Reach 3 Body Benefits of Collagen (Hint: One Involves Your Pillow) Collagen: Just a trend or a forever friend? We dive headfirst into this miracle supplement. By Amanda Kohr Photo by Vladislav Muslakov Presented byLet’s talk about collagen. Whether it’s in the vitamin aisle of the grocery store, on the menu of your fave café, or swarming your Instagram feed, this supplement is taking the world by storm. Regardless of where you’re finding it, collagen is easily one of the biggest trends in wellness right now. So why is that the case? The 411 on Collagen Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It’s found in our tendons, bones, muscles, skin, blood vessels, and digestive system, and is basically the glue that holds the body together. Furthermore, collagen sends out important signals to our cells telling them when to fight off inflammation or repair cellular damage. Essentially, it keeps you looking youthful, holds everything together, and fights for your long term health. Here’s the thing: As collagen production tends to slow down with aging, especially if one consumes too much sugar, smokes, or spends too much time in the sun. But supplementing your diet with collagen is a great and easy way to counteract unhealthy habits and better your overall health. Improved Sleep Glycine, an immunonutrient that supports healthy inflammation and promotes deeper sleep, is the number one acid in collagen. Studies have illustrated glycine affects our neurotransmitters to quell chaotic thoughts and promote better sleep. Animal studies went so far as to illustrate glycine’s power in increasing the release of serotonin in the prefrontal cortex. That being said, collagen doesn’t make you sleepy and you don’t need to take it at the end of the day to harvest those sleep-boosting benefits. Adding collagen to your morning or afternoon routine will still allow you the opportunity to snag some more of those well-deserved Zs. One of our personal favorites? Collagen creamer. Vital Proteins makes an organic and Whole30-approved (!!!) collagen-based creamer that tastes great when added to your tea, coffee, or smoothies. Better Skin and Nails Nails. Ever snagged your nail on a sweater, or chipped it when doing something as simple as opening a can of sparkling water? You may have brittle nails, and collagen can help. Regular collagen intake helps to fortify the nails so they don’t become as prone to breaking. In one study, 25 participants consumed one 2.5-gram dose of collagen peptide every day for 24 weeks. There was a 12 percent increase in nail growth, a 24 percent decrease in broken nails, and a whopping 64 percent overall improvement in nail strength! Skin. We don’t have anything against aging, but we do support the notion that your skin should look and feel healthy. Collagen can help you get there. Studies have illustrated that consuming hydrolyzed collagen is incredibly beneficial in aiding in skin elasticity, increasing hydration levels, and decreasing puffiness and visible signs of aging. Many folks also find that collagen helps decrease cellulite, since cellulite occurs when there’s a lack of connective tissue. Collagen beauty water from Vital Proteins is a great way to reap these benefits—and with flavors like Melon Mint and Cucumber Aloe, you can create an oasis-like experience right at home. Gut Health and Digestion You’ve gotta send some love to that second brain! Like we mentioned, collagen is the glue that holds the body together—and that includes your gut. Collagen aids in gut health because it helps to break down proteins and soothes your gut’s lining by healing damaged cell walls. This is especially beneficial if you suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (which heads up, many of us do). These are two annoyingly painful conditions that occur when the stomach lining and digestive track become inflamed and irritated due to stress, too much alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle, or poor diet. Instead of being processed out, toxins “leak” into the gut, lending to side effects such as bloating, fatigue, upset stomach, constipation, and diarrhea. But collagen helps rebuild the walls of your digestive system, allowing you to absorb all the good stuff and get rid of the bad. Bone broth is especially beneficial in healing digestive issues. It’s full of immune-boosting minerals, collagen, glutamine, glycine, and proline. The collagen helps strengthen the gut so you can absorb all the other nourishing things the bone broth has to offer! Our favorite is from Vital Proteins, and can be enjoyed any time of day. If sipping straight broth seems a little strange, add it to your favorite soup or a veggie stir-fry. But That’s Not All! We’ve only touched on a few of the benefits of collagen, but there are so, so many more. It also aids in relieving joint pain, increased metabolism, and can promote liver health. See for yourself! For more ideas on how to implement collagen into your diet, visit Vital Proteins and explore the many collagen-rich products they offer. Presented by Vital ProteinsVital Proteins is the collagen brand for simple, whole food nutrition that boosts health and wellness from the inside out. The brand’s collection of elixirs, blends, and capsules is thoughtfully created with high quality, all-natural ingredients that contain key proteins and nutrients needed to look and feel your best. Through their collection of great-tasting collagen-based nutrition, they maintain their mission to nourish those who wish to live a life without limits by providing a path to natural, youthful vibrancy.