It’s no surprise that collagen is widely used in health and beauty products – you’ll find it as an ingredient on plenty of supplement and cosmetic labels.
What you might not know is how important collagen is for keeping your entire body – not just your skin – healthy and vital.
Although there are about 20 different types of collagen in your body, Type 1 collagen is the most abundant. It’s found in your digestive system and bones, muscles and tendons, and in your blood vessels and skin.
As we grow older, however, the amount of collagen in our bodies plummets. Each year after age 20, your body produces one percent less collagen than the previous year.
This means that by age 50, we have much less collagen that in our 20s. This lack shows not only in our skin but in our bodies and health.
Here are a few ways collagen helps keep you healthy:
- Improves skin elasticity and tone
- Contributes to joint mobility
- Helps treat leaky gut syndrome
- Strengthens hair, teeth, and nails
- Increases liver health
- Protects your heart
With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why supplementing with collagen makes sense for general health. But not all collagen is created equal.
Let’s look at the distinctions among types and brands so you can choose the best collagen powder for your needs.
Easy Ways to Be Sure You’re Getting the Best Collagen Powder
It’s easy to choose the right collagen powder, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines.
Choose Your Collagen Type
Collagen is sourced from many animal sources including cows, chicken, fish, and eggs. Each of these collagen sources has specific benefits for health.
Choose the one you need most.
- Bovine collagen is mostly Types 1 and 3. It’s important for creating new muscle and helping your body produce its own collagen.
- Chicken collagen is rich in Type 2 collagen, which is best for building cartilage. This is good news for your joints, particularly since chicken collagen also provides bone builders chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate.
- Fish or marine, collagen is mostly Type 1, but it’s more easily absorbed than other sources. It’s also got several amino acids like proline, hydroproline, and glycine that contribute to heart and organ health.
- Eggshell membrane collagen is found in the whites and shells of eggs. With hyaluronic acid and other amino acids present, it’s great for protecting connective tissue and managing joint problems.
Choose Your Level of Bioavailability
Of these sources of collagen, marine collagen is the most easily absorbed by the human body.
However, there is another “type” of collagen available that is the most absorbable of all – collagen peptides.
“Collagen peptides” is simply the name for any of the above collagens that have been hydrolyzed, or treated with water, to make it more absorbable.
If you choose a hydrolyzed collagen powder, you’re automatically getting more bang for your buck, since you’ll be able to take less for the same benefit as a non-hydrolyzed type.
Choose Your Taste
As anyone who’s had a low-quality collagen drink can attest, they can be downright nasty – with a taste similar to rinsing your mouth with rawhide.
Most collagen powders fix this by adding sweeteners and flavors. However, the best collagen powders will only add natural flavors and sweeteners to their powders to preserve the health-giving benefits.
Artificial sweeteners have been associated with adverse health effects and should never be taken as part of your collagen regimen.
Instead, look for products sweetened with stevia or fruit juices for best results.
A Bonus Tip Regarding the Best Collagen Powder for You
Once you’ve determined what type of collagen you’d like to use, decided upon a hydrolyzed or non-hydrolyzed version, and picked a delicious, naturally-sweetened flavor, you’re almost there.
The last thing you’ll want to be aware of in choosing the best collagen powder is the sourcing of the collagen.
Any animal-derived collagen should be from grass-fed or pastured animals. In the case of marine collagen, it should come from wild-caught fish as opposed to farm-raised.
This will help protect you from any pesticides, hormones, or other toxins that can be present in commercially-raised animals and fish.
And that’s it – three simple, easy-to-follow guidelines that will help you choose the right collagen powder for your health and wellness regimen.
Bare Bones collagen peptides are made from 100% grass-fed bovine hides, are completely odorless and flavorless, and can be stirred into hot or cold beverages for easy consumption and absorption by your body.