4 Surprising Health Benefits of Collagen Protein

4 Surprising Health Benefits of Collagen Protein

Collagen is found in the skin, bones, muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and is responsible for providing us with structural support and elasticity (both muscular and skin)!

As we age, our bodies naturally produce less and less collagen. This is why it’s critical to make sure that we not only consume enough collagen when we’re young, but also as we age.

What exactly is collagen?

Known as the glue that holds us together, collagen is a protein that makes up about one third of the protein in our bodies and 70% of the protein of our skin. In other words, it’s safe to say it is pretty important! It is most commonly known for it’s role in skin health, but it is essential for so much more than that.

4 Surprising Health Benefits of Collagen Protein

  1. Improves Skin, Hair, and Nails

The reason that collagen is so crucial for skin health (and why it’s most commonly associated with skin) is because it is “…required in the replacement and restoration of dead skin cells. Some collagens also function as protective coverings for delicate organs in the body such as the kidneys.” (Source)

Since collagen is one of the primary building blocks of our nails, it also helps to strengthen nails, which is one of the biggest differences I noticed from regularly consuming collagen (see below)

  1. Supports Bone & Joint Health

As collagen makes up one-third of the protein in our bodies, it plays important roles in bone and joint health. In fact, “several studies on collagen, which represents 90% of organic bone mass, suggest that orally administering collagen peptides may provide beneficial effects on bone metabolism, especially in the calcium-deficient condition such as osteopenia, without obvious undesirable effects. Several studies show that a daily intake of 10g of collagen peptides for 4 to 24 weeks may increase bone mass density” (1)

Related Post: The Surprising Benefits of Seeds

It can also be beneficial in soothing joint pain. One study “…demonstrated a positive effect on knee joint comfort with a dose of 10g of collagen peptides per day. The effect was even more pronounced in patients suffering more severe symptoms.” (2)

  1. Increases Athletic Performance and Recovery

“Collagen supplements are the perfect protein to consume before and after exercise, helping to maintain and restore the protein content of muscle.  Collagen peptides, which consists of 20% glycine and 8% arginine, may help the synthesis of creatine in the body. Creatine has been shown to help improve performance during short periods of exercise, thus helping athletes to increase their body mass and reduce body fat percentage.” (3)

  1. Improves Digestion and Promotes Gut Health

The specific amino acids in collagen help to heal and soothe the gut, leading to greater absorption of water and nutrients.

The benefits of collagen seem to be countless, so let’s talk about some ways you can ensure you’re getting enough of this health-promoting nutrient!

Excellent Sources of Collagen

  1. Bone Broth 

Bone broth (I like this one) is high in gelatin (which is just cooked collagen), along with many other healing nutrients like glycine, calcium, and magnesium. Consuming bone broth on a regular basis is an incredibly powerful tool for gut health. Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, an expert and advocate for bone broth, speaks about the benefits of bone broth saying,

“…When you eat gelatin, you replenish your body with collagen—which fights wrinkles, strengthens bones, ligaments, and muscles, nourishes organs, restores luster to hair, makes nails strong, bolsters the immune system, and even heals your gut and reduces inflammation.” (Source)

Clean-Eating-5-simple-steps

Check out this article for how to make your own bone broth. You can also find high-quality bone broth, here.

  1. Collagen & Gelatin Supplements

This is my preferred method of ensuring that I get enough collagen, simply because I know I’m likely to consume this more regularly than bone broth. My favorite is this jar. I toss it in my daily smoothie and it doesn’t change the flavor or texture at all. It’s perfect before or after exercise, too!

Unlike many mainstream collagen supplements, which use poor processing and sourcing/quality, Vital Proteins sources their collagen and gelatin from pasture-raised bovine in Brazil, where the cattle graze on lush grasslands in Brazil and are not given hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. (*This is key. You don’t want a collagen supplement from conventionally/unsustainably raised cows.)

Vital Proteins are different from other collagen supplement brands because they are:

  • pasture-raised
  • grass-fed
  • non-GMO
  • rBGH free, and
  • no additives!

They also have Marine Collagen which is suitable for vegetarians. It is from wild-caught, non-GMO Project Verified snapper. (Yes, genetically modified fish is actually a thing now- yikes!)

After taking this regularly (about 2 scoops 1-2 times/day for one month), I noticed that my nails were much stronger and my hair looked much healthier. I’ll definitely be keeping this in my routine, along with some homemade bone broth whenever possible.

Related Post: 6 Must-Know Facts about Buying Organic

The Collagen Beauty Greens supplement is mixed with a powerful blend of superfood greens. I found that this one had a stronger taste which was harder to mask than the unflavored collagen peptides, but it does offer the benefit of those nutrient-dense greens.

Collagen is absolutely essential for optimum health. From athletic performance, skin health, and gut healing to bone and joint health, it’s not surprising that collagen makes up one third of the protein in our bodies. This is why it’s important to make sure we are getting adequate (and quality!) collagen.

Have you taken collagen? If so, share your experience below!

Sources and Additional Reading:

The Role of Collagen Peptides in Skin Health
Collagen and Skin Moisture
Collagen & Muscle Recovery

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is the founder and health educator at Healthfully Hannah, empowering women to live healthfully through science-based, step-by-step guidance. Read Hannah’s personal health journey that led her to discover the power of Functional Medicine and Nutrition. Feel free to send Hannah a message here.


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34 thoughts on “4 Surprising Health Benefits of Collagen Protein”

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  1. I havent tried collagen protein before but i really want to try to benefit my oily/acne skin. I want also to improve my gut health.

  2. I have not tried collagen yet & definitely have been wanting to for all of these benefits for my nails to get stronger, joint health & skin benefits.

  3. I started using it for my skin. I have dry skin and suffer from eczema. It seems to be helping but I’ve also changed a lot of things at the same time. I’m going to continue to use!

  4. Not sure if my last comment was posted, so I’ll try again! I love Vital Proteins! I currently have the collagen peptides and am enjoying them! Would love to win some more!

  5. I’ve never used collagen before but would love to try this! I’ve noticed some signs of aging so trying this would be awesome!!!!

  6. This is a great post, I’m happy that more bloggers such as yourself are spreading the word about the benefits of collagen. I first started trying to incorporate collagen a few years back to help heal my leaky gut. But because of my gut condition I could only take small does of the Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate. Lately I’ve been incorporating more Gelatin from Benard Jenson brand by making jello as well as making bone broth. I just had my second baby and am currently nursing. I have been doing my best to increase my collagen consumption as my teeth aren’t fairing well from being leached all these years! Anyways I have seen this brand of collagen on various bloggers feed and would love the opportunity to try it and see if it will help. Thank you for the great giveaway and chance to try!

  7. Enjoyed the reading….I’m older & have been researching collagen products! I’ve been reading about this product vital protein, would love to try, especially because being organic, then the other products out there….

  8. I haven’t gotten a chance to try collagen yet, but have heard so many great things about Vital Proteins. I would love to start adding this to my diet to help with my thinning hair. I also learned from your post that collagen helps with athletic performance and supports bone/joint health. Being a runner, this is so important to my healthy. I can’t wait to try Vital Proteins collagen soon!!

    1. Hi Jody! So sorry for the delay- I haven’t tried the marine version yet, but if it’s like the Collagen Peptides which are also unflavored, it is virtually tasteless. Hope that helps!

  9. I have tried collagen supplement years ago but never stuck to it. I would love to try this brand because I have started a good exercise routine again and would love the extra support from collagen! And I need a good boost for my skin which suffered years of acne.

  10. I need this — not only for my skin and hair, but also for my gut health! I could absolutely use the help on both fronts.

  11. I love collagen supplements! After having my son I noticed that my hips were constantly hurting. After I started taking collagen, the pain went away almost over night and the benefits of stronger nails has been nice too.

  12. I usually get via bone broth but have been seeing this brand all over Instagram and would love to try it for those times when I don’t have any bone broth! And it would make a great addition to smoothies!

  13. I haven’t taken collagen, but I was diagnosed with EDS earlier this year. It’s a problem with my collagen synthesis. My geneticist said taking a collagen supplement wouldn’t do anything, but he’s proven to be fairly uncaring and uninterested an any health plans so I’d love the opportunity to try one of these options for myself to see if they provide any pain relief. Thank you for this great giveaway! Good luck everyone!

  14. I’m late to the party but i’ve been meaning to incorporate collagen into my diet. For all the beneficial properties- strong bones, nails, hair, etc

  15. I have never taken anything like this before. I really want to improve my skin, hair, and gut health!!! Fingers crossed 🙂

  16. I love VP collagen! I add a scoop to my morning smoothies and my hair is so much more healthy and much shinier and stronger. I recommend it to everyone!

  17. I’ve been using Vital Proteins products now for over a year. I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM. I use the Collagen Peptides everyday in my Bulletproof Coffee and all my smoothies. I use the Gelatin to make healthy marshmallows. My only wish is that they still sold their products at Thrive Market.

  18. I love collagen and how strong my nails are and how long and luscious my hair has become. I only take pill forms, but am excited about trying as a powder mixed in with my beverages. Thanks!

  19. I would love to try this cologne supplement. It has so many benefits but the one I would love most is to heal the gut. I know it would help my over all health. I dream about trying this goodness!

  20. I have never tried collagen but would love to see the benefits of it! I’m currently doing my second whole30 and it seems to be helping my skin tremendously already. I would love to see what my skin did if I added collagen!

  21. I would love to try collagen peptides because as I continue to embark on my health journey I am beginning to realize that true wellness starts from the inside out.

  22. New here, hello! I started using the Vital Proteins just three days ago in my morning smoothie and my mild eczema, which flares up occasionally, is gone from the palm of my hand in between my fingers.

    I had SEVERE eczema as a teenager and I’m careful not to expose my hands to unknown things whenever possible; however, I sometimes can’t help it. I carry Good Samaritan Healing Ointment with me wherever I go. It is a thick salve and it instantly relieves the pain and itch and dries it up. When I feel a flare-up coming, I’ll rub some on and it stops it in its tracks. I keep a tube in my purse, my nightstand, my car.

    If you suffer from eczema, try it. As a teenage, my parents tried everything, traditional and holistic and nothing worked. My mom and I saw this in the drugstore, tried it, and I’ve never been without it since. The relief is beyond insane and instant!

    1. Wow, I am so glad to hear that you are incorporating Vital Proteins into your morning routine and noticing improvements in eczema! That is wonderful news, Robyn! Keep it up 🙂