Here’s Why I Switched to Collagen Supplements
Our collagen declines once we reach our mid-20’s. Although this is a natural part of aging, the effects of losing collagen becomes more noticeable and we are more susceptible to a faster skin decline when we’re exposed to UV rays, pollution, unhygienic practices, and poor dietary choices. This is why I decided to consume foods that contain collagen when I reached my late 20’s.
But first, what is collagen?
It’s the most abundant protein in our body as our tendons, muscles, skin, and bones all contain collagen. Collagen builds a scaffold inside the body that gives it sturdiness and structure. It is necessary to link the cells of the body together and it's a crucial part of connective tissue. Additionally, it strengthens and makes the skin more elastic.
Endogenous collagen is natural collagen that the body produces while exogenous collagen are collagen we can get from external sources such as supplements.
Collagen serves a variety of crucial roles. Depletion and breakdown of it are related to a number of health issues, including scurvy. Collagen plays an important role for the tendons, cartilage, bones, and the connective tissue that holds cells together. It’s a crucial part of the extracellular matrix, a web of molecules that keeps the tissues of the body together.
Having an appropriate amount of collagen in our body helps:
Joint & bone health
Safeguarding the kidneys and other vital organs
Elasticity of skin and overall skin health
Strong hair and nails
Improve gut health
Studies show that collagen makes about 75% of the dry weight of skin and 30% of the protein in the human body.
What Happens When We Lose Collagen?
While there are no tests to measure how much collagen you have left in your body, there are telltale signs of collagen loss such as:
Less flexibility of ligaments & tendons
Issues with blood circulation
Loss of skin elasticity
Another reason for a lack of collagen apart from aging is poor diet as your body cannot produce collagen if it lacks the necessary components, mainly amino acids and minerals to metabolize them.
Remedies I Tried
I started noticing how my skin looks dull and dry and more wrinkles were starting to form around my eyes. Wanting to find a natural solution first, I turned to consuming bone broth such as it’s rich in bone-building elements and collagen.
Bone broth is a clear, protein-rich liquid produced by simmering bones and joints in water. Because it takes so long to cook, it differs from stock. It functions similarly to stock as a foundation for soups, stews, and risottos.
The nutritional content of bone broth varies depending on the bones used, how long they are boiled for, and what ingredients are added. Bone broth is not only good for the skin but it can also help aid in digestion as the most prevalent protein in bone broth is gelatine. Once inside the digestive system, gelatine bonds with water to help food pass through the intestines normally.
One of the downsides in consuming broth though is that the preparation time is quite tedious and long. Depending on what you’re cooking with, bone broth can take 3-4 hours in a pressure cooker or 12 hours on a stovetop.
Through further research, I also found out that even while bone broth is regarded as beneficial, for some people it can have side effects. Some drinkers report experiencing side effects like gas, bloating, constipation, and stomach pain.
Although bone broth is promoted as nutritious and healthy, I didn’t experience much benefits when I started consuming it. Moreover, it will be difficult to estimate how much of each nutrient will be in a specific batch of bone broth.
Since making bone broth takes up a lot of time, I found myself being inconsistent with my collagen intake so I decided to try and go for the instant ones. Another downside of switching to an instant bone broth is you can’t control the ingredients that go in your broth and you’re never sure if the brand you bought from is being transparent about their ingredients.
While it felt healthy consuming bone broth, I didn’t notice any improvements on my skin so I decided to make a switch and try out collagen supplements for a change.
What Are Supplements?
Supplements can be any kind of vitamin, minerals, herbs, botanicals, and amino acids that you can eat or drink. You can buy supplements that come in various forms like pills, powders, liquids, and capsules to name a few.
Supplementing one's existing nutrition is the main goal of supplements. While supplements like vitamins and pills might be beneficial to health, they shouldn't be used in place of a balanced diet and active lifestyle.
Why Collagen Supplements Are Better
Collagen supplements are designed to be bioavailable as the peptides have been broken down and hydrolyzed for the body to easily absorb it, unlike bone broths. Collagen supplements can be quite beneficial for the entire body.
Collagen supplements help your body's natural collagen production, which declines as you age when taken daily at an effective dose. Clinical studies have demonstrated the critical role that collagen plays in the maintenance of healthy skin, bones, hair, nails, and muscles.
How will we know which collagen is best when there are over 28 different types on the market right now?
It is advisable to look for formulations that use hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides because bovine collagen is frequently of poorer quality. Given that they have already been disassembled into smaller peptides and are therefore simpler for your body to absorb and digest, collagen peptides that have been hydrolyzed in liquid form have a higher absorption rate. This suggests that this kind of collagen supplementation has the best bioavailability.
Since fish protein emits fewer greenhouse gas emissions than beef protein, marine collagen is likewise more environmentally friendly than bovine collagen. Additionally, wild-caught marine collagen is preferred to that from farmed fish because you can be sure that the former did not get any hormone, antibiotic, or chemical treatments.
A diet high in protein can help to some extent encourage collagen formation, but taking a supplement is a far faster and more practical method to improve your collagen levels and provide a much-needed collagen boost.
After my deep research on collagen supplements, I went ahead and purchased from various brands to test how effective they are. After just a few weeks of consistent collagen intake, I’ve noticed a few changes in my skin, especially on my face. I noticed how hydrated it became and that my prominent wrinkles started to lighten (although it didn’t totally disappear) but overall, it looked better than before.
I’ve consumed bone broth for about a year however, I didn’t see any positive effects on my skin. It had helped with my digestion a little but apart from that, there weren’t any other benefits. However with collagen supplements, it only took a few weeks before seeing the results.
Type 1 Collagen vs. Type 2 Collagen
The most prevalent type of collagen in the human body is type 1 collagen. It's naturally present in the skin, tendons, bones, ligaments, and organs. This is the collagen supplement to choose if you're considering using it to treat skin issues (such fine lines or old acne scars) and improve the tone, suppleness, and hydration of your skin. Additionally, it can support the health of your hair and nails. Usually, it is extracted from bovine or marine sources.
Type 2 collagen on the other hand is frequently used to enhance joint, cartilage, and bone health. This type of collagen is also a key component of your cartilage as it helps improve its tension strength and elasticity. Typically, it comes from sources like chicken or beef (bone broth). This is the collagen supplement to take for those who want to enhance their bone and joint strength.
Top 5 Collagen Supplements
The Purest Co.'s Collagen Glow Berries is the best collagen supplement I've tried so far since it utilizes hydrolyzed Nitta-Wellnex Marine Collagen that was ethically sourced from wild-caught Tilapia fish.
To ensure that you are consuming premium-grade collagen, it is important to choose a product that uses a well-known brand of collagen.
You can always choose a product that has a money-back guarantee if you are unclear whether collagen supplementation will be effective for you. Collagen Glow Berries from The Purest Co. are offered with a risk-free trial period. Simply test a sachet, and if you're not satisfied, send it back.
We here at Superfood Reviews have done the research to find out what the best option for collagen supplements in the market. We have graded each choice through a stringent grading based on the following criteria:
The Purest Co Collagen Glow Berries
Key differentiators: Superior ingredients, large amount of collagen
With Nitta-gelatin Wellnex® hydrolyzed collagen peptides from Japan
Contains vitamin C, bilberry extract, mixed berries concentrate juice and many more
No unnecessary ingredients or additives
30-day, 100% satisfaction guaranteed or money back
Rigorously tested for purity and ingredient quality
Made in Taiwan
Manufactured to HACCP and ISO22000 standards
Highly rated for customer service
Free SG delivery on all orders
Only available online
Sometimes out of stock due to demand
The Purest Co’s Collagen Glow Berries contains a potent dose (5500mg) of marine collagen sourced from Japan in each sachet, and follows it up with supporting ingredients like vitamin C (250mg), bilberry extract, and mixed berries concentrate juice.
Collagen Glow Berries uses a patented technology to extract their collagen peptides, ensuring faster and more effective absorption of collagen into the body.
With its mixed berries concentrate juice, the taste is a hit amongst consumers and feedback is that it is just right in terms of sweetness. Not only does this make for a delicious supplement, but the Vitamin C in these berries provide added antioxidant support and improve your body’s rate of absorption.
Laneige Youth Collagen Drink
Key differentiators: Promotes sleep, moisturizing
Contains GABA to promote deep sleep
Contains pomegranate and red orange extract
Made in an FDA-approved facility
No information on collagen source
No breakdown of ingredients from website and other online stores
If the goal is to tighten the skin and replace fine lines and wrinkles into supple skin, Laneige aims to do just that. Their Youth Collagen Drink contains fish collagen peptides that replenishes the body’s collagen supply while helping you maintain healthy skin. This drink also contains minerals that promote relaxation and help one have better sleep.
This collagen supplement, however, is on the pricey side. Laneige is one of the more well-known skincare brands worldwide so this is a hit with more mature customers who experience some sogginess and lack of collagen.
Kinohimitsu Collagen Diamond
Key differentiators: Firming and hydrating effect
Marine collagen peptides
Contains perilla seed extract
Hugely available online
No information on collagen source
High sugar content in each drink
Relatively high calorie count per bottle
With a tasty citrus flavor and type 1 collagen that is derived from marine collagen peptides, one bottle of Collagen Diamond provides 5300mg of collagen peptides. The high-quality formula also includes vitamin C, lychee juice, perilla seed extract, and silk protein - these main ingredients are what makes this product give off its hydrating and firming effect, promoting cell repair, moisture retention, and collagen formation.
Some customers note that this collagen drink is on the sweeter side, but Kinohimitsu’s Collagen Diamond is good for regular intake if you want a supplement that will repair your damaged skin cells while giving you healthy and moisturized skin.
Renew+ Marine Collagen Powder
Key differentiator: Comes in 4 flavors (Watermelon, Mixed Berry, Mango and Pineapple)
Hydrolyzed collagen peptides from Japan
Contains hyaluronic acid
Average consumer may not require that much collagen
Each pack of Renew+ Marine Collagen Powder contains 30 servings of powdered collagen, recommended to be mixed into cold water. Their collagen drink contains complementary ingredients, which can also be found in most collagen supplements, such as Vitamin C and natural fruit flavors. Among their key ingredients, at the forefront is hyaluronic acid. This is a naturally-formed substance in the body that helps maintain moisture. As we grow older, the formation for this depletes and Renew+’s collagen supplement aims to prevent this decline.
It’s also helpful to note that most customer reviews for Renew+ Marine Collagen Powder mention its benefit of keeping the skin complexion healthy along with the drink’s distinctly fruity taste.
5. Meiji Amino Collagen Powder
Key differentiator: Budget-friendly collagen supplement
Budget-friendly, one pack can go for months
With 5,000mg of low-molecular fish collagen
Divisive feedback from consumers
Strong fishy taste and smell
Another collagen supplement in powder-form, the Meiji Amino Collagen Powder is an odorless and neutral-tasting collagen supplement you can mix in hot or cold drinks. The formulation contains arginine, glucosamine, and Vitamin C that help the skin become softer and smoother and prevents wrinkles and spots from recurring.
A single scoop of this powder contains about 5000mg of collagen. Consumer feedback states that a pack can last them months, making Meiji’s Amino Collagen Powder the budget-friendly choice among the products in the list.
Consuming bone broth is healthy but adding a collagen supplement to your diet is a more effective way to bring back your body’s depleted collagen. This is because supplements are made to be absorbed by our body more efficiently. Moreover, it’s important to do your research first before purchasing the right supplements instead of just buying straight from the shelf. Taking a look at the ingredients is vital to getting the best benefits and ensuring your health as there are brands that aren’t transparent about the ingredients they use.
Out of all the supplements in the market, The Purest Co.’s Collagen Glow Berries is a cut above the rest for its complementing ingredients and 5500mg of type 1 premium Nitta-Wellnex Marine Collagen® that’s hydrolyzed in liquid format for the best absorption.