For as long as I can remember, my nails have peeled. I tried everything to keep them strong: I wore yellow latex gloves when washing dishes, plastered them with any potion my manicurist recommended, and moisturized my cuticles regularly. But it was all just a waste of time; my nails would inevitably peel down to stubs.

Then I discovered collagen peptides. While I'd read that they're great for skin, hair, and nails, I actually started taking them because I was sick of sweetened protein powders and I loved the creaminess they gave my smoothies. And once Vital Proteins hit Whole Foods, it was easy for me to find grass-fed, hormone-free supplements I trusted. But I didn't see any big beauty changes...yet.

Then I interviewed Ali Bonar (aka Avokween) for Well + Good last November, and she told me that her nails saw huge gains after taking collagen every day for two months. The key, she emphasized, was to be religious about it. A few days after our conversation, she posted a pic of her long, modelesque, perfectly-manicured finger nails, and that was all the proof I needed. I loaded up on collagen products and started using them every day. 


It turns out Ali was spot on: it takes about two months of taking 2.5 - 5 g of collagen daily to see a difference. And wouldn't you know that two months later my nails have stopped peeling and have grown as long as I like them.

I find this especially impressive because I did gels twice over the holidays, which usually makes my nails peel and break all the way down the quick. I'm convinced the collagen worked its magic, and in hopes it might also help you, I'm sharing my five favorite ways to use collagen daily, besides the usual smoothie. All of the products I use come from hormone-free, grass-fed cows not only to insure I'm not putting any extra crap into my body, but also to maximize my nutrient load.

  1. Proats. Eating oatmeal without some sort of protein source sends me straight to snack town by 10am. But mixing two scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides into my morning bowl delivers 18 g of protein to keep me full and fueled.

  2. Pancakes. I like to mix my powdered peptides into my favorite pancake mix for the same reason. It also frees me from having to cook up an accompanying protein source -- like eggs -- which means one less pan to scrub before I dash out the door.

  3. Golden Milk. Collagen peptides disolve easily and add creaminess to beverages, making them a great add for homemade golden milk or any other adaptogen elixir you might be whipping up.

  4. Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bars. These are my hands down favorite protein bars. Not only do they deliver my daily collagen, they also power my brain with MCT and they taste like cookies. The Lemon Cookie flavor is particularly delicious. They do crumble easily, though, making them a better fit for the glovebox of your car rather than for your purse...although the crumbs do make a delicious topping for yogurt.

  5. Bone broth. There's no rule that says you have to get your daily collagen in supplement form. Whether your bone broth comes from a store shelf or out of your Instant Pot, a comforting cup of broth can provide your daily dose on the go, plus a whole host of other health benefits.