Collagen in Your Morning Coffee? The Benefits Say “Yes!”

Happy National Coffee Day! Yes, that’s right. If you live in the United States or Canada, today is the official day to celebrate your daily cup of Joe. But, what if you could turn your morning latte into a protein-packed powerhouse?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, making up tendons, ligaments, skin, muscles, and bones. But as we age, our ability to produce collagen declines; after the age of 20, we produce 1% less collagen each year. Collagen supplements provide your body with the raw materials it needs to create more collagen on its own. However, it is also important to note that collagen cannot be synthesized if it is not part of a balanced diet.

“In the absence of sufficient calories or protein, collagen is not going to do all the things you want it to do,” says nutritionist Jenn Gargiulo, RDN, CSSD. “If you’re not eating well, the collagen will just be used as calories and energy. Additionally, Vitamin C is crucial for you body to produce collagen, so make sure you take in an adequate amount of vitamin C, which your body does not produce on its own and must get through your diet.”

Kore collagen is unflavored and mixes easily into a cup of hot or iced coffee, delivering 10 grams of hydrolyzed – that is, broken down into a more easily digestible and usable form – Type I and III bovine collagen and nine grams of protein. And if you fall into the 36% of Americans over the age of 18 who don’t drink coffee every day, you can still reap these six benefits of collagen by mixing it into water, juice, smoothie or protein shake.

Collagen is Good for Your Skin

The reduced collagen production that occurs as we age can lead to dry skin and wrinkles. “From an anti-aging perspective, collagen supplements can improve your skin’s elasticity and hydration,” Gargiulo says. “Anecdotally, many people say they make their skin look and feel better.” Studies back up that anecdotal evidence. Consuming collagen powder has been shown to decrease skin dryness, improve elasticity of the skin and reduce wrinkle depth. Collagen supplements stimulate your body to produce more collagen on it’s own, by providing it with the necessary amino acids to do so.

Collagen is Good for Your Nails

Collagen is one of the major proteins found in nail beds. It supports the nail infrastructure, and when collagen is lacking, your nails will become brittle and break more easily. Collagen contains the amino acid arginine, which stimulates nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide improves blood flow, increasing the amount of nutrients delivered to the nail bed and promoting healthy growth.

Collagen Can Alleviate Joint Pain

As the amount of collagen in your body decreases, the risk for osteoarthritis goes up. Studies suggest collagen supplementation can improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall.

Thought collagen was mainly for women? You may want to rethink your stance … collagen has been shown to reduce joint pain and inflammation and improve mobility in athletes. “If an athlete is suffering from joint or connective tissue problems, or is recovering from an injury, I will very often recommend a collagen supplement,” says Gargiulo, who also recommends collagen as a recovery supplement. “It can help with the strengthening and healing of cartilage and bone.”

Collagen May Improve Bone Mass

Just as collagen production decreases with age, so does bone density. Bones are made mostly of collagen, which gives them structure and keeps them stronger, denser and less likely to break. Lower bone density leads to osteoporosis and can increase the risk of fractures. Collagen supplements can slow the deterioration of bone that leads to osteoporosis. They have also been shown to increase bone mineral density – the measurement of calcium and other minerals inside the bones – which also prevents osteoporosis.

Collagen Helps to Build and Maintain Muscle Mass

Collagen, especially Types I and III, which are found in kore collagen, have been shown to boost circulation and stimulate the production of glycine, an amino acid that builds lean muscle. Collagen supplementation may even slow the effects of sarcopenia, or the age-related loss of muscle mass, by promoting the synthesis of muscle proteins like creatine.

Collagen Promotes Heart Health

The walls of our blood vessels are made from collagen, which maintains a sturdy and healthy structure with good elasticity that promotes blood flow. Collagen supplementation may prevent atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances on the artery walls, which causes an obstruction of blood flow and can lead to heart disease.