Are you using the right collagen? Ask these 5 key questions to make sure your collagen works before deciding to buy.
The Essential Q’s To Ask Before Buying
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already interested in getting the benefits a collagen supplement can provide.
But if you want some specific knowledge on collagen, check out our other information on:
- Why you should care about your collagen to stay energized
- Why is collagen important for beauty at any age?
- Is Taking Collagen Enough for Healthy Skin, Hair, Nails and Joints?
- Collagen: The Key to Becoming Healthy, Strong, and Attractive for a Lifetime
Whether it’s better mobility and less joint pain, stronger tendons and bones, glowing moisturized skin, or stronger hair and nails, choosing quality is not always an obvious decision.
As with any supplement, FDA regulation is pretty loose, so it’s up to you as the consumer to make an informed decision. The types of questions to ask have to do with the:
- Type of collagen
- Dose in a serving
- Presence of other important ingredients vs. fillers
- Whether the health claims are based on science
- And most importantly, if there is third-party quality certification.
If you only use products that meet all these requirements, you’ll be pleased with the results.
But, not every collagen supplement checks all these boxes. In fact, the companies that just want to make a quick buck don’t satisfy any of them.
Don’t want to spend hours checking the labels of every collagen supplement you buy? You’re making an informed decision when you buy Resync Your Joints: Collagen Blend.
And if your curious what other brands stack up to Resync’s, we’ll cover that in a future post - so stay tuned!
Sign up for a free membership to keep reading and learn the details about what you should be looking for in any collagen supplement.
“Is this the right type of collagen?”
Scientists have discovered 28 different types of collagen, and that number keeps growing. Even if you boil it down to the top 3 in your body, it still isn’t obvious which ones you should be taking for what.
I’ll take out the guesswork right now.
If you want to nourish your skin, ligaments, bones, blood vessels (and indirectly your hair and nails), types I and III are going to serve you best. This is the kind of collagen in Resync Your Joints.
If you want to see the benefits in your bones and stiff connective tissues (ie. the cartilage in your joints), type I and type II collagen is best.
This means that for a healthy heart, beautiful skin, solid bones, and resilient connective tissue, type I collagen is the most important piece of any supplement, followed by type III, and then type II.
That being said, the way the collagen is made is just as important.
It’s important to note that all collagen types are mostly made up of the same three basic amino acids: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and glutamic acid. Different collagen types have different amounts of other amino acids like arginine, alanine, hydroxylysine and others, but the presence of these is much lower. In your body, these amino acids are packed in pairs or trios and then built up like a scaffold is built around a building under construction.
Traditionally, supplemental collagen was taken in the form of gelatin. Gelatin is made of collagen - so it is a good source - but the collagen in gelatin is in huge proteins that can cause gut pain and won’t get absorbed very well.
But studies show that taking a hydrolyzed collagen is best. Hydrolyzed collagen is more broken down than a gelatin source, but isn’t broken down to the point of individual amino acids. These “peptides” are absorbed intact and preformed for your body to use. When your body sees those peptides, scientists think it signals an anti-inflammatory reaction so that your collagen cells use them first before other organs and cells have a chance.
What about just taking enough of the right amino acids?
The newest trend is vegan collagen builder supplements. These have the same basic amino acids that real collagen supplements have, they’re just from a plant source instead of from animals.
Alternately, some scientists think that the most important amino acid in collagen building might be glycine, others say proline. So if you take enough of these, that might do some good for the health of your skin and bones.
In short, we just don’t know enough to say whether targeted amino acid supplements do enough.
We do have enough evidence to show that collagen supplements are your best choice though. The research available shows that collagen peptides are the form that’s absorbed. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides are absorbed better than non-hydrolyzed collagen or gelatin, and they find their destination and are used by the body better than individual amino acids.
If sustainability is important to you...
Grass-fed, free-range (or in the case of marine collagen: wild-caught) collagen sources are the best for the planet. The collagen in Resync comes from quality-certified and predominantly grass-fed sources.
To sum up the first question you should ask when staring down the supplement aisle:
- Make sure your collagen has types I and III if you’re looking for glowing skin, stronger bones, and better connective tissue.
- To maximize your body’s ability to digest, absorb, and utilize the collagen, take a hydrolyzed collagen peptide supplement.
- Add an eco-conscious level to your purchasing decisions by choosing grass-fed or wild-caught collagen whenever possible.
“What is the dose per serving?”
This one’s an easy question to answer.
Check out the nutrition label and look for the grams of protein per serving. The research shows that you should take 10 grams per day for 8 weeks for better hair and skin. Other research shows that you should take at least 5 grams per day for 6 months for stronger bones.
There are so many fillers in some products out there that you might have to take it 5 times per day to actually see any benefit!
So, make sure your collagen supplement provides 5 to 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate per serving.
“What other ingredients are present?”
Do these ingredients synergize, or are they just added as fillers?
One to keep in mind is the antioxidant vitamin C (“ascorbic acid”), which plays a crucial role in collagen formation. One of the most important stabilizing components of collagen protein is the amino acid, hydroxyproline. If there isn’t enough vitamin C available in your body, proline cannot be used properly and your collagen starts to fall apart.
The research shows that 15g of vitamin C is enough to enhance the benefits of a gelatin supplement. Clinical trials are currently underway to get a better picture on this topic.
So, going back to what else you need to pay attention to as a smart consumer: check if your collagen product delivers at least 25% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C: 15 grams. Other natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories are a big plus!
Important fillers to watch out for are added amino acids, called amino acid spiking, which reduces the amount of preformed collagen you’re getting. Others include carrageenan, artificial colors, and synthetic flavors which can cause allergic reactions and provide no benefit for you.
“Are there studies to back up the health claims on the bottle?”
It’s always a bonus - in our opinion, a must - that the source of collagen you use has had clinical studies that demonstrate that it can be helpful at your age, your physical activity level, and in line with your purpose of using the product. We know 99% of them do not.
The collagen used in Resync was shown to support recovery from athletic performance in typical adults as well as stronger, moisturized skin in older women. Other high quality collagen sources have been recently shown to support bone health, and its use for osteoarthritis and joint pain have been studied at length.
Want more evidence? Check out Peptan’s science page here.
Regardless of which source of collagen you decide to consume, the most important consideration is:
“Is it certified by an independent, 3rd-party testing lab?”
Just because a product was formulated by a doctor or endorsed by a celebrity, it doesn’t mean that the product is clean, safe, effective, independently tested for quality, or certified. The responsibility is on you to check for all these markers of quality. That is why Resync products are taken by elite athletes in the US - these performers not only see and feel the differences in their performance and recovery, but they know through experience that the quality of our products can be trusted.
Third-party testing labs are independent companies that make sure the ingredients on a product label are actually present in the same amounts in the products themselves. They make sure that contaminants are lower than federally mandated levels. Some supplement manufacturers try to get away with cutting their product with unlabelled fillers, so look for a quality seal certification like NSF International or GRAS (“Generally Recognized as Safe”).
Other 3rd-party testing labs make sure that a supplement is FREE of banned substances that would put your health and performance in jeopardy. These companies are critical for maintaining transparency, and you should be rightfully suspicious of any company that isn’t certified.
Resync products are certified by two of the most respected independent product testing organizations, NSF International and the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG). When you see the “NSF Certified for Sport” quality seal (a certification level higher than the basic NSF certification) or the BSCG stamp of approval, you know that the product went through a detailed banned substances testing. Look for those marks so you can focus on your health and vitality, instead of worrying if the product is a quality one or not.
When you buy products that have these certifications, you’re buying quality and transparency. This is what Resync stands for!
To summarize what to pay attention to when choosing your collagen peptides supplements:
- Does this product provide the type of collagen I need? Is it a hydrolyzed collagen?
- What is the dose per serving? How many servings do I need to take to get 5-10 grams per day?
- Does it have at least 25% of the daily value of vitamin C (15mg)? Does it have any other antioxidants? What about artificial fillers?
- Does this collagen have any clinical studies to back its health claims up?
- Is the product certified by a 3rd party testing company? Does the specific collagen have GRAS (“generally recognized as safe”) status?
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While some companies try to sell their stuff with clickbait and fake news, we make sure you have the research that backs up our claims. We believe that if you have the right information, you’ll be empowered to make the best decision for yourself. That’s why we break down the complex science of nutrition and supplements into practical takeaways you can incorporate into your life today.
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Skov, Kathrine, et al. “Enzymatic Hydrolysis of a Collagen Hydrolysate Enhances Postprandial Absorption Rate—A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Nutrients, vol. 11, no. 5, 2019, p. 1064., doi:10.3390/nu11051064.