Today’s edition Power Couple spotlights two of our favorite things – exercising and collagen! Turns out there are major benefits to consuming collagen at particular times in accordance with your workout schedule. Here’s what you need to know…
WTF IS COLLAGEN?
- SOURCE: Collagen powder (usually labeled as Collagen hydrolysate or Collagen peptides) can be made from beef or fish tissue. It’s comprised of long-chain proteins, which our bodies break down into amino acids to support our own collagen production.
- POPULAR BECAUSE: It is a popular wellness supplement because it impacts the condition of our skin, digestive system, body tissue and joints. The powder we drink is the same structure as what is in our hair, nails, bones, ligaments and tendons.
- WHY WE INGEST IT: The greatest health benefits are realized when collagen is ingested (as opposed to used topically in face creams, etc).
- NUTRITION INFO: Exact amounts vary by brand, but generally, one 2 tbsp serving of collagen delivers 10-12 grams of collagen (protein) in approximately 40 calories.
- TASTE: While some flavored collagen powders exist (matcha and chocolate berry are crowd favorites), the natural flavor of collagen is super mild, allowing you to dissolve the powder into any mixture without impacting taste. It will add a little thickness to whatever you mix it with, which I think lends nicely to lattes and whipped drinks like smoothies.
- NOTE! Beef Gelatin is also becoming a commonly used supplement, but beware that this will give whatever you add it to a gel-like texture! So use it when you want to thicken, but avoid it when you want it to go unnoticed in food or drinks.
WHY COLLAGEN & WORKOUTS ARE THE POWER COUPLE TO KNOW
Collagen is the buzziest of healthy buzzwords lately, and for good reason! Collagen in all its forms helps build and repair muscles, firms skin, and strengthens nails and hair. Its most unique benefit is to our tendons and ligaments. AKA the bits that keep us connected – literally, bones to muscles, bone to bone… you get the idea. In fact, most injuries from physical activity arise from damage these integral structures – think sprained ankles, tennis elbow, knee injuries – as opposed to broken bones or torn muscles. The tricky bit is that tendons and ligaments are highly fibrous circuitry without significant blood supply, and for this reason it takes longer for the body to bring the necessary fluids to heal and repair itself.
WHY COLLAGEN IS SO USEFUL FOR ACTIVE PEOPLE
Turns out, you can significantly support health and the healing of these critical bodily connectors with collagen supplementation! E.g. adding collagen powder and peptides to your beverages and/or food!
TIMING OF YOUR COLLAGEN CONSUMPTION
The key to the greatest healing benefits is to ingest your collagen of choice before a workout — not after. Recent studies have shown that taking collagen 30-60 minutes before a work out increases your bodies ability to absorb and synthesize the collagen.
HOW TO INCORPORATE
The beauty of beautifying collagen lies in its versatility; it is tasteless and dissolves in both hot and cold liquids. I like to keep a large batch of spicy collagen lemonade in the fridge, or add a scoop to my morning brew (be it coffee or tea).
- 1 Cup cold brew or hot coffee
- 1-2 TBSP MCT oil [if new to MCT, start with 1/2 and work your way up to avoid potential upset stomach]
- 2 TBSP collagen
- 1/4 cup milk (optional)
- Sprinkle of stevia or monk fruit (optional)
Stir, shake, blend or whisk everything together. Blending is best, and gives it a deliciously silky texture, but in a rush grab one of these milk frothers or throw it all in a container with a tight fitting lid and give it a shake !
Spicy Collagen Lemonade
- 4-5 Cup filtered water
- 1/3-1/2 Cup lemon juice
- 4-6 TBSP collagen
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Stevia to taste
Blend or stir until collagen and cayenne are incorporated. Keeps in the fridge for a few days.
Pro tip: This drink makes an excellent mixer, especially with tequila.