There are a lot of collagen products available on the market today. This can make it difficult to decide which products are legitimate, and which are just pulling your leg. Many people also debate and question if supplementing collagen is even helpful in the first place and if it is necessary. We have created this ultimate guide to collagen to answer all these questions and more. Whether you are still on the fence about the importance of collagen, are unsure of what it is, or simply don’t know what to look for in a collagen powder supplement, here is our ultimate guide on what to look for in a collagen powder.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a fibrous protein that is found in abundance in our bodies. While there are a total of 28 different types of collagen in our bodies, Type 1 collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s in our bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs, blood vessels, and even our hair, skin, and nails. You can think of this crucial building block as the glue that holds everything together. So, let it suffice to say, collagen is extremely important to how our bodies function.
As a protein, collagen is made up of amino acids, primarily proline and glycine. Our body produces these amino acids, so they are considered non-essential. This may lead you to wonder why collagen is supplemented at all, since it can be found so abundantly naturally.
Unfortunately, by our mid-twenties to early thirties, our bodies begin to produce less and less collagen. This leads to negative and unwanted side effects like wrinkles, muscle weakness and tightness, joint pain, and even problems with your gut. To learn more about collagen and how it can help your skin health as you age, here is some additional reading.
As you age, supplementing collagen is a smart way to help your body stay a step ahead of the aging process.
Can Collagen be Sourced From Food I Eat?
This is another great question, and the answer is yes. Whole food sources of collagen include meat, fish, and eggs. That said, marine collagen is usually sourced from the skin and scales of fish, and you most likely won’t be consuming that! The same is true for other animal sources, as collagen is most abundant in tendons and cartilage, parts of the animal we typically don’t consume.
Other nutrients you obtain through your natural diet that play an important role in collagen protection and production include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, zinc, and copper. A standard diet of whole foods and plant-based foods can easily meet these demands.
We recommend a healthy diet paired with a collagen supplement.
Common Forms of Collagen Supplements:
- Hydrolyzed collagen - also known as collagen peptides, these are collagen proteins broken down into a smaller, more easily absorbed form called peptides. Peptides are tasteless and odorless and often come in the form of a powder that can be added to liquids—making it easy to take.
- Capsules - capsules are an easy way to take a collagen supplement as they can simply be swallowed, and don’t require any additional prep.
- Gummies - Gummies are easy to consume and usually taste good, but that is because most gummies contain added sugars and other filler ingredients.
We don’t generally recommend taking gummy supplements because the addition of fillers can make it difficult for your body to digest and use collagen. Depending on your preference and lifestyle, you may prefer a powder or capsule. Powdered collagen is an excellent way to include collagen into your daily routines and lifestyles since you can easily add it to a drink or shake in the morning.
How Is Collagen Powder Made?
Today, many collagen supplements are derived from marine collagen, sourced from fish. Not only is marine collagen the healthiest source of collagen, but it is also the safest and most environmentally friendly, compared to powders that source collagen from animals like cows.
In the best scenarios, the marine collagen is sourced from ethically caught or raised fish, then ground and dried into a powder, which can then be used as an ingredient in supplements, drink mixes, and more.
What to Look For When Buying Collagen
We recommend using a powder supplement that contains marine collagen. As mentioned before, it is widely supported as the healthiest supplemental form of collagen. At the molecular level, it is no different than the collagen in our bodies. Not only that, you avoid risks of things like mad cow disease, which has been known to be found in collagen derived from cattle. This means finding a product that comes from a reputable source is very important.
If you are looking for a vegan option, be aware that collagen is sourced from animals. Since this protein is common to vertebrates, and our bodies decline in collagen production, you will be hard-pressed to find collagen. Scientists have begun certain experiments creating vegan collagen through genetically modified yeast and bacteria, but it may be some time before such products reach the market, and the genetic modification side of it may be a point of worry for some consumers.
Taking the time to read and research the ingredients found in a collagen supplement is also important to make sure you are getting the most value for your money. Not all collagen supplements are created equally. Some will contain more or less collagen, and some will contain fewer active ingredients that support how our bodies handle and produce collagen.
How Much Collagen Is Enough?
The recommended serving size of collagen is generally about 10-20g of collagen peptides (powdered form). In the case of collagen, like many supplements, more is not better, so be mindful of how you control your portions if using your own powder from a large container.
The Final Takeaway
Picking a collagen supplement isn’t always an easy task, but we hope this guide has helped you understand what to look for in a collagen powder supplement and why it is important to take one.
If you opt for a powdered collagen supplement, you will have no problem adding it into your diet, as it can be dissolved into just about anything. Paired with a balanced diet, supplementing collagen will give your body access to all the amino acids it needs to function properly. This is especially important for diets that lack or don’t include animal products and may be missing out on these essential proteins. That said, collagen should not be mistaken for a typical protein powder. It focuses on specific types of proteins and does not contain every type of protein you should consume for a balanced healthy diet.
Paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle, supplementing collagen will help you age gracefully, and look and feel your best.
Say Hello to Clea Radiate Collagen Support!
Clea’s Radiate Collagen Support was carefully created by our on-staff scientists with the simple goal of creating the ultimate collagen supplement. Not only does Radiate use marine collagen, it also includes active ingredients that encourage your body to produce more of its own collagen naturally, by slowing down the degradation of collagen. Not only that, Radiate provides signals to your body that help it send collagen exactly where it needs to be, especially your skin.
Radiate comes in powder form, portioned in individual stick packs. Radiate comes in a delicious mango yogurt flavor: a sweet blend of mango with a hint of dairy-free creamy yogurt. Paired with its great taste, Clea’s Radiate Collagen support is an excellent way to feel and look amazing every day.