This post is sponsored by Great Lakes Gelatin, however all opinions,comments and enthusiasm are my own.
Collagen, it’s really become the supplement darling of the health & fitness crowd lately (me included), and for good reason!
Read on to find out what collagen actually is, the benefits of using it (especially for a master athlete), my favorite was to incorporate it into my daily routine, and more about the brand I’ve been using (Great Lakes Gelatin).
What is Collagen? Collagen is a protein naturally found in animal bone, skin and cartridge. It’s the most abundant protein in the human body and widely considered to be the figurative glue that holds the body together. It keeps skin, hair and nails lush and vibrant; it supports blood vessels, organs and bones; and it keeps joints and ligaments movin’ and groovin’ along. It even helps us mend more quickly after an injury – whether a just a bruise or broken bone.
What is Collagen Hydrolysate? Collagen Hydrolysate (or you may have heard called collagen peptides) is a supplement sourced from bovine hides (typically) and processed to break down amino acid chains into smaller units, (e.g., a micronized powder). This done so that the collagen is becomes more usable and digestible by our bodies than the gelatin that comes from hides (and makes Jell-O gel) – or chewing on a rawhide bones, haha! The process is called “hydrolysis” and I think it makes collagen sound way more intimidating and complicated than it really is!
Why supplement with Collagen Hydrolysate? Ooooh, well I can’t claim that it cures this or that, but it’s just such an easy and relatively affordable way to protect your overall health and wellness, especially as you age. I have so much to say about this I’m going to have to bullet point!
- Diet: You may need to supplement because you are just not getting the nutrition your body needs. Typically, I’m an advocate of consuming as many nutrients as possible by eating a colorful, varied, well-balanced diet of whole foods. But, sometimes that is just NOT enough, due to poor diet, stress, lifestyle and even age! (see the next point).
- Age, Amino Acids, Etc.: After age 25, research has shown that our ability to self-produce certain amino acids (the building blocks of protein) diminishes. There are 20 amino acids that we need to live healthy and well. Nine amino acids are “essential,” meaning we don’t make them and have to acquire through food. The remaining 11 amino acids, our bodies are able to produce but are subject to age-related loss. Collagen Hydrolysate from Great Lakes Gelatin provides 19 of these amino acids and is unique in its amino acid structure, contains high amounts of alanine, glycine and proline, which are found less abundantly in other protein food supplements.
- High Protein Source: In general, I think it’s a good idea to get adequate protein time evenly through the day, starting with breakfast and including lunch, dinner and snacks. I aim for 25 to 30 grams of total protein per meal with about two 10-gram snacks (based on my size and activity level). A serving of collagen hydrolysate from Great Lakes Gelatin (about 2 rounded tablespoons) provides 11 grams of total protein (and only 43 calories). It’s not the only protein you should eat, but a great supplement to the plant and animal-based proteins on your plate.
- Joint Health: The physical stress of living wears down our cells, joints, ligaments at such – if you are not consuming enough quality protein (with the right types of amino acids) or “starting from behind” with age-related depletion, aches and pains will start to set in and possibly lead to arthritis, osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases.
- Sports Recovery and Performance: It goes without saying that athletes subject themselves to more repetitive stress on muscles, joints and ligaments than the general population. Supplementing with collagen hydrolysate can help quicken the workout recovery process by adding back in essential amino acids and nutrients needed for the body to repair. In my book, a quicker recovery period means the ability to work harder, lessen the chance of injury, and make more gains at the next workout, hopefully optimizing the “peak” and overall performance in a training cycle.
- Beauty: While I mainly take collagen hydrolysate to improve my overall wellness and potential as a master athlete, who can argue with more lush hair, a youthful glow to skin and strengthened fingernails. Not me! After taking Great Lakes Gelatin’s Collagen Hydrolysate for a month, I’ve noticed a “halo” of new baby hairs all around my temple and my skin even loos more radiant.
- Mood: Many collagen users report that they have better concentration, calmer and an overall sense of well-being.
Ways to use Collagen Hydrolysate:
Collagen hydrolysate is virtually tasteless, so it can be mixed easily into any beverage hot or cold. The powder is very fine, it is micronized making it very light and easy to dissolve away into a liquid. It also can be used in any type of recipe; my favorite ways have been to put in protein bites and in overnight oats.
Almond-Chocolate Protein Bites for Two: In small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of almond butter with 2 teaspoons of almond milk. Next add 1 tablespoon almond meal, 2 tablespoons dry rolled oats, 2 individual packets stevia, and 2 tablespoons collagen hydrolysate and 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips. Mix together until well combined and form into 4 small balls by rolling between palms. If too dry, add a bit more milk, if too wet add more oats. Makes 2 servings (each serving 2 bites) – 145 calories, 8g fat, 8g, protein, 10g carbs.
A few weeks ago, I also shared it in a Hot Spiced Watermelon Lemonade for Workout and Running Recovery – -check out that recipe and video!
So, as I mentioned, I’ve been using Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate and really like it. GLG sources their hides from South America, where the cattle roam the grasslands. Product is highly tested, and they make sure it is free of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, added hormones, antibiotics and such. Collagen hydrolysate is available in a 1-lb. canister (that’s 95% biodegradable) or 1-serving size convenience packs which are great to stick in a gym bag, purse or carry on for travel. They also do an 8-lb. bag, if you really want to load up!
Great Lakes Gelatin also makes a tasty sports drink” – Collagen Endurance Plus, a black cherry flavored drink that provides a serving of collagen along with B vitamins, taurine, and other energy boosting agents including caffeine. Collagen Endurance is the caffeine free version. You can see how easy the very fine powder mixes up, you don’t even need a shaker bottle.
Save 20% on any or all of the Great Lakes Gelatin products with the code GLGLife20. Code expires March 15, 2018.
I will be hosting a FB Live session about my experience with these products from Great Lakes Gelatin at 9:15 am Central Time, February 13th (TODAY). JOIN IN HERE Are you a collagen fan or thinking using it? Please share any tips, thoughts experiences or questions either here in the blog comments or on the Facebook post and I will get back – XOXO, Jennifer