Collagen supplements sound like some kind of airy-fairy trend for anti-aging. When it comes to anti-aging products, slathering on serums and creams can certainly help, but the best solution comes from within. Yes, collagen is your best line of defense against aging and science is here is to back it up!
But what is collagen? Are these products truly worth your cash? And, if so, what are the best collagen supplements on the market?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, especially type 1 collagen. It’s found in your muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. This powerful protein helps give your skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells.
Think of collagen kind of like the scaffolding for your skin, hair, nails and joints. It helps keep and hold the body together. Without it we begin to see those fine lines and wrinkles appear, our skin starts to sag, and joints become achy.
As we age your body’s collagen production naturally starts to slow down. Most women begin to experience this around the age of 30. When your body no longer produces collagen, and if you’re not getting enough from the foods you eat, you begin down the path of aging…
Physically you start looking older than your age, wrinkles begin to appear in spots where your skin was once tight and firm, and you look tired and worn out.
The problem is this aging process shouldn’t start so early, but it does because people aren’t getting enough collagen in their life. In fact, most people are getting zero.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of collagen and how you can easily improve your skin, hair, nails and joints.
Benefits of Collagen
The number one benefit of collagen is skin health and anti-aging. As you age collagen production drastically declines which leaves you with looser skin, more wrinkles and less elasticity. Collagen powder can help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness and help you skin cells renew and repair normally. It’s also known to help reduce cellulite and stretch marks.
Hair & Nails
If you’ve ever had peeling or splitting nails a lack of collagen could be the reason. Collagen is the building block of your fingernails, hair and teeth. It’s also been shown to potentially reverse the signs of hair loss.
Reduce Joint Pain
Do your joints feel extra stiff and cause pain when you move? When you lose collagen your tendons and ligaments start moving with less ease, leading to stiffness, swollen joints and more.
Best Collagen Supplements
Best Powder – Vital Proteins
The thing we love about Vital Proteins Collagen is they put extra care into sourcing their bovine collagen peptides. The cows used for production of their collagen peptides were raised in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership 5-step animal welfare rating standards. This is an important quality to look for when purchasing protein powders sourced from animals. In addition to the high quality grass-fed bovine collagen, Vital Proteins Collagen adds vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to increase absorption and natural promotion of collagen in the body.
Best for Gut Health – Ancient Nutrition
Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein is unique because it offers a blend of different collagen types from multiple food sources. They use collagen from fish, beef, chicken, and eggshell membrane. Ancient Nutrition contains collagen types I, II, III, V and X which make this collagen great for skin, gut and joint health!
Best Bar – Bulletproof
If you’re looking for fuel on-the-go Bulletproof Collagen Protein bars are your best choice! Along with the collagen protein from grass-fed cows these bars have Brain Octane oil and XCT oil to keep you performing with steady energy. The only drawback is they aren’t very specific with which types of collagen are included in the bar.
Best Marine – Amandean
Amandean Marine Collagen is made exclusively with wild-caught north Atlantic cod. Collagen from fish skin is the preferred choice as it is easier to extract the collagen from the soft skin as opposed to hard scales. This marine collagen contains type I and III collagen and is certified gluten-free and non-GMO.
Best Capsule – Code Age
While we generally recommend choosing powdered supplements over capsules, Code Age Multi Collagen Protein caught our eye. These high-quality veggie capsules contain a blend of grass-fed beef, chicken, wild caught fish, and eggshell collagens, providing collagen Types I, II, III, V and X.
What Collagen Type is Best?
Here is an overview of the different types of collagen and their primary benefits so you can decide which is best for you. Depending on the brand collagen supplements will have different mixtures of each of the collagen types.
Type 1 Collagen:
Most abundant in the human body and considered to be the strongest type of collagen. Type 1 collagen is the best for skin health because it’s made of fibers that form different parts of the body like tendons, ligaments, organs and skin. This type of collagen is important for wound healing and responsible for giving your skin its stretchy elastic quality.
Type 2 Collagen:
Primarily helps build cartilage which is found in connective tissues. The health of our joints is greatly determined by our cartilage. Type 2 collagen is great for preventing joint pain or arthritis symptoms.
Type 3 Collagen:
Made of reticular fibers and is a major component of the extracellular which makes up our organs and skin. Type 3 collagen is often found in Type 1 collagen and also helps to give your skin that elastic firm feel.
Type 4 Collagen:
Forms basal lamina which helps form tissue around organs, fat and muscle. Basal lamina lines the majority of your digestive organs and respiratory surfaces.
Type 5 Collagen:
Used to make the surface of cells, as well as hair strands and tissue found in placentas. (Organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy providing oxygen and nutrients to the baby and removes waste)
Type 10 Collagen:
Helps with new bone formation and forming cartilage. Beneficial for bone fracture healing and repairing of joints.