Collagen Cocoa

Collagen Cocoa

Now that it’s getting colder, I like warmer beverages. While smoothies are good, I’m not one to drink smoothies year round. I drink hot coffee year round but ask me to drink a cold beverage when it’s 40 degrees, it’s a hard no from me.

Now that I’m back to running, I’m back to drinking collagen post run. I’ve been a Vital Proteins Ambassador almost a year now, but have enjoyed the products for much longer.

Vital proteins hot cocoa collagen

For warmer beverages, I personally prefer the Vital Proteins Flavorless Option.  Why?  Because you mix it into anything and it truly doesn’t have a taste and isn’t gritty either.  I’ve put it into coffee and hot cocoa, and it’s been great.

Vital proteins hot cocoa collagen

What are Collagen Peptides?

Collagen Peptides are easily digestible in both cold or hot liquids.  Collagen Peptides support healthy hair, skin, nails, bone, and joint health, plus help to recover from workouts.

Quick Facts of the Unflavored Collagen:

  • 20 grams of collagen per serving
  • 1 simple ingredient which makes it gluten free, dairy free, and even sugar-free

So anyway, this month I’ve been mixing the unflavored collagen with hot cocoa.  I’m not fancy and boil a pot of water, add collagen and add a hot cocoa packet.

Vital proteins hot cocoa collagen

I like things simple and easy.  Boiling hot cocoa, adding collagen, and mixing takes about 5 minutes at most.

Questions for you:

Do you prefer hot or cold beverages?

Have you tried collagen before? 

Collagen: Protein without the Protein Powder

When I swam in college, it was usually mandatory to take some sort of protein after practice.  I can remember everyone grabbing their protein bottles after college and all of us drinking it up.

After college, I still used protein powders here and there but not as frequently.  Then sometime after 2014, I pretty much stopped using protein altogether. I can’t tell you why, but I just did.  I became bad and lazy about eating directly after a run.  Not because I avoided it but because it was never at the forefront of my mind.

In 2017, before becoming a Vital Proteins Ambassador, I started taking Vital Proteins after workouts.  Most Vital Protein products offer at least 12 grams of protein without added sugars, chemicals, and artificial additives.

Protein powders with minimal ingredients and quality protein are usually more pricey.

Enter into my Life: Collagen sometime in 2017…

vital proteins ambassador

Collagen is a great protein alternative to consume post workout. In addition to protein, most collagen products also have amino acids including glycine and arginine.

Why is that important?

Both amino acids help the synthesis of creatine in the body and creatine has been shown to help improve performance during exercise.

As most people know, long-term strenuous exercise can lead to the loss of collagen in the body. Supplementing collagen helps to protect that loss.  It has also been shown to reduce the risk of injuries on muscle, tendons, and ligaments.  I stayed healthy through my marathon training cycle so while I’m not a doctor, it’s enough to keep me consistent with it.

Collagen makes up about 30% of the proteins within the human body.  It is mostly found in structures like: bones, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen is also a part of the connective tissue in the skin.  Supplementing it helps the constant renewal of skin cells.”

One other great benefit is the long shelf life.  This means that there isn’t a need for artificial preservatives keeping it a clean and natural.

vital proteins collagen

But Wait…it’s not “Complete”:

There is a minor catch with collagen and that is not considered a complete protein.

What does a complete protein mean?

There are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, nine of which the body does not produce on it’s own.  The nine the body cannot produce are called essential amino acids.  We need to find them from different sources since we cannot make them.

vital proteins collagen

Collagen, however, does not fall into a complete protein because it only contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids. Sources that do include whey and eggs. Two sources that are complete proteins are both whey and egg protein.  Which now Vital Proteins makes a few different whey protein options as well.  I’ve tried all four and my personal favorites are the dark chocolate and coconut or the vanilla and coconut water. 

Other Collagen Related Posts:

Recovering from Workouts
Why Collagen Post Run?
Differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin
Top Benefits of Collagen

Questions for you:

What kind of protein do you prefer after a workout?

Have you tried collagen before? 

 

Adding Collagen to Oatmeal

Adding Collagen to Oatmeal

As most people know, I’m a Vital Proteins ambassador. In exchange for a couple of products, a month I post about ways to use collagen or the benefits.  For the last few months I’ve included a lot of smoothie recipes.  In the summer, I want nothing more than something cold and refreshing after a run.

Now that it’s getting cooler, I want something warmer.  So I decided to share the oatmeal I’ve had lately after runs. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short or long run, easy run, or workout, I have food within 30 minutes.  I do believe it’s one reason I’ve recovered faster from races and runs in general.

pumpkin oats vital proteins

Protein Oats:

Ingredients
1/2 cups Milk.  You can use whatever you want milk wise. I’ve been using almond milk.
1 cup cup oats
1 Serving Banana Cinnamon Whey Protein
1/2 cup pumpkin
Cinnamon and Nutmeg to taste

Topping Ideas:
Berries and Fruit.  I’m a fan of warm peaches and pears right now!
Nuts: Almonds, pecans…anything
Nut Butters.
Brown Sugar
Whipped Cream: Did you really think I wouldn’t include this?
Syrup
Greek Yogurt for the extra protein

Instructions
Mix the milk, pumpkin, and oats.
Cook the oatmeal according to the directions. I’m not fancy so I just use the microwaveable kind.
Add the collagen after it’s done cooking.
Add toppings and sweeteners if you feel like it.

pumpkin oats vital proteins

As the weather gets cooler I enjoy a lot more warmer foods after a run.

Other Collagen Related Posts:
Why Collagen Post Run?
Differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin
Top Benefits of Collagen
Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen
Skin Benefits from Collagen

Thank you Vital Proteins for allowing me to continue as an ambassador!

Questions for you:
What are your favorite oatmeal toppings?
Do you crave different foods in the winter versus summer? 

Vital Proteins Gelatin

Vital Proteins Gelatin

About a month ago, I wrote about the differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin.  I wanted to try Gelatin, but to be honest, I didn’t know where to start.

I didn’t know the differences myself.  As most people know, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador so in exchange for a couple of products each month, I get to try new products.  I’m not being paid to promote the products.

Vital proteins beef gelatin

First, What is Gelatin?

Gelatin is a substance derived from collagen. As I’ve written about before, Collagen is well known for its hair, nail, and skin benefits.  Gelatin is also just as good for those.  Gelatin also has about the same amount of protein. So it’s a great addition to smoothies after a workout.

In food, collagen is found mostly in tougher cuts of beef that contain a lot of connective tissue. Typically these are pieces we don’t use.

Most people don’t eat animal skin or tendons raw.  When you cook collagen, it transforms into gelatin.

In short, Gelatin is the cooked form of Collagen.

The properties of both gelatin and collagen are slightly different, but the health benefits are the same.

Gelatin produces a “gel” effect in foods.

Vital proteins beef gelatin

Collagen Peptides are better mixed into foods because they don’t turn to gel.

I currently use the Flavorless Beef Gelatin Powder. Many people have asked, but it truly has no flavor. I’ve mixed it with sweet drinks and never had an issue.

What is Gelatin better for?

It’s better than Collagen Peptides for a few things:

  • Homemade jello or jello type desserts
  • Homemade marshmallows (I’ve wanted to make this)
  • Thickening smoothies, sauces, and soup.

 One thing that Gelatin has that regular Collagen peptides do not is more of an effect on overall “gut health.”  Gelatin fills the holes of the stomach lining and reduces inflammation. It also increases the amount of gastric acid in the gut.  Gastric Acid is used to digest protein.

Hopefully, that helps with Gelatin. I would love to hear how you’re using collagen or a recipe for Gelatin you have!

Thank you Vital Proteins for keeping me as an ambassador.

Questions for you:

Have you tried cooking with gelatin?

Do you have any easy recipes?

Why Collagen Post Run?

Why Collagen Post Run?

As most people know, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador.  I’ve enjoyed Vital Proteins far before becoming an ambassador, and I’ve found Vital Proteins to drastically improve my skin, hair, nails, as well as help me recover from workouts.

In exchange for a couple of products each month, I write benefits for me or share recipes.  I’ve been making the same smoothies through the summer because I prefer a smoothie after a hot summer run.  First, I’m not a doctor or dietician so works for me may not work for you!

me vital proteins

I thought I would share, Why Take Collagen? 

Many people might not know, but Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body.  It is the primary building block of bones, joints, and connective tissue.  I had no idea until doing research last year.

Most natural forms of collagen come from animal rich, fatty products such as animal organs and bones. Most people don’t chomp on animal bones so it can be difficult to get natural collagen.

Collagen is actually crucial in muscle growth as well. Collagen is found in connective tissue. Connective tissues are in almost everything including muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones.

Aging as well as continuous stress (hello running) will cause degrading and loss of collagen.  So even if you’re sedentary, as you age you lose collagen.

So How Does Collagen Help Recover from Workouts?

First, Collagen Promotes a Healthy Response to Inflammation: 

Runners are putting stress on their bodies. It doesn’t matter if you are running 10 miles a day or 2. Stress causes inflammation. After a hard workout, you damage the muscle, and collagen will help create a healthy response to repair the muscle to build stronger! If your body continues to break down the muscle, you will find yourself injured.

Second, Collagen can Help Reduce Injury to the Ligaments and Tendons:

Did you know ligaments are made up almost entirely of collagen? I didn’t know until recently! Ligaments are actually strands of fibrous connective tissue comprised almost exclusively of collagen.

Consuming collagen helps to optimize the rebuilding of ligaments when they are strained!

Third, Joint Health:

If you have ever told a “nonrunner” that you run chances are they will talk about it being bad for your knees or joints. Running does put pressure and strain on your joints.

Collagen is one of the building blocks of the cartilage found in joints  Cartiledge is the which is the tissue that protects your joints.

Fourth, Bone Health:

Runners put a lot of stress on their bones. I am no stranger to bone injuries, and it’s important to keep your bones healthy.  Along with Collagen, I also take a Calcium and Vitamin D supplement.

Anyway, calcium is not the only component to build strong bones.  What most people don’t know is that collagen makes up about 1/3 of bone.  It is the protein that gives bone their flexibility.

Finally, the Protein:

I’m not one to say high protein all of the time.  I think protein has its place in someone’s diet just like both carbohydrates or fat.  (As a public health major in college, I have taken several courses in health and nutrition).  It is vital to get food after a run or workout.  I used to be not great at doing so.  It wasn’t that I avoided it, it was more that I was running late and didn’t put in the time or effort.

Depending on the time of the year I like to make smoothies or add to my coffee. Right now I’ve been making this smoothie after a run which has worked out well.

These are just a few reasons I take Vital Proteins directly after a run.  Since I’ve been using Vital Proteins, I’ve found myself to be recovering faster after hard workouts or races.

Thank you to Vital Proteins for allowing me to be a brand ambassador! 

Other Collagen Posts You Might be Interested In: 
Differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin
Top Benefits of Collagen
Skin Benefits from Collagen
Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

Questions for you:
Do you have anything post workout?
Have you tried Collagen before? 

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