Collagen! Why, and does it work?
Collagen has been a huge trend in both cosmetics and supplements for some time now, with sales of collagen products expected to reach around $122 million in the US in 2018. While there has yet to be any large-scale studies on its effectiveness, there have been several small studies and an overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence, which makes me think that it's worth considering as part of a health a skin routine.
Personally, I like to consider things like collagen as part of a long-term strategy. Most people see some quick results, like improved hair and nails, better skin tone and hydration, but its use is also showing promising results in maintaining your bodies overall well-being since collagen is a protein utilized in nearly every part of your body. It's not called the bodies scaffolding for nothing. It has the potential to help you age better and maintain a stronger body, as well as help slow down your skin's aging.
Basically, its an investment in what you're going to look and feel like 10 years from now.
I've been experimenting with several brands of collagen in supplement form for about 8 months now and have found two brands that stand out, for different reasons. After I finished each of the brands I waited about 3 weeks before starting another brand to try to minimize any overlap between the effects of the supplements. I also finished at least one full bottle or container of each brand.
The first I tried is the much-publicized Vital Proteins unflavored collagen peptides. This brand has a huge variety when it comes to their collagen, but I found this one the simplest to use because of its lack of taste.
I used it in everything from my coffee to drinking it in smoothies or just straight with some water. It's probably the most versatile option. BUT. Its pricey for what you get. I bought two containers and it lasted me about a month because the serving size is two scoops, and you get around 20g of collagen per serving.
I did notice that my hair grew faster and my nails and skin definitely had a better quality, but it wasn't a huge improvement.
My other favorite is the Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Collagen. It costs the same as a container of the Vital protein, is almost twice the size but the serving size is a single scoop and you get 15g per scoop. So in terms of value for money, it's definitely the winner there. I also liked that its actually less processed than the other brand, which is ironically also its downfall because of the taste.
Since it's made directly from bone broth it has a distinct beefy taste that's very obvious if you take it with water. It's not too noticeable in coffee (or Teechino) and is quite well masked in smoothies.
I saw much more noticeable effects with this brand, including nails that seemed to be made from concrete and my skin looked and felt great! The biggest difference I noticed though is that I seemed to be recovering better from workouts and experiencing less of the niggly pains I have from previous ligament injuries. Once I stopped taking this I noticed a decline in pretty much all these effects within 2 weeks.
So I added it straight back into my routine.
I did try several pill based versions too but honestly, I wasn't taken with any of them. There are also some new ones that have turned up on the market that I'm interested in trying, but I will be continuing to take collagen as a permanent part of my routine.