Each and every morning I start the day with two scoops of Vital Proteins Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides in my coffee.  If this were a multi-level marketing product, I’d be the triple gold star marketer of the year.  I recommend it to nearly every nutrition client of mine.  I’m a firm believer in getting food from whole nutrition and not a myriad of supplements that only mask our nutritional inadequacies.  Collagen is different. It is whole food in a simple form, and incredibly beneficial.

Why do I love this stuff so much? First of all, it is virtually tasteless.  It dissolves effortlessly, and never clumps, making it a convenient way to get ample protein at the start of each day.  Two scoops has 18 grams of protein!  Mix it in to your morning coffee or tea, and it is the perfect way to break nighttime fasting.  The body needs protein to maintain and support muscle growth, and if I’m sipping on my protein-packed latte while packing lunch and preparing for the day, I don’t feel so rushed to get breakfast prepped, too. I eat breakfast–don’t get me wrong– but it takes the edge off my hunger and buys me some time during the morning rush.

Now, let’s cut to the chase.  Why is collagen the sexiest of protein supplements?

1. It is real food.  I believe in food-based nutrition, not magic supplements.  Unlike many supplements with weird ingredients, collagen is simply ground bovine marrow.  Sounds a bit gross, I know, but I promise it is tasteless.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. As we age, we naturally start to lose collagen and produce less.  Adding collagen back into the diet can help fight aging, support health and encourage muscle growth.

Modern day nutrition lacks sufficient collagen, because we don’t eat the entire animal like we once did.  I’m a big believer in making your own bone broth. Adding collagen peptides is a simple, easy and convenient source of the collagen that our bodies need for improved vitality.

2. It supports skin repair and rejuvenation. A protein that ALSO improves your hair, skin and nails?! Yes, please. It even reduces the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks.  Collagen is primarily composed of the amino acids glycine, proline, alanine and hydroxyproline. These particular amino acids are shown to reduce the signs of aging. According to this study–albeit small–skin elasticity was markedly improved in the control group given daily collagen supplementation. The study found a 20% reduction in eye wrinkles, and also found that “after 4 weeks of follow-up treatment, a statistically significantly higher skin elasticity level was determined in elderly women.”

3. Supports Hormonal Health. This seems so unfair, but as our estrogen declines with age, so does our collagen production.  This means wrinkles, bone and muscle density decline, and well…we have a little less bounce back. Ingesting collagen, eating nutritious foods and avoiding a diet high in sugar and alcohol can help offset the aging process. Are collagen peptides a magical anti-aging product that reverses time? No, but it certainly can help slow the process of aging and help you maintain optimal health as you do.

4. Promotes bone, joint, and connective tissue health.  This one is a biggie for us moms, especially moms with diastasis recti as we recover postpartum.  Connective tissue gets stretched during pregnancy and like an overstretched rubber band, it doesn’t always bounce back as tight.  Collagen helps promote the replenishment of connective tissue as it comprised of  25% collagen.  As our bodies recover from birth and motherhood, it can be a very beneficial addition to your diet now and as you age. Collagen also helps keep the joints healthy, much like adding oil to a squeaky door hinge.

5. Collagen satiates appetite.  Collagen peptides when taken at breakfast time, have been shown to be 40% more satiating than other proteins such as whey, casein, soy) and induce a 20% reduction of subsequent food intake at lunch.

There are a number of collagen products on the market.  This one is my favorite: Vital Proteins Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides (20 oz) (Full disclosure–I do get a few cents from Amazon if you buy it through my link. I recommend it because it is awesome, not because I might make $1.20 a month).  I hope you enjoy this awesome product as much as I do!