Collagen is the main structural protein in animals, and the most common protein in vertebrates. There are many different types of collagen, each vital for healthy skin, hair, nails and joints.
From your mid-20s, your collagen levels start to dip so it’s important (for vegans especially) to encourage the body to produce more collagen through supplementation.
Just adding more collagen to your tissues isn’t enough though, you also need to make sure that the collagen is correctly cross-linked for structural strength by supplementing with other beneficial compounds.
Is Collagen Vegan?
No, collagen only occurs in animals.
There is lab-grown meat and collagen which is still animal-based but doesn’t cause harm to living beings, therefore making this engineered collagen vegan. However, these products aren’t on the market yet.
Vegan Sources Of Collagen
Vegan supplements do not contain collagen. At best, they may contain ingredients that help the body produce more collagen on its own. This includes healthy fats, amino acids such as lysine, glycine and proline. When applied topically to the skin, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and herbs such as gotu kola all help in collagen production.
Structurally, collagen consists of three amino acids: glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Studies have shown that by supplementing these amino acids, you can boost collagen production in your body.
Interestingly, a medicinal plant called gotu kola strengthens connective tissue within the body. One of the ways gotu kola does this is by increasing collagen synthesis. If you take gotu kola extract, this will be useful for getting rid of stretch marks and other structural skin conditions.
Vitamin C helps the enzyme responsible for synthesizing collagen fibres and consequently, aids in wound healing. Hyaluronic acid on the other hand doesn’t produce collagen but instead hydrates collagen and retains skin moisture.
Best Vegan Collagen Peptides: Choosing A Vegan Collagen Supplement, Vegan Collagen Powder
Best Vegan Collagen Powder
PlantFusion Collagen Builder powder is a true example of a complete vegan collagen supplement. Each scoop contains a diverse amino acid blend, including not only L-proline and glycine for collagen, but other amino acids to provide 21g of protein per scoop.
The saberry fruit extract provides vitamin C – a key component in collagen production, and the added hyaluronic acid will enhance skin moisture. PlantFusion Collagen Builder also contains a digestive enzyme blend to improve protein absorption in your gut, as well as white tea extract which has antioxidant activity to prevent skin damage.
Reviewers mix the vanilla-flavored powder either with water ー adding a bit of fat will help this powder dissolve better ー or in shakes. Either way, you should notice its effects after a few weeks.
Best Vegan Collagen Builder Tablets
Windsor Naturals Vegan Collagen Builder tablets contain a wide variety of beneficial ingredients. Each tablet is rich in vitamin C – a cofactor for collagen production. This supplement also contains a large amount of biotin – a B-vitamin that is necessary for boosting hair growth and strengthening nails.
For collagen production, Windsor Naturals Vegan Collagen tablets contain glycine, L-proline and lysine. To prolong skin health, these tablets also contain fruit extracts for antioxidant protection. You just need to take one tablet a day with a meal for great results.
Best Vegan Collagen Gummies
Herbaland Vegan Collagen gummies are ideal for protecting your skin and promoting skin strengthening. Each watermelon-flavored gummy contains L-lysine which modifies collagen to ensure correct structural cross-linking. These gummies also contain both vitamin A and vitamin C promote collagen production and provide antioxidant activity.
Herbaland Vegan Collagen gummies are great if you struggle to swallow tablets. Reviewers love the taste and have noticed an improvement in hair, nail and skin quality.
Best Vegan Collagen Builder Stack
Purity Products Vegan Collagen tablets, like Windsor Naturals, contain a diverse range of ingredients necessary for healthy collagen production. Each tablet provides vitamin C, glycine, L-proline and L-lysine to encourage both the production and cross-linking of collagen.
The grape seed extract and other fruit powders provide additional antioxidant activity. This effect doesn’t affect collagen per se, but it does protect your skin from damage, such as aging and UV light. You will also receive a huge boost in biotin for improving hair and nail health.
Users have found that taking one tablet a day consistently for 3 weeks is enough to notice differences in hair, nail and skin health.
Best Gotu Kola Supplement
NOW Supplements gotu kola is an effective collagen-boosting herb that isn’t normally included in vegan collagen booster supplements, but worth taking separately. Take 2 tablets a day alongside your vegan collagen supplements for stronger skin and joints.
It’s not clear where NOW Supplements source their gotu kola from, but their products are GMP quality-assured and packaged in the US to ensure a clean product.
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