Two pretty messy ski accidents and a decade later, my knees still hate me. My back is sensitive too (thanks icy snow!) but my knees... they just never forgave me for not properly rehabbing either one of them after their respective injuries, years apart. So here I am in my thirties with two bum knees keeping me out of most yoga classes and requiring booster pillows to even sit cross-legged during meditation.
Enter: Collagen Peptides. A recent wellness craze, collagen supplements have been touted with benefits ranging from gut health to deeper sleep and as I recently learned...joint health. And here I was assuming collagen was just a beauty supplement for hair, skin and nails?!
I first really paid attention to collagen after listening to an episode of the Party in My Plants podcast where she spelled out the basics. Then I went down the rabbit hole of research before incorporating it into my diet. Below are my cliff’s notes:
… is super anti-inflammatory
… is a protein!
… enhances the body’s ability to repair joints, tendons and muscles
… repairs the gut lining much in the way that bone broth does (so it’s also great for digestion!)
… encourages cell turnover bringing plumper skin, longer nails and healthier hair
… there are lots of types of collagen, even for vegans!
… peptides aka hydrolyzed Collagen is more bioavailable and easier to digest than Collagen Gelatin
Where to Find it in Food
BONE BROTH - Slow cook out that good stuff!
SARDINES - Munch, munch tiny soft bones and skin.
DARK LEAFY GREENS - Yet another reason to chow superfoods like spinach, kale and even cabbage
ANYTHING HIGH IN VITAMIN C - Vitamin C stimulates collagen production (think kiwis, papaya, strawberries, tomatoes)
RED AND ORANGE VEGGIES - Things like sweet potatoes and red peppers that are full of lycopene and vitamin A - two factors in maintaining collagen
Some of Favorite Collagen Supplements
Dr. Axe Collagen Protein Convenient capsule form, plus bonus points for including other superfood adaptogens like Amla berry and Ashwaganda.
Primal Kitchen Vanilla Coconut Collagen Tastes great sprinkled into a smoothie or my morning yogurt! This is the one that I use most often.
Vital Proteins Bone Broth Collagen - Great sprinkled in soups and savory sauces
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Packets - I take these whenever I’m traveling and mix them into a big cup of coffee, or yogurt to disguise the flavor.
Some Not Worth Trying
Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer - Doesn’t actually do any kind of creaming so much as a strange clumpy dusting in my coffee. It’s slightly better tasting than the regular plain stuff, but definitely won’t replace your need for almond milk.
Primal Kitchen Nut & Seed Bar - Holy moly I nearly ripped out a filling and/or an entire mollar trying to eat these. I’m pretty tolerant of non-delicious bars in the name of health but these were sadly inedible. I’m on the hunt for better alternatives if anyone has any suggestions!
So What’s The Verdict?
6 weeks of on-and-off collagen usage and… my knees still hurt. BUT I have seen a marked improvement on the weeks when I used collagen more regularly. I have less morning aches and less clicking. So while it didn’t erase the issue, it does seem to be easing it. An extra bonus? I generally like my naked skin more these days and hardly wear even tinted moisturizer anymore unless I’m doing full makeup.
Bottom line: The many potential benefits of collagen make it a worthwhile wellness trend to try. Let me know how you like it! xxx