If you’re on any social media sites, you’ve probably seen the hype surrounding collagen online, and a ton of your favorite accounts posting all about it and the companies’ that produce it. Since I’m getting older (terrible, I know) and my collagen production will begin to decrease each year, this information made me want to add extra collagen to my daily routine

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a type of protein containing 19 amino acids, which the body produces naturally, and makes up about 30% of the proteins in our bodies. It is structural, maintaining elasticity, regeneration, and cohesion of skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones. It’s commonly referred to as the glue that keeps the body together.

There are three types of collagen in the body, I, II, and III:

Types I & III support skin, muscles, bones, hair, and nails. 90% of the collagen found in the body is comprised of these two types.

Type II collagen is a protein that make up the fluids and function in the cartilage and joints.

What are Collagen Peptides?

Peptides are compounds that are formed from two or more amino acids. Collagen peptides are broken down molecular bonds between collagen strands into peptides. This allows the body to easily absorb them.

What is Collagen Made From?

Collagen can be sourced from bovine, fish, chicken or egg shell membranes.

  • Bovine collagen is a naturally occurring protein found in cartilage, bones, and hides of cows. It contains both types I and III collagen, supporting skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, gums, teeth, eyes, and blood vessels.
  • Fish collagen is easily absorbed and contains mostly type I collagen, with the amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. It is beneficial for joints, skin, vital organs, blood vessels, digestion and bones.
  • Chicken collagen contains mostly type II collagen and is beneficial for joint health as it, and also provides chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate — both contain anti-aging effects.
  • Egg shell membrane collagen is found in the shells and whites of eggs, containing mostly type I collagen. It is beneficial for building connective tissue, healing wounds, building muscle mass, and reducing pain and stiffness.

Foods that Naturally Boost Collagen:

  • vitamin C rich foods
  • soy products
  • flaxseed
  • chocolate
  • avocado oil
  • honey
  • bone broth
  • vegetables like dark leafy greens, orange and red veggies
  • fish and lean grass-fed meat
  • blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries
  • garlic

What does Collagen do for the Body?

  • improves skin and hair health
  • reduces joint pain and degeneration
  • helps heal leaky gut
  • boosts metabolism, muscle mass and energy output
  • strengthens hair, nails, and teeth
  • improves liver health
  • protects cardiovascular health
  • reduces cellulite and stretch marks

What Damages Collagen?

  • high sugar consumption
  • smoking
  • sunlight
  • autoimmune disorders
  • aging

Brands

I have personally tried 3 brands of collagen: Sports Research, TruMarine, and Vital Proteins.

WithinUs TruMarine

  • Made solely from fish scales, which is broken down without heat, acid, or chemicals to remove the calcium and leaves 100% ultra-pure marine collagen
  • Screened for mercury
  • virtually tasteless and odorless, and is in a pure powder form
  • sourced from exclusive, sustainable, wild fish found in the South Pacific Ocean
  • highest grade of collagen in North America
  • Non-GMO Project Verified, reviewed and approved by Health Canada, and assigned an NPN (Natural Product Number)
  • free from artificial colours, flavours, additives, preservatives, and stabilizers
  • 100% Canadian owned and operated
  • Gluten-free, dairy free, kosher
Nutrition Facts
  • one scoop = 5g
  • 17 calories
  • 5g collagen
 My Thoughts?

This has been my go-to collagen powder for 3 months now. I purchased the stick packs, which made it easy to travel, work, or just be on the go in general. I keep a couple of packets in my purse, and some in my drawer in my office, and I can easily add it to my coffee. The first couple times I could mildly taste something fishy, but after a few uses I can no longer even tell it’s there. I prefer to mix this in coffee (either hot or cold) or tea. I have mixed this with lemon water, and it’s not my favorite, the fishy flavor comes out a little more when that happens. This is definitely my favorite of the three brands! WithinUS also makes a premium-grade organic matcha that is definitely on my “must-try” list.

The serving size is smaller, 5g, and this is due to the high bioavailability of the product, meaning a person needs less product for the best results.  Other brands recommend 10-20 grams a day, where most of withinUs’ studies have concluded that 5 gram of withinUs TruMarine Collagen gives the same benefits since it is used by the body so efficiently.

Vital Proteins

  • made from grass-fed, pasture-raised, bovine hides from Brazil
  • unflavored, water-soluble and easy to mix
  • available in canister and stick packs
  • available in loose powder form, stick packs, and capsules
  • gluten-free, dairy free, no sugar added, paleo friendly, kosher
  • Vital Proteins has an extensive product line, ranging from collagen to beauty waters, bone broths, whey protein powders, and other supplements
Nutrition Facts
  • one scoop = 10g
  • 35 calories
  • 10g collagen
My Thoughts?

I only was able to try this brand once – I received a sample packet in my summer FabFitFun box, and being the brand that you see the most on social media, I was really excited to try it. Happy to say there was NO distinguishable taste, and it dissolved really well. I did however find the serving size really large – it was 10g and I felt it seemed like a lot. I am however really interested in trying more of their product line, like their bone broths (to help with the inflammation I experience with my endometriosis) and their collagen whey protein to enhance my muscle recoveries after working out. Plus I love that they now put collagen into capsule form for when you just can’t mix powder with something. Unfortunately, since they don’t ship to Canada, you have to use Amazon and not all the products the company offers are available there.

Sports Research

  • made from grass-fed, pasture-raised, bovine hide collagen peptides
  • Unflavored, water-soluble and easy to mix
  • contains Type 1 & 3 Collagen
  • clumps in cold water
  • gluten-free, paleo friendly, keto
Nutrition Facts
  • one scoop = 11g
  • 40 calories
  • 11g collagen
My Thoughts?

This is a great, easily dissolvable powder in HOT liquids only. I have tried to mix it in smoothies or iced coffees, and it lumps almost instantly, without much hope of getting it to break down. Definitely recommend only using this with things like coffee or tea. When mixed this way, I find no distinguishable taste, it dissolves instantly, and it’s what I would typically use on the weekends when I am home to make my coffee. I usually only use a half scoop though, as I found a full 11g to be overwhelming in a regular sized  coffee. Unfortunately, since they don’t ship to Canada, you have to use Amazon and is Prime eligible.

sports research

Product Comparison

Collagen/

serving

Calories/

serving

Hot Water Soluble Cold Water Soluble

Stick Pack

TruMarine

5g 17 X X

X

Vital Proteins

10g 35 X X

X

Sports Research

11g 40 X

Cost Comparison

Serving Size Cost Cost per Serving

Shipping

TruMarine

5g $79.95CAD

(50 servings)

$1.60CAD

CANADA: FREE

USA: N/A

*Vital Proteins

20g $135CAD

$43USD

(28 servings)

$4.82 CAD

$1.54 USD

CANADA: $8.48

USA: FREE

*Sports Research

11g $34CAD

$30 USD

(41 servings)

$0.83CAD

$0.73USD

CANADA: $7.95

USA: FREE

 

*these companies do not ship directly to Canada, purchases must be made through Amazon, the Canadian prices reflect this, and shipping costs do not reflect Amazon Prime shipping rates

Is Collagen Necessary?

No, it’s not. Your body does naturally produce collagen, and the majority of people do not need to be taking supplements. That said, if you ingest collagen, your body in turn will produce more of it, and that’s not a bad thing. Collagen provides a lot of benefits, and unless you’re vegetarian/vegan, there hasn’t been any reason given NOT to.

I personally love the effects it has had on my body – my sore knee is less agitated, my hair is strong, shiny and growing, my skin is clearer and I find I have less muscle soreness than I used to before taking the products.

My personal favorite is WithinUs – I love supporting Canadian companies, and knowing that they are ranked the top in North America and is approved by Health Canada make this brand a constant go-to for me.

 

 

 

Financial compensation was not received for this post. All products (other than the Vital Proteins sample) were purchased with my own funds. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way.

 

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