The Truth About Collagen Supplements

PSA, guys: you don't necessarily need animal-based collagen to help your body produce what it already does on its own. The logic is there - eating brains won't make you smarter, so does ingesting another mammal’s collagen really boost your glow? What's important to remember is that our bodies naturally produce collagen on their own in order to support healthy functioning like lubricating our joints and maintaining our skin's elasticity. But as we age, our bodies begin to produce less and less collagen - about 1% less each year after age 20, and by age 40, studies have shown that our bodies begin breaking down collagen faster than they can replace it. Yikes.

Enter collagen peptides: these babies, available in powder form, liquids, gummies – what have you, have certainly been exploding all over the place as of late; it's no wonder everyone wants in on the hype. But is the proof really in the pudding? Before we dive in to all of that, let’s first walk through how our bodies actually produce collagen on a daily basis.

Collagen is a protein in the body that is made up of three things: Vitamin C, minerals, and building blocks called amino acids. Without Vitamin C, however, the amino acids can’t create the proper structure to form collagen, so it is essential for us to intake enough Vitamin C in order for our bodies to be able to produce and maintain necessary collagen levels. As mentioned before, your body already produces collagen as a part of its natural functioning; essentially, your body absorbs Vitamin C and minerals from your diet and transforms them into collagen with the help of amino acids like Glycine, Lysine, and Proline. Okay, so we’re not scientists, but this all makes complete sense.

After understanding the process of how our bodies work and function with collagen, the obvious task at-hand is to ensure we’re getting adequate amounts of Vitamin C and daily minerals (more so of which we will need as we get older) in order to help our bodies continue to produce collagen at an optimal rate. So why ingest collagen rather than just supporting its innate production?

Though some studies have shown the benefits of ingesting collagen from an animal, we feel the need to be wary of these particular supplements; the studies that have been conducted were limited to very small test groups, not to mention that these supplements aren't currently regulated by the FDA. But what really gets us are the sources of animal-based collagen, which can be quite disturbing even for non-vegans. It’s true: collagen sourced from cows and chickens comes from various parts of the animal including their hooves, bones, hides, and nerve tissue. Not sure about you, but when we think ‘cow hooves’, we think mud and poo (aka trace contaminants). Though we’re not trying to knock anything out there, just make sure you’re getting your collagen supplements from reputable sources if you decide to go this route. Ps, marine-sourced collagen is also available if the idea of fish makes you feel a bit better than cows and chickens. That being said, if you’re more like us (paranoid AF), you’d err on the side of supporting your body’s natural production of collagen through plant-based means, rather than just ingesting another mammal's collagen to (hopefully) boost your own. Plant-based collagen supplements also come with a plethora of added benefits beyond just collagen stimulation, so we're seeing it as a win-win situation.

So what exactly are plant-based collagen boosters? These vegan supplements are made with a variety of plant powders and extracts that help your body not only produce collagen through a dose of Vitamin C and other superfood ingredients, but also add a flood of wonderful ingredients that serve other health-boosting functions for your body such as fighting free radicals to prevent cellular damage, as well as helping with digestive support and maintaining a healthy brain function.

After looking at many ingredient labels and not truly finding something that contained absolutely everything we were looking for to support not only collagen production but our overall health as well, we figured, why not create our own? This might seem pretty ambitious to some, but we just call it being stubborn. And it worked. We created our Glowberry Vegan Collagen Support with all of the ingredients that we personally wanted in a plant-based supplement: adaptogenic mushrooms and herbs, amino acids, Vitamin C, superfoods, Matcha (because we're obsessed with Matcha - aren't you?), a sweetener that wasn't Stevia, and naturally-derived coloring. Okay, so maybe we're a little high maintenance when it comes to our supplements. But we made it with all of the right intentions, and then some (you can learn more here).

And while you don't need to run and grab our supplement in particular, just promise us you'll keep an eye on the ingredient labels of your next collagen booster to make sure you’re getting the super-dose of ingredients you intend. Some formulas contain adaptogenic mushrooms, while others contain superfoods like Goji Berries. Just ensure the blend you choose contains an adequate dose of Vitamin C and minerals that we talked about earlier. Of course as with anything, it’s extremely important to eat a healthy diet full of vibrant fruits and vegetables, on top of your collagen support of-choice. Maintain this routine, and your body is sure to boost supple skin, luscious hair, and strong, shiny nails.

Vegan collagen support? Check. Healthy diet? Check. Always staying hydrated? Check. Alright, I think we’re done here. Over and out, collagen-lovers.

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