What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, made up of amino acids that serve as the building blocks of your body. It provides the structural support to keep your body mobile and strong. Think of it as the “glue” that holds your body together and responsible for smooth, youthful skin, strong connective tissues and bones, fast wound healing, and healthy hair and nail growth.
Why should you supplement with collagen?
Around our mid twenties, natural collagen production begins to decline. We can visibly notice this as it translates to wrinkles, joint pain, weaker bones, slower hair/nail growth, and overall slower recovery. In addition to time, there are other factors that reduce collagen production such as processed/refined sugars, sun damage, stress, and a modern diet consuming only the muscle meat of animals (e.g. chicken breast, ground beef). Collagen is not a new concept - many cultures eat all parts of the animal or regularly consume broth soups containing the gelatinous parts of the animal provides (e.g. chicken feet) rich in the amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline.
We’ll pass on the chicken feet, but still want the body-boosting collagen. Enter collagen peptides - odorless, tasteless, easily digestible protein powder that provides the key amino acids without the animal soup. Collagen peptides are now becoming quite popular in food and beverage products given the demand for quick and convenient collagen. And while many products in the market make empty promises of collagen being a magic cure to “anti-aging”, consistent collagen supplementation is supposed to help maintain what your body is naturally losing.
What types of Collagen are there?
There are five types of collagen. They vary by source and function that they serve in the human body. Here are the different types of collagen broken down:
Type I - most common type, making up 90% of our skin, hair, nails, organs, bones and ligaments. Marine collagen is the best source.
Type II - helps build cartilage and maintain gut lining, mainly sourced from chicken
Type III - supports skin, bone, and cardiovascular health, typically sourced from cows (bovine)
Type V - helps forms cell membranes and placenta tissue, less common in supplements/less abundant in the body
Type X - helps support bone and cartilage growth, less common in supplements/less abundant in the body
What are the different sources of Collagen?
Collagen can be derived from multiple animal sources - bovine (cows), porcine (pigs), poultry (chicken), and marine (fish). Note that there is no such thing as “vegan collagen” or “plant-based collagen”. Simply put, collagen is made of a chain of amino acids and plant collagen isn’t made of the same amino acids to promote collagen synthesis. These "vegan collagen” products usually contain just vitamin C which helps promote collagen synthesis, but isn’t actually collagen. We intentionally used goji berries - a natural source of vitamin C - in ELAVI bars to help maximize absorption of the marine collagen inside.
Most collagen products use bovine collagen. While bovine collagen is higher in type III collagen, we also incorporate wild caught marine collagen for the following reasons:
Marine collagen peptides have a smaller particle size meaning that it can be absorbed more efficiently on a molecular level
Marine collagen is highest in Type I collagen - which supports a healthier, stronger body
Marine collagen comes from unused fish skin that would otherwise be discarded. (And we’re moving past that visual quickly). By up cycling the skin and hydrolyzing it into digestible, tasteless protein powder you are preventing environmental waste. Win.
Although it is more expensive to source, marine collagen peptides from wild caught fish is a cleaner, more bioavailable option.
How should I take Collagen?
There are a variety of ways to supplement with collagen. If you would like to consume collagen directly from food, you can drink bone broth soups or eat the parts of the animal that carry collagen (feet, wings, skin, hooves, snout, etc). It’s important to make sure that the animals have been sustainably and humanely raised to ensure that you’re not consuming any hormones or contaminants that they have been exposed to. We found this to be quite expensive and time consuming, so we explored collagen supplements as an alternative. It can be quite overwhelming to sort through all of the different options - powders, pills, beverages, and more - but we recommend an option that is designed for maximal absorption and convenient to enjoy everyday.
What are the benefits of Multi-Collagen?
While other collagen supplements will also provide the benefits mentioned above, they use only a single source for their collagen - usually bovine. ELAVI created the first multi-collagen (both marine + bovine collagen) snack that deliver multiple sources for even more benefits - which can improve hair, skin, body tissues, and nails. In addition, consistent collagen supplementation can decrease recovery time from injuries, help build lean muscle mass, improve cardiovascular performance, and reconstruct damaged joint structures. It’s a clean, easily digestible protein source void of dairy and soy.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, women aged 35-55 years experienced a statistically significant improvement in skin elasticity levels with daily collagen supplementation for two months. Studies have shown promising application for ingestible collagen to help improve joint pain, which occurs with collagen breakdown in the body. An additional study on athletes found improvement for activity-related joint pain with 24 weeks of collagen hydrolysate (the powder form of collagen) supplementation. While the research is still new in the field, the early findings are extremely promising.
Some considerations when evaluating collagen products:
Has it been hydrolyzed? This essentially means that the collagen protein has been broken down into peptides for better absorption.
Where is it sourced from? We proudly use wild caught fish from non-toxic waters and grass-fed bovine collagen here at ELAVI.
What is it paired with? Collagen on its own is not a complete protein so we were adamant on pairing it with pea protein to give you all the essential amino acids your body needs. Plus, we also use goji berries (a natural source of vitamin C) to help promote collagen synthesis.
So many collagen products out there - what is best?
What you ultimately put inside your body is your choice and we feel empowered by that concept. At ELAVI, our mission from the very beginning was to cut through the unrealistic promises and beauty-focused marketing and focus on providing a clean, easily digestible bar that people are excited to eat. That excitement starts with the convenience (no messy powders to mix into your coffee or bone broth soups to heat up), the delicious, real taste, and satisfaction without the upset stomach.
We chose to create ELAVI because there weren’t any collagen products out there that are satiating, void of processed/artificial sweeteners (we use just dates and honey), and can travel with you wherever we go. Throw in antioxidant superfoods that help reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and improve mood and you get a bar to get you through it all. You’re busy, you expect quality with your convenience, and we’re here to provide that. But don’t just take our word for it..
“I bought some bars to support, but now I’m addicted and preparing to go into credit card debt so I can buy them in bulk and mow them everyday.” - McKayla
“Just wanted to let you know I absolutely love the product. Working at a “snack startup” I sample literally so many snacks/bars (probably 20-30 a week) and yours totally stood out. I’m also a collagen junkie and love that these bars are better absorbed by the body vs putting them into your coffee!” - Natalie
“I love ELAVI Bars - pure, natural ingredients, nothing processed, and truly a bar I can’t get enough of. I love the cacao nib crunch paired with the chewy goji berries. Subscribing for life!” - Matt
“They are super filling and not overly sweet so I’m not sick of them after one box like every other bar I buy in bulk. They get me through my long days working at the salon and I crave them all the time!” - Gabrielle