Collagen peptides are a health trend I took a while to come around to, for two reasons. First, they’re not available too many places. Second, they’re an animal-derived product. Before December of 2016, I was seeing posts about about them frequently and my holistic doctor even started carrying them in her office. I was intrigued for some time, but the act of purchasing didn’t happen without research and an ungodly amount of stalling.
My relationship to beef has been nearly nonexistent for a few years now, and became strictly nonexistent after my GI tract diagnosis in November 2015. I gave up meat for primarily the health of it, but I also feel better about the environmental and ethical benefits of not consuming beef.
The benefits of collagen peptides looked and sounded sensational but my initial thoughts were cringey.
I eat plant-based and I try to keep the sustainably of ingredients in mind. My health is in a great place compared to where it was, but there are still things I’m working toward resolving in my body for optimum health. So, under the advice of 2 holistic practitioners and my own research, I made the resolution to try collagen peptides out for a month.
Vital Proteins does a great job of explaining the purpose and function of collagen peptides and how they source them sustainably from grass-fed beef. My goal was to restore gut health, strengthen my immune system, and maybe help with hair growth (I was highly skeptical of this particular claim).
So, what is collagen?
Our bodies are full of this protein that makes up connective tissue, it’s a building block for everything from hair to joints. Amino acids are needed for your body to build new collagen, so taking collagen peptides stimulates certain cells to in the body to get that process going. While plant-derived supplementation exist to support collagen production, the quality and effectiveness of products I found weren’t stellar. So, my gut told me that animal-derived supplementation was the one to try.
The results were noticeable for hair growth after just over a month taking the collagen peptides everyday. In May and July of ’16 I had two significant eye surgeries that caused me to lose about half of my eyelashes. Some grew back on their own, but sparsely at that.
After only one month of taking the collagen peptides not only have my eyelashes regrown fully, but they’re longer and fuller than ever. I’m now on month 3 of taking collagen peptides, and my hair is growing significantly faster and stronger than I’ve ever experienced.
I’ve even noticed my skin to be a bit more glowy but I’m yet to notice results in other bodily functions. I think internal gut restoration, immune support, and bone and joint health are a bit harder to judge when you’re already at a point where things are decent.
Herbivore + collagen
I’ve said it before, I roll with what my body needs. I think I’m optimized to thrive on a plant-based diet, but there’s room for supplementation. A huge part of my heath comes from the nutrition given to me by plants and adding collagen peptides isn’t negating that.
Optimal health means a lot to me. And I think anyone who has had periods of seriously poor health can agree that there sometimes needs to be compromise for the sake of healing. If taking collagen peptides is significantly changing things I can physically see, I can only imagine the kind of positive change it’s conducting internally.
Right now my routine is 1 serving of collagen peptides each day in coffee, smoothies, cauliflower porridge, anything it can be dissolved in work. Or, I get it from a bulletproof collagen bar. They’re incredibly satiating and I can use it as a meal replacement in a pinch.