The human body is heavily reliant on collagen as one of its key building blocks, from the skin and muscles to the bones and tendons. Collagen maintains your youthful complexion and allows you to move freely and pain-free. Unfortunately, your body’s collagen-creating capacity steadily declines with age.
Supplementing with external sources, like beef collagen powders, can help replenish your body’s natural reserves. The benefits are many, from boosting skin health to improving joint pain. To get the most out of your dietary supplement, hydrolyzed collagen is the way to go. We share seven science-based reasons on why you should add hydrolyzed beef collagen supplements to your diet today.
What Is Beef Collagen?
Beef collagen, also known as bovine collagen, is derived from the tissues, cartilage, bones, and hides of cows. Due to the availability and biocompatibility of beef collagen with the human body, it widely populates the market for collagen supplements. This animal protein is a rich source of nonessential amino acids — for example, glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline — characteristic of the collagen found in the human body.
There are three main collagen types present in different parts of the cattle’s body:
- Type I collagen: Skin, bone, teeth, tendon, ligaments, vascular ligature, and organs
- Type II collagen: Cartilage
- Type III collagen: Skin, muscle, and blood vessels
Depending on which body part the collagen is extracted from, beef collagen supplements are usually a mix of Types I, II, and III.
7 Health Benefits of Beef Collagen You Should Know
We’ve briefly mentioned how beef collagen supplements help support your body’s dwindling collagen supply to stave off the signs of aging for as long as possible. Now, let’s go into the exact details of their health benefits.
1. Boost Skin Health
Many of us are no stranger to the fine lines and crow’s feet that come with every passing year. You can blame it on your aging skin’s decreasing collagen levels. That said, there’s a solution to your dilemma, which is to take beef collagen.
According to a 2018 medical review published in the International Journal of Molecular Science, the dermatological benefits of collagen supplementation include:
- Fewer wrinkles and fine lines
- A smoother skin texture
- More hydrated skin
- Greater skin elasticity
- Faster wound-healing
- Reduced skin inflammation
- Increased collagen production in the skin
At this point, you’re probably wondering, "What about collagen-rich skin care?" The thing is, topical collagen application has its limits to see visible results, simply because the collagen molecule is too large to pass through the skin barrier. According to Nutritional Outlook, topical collagen usually produces localized results, i.e., where you apply it on your skin. Its effectiveness is also short-term as it only lasts until you wash it off.
On the other hand, the efficient bioavailability of hydrolyzed collagen means your body will completely absorb the supplement and distribute it across major organs and tissues. This way, you are in a better position to enjoy all of the above skin benefits.
2. Promote Nail and Hair Growth
While we are on the topic of beauty, beef collagen can also help promote healthy nails and hair growth.
Based on a 2017 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, participants consumed 2.5 grams of collagen peptides every day for 24 weeks. The results showed a 12% increase in nail growth rate and a 42% fall in the frequency of nail breakage. Moreover, the majority reported lasting nail improvements for up to a month after the treatment.
Similarly, another 2012 study in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology highlighted the effectiveness of collagen supplementation for hair growth. Women with thinning hair noticed significant improvements in “overall hair volume, scalp coverage, and thickness of hair body after 90 days.” They also experienced additional benefits such as “hair shine, skin moisture retention, and skin smoothness” after 180 days.
3. Speed up Wound Healing
Beef collagen supplements may also accelerate the recovery rate of your injuries. Research shows traditional secondary intention healing (i.e., the wound is intentionally left open to heal) roughly took 9.4 weeks. In comparison, the bovine collagen matrix provided more rapid wound healing, averaging only 6.1 weeks. Plus, using bovine collagen required fewer dressing changes and didn’t incite any wound infections or allergic reactions.
4. Stimulate Muscle Growth and Strength
Given that collagen is a key building block of the human body, it probably comes as no surprise that beef collagen acts as a muscle-building protein. Glycine and arginine, two of the amino acids present in collagen, are essential to creatine production — an organic compound that’s naturally present in your muscle cells to release energy during physical activity. As you can imagine, creatine is highly prized among fitness enthusiasts for muscle growth and strength to supercharge athletic performance.
According to the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, oral supplementation can help amplify the creatine content in your muscles to:
- Increase lean body mass through resistance training
- Intensify muscle power and strength through high-intensity, repetitive training
In other words, supplementing with beef collagen, which contains the necessary amino acids to produce creatine, will likely enhance your body’s natural creatine levels. You can now expect better performance on the field.
5. Alleviate Osteoarthritis
Aside from promoting stronger, bigger muscles, beef collagen peptides also play a part in maintaining joint health.
Did you know that osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States? Due to the age-related wear and tear of the cartilage protecting the bone joints, osteoarthritis often leads to joint pain, aches, and stiffness, resulting in limited mobility.
But you don’t have to needlessly suffer from joint pain since beef collagen supplements can help. A 2015 study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that hydrolyzed collagen peptides significantly reduced discomfort in osteoarthritic patients compared to the placebo group. Look toward beef collagen peptides to help slow down the progression of osteoarthritis and maintain joint health for a better quality of life.
6. Improve Gut Health
Beef collagen peptides may also help your digestive system flourish. Research explains collagen peptides alleviate intestinal barrier dysfunction, which is a key feature in numerous gastrointestinal disorders such as leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
On the plus side, quality beef collagen supplements typically feature hydrolyzed collagen (also called collagen hydrolysate). These collagen peptides are short-chain amino acids of the whole collagen molecule. Due to the smaller molecular weight of hydrolyzed collagen, they are easily digested ('cell-ready') and readily absorbed by your body. In other words, hydrolyzed beef collagen peptides are less likely to cause an upset stomach. Complete absorption also allows you to reap the full benefits of these dietary supplements.
7. Elevate Sleep Quality
You may be surprised, but beef collagen can double as a natural sleep aid, thanks to the presence of glycine. Scientific evidence indicates consuming glycine just before bed significantly improved sleep quality for those struggling with insomnia. Specifically, glycine supplementation lowers your body’s core temperature, which naturally drops in preparation for slumber. Add a scoop of beef collagen powder to a glass of warm milk to help you fall asleep faster.
How To Use Beef Collagen in Your Diet
Ready to experience the many health benefits of bovine collagen for yourself? You’d be happy to know that beef collagen is a versatile dietary supplement that can be added to just about anything. Think coffees, teas, smoothies, juices, oatmeal, and even fruit bowls and baked goods. Most bovine collagen supplements are unflavored, too, which means stirring it in your matcha green tea latte won’t affect its taste (much).
You’d also be happy to hear that beef collagen powders can dissolve in both hot and cold beverages. That said, you may need a little more effort when using it in ice-cold drinks. To make it easier on yourself, mix the powder with room temperature liquid first and then add ice. It may help to let the beverage sit for about 45 seconds before drinking so it will dissolve completely.
If you need some inspiration on how to use beef collagen in your diet, check out our smoothie recipes. You may also like our handy guide on “How to Add Collagen to Your Coffee.”
Are There Any Side Effects of Beef Collagen Supplementation?
While beef collagen is a dietary supplement unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Unlike gelatin and whey protein powders, the small molecular size of hydrolyzed beef collagen peptides means they are less likely to cause bloatedness and other digestive issues.
Take the supplement according to the recommended amounts provided by the manufacturer. It’s always a good idea to start small at a low dosage before gradually increasing it. Also, do consult your doctor when adding a new supplement to your diet, especially if you’re on medication, pregnant, or breastfeeding.
How To Choose a Top-Quality Beef Collagen Supplement
Since dietary supplements like beef collagen are not regulated by the FDA, it falls to us as consumers to do our due diligence. Fortunately, choosing a quality beef collagen supplement is easier than you think.
Below, we’ve provided a checklist to keep you on the right track:
Beef collagen that’s labeled 100% grass-fed indicates the collagen is sourced from humanely grass-fed and pasture-raised cows in a natural environment. You can rest assured that such collagen supplements are free of:
- Genetically modified organisms (GMOs),
- Antibiotics, and
- Pesticides, like the potentially cancer-causing glyphosate
More than that, grass-fed cows equal happy cows since they can roam free and feed on a natural, healthy diet. Not only do you benefit from top-quality beef collagen, but supporting such ethical productions means you’re looking out for the animals’ welfare and the environment as a whole.
Clean Ingredient List
Make sure you are consuming actual beef collagen instead of artificial ingredients by analyzing the ingredient list. In an ideal scenario, the ingredient list should read clean, short, and simple, such as “hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides” without fillers, additives, and artificial sweeteners.
As the dietary supplement market is largely unregulated, it’s easy for brands to claim that their product is this or that. One way to ensure you’re actually paying what you get for is to check for third-party verifications. Third-party testing of collagen supplements confirms that what’s in the packaging matches that on the ingredient list. This gives you peace of mind knowing that the beef collagen you’ve purchased is safe for consumption and comes from legitimate sources.
Aside from quality ingredients, you’d also want to check how the bovine collagen is made. Industry-wise, most dietary supplements strive to abide by the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) set out by the FDA. Beef collagen created in a facility that follows the strict GMP standards will likely have consistent quality, freshness, and safety from the start to the end of the production process.
Zen Principle Beef Collagen Peptides Powder
If you’re on the lookout for a good-quality beef collagen supplement, give our Beef Collagen Peptides Powder a try. It ticks all of the boxes — 100% grass-fed, a clean ingredient list, third-party verified, and GMP-compliant — to provide you with the above health benefits. Rest assured that we use only grass-fed, pasture-raised cows from the nutrient-rich grasslands of South America. Moreover, our beef collagen is produced under strict quality and health guidelines, and tested multiple times for purity.
Last but not least, our hydrolyzed beef collagen peptides are suitable for Bulletproof, Paleo, Primal, GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), Whole30, and Ketogenic (Keto) diets. For more information on whether our beef collagen peptides powder is what you’re looking for, hop over to our FAQs page.