What is collagen, and why has it become such a hot button product practically overnight? What are the benefits of consuming collagen and what is the difference between collagen and gelatin? I’ve got all the info you need right here and a roundup of a few recipes, too!
Just letting you know that this Collagen Benefits and Recipes post is sponsored by the awesome folks at Vital Proteins!
My first experience with collagen and 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.
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.
Remember: Collagen dissolves in liquid, while gelatin gels
Add collagen to: coffee, tea, bone broth, shakes and smoothies, etc.
Add gelatin to: soups and stews, desserts (i.e. jellos and puddings), homemade bone broth, fruit snacks gummies, etc.
Health Benefits of Collagen and 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!
Want to check out some recipes that include collagen and/or gelatin? I’ve got you covered…
Strawberry Chia Pudding Parfait by Vital Proteins
Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding by Stupid Easy Paleo
This posted is sponsored by the lovely folks at Vital Proteins. Thank you for allowing me to continue creating such incredible content by supporting relationships with incredible brands and companies that The Movement Menu enjoys working with! Opinions will always remain 100% my own!
Hi! I’m Monica – recipe developer, matcha addict and lover of all things chocolate, kombucha and any & all puns. I am also the blogger, real food lover, & bonafide hustler behind the blog ‘The Movement Menu.’ I’m so excited to welcome you to my happy space, where my appreciation of creative recipes and healthy & mindful eats come together to inspire you to live a healthy, balanced life.