Aging is inevitable- "Father Time" is undefeated and things happen beyond our control that can inhibit our day-to-day operations so-to-speak. At the age of 25, our body's collagen production starts to decrease by 1.5% per year, contributing heavily to aging, but there may be a way to combat that.
Collagen is a group of proteins that make up 30% of the 100,000 types of proteins that exist in the human body and 70% of the protein in our skin. From the time we are born, our body produces adequate collagen, keeping us youthful, vibrant and flexible. As time goes on, we begin to wrinkle, our joints weaken and as we've all seen in older relatives and aging folks, our ability to perform near-idle tasks like picking up the mail or changing a light bulb can become a challenge.
Collagen acts as the adhesive that keeps our bones, ligaments, joints, cartridge and blood vessels healthy and is the protein responsible for keeping our skin firm- preventing wrinkles and blemishes. It is made up of amino acids; glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and andarginine. It is an active ingredient in many cosmetic and beauty products, as well as a powdered or capsuled supplement. I'd be lying if I said I haven't taken a face mask from girlfriend's collection, planted myself on the couch with cucumbers on my eyes and nodded out into another world, but that's not what I'm talking about here. What I'm a proponent of is supplementing with collagen through dietary means and here are some of the best ways I've learned to do so.
Bone broth is made by simmering the bones of cows, chicken or fish with water and an acidic compound such as apple cider vinegar, to excrete gelatin from deep within the bones.
Bone broth is the gold standard of digestible collagen. Bone broth is made by simmering the bones of cows, chicken or fish with water and an acidic compound such as apple cider vinegar to excrete gelatin from deep within the bones. Ideally, the bones are to be simmered for 24-48 hours, not ideal for a quick fix, but great of you're a plan-ahead, meal prep'er type like myself. You can also buy bone broth online and in stores. I highly recommend Kettle and Fire, a brand that uses the bones of grass-fed cows and delivers a delicious broth (quickly) cooked with an array of organic vegetables containing essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Collagen Protein Powders
Taking high quality collagen promotes collagen synthesis in the body restoring aged collagen to its former state and improves the appearance of skin and bone/blood vessel health, countering the effects of aging.
There are many different forms of collagen available online and in stores. As an Amazon Prime junkie and self-proclaimed biohacker, I've tried many. Among several forms of collagen, collagen peptides (or hydrolysate) materializes as a flavorless, odorless, thin powder that dissolves instantly in pretty much anything hot or cold. Collagen hydrolysate, unlike whey protein is perffectly heat-stable, making it a great addition to your morning tea or cup of joe. Protein in the morning can also help you to feel fuller for longer. It rocks in smoothies, mixed into yogurt or even in the milk you use to pour over your cereal.
Another form of powdered collagen is called gelatin. It pretty much will make whatever you mix it with- "gel". Gelatin offers the same benefits as hydrolized collagen, but is preferable in baking and some cooking. My favorite way to use gelatin is in a pumpkin pie I make during the holidays or when "carbing up".
One thing all of the powdered products had in common are that they're all totally flavorless making it extremely easy to get collagen in virtually any recipe- meal or beverage. I use it almost every day in coffee to get my daily dose, and I've noticed pretty dramatic results. One serving of collagen protein is about 45 calories, zero fat, zero carbohydrates and 11 grams of protein. A serving a day can keep wrinkles away!
I highly recommend two specific collagen bars as well, I usually have at least one of these two on me at all times. Those are Primal Kitchen's Seasalt Macademia Nut Bars and Bulletproof Vanilla Shortbread Collagen Protein Bars. They both deliver quality protein along with healthy fats and pack a low-carb, gut healing punch that's hard to beat. Both brands come in a bunch of different flavors, but those are my favorite.
Capsule forms of collagen are available on the market as well. They are available in types 1, 2 and 3. I have yet to use them, but as time goes on, I might. Collagen can be found in multivitamins, capsules and gummies.
This superstar protein should be a consideration in any athletic, recovery or beauty regimen. It is relatively cheap, at about $0.68 per serving and is available in several forms, depending on what you prefer. I usually go with a combination of all the above, minus the capsules. Whether you start adding it to your coffee, soup or green juice, 50 years from reading this you're body might seriously thank you!