Collagen Tea, a combination of a collagen supplement and tea, is increasing in popularity. This article will review the benefits, products, and research related to Collagen Tea.
Benefits of Collagen Tea
Tea contains antioxidants which reduce inflammation in the body. Therefore, tea may aid in the prevention of some chronic diseases. Touted benefits of tea include weight loss and heart health.
In addition, tea is linked to a decreased risk of Diabetes and some forms of Cancer. More research is needed around these potential benefits of tea. As a Dietitian, collagen, along with the benefits of tea, peaks my curiosity.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. As a result, it is commonly referred to as the “glue” or “scaffolding” that holds the body together.
Collagen can be found in our muscles, bone, hair, and ligaments. When it comes to our skin, collagen provides our skin structure and elasticity.
There are 16 types of this protein in your body, however most Collagen is type I, II, or III. Type I builds skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
While Type II helps to make cartilage, the main type of connective tissue seen throughout the body. Finally, Type III aids in the creation of muscles and blood vessels.
Collagen & Aging
Aging causes collagen breakdown. From early adulthood (~age 30), collagen production declines by about 1% per year.
Wrinkles and fine lines are signs of collagen breakdown. These hallmarks of aging also show our inability to replenish collagen with age.
Other areas of your body are impacted by collagen breakdown. Bones weaken and are more susceptible to breaks and fractures.
The cartilage in our joints decreases, and muscles lose strength. As a result, we have an increased risk of falls, which ultimately puts our independence at risk.
What Accelerates Collagen loss?
Loss of collagen can be attributed to genetics. However, there are other external factors that impact collagen loss.
Sun exposure causes the largest acceleration of collagen decline. Poor nutrition, smoking, and excessive alcohol also contribute.
Food & Collagen
Several high-protein foods are believed to support collagen production. These protein-rich foods contain the amino acids that make collagen.
Collagen production also requires Vitamin C and Zinc. Below is a list of foods that may support collagen production:
Bone Broth, Chicken, Fish and Shellfish, Egg Whites, Citrus Fruits, Berries, Tropical Fruits, Garlic, Leafy Greens, Beans, Cashews, Tomatoes, and Bell Peppers.
It’s unclear if Collagen in these foods can directly benefit your skin and joints. Your body is going to distribute protein wherever it needs it most. The good news is the foods above are already part of a healthy diet.
Check out the Age-Defying Dietitian’s Blog for additional content on foods that support Healthy Aging.
How to Protect your Body’s Collagen
- Wear sunscreen and avoid overexposure to the sun
- Drink adequate water; a general guideline is to drink enough water that your urine is similar to a light colored lemonade. Tip – Tea is hydrating!
- Minimize alcohol consumption. Moderation with alcohol is 1 drink or less per day for women; 1-2 drinks or less per day for men.
- Don’t smoke.
- Enjoy a healthy balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid sugary and highly refined Carbohydrates as these cause inflammation and result in collagen damage.
Chances are you’ve heard about or tried collagen supplements. Supplements come in both powder and pill form. You can mix the powder with liquids, such as tea.
A similar issue exists with supplements as with the collagen in food. Your body decides where to direct those amino acids from the supplement.
However, there is some promising research to support collagen’s role in skin elasticity, along with joint and muscle pain.
Regulation of Collagen Supplements and Functional Foods
A downside of collagen supplements is not knowing exactly what is in the products. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration does not review supplements for safety or effectiveness before they are sold to consumers. Therefore, there is some risk with any supplement you choose to take.
Collagen Tea is considered a “Functional Food”. These foods have a potentially positive effect on health, beyond basic nutrition.
Food ingredients are held to a higher standard of safety than dietary supplements. As a result, Collagen containing foods, like Collagen Tea, is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Convenience plays a role in making positive health changes. A supplement only works if you consistently take it.
While it’s most common to consume collagen peptides with coffee, you can also add it to other beverages like tea.
As a busy mom, I look for ways to make healthy habits quick and easy. Cue Collagen Teas! Below are some Collagen Tea products, that contain both the benefits of Tea and Collagen.
Combine 2 scoops of the Collagen Tea supplement with 8 ounces of hot water. Insert tea bag and enjoy!
Infused tea with Collagen, Biotin, and Vitamins. No powders or mixing required!
Adding Collagen to your Favorite Teas
- Brew your Tea in your usual fashion.
- Measure a serving of collagen protein, usually about 20 grams.
- Stir the powder into your Tea until it’s fully dissolved.
In conclusion, human studies on Collagen are lacking. Some randomized controlled trials have found that collagen supplements may be beneficial for skin elasticity and joints.
Collagen supplements are generally considered safe. Therefore, a Collagen supplement may be worth the investment.
Collagen tea can be a convenient, tasty way to add collagen into your diet. Best practice is to discuss the addition of collagen supplements with your healthcare provider.
Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also Certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management.