Healthy Living

What Is Collagen: The Protein You Never Knew You Needed

Collagen is our bodies’ scaffolding. It’s what gives our cells and organs structure and strength.

It also has way more benefits than you might imagine.

Collagen has been popular in Asia for years because of the many health and beauty benefits. It’s no surprise then that this health and beauty craze is making it’s way to the US.

Now you can find lotions, face creams, shampoos, and even nail treatments all touting the benefits of collagen. But do those products really work? Is better looking hair, skin, and nails the only benefits of collagen? Is all collagen created equal?

I’ll answer all of these questions but first, let’s quiz your basic knowledge of this mysterious nutrient!

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a Protein

More specifically collagen is a protein peptide. With 30 percent of the protein in our bodies being collagen, it’s the most abundant protein we’ve got!

The structure looks something like this:


And when you join a bunch together to create long, structural strands, it looks something like this:

Collagen Peptide Strand

You can find large amounts of collagen in hair, skin, and nails but you also find it in joints, tendons, and bones. That’s why gelatin has so much collagen in it! But the collagen in gelatin is only partially hydrolyzed, more on why this matters in just a minute.

Collagen Makes Up a Huge Portion of Our Skin

Wrinkly Puppy Dog

Let’s be real here: there’s nothing exciting about wrinkles. Yeah sure it’s a sign of maturity, blah, blah, blah. But who’s going to say no to slowing down the aging process? Not me!

For years celebs have been getting collagen injections to erase lines and restore skin’s supple, youthful look.

The reason?

Our skin is about 75 percent collagen! Collagen gives our skin volume, lift, and the ability to bounce back. No wonder collagen treatments are the go-to for any who’s-who.

But for those of us who would rather not go under the syringe, there are other ways to supplement your body’s collagen supply.

One of the best ways to get the skin you dream of is by preventing the damage to begin with through diet and supplementation.

Every day we have to deal with the factors that accelerate signs of aging (also known as oxidative damage). Oxidative damage can come from:

  • Pollution
  • Smoking
  • Sun exposure
  • Drinking too much
  • Lack of sleep
  • Sugar
  • Stress

That’s why collagen is so important! We all experience these factors on a daily basis. And did you know that weight loss causes our bodies even more stress?

Many of my weight loss clients worry about experiencing loose skin or thinning. So really collagen isn’t just for ladies who need to fight off wrinkles, it’s for anyone who wants to support the health of their hair, skin, and nails.

Collagen Production Decreases as We Age

To make matters even worse, as we age and experience more of this oxidative stress, our bodies are also producing less and less collagen! Not cool, man.

Starting as early as age 18, the production of collagen goes down 1-2 percent each year on average and never replenishes.

Reversing wrinkles or even sagging or loose skin is extremely difficult. People have poured more time and money into trying to find the “fountain of youth” than you can even imagine. Anti-aging is the fastest growing segment of the beauty industry and they STILL haven’t found a sure solution.

That’s why supplementing your body’s collagen supply now is so important. Prevention is always an easier route than reversal when it comes to your health.

Collagen Needs Vitamin C

branch orange tree fruits green leaves in Spain

Here’s a fun fact, your body needs vitamin C to synthesize collagen. Ever heard of scurvy? Yeah, it’s not some made-up pirate word, it’s a real disease and it’s a pretty nasty one.

So what is scurvy and why do we care?

The reason that people got scurvy is because they didn’t have enough vitamin C to synthesize collagen or absorb iron. Without vitamin C (and as a result, without collagen) many sailors died a slow and painful death.

Ok, that took a turn. So let’s bring things back.

I’m not trying to say you’re going to get scurvy, my point is just to show you how important vitamin C is for collagen. Vitamin C is a necessary precursor for collagen.

The Many Benefits of Collagen

Collagen can help with:

  • Hair
  • Skin
  • Nails
  • Joints
  • Teeth
  • Gums
  • Cellulite
  • Digestion
  • Metabolism
  • Hormones
  • Sleep

What Type of Collagen Do You Need?

woman taking supplements

While there are many common foods that have collagen in them, this type of collagen either isn’t hydrolyzed or is only partially hydrolyzed.

Hydrolyzed is just a fancy way of saying that the stands of collagen have been broken up making them easier for you body and cells to use. The smaller the pieces the better.

Gelatin is only partially hydrolyzed. It’s been broken down somewhat but not completely. So your body won’t be able to easily use this form of collagen.

That’s why it’s best to get a collagen supplement (like IdealCollagen) that’s fully hydrolyzed. The strands of collagen have been broken down into small pieces that are easily absorbed and used by your cells. You’ll be able to more fully take advantage of the collagen this way!

Getting the benefits of collagen from the inside out is definitely the way to go!

Why I Recommend IdealCollagen

When it comes to collagen supplements, it’s hard to know which one is actually going to do the job right.

That’s why I recommend IdealCollagen, because I helped make it! I teamed up with IdealShape to create IdealCollagen so I trust that this isn’t your regular, run-of-the-mill pill filled with a little gelatin.

IdealCollagen is more than just collagen. It’s a hydrolyzed collagen supplement with the ingredients you need to really support the health of your hair, skin, and nails.

Vitamin C – Maintains skin health as an antioxidant and a necessary precursor to collagen.
Zinc – Helps with collagen synthesis and bone health.
Green Tea – Contains antioxidants called catechins that fight oxidative damage.
Hyaluronic Acid – Contributes to skin health and is well known for it’s anti-aging properties.
Bioflavonoids – Supports bone and joint health with antioxidants.
Chondrointin – Supports joint health.

The Collagen Wrap-Up

Every day we experience oxidative stress that puts our health at risk. It even accelerates the aging process!

At the same time we age and experience more of this stress, we start producing less of the collagen we so desperately need to support our health. That’s where a collagen supplement comes in.

I recommend IdealCollagen because I trust the ingredients. That’s because I helped design it!

I know that many of my clients worry about loose skin and the other effects of weight loss and aging. I wanted to help create a supplement that addressed those worries and needs.

Even though you can’t reverse or cure loose skin, IdealCollagen is a great way to support your current skin health so you can feel and look good from the inside out.

Click HERE to learn more about IdealCollagen!


Kami Price

Kami Price

Head Trainer & Nutritionist

Kami Price is the Head Trainer for IdealShape. She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, a Pn.1 Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Yoga Instructor. Kami has been in the fitness world for over 10 years and prior to joining IdealShape owned one of the biggest private gyms in Utah.

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