity, hydration, and anti-aging.
Several studies prove how collagen makes skin smooth, supple, and youthful. In 2015, MINERVA Research Labs in the United Kingdom published a study called, “Effects of a Nutritional Supplement Containing Collagen Peptides on Skin Elasticity, Hydration and Wrinkles”. The study revealed that the combination of hydrolyzed collagen and certain ingredients resulted in a positive effect on skin, including anti-aging, hydration, elasticity and fewer wrinkles.
An even earlier study published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health in 2013 tested dietary supplements that claimed anti-aging properties for skin. They found that specific peptides in collagen hydrolysate (CH) also positively affected skin elasticity without any side effects.
Another NIH study published in 2015 revealed the positive effects of CH as a dietary supplement in relation to joint pain and inflammation. In this study, subjects either belonged to a varsity team or played a club sport. These athletes experienced reduced joint pain – or no pain at all – without any negative impact on their athletic performance.
Collagen in Your Food
In recent years, collagen-enhanced food and drinks have proliferated. (Bone broth, anyone?) But in addition to already collagen-rich foods, other collagen-enhanced products have become more readily available.
While the body naturally produces collagen, this amount decreases as a person ages. It is one of the reasons people develop wrinkles, sagging skin, and even joint pain as they get older. To encourage collagen production, experts advise ingesting foods like bone broth, berries, sulfur-rich foods like garlic and onions, fish loaded with omega-3s, grass-fed meat, and vegetables–especially leafy greens.
To aid these foods in collagen production, one can take supplements or consume collagen-enhanced foods and drinks. There are numerous products available in the market today. Some of the most notable ones are:
Vital Proteins Collagen Products
Vital Proteins offers a variety of collagen products including flavored Collagen Peptides, Collagen Creamer, Matcha Collagen, and Collagen Sports Greens. Their products are natural sources of “essential proteins, sourced from pasture-raised cows in Brazil and New Zealand and wild-caught fish in Hawaii.”
Sparkle Collagen Peptide Supplement
Sparkle’s Collagen Peptide Supplement contains Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C and is clinically proven to improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles. The orange-flavored, 30-day supply can be easily incorporated into your morning routine by adding it to water, smoothies or tea.
Dirtylemon Beauty Elixir
Dirtylemon’s Beauty Elixir is a daily tonic formulated to hydrate and tighten skin, increase elasticity and reduce wrinkles. The effective formula includes organic lemon juice, ocean minerals, and pink Himalayan sea salt. Each beverage contains less than 20 calories and only 1g of sugar (found in lemon juice).
YANA Daily Collagen Shots by Image Skincare
This 16-ounce bottle of Yana Daily Collagen Supplement provides a one month supply. Take a daily liquid shot to deliver skin nutrition to support your body’s collagen. Image Skincare is a professional line backed by clinical results. “Created by an esthetician, formulated by a plastic surgeon, IMAGE is dedicated to helping its customers Age Later.”
Reserveage Nutrition’s products are designed to kickstart the natural processes of your body and defend against collagen deterioration. Some of our favorite products in their lineup include Bone Broth Boost, Freshwater Collagen Powder, Beauty Shot with collagen peptides, and Collagen Beautea.
Primal Kitchen’s Collagen Protein Bars
Primal Kitchen Collagen Protein Bars are made with real ingredients and are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and whey and soy-free. “The collagen protein used in Primal Kitchen Coconut Cashew Bars is collagen hydrolysate from grass-fed cows, which is broken down into individual amino acids and easier to absorb and digest.” They offer a variety of flavors, but we like the Macadamia Sea Salt protein bars that offer 7.5 grams of collagen.
Collagen + Coffee
Ketogenic creamer brand Know Brainer has also jumped on the collagen train with their partnership with Nestlé. Know Brainer and Nestlé have since announced their creamers will now feature added collagen. “Nestlé sees a lot of promise in functional foods and beverages to solve a real consumer need,” said Ashlee Adams, Nestlé USA’s Head of Open Innovation.
Through consumer insight, as well as Nestlé’s guidance, Know Brainer developed 10-serving 16-ounce multi-serve package sets. Available in full dairy and casein/lactose-free varieties, they plan to debut the collagen-rich products at the Natural Products Expo West this March.
Many trendy juice shops and cafes are beginning to offer collagen-enhanced drinks as well. One of the best reasons to add collagen to coffee is because its combined makeup allows the body to easily absorb proteins, making the drink even more beneficial.
Stephanie Eckelkamp, a writer at Prevention magazine, tried adding flavorless collagen powder to her coffee. She praised it, saying adding two scoops of collagen to her coffee gave her positive results as well. She tried drinking coffees and smoothies with added collagen for a month and reported that she stayed full longer – enough to tide her over until lunch rolled around. In addition, she experienced a number of other health benefits, like better joints and skin.
One of Ancestralize Me’s holistic nutritionists, Laura Schoenfeld, RD, said heat does not affect collagen’s benefits. As such, using collagen powder or a collagen-enhanced creamer like Know Brainer’s or Vital Proteins’ is completely beneficial. Alternatively, people can add collagen to tea, yogurt, soups, pancakes, salad dressing, or even water with lemon. In fact, as collagen is both odorless and tasteless, and dissolves well in both hot and cold temperatures, people can add it to practically any food or drink.