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 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 because it is cheaper to source and most common. While bovine collagen is higher in type III collagen, we chose wild caught marine collagen for the following reasons:
Land animals are more likely to contain hormones and have high omega-6 ratios if they’re fed on a grain diet
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.
How should I take Collagen?
What are the benefits of Marine Collagen?
Some considerations when evaluating collagen products:
So many collagen products out there - what is best?
“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
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“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