A couple of years ago, I got on the Collagen bandwagon. As I approached 50, I could feel my joints and muscles seize up from years of athletic abuse and later life laziness (read cookies, movie bingeing, and weekend warrior wine). It was time to get more proactive about my physical health and wellness.

Now, mind you, I am not opposed to medical science and the wonderment of prescriptive remedies. However, I decided a long time ago to make an attempt to avoid synthetic solutions to natural problems for as long as I possibly could. My rationalization was that if the side effects outweighed the benefits and the ironic outcome of those potential impacts caused some other negative result in my body, um, why take it?

I prefer to take the most natural route possible as long as I am not avoiding any glaring flashing red flag lights or screeching sirens of self destruction. So with that in mind, I took the collagen supplement plunge. Some days it felt like I was wading in the kiddie pool with my swimmie wings and others I was sinking to the bottom at the deep end of the pool. So many options, forms and price ranges; all with various degrees of results, experiences and let’s just say “side effects.” …ahem…I will explain.

After sampling a number of health food store versions, yielding lackluster results, I opted to go online, do some research and give the click-and-mortar options a go. First up, Bulletproof (TM) www.bulletproof.com, fully loaded with ghee butter and comes in my favorite form; coffee. In my opinion, a little bitter, harsh tasting and requires a lot of time near the bathroom for the first few days. It comes with a lot of other restrictive recommendations as well 1) Coffee is a meal unto itself – hundreds of calories packed in this concoction making it your first meal of the day. Um…I’m gonna need my cornflakes please 2) removal of sugar, legumes and a number of other things from your diet 3) aspire to Ketosis. Now, I’m not knocking the concept, but asking me to do all three of these things at once seemed to be a little much for me. Plus, this product seemed too general audience for me and it didn’t speak to the physical conditions that concerned me, rather focused on weight loss which of course would help my arthritis and associated joint issues, but it felt secondary. I opted to bookmark the website for the great articles, recipes and nutritional research and recommendations.

Next, I gravitated toward SkinnyFit (TM) www.skinnyfit.com. A fun, inspirational site geared toward women and our unique physical needs. Great recipes, accessories and a wealth of support and online social media community opportunities. With a number of tasty versions of the the product including teas, chocolates, and traditional powder formulas, SkinnyFit seemed to hit the mark for awhile. But I felt like I went through it too quickly and the results wore off throughout the day like a hangover pain reliever on New Year’s Day. Plus, the much coveted chocolate version of the collagen powder was always out of stock and on backorder. Putting myself on the “Notify” list didn’t get me any closer to the gold. While I keep SkinnyFit “On File” to stay up on the physical fitness and diet challenges they offer, once again I became frustrated and sought other options.

Recently I met Vitauthority (TM) www.vitauthority.com and I fell forward fast! This past summer, I started my Hot Yoga practice at Hotworx (TM) and wanted a collagen supplement that would support my joints in this new uptick of physical activity. Vitauthority did not disappoint. Like SkinnyFit, Vitauthority focuses on women’s collagen needs. With a number of forms and remedies ranging from weight loss to joint support, the product line touts simple formulas comprised of beneficial ingredient we recognize such as Berberine, Turmeric and Curcumin. While I have tried most of the flavors, including the Chocolate option, I found that I prefer the unflavored version followed by the Lemonade and Strawberry variations (and I’m not the biggest strawberry fan IRL). Coffee, smoothies, juice and teas all give this brand two thumbs up. Their customer service is top notch. I have received follow up phone calls and text messages just to check in and make sure that I’m satisfied with their products. I can say that I definitely am. My joints are healthy, my flexibility is much improved and my stability in the yoga sauna continues to improve without compromise or injury. My daily step count went from 9000 on daily average to well over 14000.

Price point is also important to me and Vitauthority, scoop for scoop, it is far more economical than either of the aforementioned product lines. Taste, effective and value; triple threat for the win.