October 01, 2019

Collagen is all the rage.

It’s flavorless and an easily dissolvable protein, and it’s easy to add to almost anything. Since it’s a protein, many people love its added nutritional benefit in their coffee or recipe. 

Collagen protein’s amino acids support hair, skin, and nails. 

I could go into all the types of amino acids and how they differ from other protein sources (such as meat/fish or milk/whey), but I want to focus on collagen and its general claims. 

Proteins are crucial building blocks for our bodies, but not all protein is created equal. Collagen may have some unique properties, but do these translate to unique benefits?

Understanding Protein: Collagen is a Protein

First, let’s understand that proteins are one of three macronutrients. When you hear “macronutrients” or “macro’s,” that refers to the Carbs, Fats, and Proteins of a food source. 

All food is made up of either Carbs, Fats, or Proteins. These are what our body uses for energy, recovery, growth, etc. 

Micronutrients = vitamins and minerals, etc. (think of them as keys to unlock doors for certain functions in your body to happen). They are not used for energy like macronutrients are, but they make it possible to use the energy macro’s provide.

You may be wondering, “What aboutcalories?”Yup, you’re on it! 

These macro’s are the calories. When you see a food label and it tells you the “grams” of Fats, Carbs, and Proteins (usually in that order), you can do the simple multiplication and figure out how many calories—how much energy—a serving of something has: 

  • 1 Gram of Proteins or Carbohydrates = 4 Calories
  • 1 Gram of Fats = 9 Calories

Understand the serving size (½ cup . . . 2 servings per container, etc.) and you can understand how many calories you are taking in. 

For example, a protein bar (single serving) with 9g of Fat, 14g of Carbs, and 7g of Proteins has how many calories? 

9x9 = 81 fat calories

  • 14x4 = 56 carb calories
  • 7x4 = 28 protein calories 

Total: 81 + 56 + 28 = 165 calories. 

What provided the most energy in this bar? Fat! 

There were less grams of fat than Carbs, but because fat has a higher caloric value, it provided more energy than the carbs did. 

There is a load of information to dive in to here isn’t there!? 

Hopefully now you can understand the basics of these nutrients to read more about collagen!

You’ve likely heard or read about how many grams of protein you should take in and the ratio of protein to fats and carbs. 

“Sugars” are carbs. “Fiber” is a Carb, as well. 

But you can often subtract it from the caloric value because you don’t absorb many fibers for energy; you pass them. 

It can sound complicated, and there are many branches to study, but simply understand how your intake matters—you need to know whatmacronutrients you are consuming. 

Protein helps rebuild the body after wear and tear from the day. It can also be used for energy. Some proteins are absorbed quickly, some slowly. Because of this some are recommended for different times. 

Understanding Collagen

Our bodies produce collagen. No joke! 

Eating a well-balanced diet aids in the synthesis of collagen in your own body! Collagen is a protein (building block) that is most commonly found in fibrous tissue in the body. 

Over time, however, the cells that produce collagen in the body produce less of it. When we produce less ourselves, the thinking goes that we need to consume more in order to maintain the health of our skin, nails, hair, joints, etc. 

If we don’t . . . boom: wrinkles, saggier skin, and soft tissue (cartilage) in joints breaks down.

This is the line of reasoning at least. 

We the people, and the market, are always looking for a way to look and feel younger, longer. The new wave in the world for youth is Collagen. 

Collagen is important. It’s alsoamazingthat you can have its benefits in a cup of coffee without really even noticing. Collagen is on top of the protein world right now, and you can start to understand why. 

Is It Worth It?

The thing is, we can’t stop aging. We also can’t replace our body’s natural ability to produce what isparticularly best for it. 

Proteinis vital. But is it true that consuming the collagen of an animal will positively impact the places our bodies need collagen. Can we assume the collagen we eat from animals does what the collagen our own bodies makes for themselves can do?

Will it simply help in the rebuilding of muscle and be used for energy, or will it lift our skin, heal our joints, and make our hair and nails look great? 

The verdict is still out.

But the good news is, collagen is safe. Consuming protein is a good thing. Your body needs it. You cannot live on fats and carbs alone. 

However, buyer beware of collagen. You don’t need to run for the hills, but you may not need to pay a premium for this specific protein either! 

Try it if you can get it for a fair price, and see if you notice a difference in your body.

Not all proteins are equal, but maybe this one is a step above the rest if it can actually target the areas you’d like it to target.

You tell us! Chime in!