Collagen, found in organ meats and connective tissue, is the most abundant protein in your body, and surprisingly plays a large role in the appearance and youthfulness of your skin. Are you getting enough collagen in your diet?
Collagen is a structural protein that acts as a building block for your bones, teeth, muscles, skin, joints and connective tissues. Think of it as the glue that holds your body together. The most abundant protein in the body, collagen makes up more than one-third of your total protein.
When it comes to the health benefits of gelatin and collagen, they are actually identical. That’s because gelatin is the cooked form of collagen. The cooking gives it a very different texture and is what gives them different uses. Both contain glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, the three amino acids your body uses to make new collagen to support joint health, skin health, and a robust gut lining. These amino acids are hard to come by in the modern diet, unless you’re eating lots of organ meat and connective tissue.
Starting at about age 35, your collagen production naturally begins to slow. By age 40, collagen begins to deplete faster than your body can reproduce it. By age 60, over half of your body’s collagen has been depleted. In addition to aging, other factors impacting collagen levels, include genetics, smoking, pollution, excessive sun exposure and nutritional deficiencies.
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is collagen that is cooked long enough for the amino acids to start breaking down into smaller components, which are then extracted, filtered, then dried into sheets or powdered. Common sources of collagen used to make gelatin include the skin, bones and connective tissues of cows, chicken, pigs and fish.
What is Hydrolyzed Collagen?
Put simply, the act of hydrolyzing something means to break it down using water. Gelatin is partially hydrolyzed collagen.
In hydrolyzed collagen (also known as collagen hydrolysate), amino acid bonds are broken down even more than in gelatin – the result is collagen that is easily dissolved in either cold or hot water, and easily digested by the body since the proteins are smaller.
Using Gelatin & Collagen Hydrolysate
There are many ways to use collagen hydrolysate and gelatin to get a dose of beneficial amino acids and boost collagen production. Gelatin and collagen hydrolysate are both flavourless, so they are very versatile, but they can’t be used interchangeably.
Collagen hydrolysate will not ‘gel’ as gelatin does, so it can’t be used in recipes that request gelatin like marshmallows, puddings or fruit snacks. But unlike gelatin, collagen hydrolysate will dissolve in cold or hot liquids, so you can add it to almost anything including yoghurt, smoothies and celery juice.
7 Collagen & Gelatin Health Benefits;
“Collagen is like a paper bag and the fat is like the groceries inside that paper bag. If the bag gets damaged, wet, or stretched too thin, all the groceries can bulge out.” B. Greenfield
Getting rid of cellulite is based on two principles: strengthening connective tissue with resistance training and supplementing with collagen and gelatin and, decreasing body fat via a biochemistry specific diet that reduces inflammation and toxic load and that’s high in collagen, gelatin and protein.
How to Choose High-Quality Collagen and Gelatin
I use both gelatin and collagen on a daily basis. For gut health, stronger hair and nails, smoother skin, healthy joints and bones, weight management and detox support. That’s why it’s so important that the products are exceptionally high quality.
The market has been flooded with collagen and gelatin options, however there are some low-quality options out there, so here are the key points to choosing a high-quality collagen and gelatin product:
My favourite brands are The Beauty Chef, Great Lakes (buy online www.functionalself.com.au), ATP Science and Bioglan powdered bone broth which you can add to sauces or make a quick cup-of-soup.
Add collagen to your morning smoothie, coffee or yoghurt or make delicious gummies from gelatin, which you can add to sauces also to thicken them up. Bone broth is a whole food source of collagen which has other important minerals (zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium) – add an extra teaspoon of gelatin for a thicker cup-a-soup and to maximise the collagen goodness. Don’t forget to add MCT oil to the mix, when MCT’s are blended with collagen, you get the best of both worlds: a readily available source of non-glucose spiking fats combined with a readily available source of non-glucose spiking proteins.
These supplements are easy to find, affordable and take minimal effort to incorporate into your day. Just for fun, take some before pictures, use them consistently for 2-3 months and compare your results, especially your skin’s appearance. See what you notice!