Here it is, the post I’ve been building up but have been so nervous to write. I’ve been raving about my collagen protein for months, and now it’s finally time for me to give you my honest review.
The struggle with proteins is never even knowing where to begin. They’re so important for daily nutrition, but they’ve exploded when it comes to supplementation, as well. It can be overwhelming. It doesn’t help that some people will tell you that protein supplementation is worth it, and others will say it’s a waste of money.
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THE BASICS: PROTEIN
It’s kind of hard to narrow down exactly what protein does simply because it does so. much. If you’ve taken a health/biology/anatomy class, you’ve probably heard the phase that “proteins are the building blocks of life.” They make up our cells, our tissues, and enzymes – the substances that speed up chemical reactions in our bodies (EUFIC). I’m going to guess that you probably get the picture; proteins are pretty darn important.
Proteins are made up of a combination of amino acids – each amino acid has different functions. For example, leucine helps regulate blood sugar, promotes growth/recovery for bone + muscle, and helps produce growth hormone (Amino Acids Guide).
As far as dietary sources, protein is most abundant in animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs. However, it can be found in good amounts of plant products as well – nuts, rice, and quinoa, to name a few (EUFIC).
As I mentioned before, whether protein supplementation is worth it depends on who you ask – some people will swear by it, others will tell you it’s not worth it; some will say you actually get the protein you need, others will say it’s only good for helping replenish calories after a workout. It kinda makes your head spin, doesn’t it?
Here’s a brief breakdown when it comes to trying to understanding protein supplements.
CONCENTRATES: protein is generally extracted from a food using heat and acid/enzymes. 60-80% protein, the other 20-40% of calories come from remaining fats and carbs.
ISOLATES: undergoes an extra filtering process. 90-95% protein.
HYDROLYSATES: undergoes additional heating with acids/enzymes – this makes the protein easier to absorbed into the body by breaking down the bonds between the amino acids.
WHEY: whey protein is derived from milk. The most abundant amino acid in this form of protein is leucine, which is most commonly used for muscle growth and recovery following resistance exercise.
CASEIN: casein is also found in milk and is shown to slow stomach emptying and create a slower release of amino acids into the body. Whey is generally better in terms of building muscle mass in regular dieting conditions, but studies show that casein increases body composition when an individual is on a restrictive-calorie diet.
EGG: eggs are second to milk when it comes to protein content. Eggs are full of protein and make a great breakfast because they’ll keep you feeling full for a while, therefore reducing appetite and caloric intake.
PEA: pea protein powders are made from the yellow split pea and are apparently most well-known for triggering the “fullness hormones” in the body and has been shown in studies to decrease blood pressure. This is a popular choice among vegans/vegetarians or those with milk or egg sensitivities.
HEMP: hemp is a relatively new plant-based protein option. It’s related to marijuana (but apparently only has trace amounts of THC. In addition to its protein benefits, it’s also loaded with omega-3’s which are good for heart health.
BROWN RICE: this is an older form of protein, but it’s not as effective in building muscle as whey.
MIXED PLANT: a protein powder made from a combination of brown rice, pea, hemp, alfafa, chia seeds, flax seeds, artichoke, and quinoa. This combination of plants forms complete proteins. The fiber from the plants makes digestion take a little longer, therefore making it iffy if the proteins will be absorbed enough to use for muscle recovery.
WHY I CHOSE COLLAGEN
Being a health and exercise science junkie, I take careful consideration when it comes to what type of fads + supplements I partake in. I rarely do diets, nor have I ever been one to take much interest in whey or protein powders in general. That was, until I received a sample of Vital Protein’s Marine Collagen powder. Granted, it was only a sample, but nevertheless, I was intrigued.
I had tried taking biotin supplements but it ended up making me break out more, but I was interested in trying to find something to help with hair, skin, and nails.
One-third of the body’s protein is collagen protein, making it the most abundant protein in the body. It makes up skin, muscles, bones, and tendons/joints. We lose collagen as we age; this is where we start to see wrinkles appear and weakening in the joints. You’ll see a lot of skincare products say “WITH COLLAGEN” to try and combat wrinkles, but collagen is too big of a particle to be absorbed into the skin and those products are not as likely to do what they say they will (Medical News Today, 2017). Not to mention, collagen is in so much more than just your skin!
I decided to read up on Vital Proteins specifically. The claims they make for their products are as follows: glowing skin, a more youthful appearance, joint health, tendon + bone strength, healthy cartilage, increased athletic performance, improved digestion, gut health, and deeper sleep. Furthermore, their products are gluten free, dairy free, Whole30 approved, paleo friendly, Kosher, and have no added sugars or GMOs. Something to keep in mind when it comes to claims on supplements is that they are not required to go through the FDA, so both claims and the products themselves might not be all they’re cracked up to be – use your own discernment.
But I personally was sold. They have a wide variety of products taken from different sources – beef collagen, marine collagen, beef or chicken bone broths, whey + collagen… they even just recently came out with powdered creamers (that I’m itching to try!) I bought two products: the marine collagen and the lavender lemon beauty water. The beauty water is amazing to add to teas, and I always put a scoop of the marine collagen into my coffee each morning. These products have lasted me quite a while; it took me 2 months to run out of my marine collagen.
I have noticed my nails are stronger and my hair has been growing a lot faster and feels stronger. Plus, it hasn’t made me break out. I’m due to buy some more, but I’m hoping to see even more results as I continue to take it. As a side note, I have a friend that also uses Vital Proteins – she has mentioned struggling with joint issues but that the products have helped her tremendously.
If you are interested in checking out Vital Proteins for yourself, CLICK HERE (affiliate link)! Browse for yourself and see what products fit your needs. If you can’t decide, they even have stasher sampler bags (affiliate link) so you can try the products before you commit to the full size! If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me (-: I would not be promoting the product if I didn’t actually like it and believe in its potential.
Besides the anti-aging properties, there are clearly so many benefits to taking collagen. These powders are so easy to add to food and drinks for better health and a healthier glow. I hope y’all found this useful and worth the anticipation (-: