What on Earth is Collagen and Should You Use It?

By May 14, 2017Nutrition

If you’ve hung around in the fitness space on Instagram, you might have seen that influencers are going crazy over collagen. They put it in their smoothies, coffee, baked goods, pancakes, and pretty much everything else.

collagen in coffee

But just because everyone else is using it doesn’t mean it’s worth it – or that it’s right for you. So, let’s break this trend down.

What is collagen?

Simply put, collagen is the most prevalent protein in your body. It’s in your bones and muscles and skin, and it literally holds you all together (even if as a college student you don’t feel all that together).

The collagen that’s crazy popular right now is a supplement, though. It’s generally derived from cows, fish, or chicken a tasteless, protein-packed powder that dissolves in pretty much anything and doesn’t alter the flavor or texture of whatever you put it in. You know how some protein powders are chalky or don’t bake well? Collagen is pretty much undetectable – and if it’s not, it’s not high quality.

Why supplement with it?

Advocates of collagen supplements say it makes their skin smoother, hair shinier, and digestion better. Since collagen is a major structural component of your body, it also aids recovery from workouts and injuries.

Is it for you?

The million-dollar question. It’s pretty expensive, so if you’re totally happy with your skin, hair, digestion, and recovery… probably not. But if you’re looking for some improvements and are willing to drop $40 and experiment, go for it.

Personally, I love it, but go through phases using it and not.

How can you use it?

collagen in pancakes

How can you not use it?

Basically, get creative and experiment a little. It’s hard to go wrong. 

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Author Ellen Slater

Ellen is a second year economics major at the University of Chicago, and she is originally from Columbus, Ohio. Her favorite things include writing, hockey, Ohio State football, tea, Diet Coke, photography, cooking and baking, yoga and running, and food and fitness in general. She talks a lot about all of these things on her blog, My Uncommon Everyday. She considers herself a connoisseur of pizza, nut butter, and dark chocolate.

More posts by Ellen Slater