December 20, 2020 5 min read

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    The importance of collagen

    Our bodies are craving collagen! It's literally what we're made of. Every connective tissue in your body relies on collagen, the most abundant protein in your body, as its scaffolding. As the years go by, our bodies produce less and less collagen and your skin, hair, nails, joints, and even gut can take a turn for the worse. That's why many people place collagen as their number one dietary supplement. Studies have found that when we consume collagen, it starts to break down into the essential amino acids our bodies need to produce more collagen.

    Animals also produce collagen naturally in their bodies, but it's nearly impossible to digest it by eating just meat. Instead, different types of collagen are extracted from the skin (and scales) of animals and hydrolyzed to a molecular level that can be absorbed and used by our bodies. Gelatin and bovine collagen, or grass-fed collagen, are sourced from the hides of pasture-raised cows. Eggshell membranes and chicken cartilage is a popular part of multi collagen protein formulas. However, the most sustainable and bioavailable form of collagen on the market is hydrolyzed collagen from fish, AKA marine collagen. Of course, if you’re a pescatarian, this source of collagen is also more diet friendly. Once you know what collagen source you want to choose, the next step is finding the flavor or lack thereof that suits your taste buds and lifestyle!

    The benefits of unflavored collagen vs. flavored collagen

    The strengths of flavored collagen peptides

    There are two main reasons why flavored collagen is so popular. Firstly, it makes it much easier to make protein shakes on the go that are packed with flavor. Even drinking water throughout the day can be hard for some, but drink mixes and collagen protein powders with natural flavors can add a little extra incentive to support your overall wellness. This is especially the case when they have flavors like monk fruit and guava with stevia or rich chocolate, espresso, and vanilla flavors  Collagen creamers with flavors like french vanilla and hazelnut also blend seamlessly into your morning coffee. All you do is mix with your water for a protein "milkshake". Seems tempting, right?

    Secondly, some people are afraid of their collagen leaving a bad taste in their mouth or think that it's neutral taste needs to be covered up. Thus, the triple chocolate brownie was introduced to the mix. In both scenarios, flavored collagen can be helpful, but it has its drawbacks as well. Flavors can limit the drinks and foods that you use collagen in. I don't know about you, but I would get tired of drinking a cookies and cream shake twice a day every day! Additionally, a huge misconception about collagen is that they all taste funny. In fact, when sourced sustainably from high quality, pure sources, collagen should have no taste at all! Hence, the label: unflavored. This frees you up to experiment in the kitchen and begin adding collagen to your favorite drinks and dishes.

    Unflavored collagen is versatile and can be added to high protein snacks, drinks, and recipes

    Another drawback of flavored collagen is that taste can be deceiving. Many brands will add in unnecessary sugars and sweeteners that can compromise a healthy diet or fast, rather than supporting your overall health goals. Additionally, sweeteners can sometimes be used to drown out the taste or smell of impurities from unclean sources. This may not always be the case, but it can be a clever case of smoke and mirrors to sell a substandard product.

    The strengths of unflavored collagen

    If you choose the right collagen powder from the start, you won't need any artificial flavors or sweeteners to help you get it down. Oftentimes, when brands don't source their collagen from clean sources (such as using farmed fish over wild-caught fish) it does have a slight odor and unpleasant taste. Their solution? Dump in some artificial sweeteners to cover it up! Now of course this isn't always the case and there are some strengths to having a sweeter and more flavorful supplement, but it's hard to discern the difference. Whether your collagen is a flavor explosion or a plain jane, it's extremely important to make sure it is noted as non-gmo, properly tested, and free of preservatives. These are the areas you will definitely want to keep it clean!

    Premium unflavored collagen should have any odor or aftertaste

    In a sense, unflavored collagen has nothing to hide. In fact, marine collagen is extremely soluble in hot drinks like coffee or mixed into smoothies, oatmeal, bone broth soups, and even scrambled eggs! One of its strongest features is its versatility and ability to fit your diet and food preferences. Choosing unflavored also ensures that it contains no refined or added sugars, making it a popular choice for keto, diabetic, and paleo diets

    What's right for me?

    If you're constantly on the go and need a protein powder that you can squeeze in just before hitting the gym, then flavored might be the best choice for you. If you’re a purist or plan on using collagen in more than just your almond milk latte, then we recommend unflavored collagen powder. Unflavored collagen simply has more versatility and can become a pantry staple for home cooks and health fanatics without sacrificing flavor. Additionally, it is generally the cleaner, simpler route to go and makes it easier for people who are just beginning to use collagen to add to their favorite dishes throughout the day.

    Amandean's unflavored marine collagen powder is sourced from wild-caught cod in the pristine waters of the North Atlantic. It even comes in individual stick packs for on the go nutrition! It's GMO-free, gluten-free, and fat-free, making it an easy addition to whatever diet plan you follow, even pescatarian. Smoothies, coffee, and tea is a breeze. Want a decadent chocolate hummus shake? Collagen can do that! Pudding with coconut milk, tapioca, and 40 grams of collagen? You got it. It can even do comfort food, with dishes like banana bread and quiche.

    The bottom line

    Adding a high-quality collagen supplement to your diet can put you on the fast track to healthy skin, both in terms of skin elasticity and hydration, as well as improved joint health, gut health, lean muscle mass, and even thicker, shinier hair. Our marine collagen is a fan favorite with a nearly perfect average rating. Whether you need help coming up with ideas, are interested in boosting your collagen absorption with vitamin C, or want to know more about determining the serving size that's right for you, the Amandean team is here to help!

    Summary Points

    • The most sustainable and bioavailable form of collagen on the market is hydrolyzed collagen from fish, AKA marine collagen
    • A huge misconception about collagen is that they all taste funny. In fact, when sourced sustainably from high-quality ingredients, collagen should have no taste at all
    • Whether your collagen is a flavor explosion or a plain jane, make sure it is non-GMO, properly tested, and free of preservatives
    • Unflavored collagen simply has more versatility and can become a pantry staple for home cooks and health fanatics without sacrificing flavor.

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