When it comes to beauty and anti-aging, no substance is more buzzworthy than collagen. This key protein plays a role in everything from maintaining strong bones to keeping skin smooth and hydrated. As we age, natural collagen production declines which can result in drier skin, wrinkles, and sagging. Collagen supplements are especially popular among those interested in anti-aging skincare products. These powders, gels, and capsules — whatever the specific variety — all provide our bodies with additional collagen. But there are many different types of collagen supplements out there. With so many options available on the market today, it’s important to know what you’re buying before dropping your cash on one brand or another.
What is collagen exactly?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s found in everything from skin and hair to nails and teeth. Collagen’s main role is to support and strengthen your body’s tissues, so it’s especially important for maintaining youthful, healthy skin. The production of collagen naturally slows down as you age which can result in drier skin and reduced elasticity, leading to wrinkles and sagging. Collagen supplements provide your body with additional collagen to help maintain healthy skin. Collagen is a protein, meaning it has made up of amino acids. As you age, your body’s ability to create collagen naturally slows down. This is where taking a collagen supplement can come in handy.
Find out whether your body can benefit from collagen supplements
The first thing to look at before taking a collagen supplement is the condition of your body. If you have extremely dry skin and brittle nails, you may benefit from an extra collagen boost. Your body will also benefit from collagen if you have been recovering from surgery or other medical procedure where you’ve lost collagen due to the removal of tissue. If you have aged skin, low collagen levels are also likely to lead to wrinkles, sagging, and other age-related skin issues. If you have a diet rich in protein, you’re probably getting enough collagen. However, if you have trouble reaching this recommended intake, a collagen supplement may be useful.
Check the ingredients in your chosen supplement
Before dropping your cash on one collagen supplement or another, check the ingredients. Most supplements contain hydrolyzed collagen, which is collagen that has been broken down into smaller pieces that are easier for the body to absorb. Some products may contain collagen peptides, which differ from hydrolyzed collagen in that the collagen is not broken down. The type of collagen used in each supplement will depend on the desired effect. Your chosen collagen supplement should also be free of any allergens or questionable ingredients. Many collagen products contain preservatives such as BHA and BHT. These ingredients may be harmful if taken daily.
Make sure there’s no added MSG or other nasties
Many collagen products contain added flavor, sweeteners, and other ingredients that may be harmful to your health. Some products may even contain added monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which is known to cause negative side effects. If you have ever experienced negative effects after consuming a certain food, you may want to avoid collagen products that contain added flavor, sweeteners, and other additives. It’s also important to note that some collagen products may contain hydrolyzed gelatin. Although both collagen and gelatin come from pigs, hydrolyzed gelatin is free of any traces of pork protein, while collagen may contain it. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you should confirm that the collagen in your chosen supplement does not contain any traces of pork protein.
The best collage supplements: Our final thoughts
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing the best collagen supplement. The type of collagen used in the supplement, as well as the source of the collagen, can affect the overall effectiveness of the supplement. For best results, we recommend consuming 10 grams of hydrolyzed collagen daily. While most collagen products recommend taking between two and three tablets daily, our research has shown that 10 grams of hydrolyzed collagen are the optimal daily amount. Before spending your cash on a collagen supplement, make sure it ticks all the right boxes. A high-quality product will use high-quality ingredients to deliver the best results possible.