I shared an Instagram story over the weekend showing the fancy little latte I made myself on Saturday morning. (Okay, it wasn’t that fancy, but I actually got out my Aeroccino and steamed and frothed my almond milk. So it felt a little more snazzy than it usually does in the morning!) I also showed what always goes in my coffee when I make it at home, Nespresso pods and collagen. I got a few DMs asking similar sentiments… One read, “Have you noticed any benefits from the collagen?” I kind of chuckled and sarcastically thought to myself, “Nope, haven’t seen any benefits, have just continued to buy the products for the last two years because I am rich and I love throwing money out the window!” 🤪 But then it occurred to me… A) I can’t actually say that to this nice girl, not everyone “gets” my humor, especially over text. 😬 And B) I guess I haven’t really spelled it out on the blog in it’s own dedicated post, just mentions here and there. (And here, too.) So let’s get to it!
Before we get started, let’s just get on the same page, shall we? This post is not sponsored. If I’m being honest, I really friggen wish it was sponsored. And 99% of the time over the last two years, I have purchased my own products. I feel like Vital Proteins may have sent me a tub or two a few years ago, but I’ve been purchasing it myself since then. I’ll show you my receipts. 😜 Oh, and they were a brand sponsor for Create & Cultivate this past August, and I was a speaker, so there was a box of individual packs in my gift bag. Alright, now that we’re clear…
I honestly love Vital Proteins. You can ask Jenn, Liz, and Olivia, whom I was sitting next to at the Create & Cultivate speaker dinner back in August… I literally sounded as if I worked for the brand. (I actually believe there was a girl whom I had just met at our table who legitimately asked me, “Oh, do you work for Vital Proteins?” when she overheard our conversation, haha.) A lot of our table had never tried any Vital Proteins products (the brand was hosting the speaker dinner that night) and I was rattling off benefits, my favorite products, and my experience with incorporating collagen into my diet.
Another little side-note (you guys know I love a good tangent 🙈)… One of the funniest parts of the evening was the founder of Vital Proteins (who is a male) talking about how he never intended to have a brand sold in Sephora. Vital Proteins started out as more of a health and performance company (collagen is great for your joints, among other things), and as the female demand shifted more towards the beauty space, so did the company. Just a little fun fact!
Anyway, I digress. I’ve been trying to figure out where to start with this… So let’s just start with the aforementioned question.
What benefits have I seen?
This is super interesting because you don’t really wake up one day and say, “Oh my gosh, I can all of a sudden see these collagen benefits!” When I’ve talked to people in person and on IG DMs about this, I’ve heard a lot of, “I’ve been taking collagen, but I don’t really notice a difference.” And every single time, my response is this — Stop taking it for a few weeks and then you’ll notice the benefits!
I basically did this experiment for you… When I was on Remote Year, I ran out of my collagen peptides mid-October. I packed roughly a 6 week supply to take with me and figured I’d be able to ship myself a replenishment when I was down there. Nope, the mail situation was definitely not that easy. So I didn’t have any of my collagen until my friend Kelly visited me in early December and was nice enough to mule me down a one-month supply for my last four weeks on the program. So basically, I wasn’t able to take any collagen for six weeks. And honest to God, you guys… My skin looked like shit and my nails were breaking left and right.
Nails are probably the number one benefit that I see! My nails are like rocks, and I contribute it to drinking a lot of almond milk (#calcium) and Vital Proteins. I solely get gel manicures and I never have to “take breaks” like a lot of people do… Sure, it could partially be genetics, but I swear my nails do start breaking and getting more brittle if I am not taking my collagen.
Next up, MY SKIN. Like I said, you won’t wake up one day and notice that you all of a sudden have glowing skin. Or at least, that wasn’t my experience. However, I noticed how dull my skin looked after a few weeks of not taking collagen. (And my skincare routine had stayed the exact same!) I feel like my skin honestly just looks more glowy and a lot more youthful when I’m taking collagen regularly. Yes, I spend a lot of time and money on my skincare, but it goes hand-in-hand with that inside-out approach. Of course water and a healthy diet and all of those things help, too, but I’m going to be 30 in a few short months and I need all of the help I can get.
I do feel like collagen makes my hair feel healthier, too! Sure, could be a placebo effect, but I really do feel like it’s stronger, less dry, and less brittle when I’m taking collagen regularly.
Another (main) thing that collagen benefits is your joints. I can’t really say, “Oh my gosh, my joint pain is gone from collagen!” because most days I don’t really struggle with a lot of joint pain. But I actually started taking collagen when I had fractured my ankle and spent three months in a boot because I was trying to do anything and everything possible to help my bones and joints and cut down the amount of time I’d have to be handicapped. (Every type of supplement imaginable… magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, etc.) While this isn’t a benefit that I necessarily notice, it is one of the top collagen benefits so I’d be amiss not to mention it.
Basically, I’m kind of in the camp where I notice a good number of physical benefits (hair, skin, nails, digestion) and all of the health and fitness benefits that I can’t see are just added bonuses.
On the Vital Proteins website, you can read more about the health benefits, fitness benefits, and beauty benefits! And from outside sources that are definitely not biased, you can check out this article on WebMD that talks about the skepticism, a similar article on Time, and this article on the NY Times.
As always, be sure to consult your physician before adding anything to your diet! I’m no doctor, y’all.
Okay, so *how* do you take collagen?
Great question, and there are a million different products to incorporate into our lives nowadays. I shared my Bulletproof Coffee recipe two years ago, as well as my Matcha Latte recipe, both of which have collagen peptides in them. I also sneak them into my smoothies! You can see my current go-to smoothie recipe here, and my old go-to recipe in this post.
Coffee is the main way I incorporate collagen into my diet! I used to add a scoop of Vanilla Collagen to my coffee when I was at home, and use these individual unflavored sticks for when I was traveling. And then Vital Proteins launched their Collagen Creamer, so I use that now instead. It comes in a tub for at home, and individual sticks for when you’re on the go.
Smoothies are my next main source! I make a smoothie at home almost daily, and it’s always with some type of vanilla protein powder. I used to always use the Vital Proteins Vanilla Peptides, but earlier this year I actually started using Vega One Plant-Based Vanilla Protein Powder since it has so many other nutritional benefits (and is a lot cheaper than the Vanilla Vital Proteins). But since I still want to get my collagen in, I add a scoop of the regular unflavored Vital Proteins. (I’m not sure why, but the unflavored option is much cheaper than the vanilla, like half the price.)
Vital Proteins now makes a ton of other products that you can check out… So many different flavored beauty waters, matcha, fun protein flavors, etc. If you don’t drink coffee or make smoothies, you can see what works best for you from all of their other offerings!
Questions?? Hit me up in the comments below! xo