Let’s talk collagen for a minute, shall we? Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein. You need it for healthy skin, nails, hair, bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Our collagen production decreases about 1% per year after age 20, so supplementing collagen can help you fight wrinkles, bone loss, and joint pain. As someone who knows all of these things from living with fibromyalgia and osteoporosis I have been using a collagen supplement for a few years now.
How Much Collagen Do You Need?
As we start losing this critical protein in our 20s, we need to start adding a supplement into our diet. Below are some common benefits from collagen, and some suggested levels you need. (Reference: JJ Virgin’s blog.)
- Fight signs of aging – Collagen can help with those fine lines and sagging skin. “After age 20, adding 5g of collagen daily is a great way to maintain optimal collagen levels. Add 10g or more per day to smooth out wrinkles and sagging after they’ve started.” (5-10g per day)
- Improve Mobility and Flexibility – Losing collagen breaks down cartilage that protects those joints, so adding collagen will reduce joint pain and stiffness and make you more flexible. (10 g per day)
- Fight Osteoporosis – Adding collagen can help prevent the bone loss and improve density that is associated with Osteoporosis. This can help prevent fractures associated with falls as we age. (5 g per day)
- Support a Healthy Heart – Collagen helps keep arteries smooth just like our skin and tendons. And it’s been shown to increase the good cholesterol levels in our blood! (16 g per day)
- Aid Muscle Recovery – Collagen can boost muscle growth and aid in recovery. So adding it to your pre-workout coffee or post-workout smoothie makes sense. And if you’re recovering from an injury or surgery – this just might help you heal faster! (15g per day)
- Support a Healthy Gut – Collagen can protect your digestive tract from becoming permeable, which can lead to “leaky gut.” Keep that gut lining strong and supple, reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system by taking collagen daily. (10-15g per day)
- Healthy Hair – Collagen may promote healthy hair by allowing your body to use the amino acids to build hair proteins and strengthen the skin that contains your hair roots, and prevent hair follicle damage and graying.
How to Add Collagen
I have tried a few different collagen supplements in the past, but since becoming an Orgain Ambassador, these are my favorites:
- Orgain Collagen Peptides Unflavored, which I add to my smoothies
- Orgain KETO Ketogenic Collagen protein powder in Vanilla or Chocolate to stir into my coffee for an easy #bulletproofcoffee hack
I have also tried Neocell and another brand found at Sprouts. Use what works for you!
But why stop there? I bulk up my collagen and protein intake as much as I can, sneaking the protein and collagen powders into a variety of recipes other than smoothies. (See my collection of smoothie recipes here.)
And next I am trying this Gluten-Free Collagen Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
You can also get collagen by increasing your intake of these foods:
- Dark Green, Orange, and Red Vegetables
- Citrus Fruits and Berries
- White Tea
- Lean Protein
- Flax Seeds
What About Me?
I truly believe collagen is helping me. I add 10-20g of collagen per day to my coffee and smoothies. But I am also adding avocados, berries and flax seeds and eating as clean as possible.
- I am 54 and am always told I look like I am much younger.
- I had Osteopenia which became Osteoporosis a few years ago. I take a Prolia injection 2X per year and have added yoga and dietary supplements like collagen into my daily life, and so my condition reverted back to Osteopenia last year!
- I do have morning stiffness and joint pain from my fibromyalgia, but I am rarely down in bed for the day anymore. The stiffness eases up and I am able to do my morning yoga and stretches for better flexibility.
I hope you’ll consider adding collagen into your diet. Even if you don’t think you need it, you probably do! 😉
Do you take collagen? How do you get it into your diet?
P.S. Check out all of the Orgain products on their site here and use my code PHOTOBAUGH for 30% off your first order!
Disclosure: This post is not sponsored. I purchase all of my own Orgain products. However, as an Orgain Ambassador I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase with my personal code.