Jennifer Aniston Starts Her Day with Collagen Coffee—but Is it Healthy?
Jennifer Aniston is one of those celebrities who can spark a health and wellness trend with even the smallest comment about her fitness routine and daily diet in an interview or social media post. While she's previously gone viral for her intermittent fasting practices and delicious smoothie recipes, no trend was as big as the now-iconic lunch salad she ate on the set of Friends everyday for 10 years. Now, Aniston's latest peek into her wellness regimen has us inspired once again.
The actress and entrepreneur recently shared a video on Instagram as part of her partnership with Vital Proteins highlighting the daily rituals that help Aniston achieve her idea of true wellness. Some of those practices include: playing with her dogs outdoors, hitting the gym, enjoying quality time with her girlfriends and putting on her favorite records to unwind at night. However, we were most interested in how she starts her morning: with a steaming-hot cup of coffee mixed with collagen powder.
Collagen supplements, particularly powders, have become all the rage in the last few years, touting their potential to achieve youthful skin, build strong bones and boost the health of our hair and nails. Collagen itself is a powerhouse protein that can be found in bones, tissue and cartilage (plant-based eaters should know that these powders and other supplements are derived from animal sources). But are collagen supplements healthy? And should you be mixing them with coffee? We took a look at the science.
Are Collagen Powders Healthy?
Thankfully, the collagen powder trend is one that's actually rooted in some scientific research, compared to several other trending supplements. Some RDs love it as a substitute for whey or pea protein powders, but not all collagen powders are created equal. Look for "collagen peptides" or "hydrolyzed collagen" for the most health benefits.
Jen's beloved Vital Proteins is a great pick for a collagen supplement, offering an excellent source of protein, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid for a triple threat of healthy-aging power. However, these supplements can be pretty pricy, and they're not necessarily any more beneficial than simply consuming collagen-containing foods like bone broth and sardines, plus vitamin C-rich foods like citrus, berries and broccoli.
"You definitely don't need an expensive collagen supplement to achieve strong bones and healthy skin, hair and nails," says Victoria Seaver, M.S., RD, EatingWell's associate editorial director. "Eating collagen-containing foods, like bone broth and chicken skin, can help up your intake but the most effective way to boost your collagen count is to focus on eating more of the foods that help support healthy collagen production in your body, particularly foods high in the amino acids proline and glycine and vitamin C-rich foods. Think meat, fish, dairy products, nuts, beans, eggs, wheat germ and fruit, especially citrus fruit."
Should You Be Drinking Collagen Powder in Your Coffee?
While adding some collagen to your daily cup of coffee may seem like a natural way to supplement the powder in your diet, you may be better off using it in your morning smoothie or stirring it into a glass of water. An article by Texas A&M researcher Brooke Russell, Ph.D., says that collagen won't hold up in temperatures higher than body temperature, and the desired health benefits will either be diminished or completely negated—not exactly what we're looking for when a 20-ounce tub costs $35. This information is especially interesting considering that Vital Proteins also sells Collagen Creamers designed to bring some richness to your morning cuppa.
The Bottom Line
Jen's love of collagen powder definitely doesn't hurt her efforts to keep her skin vibrant, her bones strong and her overall glow. But we're not so sure about mixing it with a cup of piping-hot coffee. However, iced coffee aficionados may have no problem reaping the health benefits while enjoying their morning beverage.