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Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body. According to Cleveland Clinic, it accounts for 30% of its total protein. “Collagen is the primary building block of your body’s bone, muscle, skin, and other connective tissues like ligaments and tendons,” the clinic also elaborates. Needless to say, collagen is pretty important. It should be noted that a well-balanced diet already provides the human body the raw ingredients it needs to help make collagen naturally, but you can consider a collagen supplement if you want an extra boost. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when on the lookout a collagen supplement.
Mind the Additional Ingredients
When shopping for a collagen supplement, skip brands that include artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Also be on the lookout for chemical preservatives, fillers, GMOs, gums, and soy. Stick to collagen brands that offer natural flavors and sweeteners like organic cocoa, organic vanilla bean, and other natural, preferably organic options like coconut sugar or monk fruit.
Certifications, especially third-party certifications, are always a really good indicator of a quality brand and its products. Having third-party certifications on a label is a trustworthy way for brands to confirm and guarantee the quality of their products. Keep an eye out for certifications, and look up the evaluating body before jumping into a purchase.
Many collagen supplements only contain collagen, but some brands may include additional ingredients that support the maintenance and production of collagen. Although you do not want to purchase a product with questionable ingredients, you may see some nutrients added that safely boost collagen levels. Cleveland Clinic notes a few to not worry about, including copper, glycine, proline, Vitamin C, and zinc.
According to a 2019 study, up to 15 grams of collagen per serving size is safe to consume on a daily basis, so make sure you are getting the bang for your buck with a solid serving of collagen with your purchase. Some brands may skimp and buffer with other filler ingredients, so pay attention to collagen dosage.
Tons of Forms!
Collagen comes in a variety of forms including drinks, gummies, pills, powders, and tonics. However, collagen powder is the most popular form as it can easily be added to a variety of beverages and recipes including overnight oats, protein shakes, and smoothies.
How It Makes You Feel
This one is hard to test before purchase, but collagen should not make you feel gross, icky, or weird. It should also not cause any digestive issues at all. If you find a collagen supplement to be hard on your body in any way, then you should try a different one.
Look for Collagen Peptides or Hydrolyzed Collagen
When shopping for collagen, especially powdered collagen, look for collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen. According to UCLA Health, these alternatives include fragments of animal-derived collagen. “Breaking down collagen makes it easier for the body to absorb in its entirety than collagen taken as a complete protein,” notes UCLA.
Shop Trusted Brands
It is important to note that collagen is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is why it is important to shop for trusted brands. Some brands to explore include Bub’s Naturals, Golde, Good ONYA, Great Lakes Wellness, Live Conscious, Primal Kitchen, Trace Minerals, and WellPath.
Keep an Eye on Sourcing
When purchasing a collagen supplement, look for brands that are specific with their sourcing. Check for phrases like grass-fed, pasture-raised, sustainably sourced, or wild-caught, which are all good signs. Make sure the brand can back it up too, which means taking it one step further to see if they go into depth to list the farms, oceans, or regions where they obtain collagen.
Pick a Type
Collagen supplements are derived from animal sources like bovine, marine, and poultry. You can also find vegan-friendly collagen, which does not contain actual collagen. Instead, these have nutrients needed for the body to maintain and produce collagen. Whether you love your animal protein or prefer a pescatarian product, select a collagen that compliments your lifestyle.
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