Calling collagen the fountain of youth may be a slight stretch, but this go-to has become the staple cure-all for celebrities and laymen alike for its slew of holistic healing properties. According to Bulletproof founder, Dave Asprey, “Collagen is made up of the amino acids glycine, proline, and lysine, which are essential for the formation and repair of connective tissues, repair of bone matrix and joint surfaces, support of healthy skin and hair.”

What does collagen do, exactly?

1. Repairs joints and degeneration

As a fitness professional, one of the most common issues I see in new clients is pain due to misuse or injury and a misunderstanding on how to reduce inflammation. The common treatment I see people go for is popping a few Advil, which incidentally wreaks havoc on your digestive system, so this solution easily causes more harm than it resolves.

Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found that supplementing with collagen helped patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis find relief from painful symptoms by decreasing swelling in tender joints.  Your hair, nails, skin and connective tissue are made up of collagen, so by consuming more of it, you are boosting the regenerative process.

2. Detox liver

Collagen is made up of glycine, which helps minimize the damages your liver suffers from absorbing foreign substances, toxins, or alcohol that shouldn’t be passing through it. Glycine is used during biosynthesis of creatine, which helps strengthen the repairing process of your organs, as well as your joints.

3. Aid in healing your gut

The biggest digestive benefit of consuming collagen is that it helps form connective tissue and therefore “seals and heals” the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

4. Improve health of skin (as well as heals fine lines), hair and nails

Collagen is a structural component of your skin cells. As we age, our production of collagen slows and results in a decrease of elasticity in the skin and a lack of strength in the nails. Studies show that by consuming the components that make up your anatomy, you are directly fueling and stabilizing your these deficits.

5. Boost metabolism

Glycine’s most important role is helping form muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy that feeds muscle cells. This allows your body to use food as fuel more efficiently. Collagen can blend into anything you mix it into (without affecting taste) and is a low calorie boost of 20g of protein!

So how exactly do you ingest this heal-all?

There are a wide an array of options as the ever-ageless elite (such as Gwenyth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Kobe Bryant, Salma Hayek, Mindy Kaling, or Shaeline Woodley to name a few) swear by collagen. You can sip your collagen in the form of nutrient-dense bone broth, but it’s just as easily consumed mixed in to practically any hot drink or smoothie.  

The protein itself is tasteless, so it blends seamlessly into any warm drinks and smoothies. 

Convinced? Try this heal-all drink:

1 cup coffee, tea (matcha), or mushroom elixir (I use Lions Mane)

1-3 tsp Coconut or MCT oil

2 scoops (20g) Norcal Organic Collagen Peptides

This is great as either a pre breakfast filler, or an afternoon boost. The collagen in it gives you 20g of protein and the coconut oil provides just enough fat to help keep you satiated. 

 

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