If you're reading this then you've probably heard the word 'collagen' before; but you may not know exactly what it is or the benefits it offers. There's so much hype in the wellness industry about it and I'm here to share my experience with it; as a female athlete in her twenties.
So, what is collagen and why do I use it?
I get asked these two questions A LOT. I mean, it's totally normal to wonder what the heck this supplement actually does in a world filled with thousands of supplements. But collagen is different than many, at least in my eyes. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. That's the best thing about it, it is something our bodies produce naturally. By taking this, I am not adding anything 'new' to my body, just providing it with more of what it already loves; collagen. This protein provides structure to our hair, skin, nails, bones and ligaments. Unfortunately, on average, we start producing less collagen in our twenties (so early, I know). This lack of collagen production is what eventually leads us to wrinkles, sore joints and ligaments, and weaker bones. To be completely honest, I started taking collagen almost two years ago because I was scared of wrinkles. I noticed some extra creases between my eyebrows and around my eyes, nothing too major but I definitely didn't like it.
Have you ever feared looking like a wrinkly dried up raisin? Yup, me too.
I know it's all a part of getting older, but why not try to slow that process down if you can? I truly believe in getting ahead of the game (I am 23), and this was the perfect supplement for that. After adding collagen into my diet for a few months, I noticed differences in my hair and skin, but also in my body! That's when I realized, this supplement goes beyond the benefits of healthy skin.
As a former college athlete and current runner, my body aches from time to time. Whether that be my hips, feet, knees; you name it. I currently have tendinitis in my foot as well, which doesn't make running easy. Normally, I add one scoop to my morning coffee. It's flavorless and adds a nice foaminess on top! However, when parts of my body begin to ache, I add more collagen to my everyday routine.
I decided to start training for my first marathon right before the new year. My boyfriend was doing it with me, as well as his friend. Mentally, this was a HUGE commitment for me. I was about a month and a half in and after a seven mile training run, my tendinitis flared up. I couldn't walk without pain, and ended up in a boot for about two weeks. This is when I started doubling my collagen intake. I would do two scoops of Further Food Bovine Collagen Peptides a day, instead of one. This flare up was almost as bad as my first one, except that it healed faster. I can now run completely pain free, almost a month later, and I attribute some of that to my collagen intake.
Collagen has done so much for me and how I feel everyday. My joints feel stronger, my hair feels healthier, my skin feels much softer (especially in the winter months), and my digestion is SO much better. In college, my digestion was never great. It felt unpredictable and I was always nervous going places, not knowing how I would feel. But collagen has changed that as well. I began to notice many of these differences a few months into taking collagen, and continue to notice them as I take it. I've tried various brands of collagen and Further Food is my favorite. This one was the only brand I found that I truly couldn't taste and that provided noticeable benefits. Their collagen is made of pasture raised, grass fed bovine hides from South America. That is another reason why I love this brand, they are ethically sourced so I know what I am putting in my body is quality.
I incorporate collagen into my baking as well! Below is a photo of Lavender Honey Cupcakes that I made with collagen. You don't taste it and it doesn't change any measurements because it just dissolves in liquid. Click on the photo to see how I made these delicious cupcakes and let me know if you have any questions on my experiences with this supplement!
Everybody is different and these are MY experiences with collagen so please listen to your body. I am a brand ambassador for Further Food but have been using their products long before I became one, I truly believe in the benefits of this product. If you are interested in trying it out, you can get 10% off your first order with my code, 'LABBYRAE10'.