Collagen Benefits and Recipes
My first experience with collagen and gelatin date back to a little over three years ago. I was in the middle of coming up with about a million different ways I could really jazz up my coffee routine each morning. At the time, I was really into adding healthy fats to my coffee, but I was looking for a way to add some protein and nutrients as well because… balance.
I kept reading about the benefits of increasing both collagen and gelatin consumption, but I sure as heck didn’t know what either of them really were. After a few hours of research, I knew I wanted to jump on the bandwagon.
Let’s dive into the facts…
Collagen vs. Gelatin
What’s the difference???
Collagen is gel-like, colorless, and odorless. Like all proteins, collagen is comprised of amino acids. The main amino acids are glycine and proline.
Collagen hydrolysate has been heated to high temperatures and treated with enzymes. The bonds between the amino acids are broken, although the amino acids themselves are left intact.
Since they have been broken though, many people who are experiencing digestive distress, can easily breakdown collagen.
Collagen hydrolysate will never gel and can dissolve in both cold and hot liquids. Because the amino acid bonds are broken down, it is absorbed by the body faster, and is absolutely wonderful for anyone experiencing digestive issues.
Gelatin is made by cooking the bones, connective tissues, skin, and tendons of animals. This causes a protein called collagen to come out.
To turn gelatin into a powder, it is simply dried. When the collagen gets mixed with water, it turns back into that gel again.
It is important to understand that not all brands of gelatin are created equal.
The chemically-treated packs of gelatin you would usually find at your supermarket aren’t going to provide you with the same health benefits of real gelatin.
- Athletic performance: Amino acids found in collagen help repair damaged tissue and lessen inflammation. In turn, this means shorter recovery is needed after an intense workout or injury
- Sleep quality: Better cognitive function, a sounder sleep cycle and and less daytime drowsiness according to clinical studies shown here
- Bone & joint health: Glycine speeds up wound healing and helps loosen up stiff joints
- Weight loss: For every 2 scoops of collagen, you will ingest about 18 grams of protein. Try adding a few scoops to your morning coffee or drink to feel more satiated
- Digestive aid: Aids in soothing and healing the digestive tract, as well as helping to repair the mucous lining. In addition, collagen helps to digest the protein and fat found in food, which leads to the body being able to digest them more easily!
- Skin health: Ensures elasticity and regeneration of the skin. The amino acids that are found in collagen have been linked to anti-aging. A study in 2014 showed that women who took collagen peptides regularly for eight weeks saw a 20% reduction in wrinkles.
- Protein packed: For every tablespoon of gelatin, you are getting into 6 grams of protein! Although these proteins aren’t “complete”, what they do is help your body better utilize the complete proteins you are taking in
- Bone & joint health: The amino acids found in gelatin are instrumental in preventing the overall weakness and degeneration of our cartilage and joints
- Skin elasticity: Gelatin stimulates your body to produce more collagen. This is a much more effective method than using fancy creams infused with collagen!
- Weight loss: Gelatin has been linked to boosting our metabolism and aiding in keeping us full for longer
- Improves digestion: Because it naturally binds to water, this allows for food to move more easily through our digestive tract
- Wound healing: One of the amino acids that is found in gelatin is glycine. Glycine is known for its anti-inflammatory properties
- Toxin release: The amino acid glycine also is known for assisting our liver in releasing and removing toxins from our system
Of course, when it comes to getting the most collagen benefits from supplementation, consuming a high-quality product is absolutely crucial. Look for a collagen product that uses pasture-raised, grass-fed animals that have not been given steroids, antibiotics, etc. My go-to brand for all things collagen and gelatin related is Vital Proteins!