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Are You Getting Enough Of Summer’s IT Ingredient?

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To understand this summer's IT ingredient - gelatin - we have to first understand collagen, social media's latest obsession. Collagen is the most important protein in our connective tissue, skin, and bones. It makes up 25-35% of your body's total protein content! Collagen also provides high levels of the amino acids used to build bone and joint tissue, which we know we need for our sweaty workouts.

You can find high levels of collagen in bone broth, gelatin, chicken skin and pork skin. However, it's not always easy or ideal to consume collagen in this way. Luckily, two types of easy-to-consume collagen supplements are gaining popularity in the health and fitness world: gelatin (cooked form of collagen) and collagen hydrolysate (hydrolyzed collagen).

Gelatin is an extremely nutrient dense food. It has long been touted as a hair and nail superfood, but it has also been shown to improve digestion and help joint recovery. Gelatin is a protein that yields a specific list of 18 amino acids, including 8 of the 9 Essential Aminos. Hydrolyzed collagen and gelatin are roughly equivalent in terms of amino acids and how your body breaks them down. However, there are differences in how you consume them.

Does It Work?

Our body’s collagen production naturally begins to slow down as we age, which is why skin starts to sag and joint elasticity declines. A lack of collagen can lead to a variety of problems - from wrinkles to osteoporosis - so it's important that we help our bodies produce this important protein.

While there aren't a lot of studies on collagen supplements yet, this study by the Natural Medicine Journal showed that women who took a collagen supplements for eight weeks saw statistically significant improvement in their skin's elasticity. The use of collagen hydrolysate can also support joint health and possibly reduce the risk of joint deterioration, according to this study. When used properly, it has also been shown to help increase muscle mass. Does this sound like a miracle protein yet?

How To Get More Collagen in Your Diet

Collagen supplements are great because they are easy to use on-the-go. Add it to your smoothies, blend it into your coffee, or use it in a binder when you bake. If you want something sweet, use gelatin to make homemade jello or gummies. Check out some yummy smoothie recipes here and here!

Other Foods That Boost Collagen Production

  • Anthocyanidins: found in blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries
  • Copper: found in sesame seeds, cocoa powder, cashews and lentils
  • Lycopene: found in tomatoes, peppers, and beets
  • Proline: found in egg whites, cheese, and cabbage
  • Vitamin A: found in carrots and sweet potatoes
  • Vitamin C: found in oranges, strawberries, and dark green veggies

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that collagen is important for your skin, hair, nails, and joints. Eating a balanced protein-filled, veggie-rich diet can help aid your body's collagen production.

Tip: Avoid sugar, smoking, and too much sun, all of which break down your body's natural collagen.

If you're looking to give your body an extra boost, some studies show collagen supplements, like gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen, can help improve skin elasticity and reduce joint pain. What's your take? Have you tried collagen supplements before?

We're proud to announce that Great Lakes Gelatin is an official BlogFest 2017 sponsor. Stop by their booth to try their products and learn more about the importance of collagen supplements. 

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Courtney Ferris

Courtney Ferris

Courtney is a Facebook Advertising Consultant and ACE-certified group fitness instructor. When she's not busy working, she loves skiing, hiking, cycling, and traveling. Her blog is her creative space to share her love for health, wellness, travel, and adventure. If you're in Washington, DC, get in touch and join one of our Sweat Pink DMV events!

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By Liz Wilson

It’s been an … interesting year, but we can still finish it out strong.

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