Collagen products are booming right now … drinks, powders, capsules and creams – you name it, it’s out there. Consuming it may have a variety of health benefits, so read on to know why there is such a hype around it.
Collagen is a fibrous protein that’s a vital part of your skin’s health, keeping it youthful, elastic and resilient. But this protein, found throughout our bodies, has many more far-reaching benefits than simply helping to reverse the effects of ageing.
From your muscles and bones to your skin and tendons, collagen provides the strength and elasticity that allows you to function. In essence, collagen is the ‘glue’ that both holds you together and helps you move.
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We chatted to skin therapist, and owner of Heaven on Earth Skin, Body, Laser Studio, Rachel Rodriguez, who gave us the scoop on all thing’s collagen.
‘Your body naturally produces the collagen it needs when you’re young but production starts to decline at about the age of 30, so it is worthwhile to invest in high-quality collagen products,’ she says. But, she added, while it might seem more convenient to pop a pill daily, the best way to take collagen is via a liquid supplement, that is, a collagen drink.
‘Sipping collagen, rather than applying it topically or injecting it, provides the entire body with the foundational and building blocks it needs to support the creation and repair of the body’s connective tissues. Providing your entire system with collagen can help kick start its developmental abilities again.’
It’s important to look for hydrolysed collagen – it’s a process whereby collagen is broken down into small peptide chains that make it more bioavailable – that means your body can use them more quickly and easily. They’re more effective at helping to repair muscles, improve skin elasticity, and keep joints healthy.
For the highest quality, choose collagen products made from organic and grass-fed cows, or sustainably sourced seafood. Pure collagen should be colourless when mixed with water and virtually tasteless – unless, obviously, you’re using a blend that includes flavours, extracts, or other ingredients. If it has a yellowish or brownish colour or an ‘off’ taste, it’s likely lower in quality.
To get the most out of your supplement without ingesting the evils of artificial sweeteners or sugar additives, the smartest choice would be to go for an unsweetened, sugar-free, and unflavoured form.
Benefits may – and often do – include the improvement of skin, hair, nail, gut, joint and muscle health and may aid in weight loss or management.
When is the best time to take collagen? Some recommend consuming collagen on an empty stomach before your stomach acid has the chance to break down the collagen peptides. Others believe it’s best to take collagen right before going to bed since your body replenishes your skin as you sleep. The truth is, collagen can be taken at any time of the day.
Add some collagen to your morning coffee, or mix some into a smoothie. Over time, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what this little protein can do.
With so many supplements on the market today, it can be hard to make choices concerning your health and well-being. Here’s some of our fave products:
Pure collagen quality … just a click away!
We’re loving the huge variety of collagen products available from The Harvest Table – from creamers, powders and granules to an easy-to-follow starting kit. They even have a vegan option as well! Some of the products are perfect to add to smoothies and shakes, some for baking and cooking. Try the Collagen Loading Kit – 30 day transformation which includes two packets of 700g Pure Collagen Granules (R1 410). Or go with the Pure Collagen.Xthat contains age-defying Astaxanthin. It is six thousand times stronger than Vitamin C, plumping out wrinkles, smoothing pores and nourishing you from deep within, making you stronger. R520 for 325g. We’ve tried this brand, and it works wonders on hair and nail growth. Details: harvesttable.co.za
For vivacious vegans
Natural Living’s Vegan Collagen Boosting Protein Powderis formulated using 100 per cent plant-based ingredients to naturally promote collagen production. It is a blend of superfoods consisting of all nine essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals your body and skin need to boost your collagen level and build fibroblasts. R275 for 250g. Details: naturalliving.co.za
Also definitely worth a try:
• Beauty Gen Pure Hydrolysed Peptan Collagen Sachet in Blueberry flavour is good for your skin, hair and nails. R27.50 from Dis-Chem
• Mojo Me Pure Collagen Peptides is a highly bioavailable source of 18 amino acids which are essential for the strength and lustre of skin, hair, nails, tendons, joints and bones. R339 from www.faithful-to-nature.co.za
• Collagen Lift Paris Red Carpet is a drinkable collagen supplement containing hyaluronic acid. Providing plumpness, it is clinically proven to reduce wrinkles by 50 per cent and contains no sugar. R995 from Dis-Chem.
• Enjoy a Golden collagen latte that packs 10g of Hydrolysed Bovine collagen, and functional ingredients like Magnesium and Selenium for restful sleep, healthy skin and joints and digestive support. R299 from www.plushy.co.za