I dare you to open up any popular health and fitness magazine and find less than five ads for different proteins that claim to be the perfect blend to turn you into a muscle machine, enhance recovery, repair DNA and quell appetite.
However, it's pretty rare to see collagen ads and even more rare to find ketogenic-friendly collagen sources in the protein saturated nutrition supplement market. I'm a bit surprised by this, as collagen is an extremely immune-system friendly protein source that directly aids in energy production, building healthy DNA, detoxification, digestion, and direct rebuilding of joints, tendons, cartilage, skin, nails, hair and organs – all without spiking the blood sugar or causing as much as an insulinogenic effect as many other protein sources.
That's why, via strategies such as red light therapy, far infrared sauna, organic essential oil skin serums, a weekly clay mask, and even self facial massage with a car buffer I personally incorporate collagen and collagen support quite frequently in my own anti-aging and healthy living routine.
Now don't get me wrong: I'm not against whey protein, rice protein, hemp protein, pea protein and other good protein powders and protein sources, but there is most definitely a time and a place for collagen, so in this article you're going to learn exactly why you should be including collagen in your nutrition supplement protocol, how to time it, what to mix collagen with to enhance ketosis, and my favorite clean source of the stuff.
The Purpose of Collagen
The word collagen comes from Greek roots that literally mean “glue-producing.” It makes up 30% of your body's total protein content and is extremely potent when it comes specifically to soft-tissue repair. Collagen is simply a type of protein – 1 of over 10,000 proteins in your body.
Collagen is a long-chain amino acid and is actually the most abundant protein in the body, responsible for bestowing skin elasticity, hair strength, and connective tissue integrity. In fact, collagen protein makes up 30% of the total protein in our body, and 70% of the protein in your skin!
While collagen is beneficial to the entire body, it's most noticeably beneficial to your skin. This is because as you age, the epidermis (outer layer of skin) thins and loses elasticity via a process known as elastosis. As this happens, your skin tends to show more signs of aging and acquires more wrinkles.
In water, collagen breaks into gelatin, which means that collagen and gelatin are comprised of the same amino acids with a different chemical structure. Think of them as the same tool, but with different packaging. I delve more into the difference between the two in this podcast. Both collagen and gelatin are a must for the efficient repair of connective tissues, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and skin.
So why use collagen instead of just taking protein powder or eating meat? First, many other vegetable and animal-based protein powders can be somewhat inflammatory for many people. Casein and whey are known allergens, egg protein can be quite inflammatory and many people are sensitive to pea, rice and hemp as well. If you fall into the category of someone who gets bloated, gassy or brain-fogged from a scoop or two of protein powder, you may fall into this category.
Second, collagen protein itself (typically derived from a beef source) is made in the same way that bone broth is made – via low and slow heating to preserve the nutrients and amino acids. So you get a very dense source of amino acids, with relatively few calories, but some amount of “bulk” for satiety (I am also a fan of essential amino acids, but collagen offers a bit more of a smoothie, shake, coffee or tea friendly approach).
Third, collagen offers a convenient way to mainline protein into your body without spiking your blood glucose. Most protein powders digest so quickly that they can actually turn into glucose and kick you out of a fat burning state, or out of ketosis (if ketosis is your thing). Not collagen (and, as you'll discover in a moment, when you combine collagen with MCT powder, you can actually get even deeper into ketosis).
Why You Should Add MCT's To Collagen
Fat is an energy source for your body. That’s exactly why we store it, and that’s why a ketogenic diet that uses primarily fat for fuel can be so beneficial for so many people (click here to read more about how to figure out if this type of diet is right for you). Every single cell in your body needs fat to function properly, and your brain is made up of predominantly fat.
Enter MCT's (Medium-Chain Triglycerides). I like to think of MCT’s as Zeus’ trident without the handle, (just the three prongs). The three “prongs” are glycerol molecules attached to the glycerol backbone portion. Short-chain fats have short “prongs,” and longer chain fats have longer carbon “prongs.” Here’s the point: the shorter the carbon chain, the easier and the quicker it is for your body to break it into energy.
When you are attempting to become a “fat-burning machine”, get into ketosis or adopt a ketogenic diet, your body begins breaking down fats into ketones for energy, and it does so extremely efficiently when MCT's are present. So think of MCT’s as quick, clean fuel you will burn. MCT’s are some of the healthiest “fast fats” because they are what your body breaks fat down into for useable energy. In addition, your brain also uses about 20% of your total daily energy expenditure, and since MCT's cross the blood-brain barrier, they offer potent fuel for cognition as well. MCT’s don’t need to be shuttled around the digestive system, they travel right to the liver and then are distributed for fast and lasting energy.
In addition, MCT’s are easily digested and have a thermogenic (energy-creating) effect, also known as “boosting your metabolism, they are fast-acting source of energy that breaks down into ketones which can then be used as fuel for your body, they support your gut microbiome by combating harmful bacteria and parasites and they contain antioxidant properties which reduce internal inflammation, which helps the performance of your heart, brain, and nervous system.
And most importantly, 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.
Enter Keto Collagen
Keto Collagen, which is a new supplement I've been experimenting with in drinks and smoothies, is actually a blend of MCT’s and collagen. It completely adheres to my strict requirements of cleanliness and does not contain any soy, dairy, gluten, or artificial sweeteners. It also tastes phenomenal, and comes in a delicious chocolate flavor or unflavored, both of which go great in almost any beverage, coffee or smoothie you can dream up.
Here's the nutrition label of the chocolate Keto Collagen:
As you can see, the simple, clean ingredients are as follows:
-5g of MCT oil powder
-10g of collagen
-Other ingredients: cocoa powder (100% all-natural cocoa powder is used to give a rich chocolate flavor and provide many of the health benefits associated with chocolate without the sugar), stevia leaf powder (Stevia is a plant-based sweetener that has no effect on blood sugar and is easily digested).*
*Note: the unflavored version does not include the chocolate and stevia.
The actual macronutrients of Keto Collagen break down as follows:
So as you can see, you'll get a hefty dose of readily available fats and proteins, with barely any carbohydrates. Keto Collagen is specifically designed for:
- People with soft tissue injuries
- People trying to build muscle
- People who want to eat more protein
- People who don’t like eating a lot of solids after workouts
- People who want a non-inflammatory protein
- People eating a low-carb ketogenic diet
You can also use Keto Collagen to help get into ketosis or to enhance the benefits of ketosis, such as improved autophagy and apoptosis, where your body purges dead or underperforming cells to allow for new growth, which has innumerable benefits relating to disease prevention and longevity. Perfect Keto uses only the highest quality ingredients, sourced in the United States, and the founder of Perfect Keto, Dr. Anthony Gustin, is a functional medicine clinician who developed the unique formula for maximum efficacy.
Dr. Gustin writes that…
…“Perfect Keto Collagen is the product that simply doesn’t exist on the market and compelled me to make a protein that is truly friendly to a low-carb or ketogenic eating style. I chose grass-fed collagen peptides (from the U.S.) with our premium MCT oil powder at a 2:1 ratio to deliver the most keto-friendly protein possible. Not only are the ingredients the top of the line, but the taste is incredible… It tastes like rich chocolate milk — except no dairy and filled with keto goodness. If you’ve been looking for a keto friendly protein, I hope this is amazing for you and I can’t wait for your feedback!”
The 100% grass-fed cattle used in Keto Collagen graze on the West Coast (California, Washington, and Oregon) and Colorado, and to make the collagen, they cook down the whole animal in a way that is similar to bone broth, with low heat to preserve the nutrients and protein. They then keep going a little further and use a technique called cold-process spray drying to turn the product into a powder that is easily digestible – with essentially the same nutrition profile as beef, with extra MCT's added in. They use the highest quality MCT oil from coconuts, which are then blended to minimize any GI problems.
A Sample Collagen + MCT Recipe
Alright, enough of the science and labels – let's now delve into some mighty taste brass tacks, shall we? Below is one incredibly tasty way to use Keto Collagen that goes far above and beyond simply adding a scoop or two to your favorite smoothie or drink recipe. It's called “Chocolate Pancakes With Blueberry Butter” and here's how it goes:
Chocolate Pancakes with Blueberry Butter
- 4 large pastured eggs
- 3 tbsp. MCT oil or liquid coconut oil
- 1 scoop Chocolate Collagen Protein
- 1/4 scant cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 1 tbsp. Kerry Gold butter for cooking
- 2 tbsp. Kerry Gold butter
- 3 tbsp. frozen wild blueberries
Warm a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
In the meantime whisk the MCT oil and the eggs together. Add the coconut flour, protein, baking soda and pinch of salt. Mix until smooth. The batter will be thick.
Once the skillet has come to temperature add the tablespoon of butter.
Pour the batter on to the skillet. Will make 4 2/3 cup pancakes. Cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes a side.
These bad boys will be tall. After you flip them once, flip them again and gently press down a bit to make sure the middle is fully cooked. Remove from heat.
In a small sauce pot, add the blueberries, cook until they thaw and the fluid begins to simmer. Add in the butter and mix and mash until the blueberries are completely softened.
Serve your pancakes and spoon buttery blueberry mix all over them. Enjoy!
Boom. Chocolate pancakes that help you recover and turn you into a fat-burning machine. What could be better?
So that's it! Keto Collagen is a very simple, elegant, tasty and unique combination of collagen and MCT's, and I think you'll be quite impressed with the increase in energy and recovery you can experience when using this stuff, without the use of central nervous system stimulants and without spiking blood sugar.
If you want to try some for yourself, simply click here to automatically get 20% off any order now. If you have questions, thoughts or feedback about Keto Collagen, just leave your comments below and I will reply!