Recently father time forced me to step into my 40’s. Yes, technically speaking I was on top of the “hill” and about to walk over it. Your forties is the part of life everyone says us SOOOO great! Why? My joints are starting to hurt, maintaining my weight is a huge challenge, and my skin is beginning to lose its luster. I thought, where does the “easy” begin?
Chatting with my girlfriends, they informed me that the easy part of your 40’s is that you are confident with who you are, you have a solid career, and you don’t care about all the petty crap you dealt with in your twenties and thirties. AMEN Sister, but how does all this help me not appear to be a woman in her 40’s?
In my search for the Forty-year-old women’s fountain of youth, I discovered Collagen supplements. Advertisement’s for Collagen supplements are everywhere with statements saying that Collagen Peptides will enhance your skin, hair, nails, bones, and joints because they are an essential building block for our bodies. Sounds amazing right? My adventure began by running a few Google searches to see what collagen supplements were all about and if these statements were true. As our bodies age they naturally lose collagen and in my case, by the time we reach 40, the body may have lost as much as one-third of the collagen that it initially had! The loss of collagen is what causes sagging skin, wrinkles as well as weak bones, tendons and muscles (here I was blaming gravity) all of which nobody wants to happen!
Let’s start here. What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein. When I hear the word Protein, I immediately think of it is the building block for muscles and something our bodies need to survive. While that idea is accurate, for a collagen supplement the word “protein” means something a little bit more specific. In this case, collagen is a carbon-based organic compound made up of amino acids. Proteins are essential for many cell-based processes, and our bodies contain many different types. All of the proteins in our bodies have a specific job, but most importantly, proteins are required for the molecules in our cells to function. There are two types of Collagen (speaking in the simplest of terms). The first is Endogenous collagen, which is natural collagen, produce within the body and the second type of collagen is, Exogenous collagen which is synthetic. It comes from an outside source, such as supplements.
Purpose Of Collagen
Exogenous collagen is produced as a supplement for cosmetic purposes, including the repair of body tissues. Collagen is responsible for repairing and maintaining the connective tissues in our bodies specifically, tissues like cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Collagen helps keep them in good working condition. The best way to describe Collagen is to think of it like a rubber band, elastic and strong.
1. Promote younger looking skin
2. Improve skin moisture level and suppleness
3. Improve skin smoothness
4. Help’s to prevent the formation of deep wrinkles
5. Help’s to protect connective tissues & restore muscles
6. Replenish moisture levels in hair
7. Enhance nail growth
Taking Collagen supplements
It became clear that adding collagen back into the body is beneficial as I age. However, it isn’t that easy to replace the natural collagen being produced inside the body. How you ingest the supplement is important. Most people see the best results from collagen supplements by taking them orally, in the form of a pill, powder or liquid.
Oral ingestion works adequately to allow the body to absorb the protein quickly. Taking collagen supplements daily and over a reasonable period can improve stiff joints and muscles, and rejuvenate the way your skin looks. These benefits are why collagen supplements often play a vital part in anti-aging routines. For most people, they should start to see results from taking a supplement of this kind in about 14 days.
Truths about Collagen benefits vs. Collagen production
During a Wellness Summit this past fall, I took a breakout session about Natural Beauty Products. The speaker was Dr. Sarah Villafranco, who is the founder of Osmia Organics. Not only was Dr. Villafranco an excellent speaker, but she broke down a bunch of natural beauty myths for our class. It just so happens that one of the myths she spoke about that day was on Collagen! The question was; Does ingesting collagen increase collagen production in the skin? Below was her response:
“When you ingest collagen, it gets broken down into two parts; proline and lysine. These components get absorbed into the bloodstream and are available for about an hour. If there happens to be the right amount of Vitamin C in the bloodstream, your body may produce a little bit of collagen.
As of yet, there just aren’t enough studies to show that ingesting collagen boosts collagen production in the skin. And if there were, you would have to drink like, gallons of collagen.”
Therefore, if anyone was wondering; by ingesting collagen, you will notice the benefits of the supplement in your hair, skin, nails, and joints, however, it will not change the amount of collagen your body naturally produces. Dr. Villafranco also mentioned that for a collagen supplement to be beneficial when ingested, there must be two additional components; Vitamin C along with Proline and Lysine.
Wrapping up my Collagen journey
Wrapping up my search for a collagen supplement, I chose to add Collagen Peptides Creamer by Vital Proteins to my daily routine. Why? Because I am a Coffee drinker and adding creamer to my coffee that benefits my body over a typical dairy creamer that doesn’t, was an easy decision and a tasty one for sure! Plus, Vital Proteins Collagen contains the Proline and Lysine components the Dr. mentioned. Yay!! Regardless as to which brand you choose, you should see results in a few weeks after using the product. Collagen may not be the fountain of youth, but it sure makes getting older a little easier on us all!