What you need to know about Collagen

Can we chat? Ok cool, I want to talk about collagen, it’s a word I know you’ve been hearing a lot lately but if you still don’t know what it is or how to incorporate it into your daily fitness and nutrition regiment don’t worry, I got you!

There are a few things I want you to know regarding collagen and where it comes from. Collagen is found in our connective tissue – it’s in our bones, our joints and is also a major component of our skin. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up around 30% of all the body’s proteins. Make a long story short, collagen is what keeps our joints strong, our skin supple and our hair shiny. However, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Unfortunately,  as we age, our collagen production decreases which is why it’s so important to replace what is lost over time. There’s no shame in the preventative care game people!

Something else to note-All collagen starts off as procollagen and your body is able to make it on its own (because your body is AMAZING) by combining two amino acids (amino acids are the building blocks of protein): glycine and proline. This process uses vitamin C. You can totally do your body a solid and produce procollagen naturally, all you need to do is take in these foods and their nutrients listed below:

  • Vitamin C: found in citrus fruits, bell peppers and strawberries
  • Proline: found in egg whites, wheat germ, dairy products, cabbage, asparagus and mushrooms
  • Glycine: found  in pork skin, chicken skin and gelatin, but glycine is also found in various protein-containing foods
  • Copper: found in sesame seeds, cocoa powder, cashews and lentils

Lastly, your body needs high-quality protein that contains the amino acids needed to make new proteins. Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, legumes and tofu are all great sources of amino acids and very easy to include in your regular diet.

As someone who is active for a living, collagen has become a supplement that I simply can’t live without! I teach indoor cycling up to 8 times per week and let me tell you, my knees have taken a beating because of it! But because I don’t plan on giving up spinning anytime soon I wanted to make sure I was taking care of my body the best way I could. So in addition to a healthy diet, I’ve been using Vital Proteins brand collagen peptides in my coffee every day!

Since adding collagen into my diet I’ve seen a significant improvement-here’s how I get my daily dose:

1-2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

1 cup of dark roast coffee

1 tsp cinnamon

1 stevia packet

Splash of Califia Farms Dairy Free Creamer

I add everything above into my blender and blend! The blending not only froths the coffee and collagen together, but it also turns my typical morning cup into something much more decadent. If I’m working out or teaching a class I’ll also add a scoop of my favorite vanilla protein. It’s a quick snack before training and doesn’t fill me up or upset my stomach.