Ahhh summer time. There’s nothing better than a heavenly day of basking in the sun at the beach and getting your glow on. The sand, the waves, the seagulls – and damn, are you excited to see the progress of that tan when you get home! Yes, I remember the days of guilt-free sun soaking - easy, breezy, and carefree. Being young rules.
Then, one day… something happens. You turn 30. And all those free spirited days of unprotected sun soaking flash before your eyes. “WHY DIDN’T I WEAR SUNSCREEN?!” You ask yourself repeatedly as you critically analyze every crinkle, furrow, and groove running along your face. Face it (pun), even if you were one of those “goody- two-shoes” types that did everything right to preserve your beauty throughout your 20s, you still didn’t enter your 30s completely unscathed.
Aging happens. It’s part of life. A sucky part of life, in fact. But it’s inevitable and none of us are immune; well, except maybe Gwenyth Paltrow.
Nope, we can’t undo our days in the sun, or those college years when our primary source of fuel was Budweiser, Twinkies, and Ramen noodles. But we can make changes now to help restore our beauty. No, I’m not talkin’ about wearing sunscreen (but for the record, you should wear sunscreen daily). I’m talking about about healing and preserving your youth from the inside out.
Meet collagen peptides, your new best friend. Just when you thought expensive laser and Botox injections were your only hope, collagen has taken on the wellness world by storm and is seriously edgy these days. Powders, bars, drinks- how you choose to take it is up to you. My preference? Vital Proteins Grass Fed Collagen Peptides powder is one of the best I’ve seen on the market. Reserveage Collagen Replenish powder is another solid option, and has the added benefit of anti-aging ingredients: Hylauronic Acid (enhances skin hydration) and Vitamin C (an antioxidant which combats free radicals and further promotes collagen production). Bonus- for vegans, Reserveage also makes a plant based collagen builder.
So how can collagen peptides help erase those regretful days of excessive exposure to the sun and years of eating a diet devoid of nutrients?
Here’s the rub. Collagen peptides provide the body with amino acids needed to produce collagen. The amino acids Glycine and Proline are found in especially high amounts in collagen peptides, as these are the most essential to collagen production. When ingested, collagen peptides work by stimulating certain cells called fibroblasts and osteoblasts in the body, which supports collagen production and furthermore helps enhance your skin’s elasticity, vibrance, tone and moisture; not to mention a host of other benefits ranging from joint support, increased bone density, sleep (due to the high glycine content), and reduced risk for muscle and tendon injuries. Voila, your new best friend.
Without a doubt when it comes to skin, hair, nails, bones, and joint health, the role of collagen is key. It is a basic building block to beautiful skin, and seriously lacking in the modern diet. But why? Because slowly but surely people stopped eating whole animals. As an evolving culture we began to view whole animal cooking as time consuming, inconvenient, and maybe even a little gross. This is quite unfortunate because animal cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and bones provide a wide array of vital minerals and natural collagen- a staple in the diets of our ancestors. Ever wonder why Grandma’s chicken soup “hit the spot” and made you feel better almost instantly when you were sick? Probably because she made her soup the old fashioned way: with nutrient rich homemade chicken bone broth that flooded your system with essential anti-inflammatory and infection inhibiting properties.
But enough about eating animals. Although bone broth is an ideal way to get your daily dose of collagen, it’s just not appealing or convenient for most people. Though bone broth became trendy in 2016, the idea of drinking cartilage and tendon juice still grosses most of us out.
Fortunately, there is an abundance of collagen peptide products on the market today to help you get your daily dose of beauty. While Vital Proteins and Reserveage Collagen Replenish are excellent everyday powder options, BulletProof makes delicious grass fed Collagen Protein bars that are nutritious, beauty promoting, and include their signature Brain Octane Oil to help you focus on those TPS reports. They come in a few flavors –Fudge Brownie, Vanilla Shortbread, and Lemon Cookie. Recently I tried the Fudge Brownie and Vanilla Shortbread. While the texture was not that of a “classic” protein bar, they are quite tasty and provided me with steady energy.
Primal Kitchen is also hip to the collagen bar trend. Four decadent flavors including Dark Chocolate Almond, Macadamia Sea Salt, Coconut Cashew, and Chocolate Hazelnut all contain more collagen than a cup of bone broth and only 3 grams of sugar! Umm yeeeeah, I’ll take chocolate over connective tissue any day.
Other collagen products worth noting? Fountain contains 6500mg of hydrolyzed collagen, wild phytoplankton, 650mg of L-glutathione a powerful antioxidant known for its anti-aging effects, and hydrating Hylauronic Acid. While I have not tried this product personally, the blend of ingredients is intriguing and the wild phytoplankton is highly nutritious and unique.
Dirty Lemon is another edgy collagen drink to hit the scene containing cold pressed lemon, horsetail, red clover, cayenne, and hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides. For someone avoiding bovine sourced collagen, this is an excellent option. The red clover in this formula should be noted as it contains isoflavones which case studies reveal increases skin elasticity, and wrinkle reduction in aging women.
Not feelin’ the supplements? It’s cool. Leafy greens, berries, eggs, citrus fruits, carrots, tomatoes and fish all promote collagen production as well, so eat more of those.
So there ya go. No more feeling guilty about those sun worshipping Doritos addiction days. Hey, we’ve all been there. Except Gwenyth, she’s perfect.