5 Easy Ways to Add Collagen to Your Morning (& Why You Should)
Over the past few years, collagen has gone from fancy face cream ingredient to popular pantry staple. Proponents rave that collagen powder works its aesthetic magic even better from the inside out. Keep reading to discover some of the perks of collagen and how to seamlessly incorporate it into your morning routine.
But First: What Is Collagen and What Is it Good For?
Collagen is a major structural protein. It makes up a large percentage of your connective tissue and around 70% of the protein in your entire body. It’s responsible for providing structure for your skin, hair, and nails, keeping your joints mobile, and strengthening bones. Essentially, it’s the glue that holds everything together!
“The primary reason I use and recommend collagen is to support healthy hair, skin, and nails,” says Jessica Cording, RD, registered dietitian and health coach. “Some studies have also shown benefits to joint health, muscle growth, bone health, and wound repair.”
So it’s pretty crucial from a functional perspective, and—yes—it affects your appearance, too. Natural collagen production starts to decline with age. Your body starts to lose it faster than it can make it. This, in turn, drives the development of fine lines and wrinkles, contributes to changes in hair texture, and leaves joints less flexible and cushioned.
There’s good news, though: Consuming collagen-rich foods like bone broth or taking collagen supplements may help combat declining collagen levels. We love Youtheory® Collagen Powder, which supplies 6,000 mg of highly-absorbable hydrolyzed collagen peptides per serving, along with vitamin C to aid internal collagen production, and biotin to further support health and beauty factors. It’s available in unflavored and vanilla and dissolves easily in your coffee, juice or smoothie!
Keep in mind: The collagen you eat doesn’t go directly toward forming new collagen in the body, but it does supply the amino acids needed for your body to synthesize collagen. So, some nutrition experts believe that collagen powder may be more effective at boosting collagen production than other types of protein powder.
In fact, here’s an interesting tidbit you might not know: You can use collagen powder as a protein powder — with one important caveat, according to Cording. Collagen only has 8 of the 9 essential amino acids (it lacks tryptophan), so you’ll need to make up for that by eating a variety of other protein sources in your diet.
5 Ways to Add Collagen to Your Mornings
Mornings are one of the best times of day to incorporate collagen into your diet. Not only will it provide you with a nice source of protein that helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and curb cravings throughout the first half of your day, but it easily blends into a number of a.m. foods and beverages—so it won’t add more stress to an already hectic morning.
Here are a few convenient ways to add collagen powder to your morning routine:
1. Mix or blend it into coffee or tea.
Whatever your morning beverage choice, go ahead and add some collagen. Collagen dissolves well in both hot and cold liquids, and it won’t add a funky taste or texture either. Try it in coffee, tea, matcha lattes, golden milk, lemon water, or juice.
2. Stir it into oatmeal or yogurt.
To add a little more staying power to your morning oatmeal or yogurt, stir in a scoop of collagen, which provides blood sugar-balancing protein. Better yet, add some berries and nuts, too, for an ultra nutrient-dense breakfast.
3. Blend into smoothies.
Try using collagen in your next smoothie instead of (or in addition to) your typical protein powder. Bonus: Unlike some heavier protein powders, collagen has a subtler taste and will allow the flavors of your other ingredients to shine.
4. Whisk it into your scrambled eggs.
Collagen stands up well to heat, meaning you can whisk it into your raw eggs, then cook them up as you normally would. Or add a few chopped bell peppers and make it a veggie scramble Fun fact: The vitamin C from bell peppers helps your body utilize collagen more efficiently.
5. Bake into breakfast bars, muffins, and more.
Collagen is a perfect addition to make-ahead breakfasts such as muffins, egg muffins, overnight oats, baked oatmeal, pancakes, breakfast bars, quiche, and more. Really, for pretty much any recipe that you bake, you can add some collagen to it.
Bonus: Bring it to work!
While a canister of collagen makes sense for home use, it’s a great idea to toss a few individually wrapped vanilla-flavored Youtheory® Collagen Powder Packets (also featuring vitamin C and biotin) into your bag for work, where you can conveniently add them to your coffee, tea, or juice throughout the day. With a nice dose of protein, they’re perfect for warding off those mid-afternoon energy slumps and sugar cravings.
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