All About Collagen / by lee tilghman

You guys have probably heard all the buzz about collagen peptides, and seen it in my recipes, but since it's a fairly "new" health trend, I'm sharing all there is to know about collagen in today's post. Consider this your beginner's guide to collagen

I've been taking collagen for nearly a year (11 months to the date tomorrow!) and am extremely passionate about not only it's health benefits, but the culinary aspect of collagen as well. It offers 20g of protein per serving and adds a wonderfully delectable creamy froth to my morning matcha lattes. Win-win. 

I don't take many vitamins or supplements, but collagen is one supplement I take daily.

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What is collagen?

Collagen is the cement that holds your body together. Collagen makes up approximately 30% of the proteins in our bodies.

According to the Vital Proteins website, "Collagen peptides are short chain amino acids naturally derived from pasture-raised, grass-fed collagen protein. Unlike gelatin, these peptides are soluble in cold liquids as well as hot. Collagen peptides contain the same amino acids as gelatin which are identical to the protein found in skin, nails, hair, bones, cartilage, and joints. Gluten Free, rBGH Free, (and) Non GMO."

There are 2 different types of collagen: Marine and Peptides. Marine collagen is derived from fish, while peptides are derived from grass-fed beef. 

Vital Proteins offers both marine collagen and collagen peptides. Both are unflavored. 

Vital Proteins offers both marine collagen and collagen peptides. Both are unflavored. 

What kind of collagen do you recommend?

I recommend using Vital Proteins collagen peptides. It's of the highest quality so you can ensure you are getting the best of the best. Their collagen is awesome - 20g of protein, flavorless, and goes great in hot and cold drinks as well as food.  I switch it up between the marine collagen and the collagen peptides.  

What are the health benefits of collagen?

Collagen is known to help leaky gut symptoms, control cortisol levels (stress hormone!), support your liver, and strengthen hair, skin, nails, and joints, and balance hormones because it is a great source of amino acids (arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline). According to FLO Living, we need these amino acids to produce healthy levels of hormones. Read more about collagen benefitting hormones here

this is what collagen looks like

this is what collagen looks like

Have you noticed a difference since taking collagen?

Personally, I first decided to try collagen after hearing some friends rave about its gut healing properties. At the time, I was struggling heavily with IBS and was so frustrated. My bloat, constipation and gas was effecting my self esteem and social life.

Collagen has been known to help repair the lining of our guts and improve digestion thereafter. So I decided to give it a go due to desperate measures. And, after taking it for 11 months, I can safely say it has helped me with food intolerances and healing my leaky gut like nothing else. It did not happen overnight, but with time, taking collagen daily has helped me become more tolerant of foods that used to trigger painful gas and bloat such as garlic and onions. 

Froth levels on FLEEK. 

Froth levels on FLEEK. 

It's also helped my hair grow longer, shinier, and faster. I've also noticed how rapidly my nails grow and how much stronger they are, even after getting gel manicures for years.  Lastly, my skin has immensely improved since taking collagen as well. I feel like it's cleared up and makes it glowy.

Collagen was also one of the first animal products I re-incorporated when I transitioned from veganism back to eating meat. Read the blog post here. 

I'd also say that collagen has helped me balance my hormones and re-gain a steady period. As a PCOS-er, this was a huge plus for me. 

What first drew me to collagen were the health benefits.  But I also love the way it makes my morning matchas so frothy and creamy. As you can tell with the photo to the right, by blending collagen directly into my hot morning matcha drinks, it adds a nice frothy thickness as well as 20g of protein. I love having these matcha drinks after a workout - they make me feel so energized. 

Is collagen vegan?

The collagen that I take is not vegan. Both marine (fish) and peptides (beef) collagen are derived from animals.

How do I take collagen? 

By far, the easiest and most fool-proof way to take collagen everyday (without forgetting) is by putting it in your morning beverages. I take collagen every single day (usually in the morning) in my morning matcha drinks. Some ideas for adding collagen to food are fat balls, smoothies, and pancakes. You can also add a few scoops of collagen peptides to my fat balls

Below are 3 easy recipes for collagen-filled herbal potions! All you do is blend the ingredients together in a high speed blender for a few minutes (or until frothy) and then drink up. 

From top left: spirulina, turmeric, and chaga lattes. all herbal and de-caffeinated! 

From top left: spirulina, turmeric, and chaga lattes. all herbal and de-caffeinated! 

Spirulina Latte:

  • 2 scoops Vital Proteins collagen peptides
  • 1/2 tsp spirulina
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter
  • 2 tbsp tocos or 1 tsp honey (for sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup hemp milk
  • 12 oz hot water 
  • blend for a few minutes or until frothy and boom!

Turmeric Latte:

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 scoops Vital Proteins collagen peptides
  • 14 oz hot water
  • sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper
  • blend for a few minutes or until frothy and boom!

Chaga Latte:

  • 2 scoops Vital Proteins marine collagen
  • 2 tsp chaga mushroom powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp MCT oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 14 oz. hot water
  • blend for a few minutes or until frothy and boom!

This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins, which also just happens to be my favorite brand of collagen. Thank you, VP for supporting my mission to share all things good in health!

How do you like your collagen?