Guide to Vital Proteins Products: Collagen Peptides, Whey, and Gelatin

Guide to Vital Proteins Products: Collagen Peptides, Whey, and Gelatin

As many people know, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador and have been using Vital Proteins Collagen for over a year now.

One of the most common questions I get is: Which is best?

Unflavored peptides?

Whey?

Beauty Greens?

Like most anything, it depends on your goals. Any quality Collagen can benefit most people.

Vital proteins collagen gelatin

I’ve written several posts of how it’s personally helped me including:

Why Collagen Post Run?
Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen
Skin Benefits from Collagen
Top Benefits of Collagen

Before we Dive into Different Products, a Few Things About All Vital Protein Products:

  • Free from artificial ingredients and sweeteners.
  • Contain All Real Food

So Why Use Collagen?

If you are looking for a protein powder, Vital Proteins is the most natural. There is just one ingredient, collagen.  The body produces collagen naturally.

Vital Proteins Collagen Guide:

Unflavored Collagen Peptides:

The unflavored is your basic collagen. It mixes well with almost everything from hot beverages to cold, to baking recipes. Yes, it does taste flavorless. The unflavored collagen peptides are the most popular, and one of the easiest solutions for anyone wanting to improve their overall wellness routine.

You can add it to almost everything since it tastes like nothing. If you’re not into fru fru and fancy, this is the Vital Protein product for you.

Flavored Collagen:

Like the unflavored collagen, the flavored collagen has all of the benefits from collagen, but also has probiotics and is flavored.  It should just be a subcategory and has the same benefits as unflavored but with flavor.

The flavors contain no added sweeteners.  There is anything from vanilla to blackberry to mixed berry. I’m a fan of mixed berry myself! It’s a great option when you want a hint of flavor in baking or smoothies.

Marine Collagen Peptides:

Vital Proteins Marine Collagen is very similar to the unflavored. It mixes into both hot and cold liquid. The difference is where the collagen comes from. Marine Collagen comes from snapper (fish), where the unflavored collagen comes from Bovine.

Gelatin:

Gelatin can be confusing, and it appears almost identical to regular collagen.  I wrote a longer post here about the differences.

In short, gelatin is still collagen, but the processing is different.  When gelatin cools, it becomes a “gel-like” substance. It resembles jello and is a great thickening agent for smoothies or even making your own gummies!

One of the significant benefits of gelatin versus collagen is with digestion. It helps to coat the digestive tract. Gelatin is known to help those with a leaky gut syndrome or IBS.

One thing to keep in mind is that gelatin doesn’t actually thicken until it begins to cool.  If you heat it, it’s still liquid or soup like.

Collagen Whey:

Collagen Whey is my favorite product. The Collagen Whey has just whey protein and collagen.  The product is loaded with hyaluronic acid, probiotics, and amino acids. I usually have a serving almost every day.

If you are looking for collagen with more protein, the whey is your best bet. There are 25 grams of protein, plus 10 grams of collagen in each serving. I make a lot of smoothies from the whey. A few of my favorite are:

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe

Vital Proteins Berry Blast Recovery Smoothie

Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe vital proteins

Hopefully, this Vital Proteins helps you decide what is best for you.  I’ve personally used each of these so if you have any questions feel free to ask.  I’ll have another guide to the lesser known product next month.

Thank you Vital Proteins for allowing to me continue to be an ambassador.

Questions for you: Do you use Collagen? If so, what’s your favorite?

 

Benefits of Collagen Creamer

Benefits of Collagen Creamer

After sharing on Instagram a few weeks ago, about the collagen creamer, many people asked me if I liked it. In fact, it was one of my most responded too stories. I was not expecting that!

In short, I like the Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer. It’s not as rich as a traditional creamer, but it has far more health benefits. Plus, adding it to coffee isn’t the only way I use it. Unlike other collagen products, the creamer contains healthy fats as well as collagen peptides. 

vital proteins collagen creamer

Why Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer?

  • 10 grams of clean collagen peptides
  • 9 grams of healthy fat (regular collagen does not have this)
  • No artificial sweetener or refined sugars
  • Dairy Free

A Few Benefits of Using Collagen:

  • Supports joints and tissues
  • Improved gut health
  • Better skin, hair, and nails

You Can Read More Benefits of Collagen Here.

Now that we got a few of the health benefits out of the way on to using it. Many people have asked me how I liked collagen creamer.

If you like darker coffee that doesn’t taste like milk with a splash of coffee, collagen creamer is the way to go. The creamer tastes good, but it isn’t going to taste like a super rich coffee.  Do I like it? Yes. Do I know it won’t taste like a super rich coffee? Also yes.  It doesn’t take away from the flavor of coffee. Most people know I like adding whipped cream in my coffee at diners, it won’t taste like a “dessert” coffee.  I appreciate that as much as coffee with whipped cream.

It might sound crazy but adding the collagen creamer to coffee isn’t the only way I use collagen creamer.

Here are a few ways that I’ve found I like adding the creamer:

  • Hot Cocoa. This is my favorite method of using the creamer. It makes the cocoa much more rich with a hint of coconut.
  • Waffles: Remember early in the month, when I posted the waffle recipe. I’ve occasionally substituted the whey protein for the creamer, and it tastes good. Vital Proteins has discussed using most of their products in baked goods, but I haven’t tried much until this year.
  • Oatmeal: In the winter, I eat a lot more oatmeal. Basically, if it’s warm, I’ll eat it in the winter. Instead of milk, I like adding the creamer for the extra collagen and fat.

In all, I like the creamer. Of the three flavors, the coconut creamer is my favorite. While of course, it can be put in coffee, there are many other ways to use it.

I am a Vital Proteins Ambassador, and in exchange for products, I share ways collagen has helped me.

Questions for you:

Have you tried collagen creamer before?

What is something you crave more in the winter?

For me, anything hot.

Collagen Waffle Recipe

As most readers know, I’ve been a Vital Proteins Ambassador for just over a year now. Last month, I posted about the results I’ve seen in my own personal life.  I’ve also posted about my hair, skin, and nails as well.

There are some days that I’m lazy and don’t want to cook a fancy meal for dinner. Maybe I’m cooking for one, maybe I’m exhausted from work, or maybe I just want breakfast for dinner.

What the case is, I’ve found an easy way to sneak collagen into waffles. I haven’t tried adding collagen in a waffle for breakfast. I think it would be fine but I’ve had good luck with having the same waffle and peanut butter for years before running (or anything), so why change now.

If you’re looking for an easy waffle recipe and to get collagen to try this.  I’m not foodie, but I’ve been to enough diners to know I like a crisper versus soggy waffle.

Collagen Waffle Recipe:

1 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
2 scoops Unflavored Collagen PeptidesVital proteins hot cocoa collagen

Directions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Add egg and milk in bowl and mix together.
  3. Then add flour, oil, sugar, baking powder, and collagen powder.
  4. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and pour mix.

How easy is that?  I topped mine with syrup, but there are so many options from peanut butter to yogurt, to fruit.

One of my goals in 2019 is trying to add it to various baked goods and breakfast items.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite breakfast? 

Have you tried collagen into any recipes? 

One Year with Collagen

One Year with Collagen

I can’t believe it’s been a year since it began taking Vital Proteins and Collagen. I’ve had success with collagen with many different activities including recovery from running, as well as in personal life with my hair, nails, and skin.

I started taking collagen initially for my hair and skin, but after taking Collagen Whey after workouts, I noticed I was recovering faster and running better too. It’s not the only reason, but I do believe it’s one of the reasons I stayed healthy through 2018.

me smiling vital proteins

I like to see people’s before and after posts, but admittedly, I haven’t done many (or maybe any?) myself.  I thought to start 2019, I would share the major reasons I take collagen and the success I’ve had.

I’m a Vital Proteins ambassador.  In exchange for a post or two per month, I do get to try the newest products. I’m not paid to promote them, and all thoughts are my own.

Here are the Major Reasons I Take Collagen:

Better Skin:

I’ve never had great skin. In high school, I suffered from cystic acne, and I’ve had flare-ups through my adult life too. There was a period in my early 20s; I wouldn’t go out in public with a full face of cover-up or concealer. I wash m face frequently, but it never seemed to be enough (even with derm prescriptions).
After taking collagen for about a year now, I’ve noticed my sin is much more “glowy.” I’m not saying Collagen cleared up my acne, but my skin doesn’t look as rough as it once did.

It’s been a small change, and it’s not like I went from rough teenager skin to supermodel, but my skin has improved more this year than ever. I still have minor breakouts but nothing compared to a few years ago.

Nail and Hair Growth:

I never started taking collagen because of nails, but my nails grow like talons. I’ve never had long nails before (between swimming and just not liking long nails) but I’ve found my nails growing faster and longer than ever.

Same with hair growth! My hair hasn’t been this long in years, and many people have mentioned my hair length. I’ve always wanted to grow my hair longer, but patience is not a virtue I have.

Vital proteins hot cocoa collagen

Joint Health:

Running is hard on your joints, and my goal is to make running lifelong. Collagen helps to preserve your joints. How? Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, which is tissue that helps to protect joints.

Recovery from Workouts:

I’m adamant about having a serving after every run: whether it’s an easy run, hard, or even race. I’ve found the extra protein helps me recover faster and feel less fatigued.  I normally make a smoothie or even hot cocoa (this week has been cold) within 30 minutes of a workout.

vital proteins collagen

This is just my personal experience with Vital Proteins. While I am a Vital Proteins Ambassador, I’m not being paid to tell you about it. It’s clear to me the positive results I’ve had, and I’m looking forward to using more products in 2019 and possibly experimenting with more recipes.

Questions for you:
Have you tried Vital Proteins?
What is something you had success in the last year?

When Your Body Physically and Mentally Match

When Your Body Physically and Mentally Match

As most people know, I took a 6-week break after the Atlantic City Half Marathon.  It’s been the topic of discussion on this blog because it’s the only thing I’ve done running related.  I was not injured, but both physically and mentally exhausted.

I asked myself: at what point do I just mentally rest and refocus?

On the drive home from the race, I knew I was at that point.  Thinking out loud, I never anticipated taking as much time off from running as I did but my body did not recover well from a season of hard training or even the race itself.  One week turned to two, then three to six.  As I continued to rest, I was still burnt out and in no mood to run.

After a while, the running bug bit me again and I decided I wanted (key word: wanted) to get back into running again.  Along with beginning to run again, I decided to get my blood analyzed again with Insidetracker.

Recently, InsideTracker has been a popular topic amongst running blogs.  As someone who graduated with a health degree, I do believe blood tests and results should be more accessible to those who would like the information. Another aspect people don’t realize, is you can send your Insidetracker results to your doctor as well.  Instead of making multiple appointments, you can come in with bloodwork results in hand.

It is not a replacement for a doctor, and they don’t claim to be. The biomarkers tested are endurance athlete focused.  For the average person, results might seem extremely high in a routine blood test.  Endurance athletes typically have skewed results.  Depending on your lifestyle, individual blood results can always be skewed.  For instance, people in upstate NY might have a Vitamin D deficiency, where those living in Florida might not have that issue.  Physical Environment plays a key role in results.

InsideTracker gives simple recommendations that anyone can benefit from.  If a result needs medical attention, they tell you and highly recommend you see a doctor.

It was my third time getting Insidetracker done.  Each time, I chose to pay extra and get the entire process done at my home.  First, I’m not the best with needles. Second, driving into Philadelphia during rush hour, after fasting for 12 hours isn’t a situation I’m comfortable with.  It’s the best situation for me!

Just as the previous sessions, the process went smoothly.  After a few days, I received my results which confirmed everything I felt.

My blood indicated I was both physically and mentally fatigued.

There were a few things that popped up that directly matched how I was feeling.  It was “nice” that my blood confirmed I was mentally and physically fatigued.  (So I didn’t feel like it was “all in my head”)

All three of my AST/ALT/GGT liver enzymes were elevated.

So what does this mean?

One enzyme elevated could mean you were tired but the fact that all three were up meant by muscles were extremely fatigued.  My blood essentially showed that no wonder I was exhausted.  It was overtrained and fatigued.  Before getting the blood work done, I had thought that it was possible I was overtrained, but I didn’t think results would be as high as they were.’

I don’t have a liver disease, but all three remained elevated due to the stress training caused to my body over the past year.  Like most things, it takes time to recover!

How Have I Been Fixing the Problem?

Are having elevated enzymes, the worst thing in the world?  No.  In fact, it justifies why I felt the way I did.

After getting the test, I waited another two weeks and decided to slowly start running again.

I’m not running every day and I’m not running nearly the volume I was previously.  Right now, I can truly say I enjoy each run.  I don’t run for pace, time or speed (unless it’s a race), but just run.  As I mentioned on Monday, I’ve ultimately decided to use the summer as down time too.

With my schedule, running is taking a backseat.  It’s allowing my body to relax even more.  I’m doing many of my runs mid day on the antigravity treadmill at work.  My options are outdoors in 85 degrees, indoors on a treadmill, or indoors on the antigravity treadmill.  If I’m not training hard for anything, why stress my body hard during this period?

Rome wasn’t built in a day and your body doesn’t heal overnight.  Using the summer to run casually, will allow my body to continue to physically and mentally recover.

I’m also taking both a probiotic and liver enzyme which I feel has been working well for me.  It’s only been 4 weeks since starting to take the enzyme but once I go through the entire bottle I’ll discuss it more.

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is I am also striving to eat proper recovery foods.  As my husband trains for another marathon, we’ve made it a focus to work on both proper recovery foods for both of us.  Neither of us has a terrible diet, but we do treat ourselves a few times a week or go out to eat more than the average couple.  For now, we limited eating out (our budget has also thanked us) and focused on cooking more foods together.

Nutrition wise, another aspect I appreciate about InsideTracker is they give personal food recommendations for your own needs.  A few recommendations including peanut butter, wheat germ, and eel.  (I don‘t know if I’ve mentioned but I really enjoy eel, octopus, and squid ;).

Eel tubes

I’ve been incorporating several of these foods into my diet and I’ve felt better and stronger because of it.

I do plan to get my blood tested again sometime in late July or August to see how I’ve progressed. I’m happy to have gotten the test done.  It’s a good feeling when both your mental and physical mindset line up.  When I scheduled InsideTracker, I wasn’t sure what it would show but I’m relieved that it provided answers and is allowing me to recover even more.

I would consider this time for myself, the off season.  Or maybe even the off year.  Relaxing, recovering well and building for a better training cycle is going to allow me to PR at a later time when I’m ready to train again.

Questions for you:

Have you ever gotten bloodwork done?

What are some of your favorite foods?

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