Collagen protein is the most abundant protein in the human body. The unique combination of amino acids found in collagen protein allows it to provide the building blocks for healthy connective tissues such as skin, tendons and ligaments. Collagen protein can also contribute to bone growth [*] and gut health.
Collagen protein is unique in its amino acid blend. Collagen contains greater amounts of the essential amino acids glycine and proline (which convert to hydroxyproline). These two amino acids provide many benefits to our body. In addition to their role in connective tissues, these amino acids have anti-inflammatory benefits, are important for the function of our nervous system, and play an active role in cellular health.
Our bodies produce collagen naturally but as we age our natural production decreases which increases our need for collagen in the diet. While there are whole food forms of collagen, which I will touch on later in the article, collagen peptide supplements are growing in popularity due to the convenience and delicious addition they can offer to our diet.
How to use Collagen Peptides
Collagen peptide supplements make it easy for you to get more unique amino acids in your diet and reap the benefits of doing so. Here’s what you need to know about how to use collagen peptides:
When to take collagen peptides
There are a lot of potential benefits to supplementing with collagen peptides. I often recommend collagen to clients when the goal is to improve gut health. Recently, there has been a growing interest in how gut health affects the whole body and not just digestion. One of the main components of a healthy gut is a strong intestinal barrier. This barrier is often referred to as the intestinal epithelium. This barrier is responsible for the absorption of active nutrients and protection against bile and other digestive enzymes. A weak intestinal barrier, sometimes referred to as “leaky gut,” can lead to infection, inflammation, food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, and even type 1 diabetes. The unique combination of amino acids found in collagen can help improve the integrity of the intestinal barrier to help improve gut health and therefore overall health.
Collagen supplements can also be helpful when suffering from joint pain [*]. Again, a unique blend of amino acids can be used here to improve the health of our connective tissues and thus improve the health of our joints. Interestingly, research has found that people who take collagen long-term reported a reduction in joint pain and a significant improvement in their ability to complete physical activity.
Another great time to reach for collagen peptides is when we’re looking for some beauty benefits (and who aren’t). Research has shown that collagen can increase the strength of our nails [*]The health of our hair, and even the health of our skin by improving skin elasticity [*] and hydration [*]. No wonder this supplement has become one of the most popular on the market.
Since collagen peptides are now being incorporated into delicious powders, I also recommend this supplement for keto dieters who have cravings for sweets and want to stay on track with their diet. Keto Perfect Chocolate Collagen is usually the go-to because it provides those unique amino acids, has a delicious taste, and adds those keto-friendly essential fatty acids (MCTs). Our customers love to put collagen in hot liquids like coffee.
Optimum Dose of Collagen Peptides
Collagen supplements can come in capsule or powder form. The capsule form usually contains less collagen while the powder contains much more. The ideal dosage of collagen peptides varies from person to person, but starting with just 10 grams of collagen protein per day can provide significant improvements.
with or without food
There is a lot of debate about whether or not collagen peptides should be taken on an empty stomach. Many health and wellness advocates will say that an empty stomach is best for absorption. While there may be some truth to this, the research is lacking and I have experienced a lot of health benefits myself from taking collagen, not on an empty stomach. My advice is to include this supplement however it suits your needs.
Collagen boosting effects
To further enhance the benefits of collagen supplementation, you can also incorporate natural collagen boosting ingredients. The antioxidant Vitamin C is important in natural collagen production which makes it a great ingredient to combine with collagen supplements. You can also add supplements that complement your goals such as using hyaluronic acid if your goal is to improve skin health.
Protein shake or recipe
Collagen peptide powders make shakes rich in nutrients. They can be simply added to water or incorporated into your favorite shake recipe. My goal is:
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Collagen peptide powders can also be used to create a lot of delicious recipes and you can get unflavored collagen. Check out our blog Find out the unique recipes that contain collagen protein powder.
How to get more collagen in your diet
We’ve talked a lot about collagen peptide supplements, but collagen can also be found in whole foods like fish, meat, and eggs. The best whole food source of collagen is bone and connective tissue which makes bone broth and eating the connective tissue around animal bones great ways to get more collagen in your diet.
If that last line made you think, “There’s no way I would eat connective tissue on animal bones,” that’s why we created collagen peptide supplements. Collagen peptides can be taken in supplement form to help increase your daily intake of collagen and the unique amino acids it provides. Our paleo ancestors would be jealous.
There are many types of collagen products, be sure to look for supplements that contain high-quality, grass-fed collagen. You may see this on the label as grass-fed bovine collagen. The grass-fed part of the cows is more important because it is the best source of collagen. Be sure to look for collagen supplements that do not contain added sugars.
Marine collagen is a dairy-free collagen that comes in at a close second. Plant-based collagen is less ideal, so be sure to avoid it if your goal is to increase your intake or better absorb bioavailable collagen.
Gelatin is often considered a great source of collagen because it is partially hydrolyzed but most collagen supplements are hydrolyzed which means they are partially hydrolyzed as well. The advantage of collagen powder is also its ability to dissolve in both hot and cold liquid, which gelatin and especially gelatin gums cannot. Gelatin can also cause digestive upset while collagen powders have much fewer side effects.
Collagen is an important protein due to the effect of amino acids on our bodies. Since our natural collagen production decreases as we age, our dependence on dietary collagen increases. Get collagen into your diet for gut health, joint health, and skin care through whole food sources or a collagen protein powder like what we offer here at Perfect Keto.
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