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? 

Marathon Recovery

Marathon Recovery

It’s been 10 days since NYCM. I haven’t run.  I won’t say I’ve focused every ounce of energy on recovery because that isn’t the case, but I have made recovery a primary concern.  I feel good, in the fact that I know I’m healthy and could run, but I strongly believe everyone needs at least 2 weeks of rest sometime during the year.

Most long-term readers know but I’m injury prone, so I can’t get away with not taking rest. At this point, I don’t even try too.

My old college coach told me that days off save seasons and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. Not only do I apply this with injuries, but also now with resting after a race.  There are some people that could get away from running

Here are a Few Ways I’ve Been Personally Recovering:

Active Release Technique:
I’m a big fan of active release. It flushes out acid from your legs and muscles quicker and you recover faster. I’ve always recovered faster when I opted to get a deep tissue massage or ART.

Active Release is a hands-on approach to injuries of the muscles, tendons, fascia, nerves, and the surrounding tissues. This manipulation softens and stretches the scar tissue which can result in an increased range of motion and improved circulation.  Both optimize healing.

If you are local, I highly recommend Dr. Kemenosh and his staff (and no they aren’t paying me to tell you that and I pay the same price as every other person who goes). They have helped me in multiple situations from fixing my hip/piriformis after my last marathon to loosening up my calves, and even feet.

active release technique

Compression:
There are so many different brands of compression out there. Many brands are just glorified tube socks.  I personally use CEP and have for most of my running journey.  CEP uses medical grade compression and forces blood to appropriate places.

Compression helps to enhance performance and recovery through the targeted compression which improves blood circulation and speeds up lactate metabolism.

Cross Training:
I’ve done a couple of short walks and I think I’ll do a hike this weekend.  Even though I could have done “a lot more” this week, I have walked as cross training. It feels good to get blood pumping through my legs.  I’ve been walking about 20-30 minutes which has been fun. I haven’t felt the urge to go further.

Take Mental Break:
Running can be exhausting.  For me thinking about adding a long run into the weekend, or workouts during the week can be mentally tiresome. Taking a mental break is one of the most important things I personally do.  Right now I’m not planning “the next big thing.”

Sleep:
This is an obvious one, but more sleep allows muscles to repair. We know sleep is important, but there are so many distractions that make it difficult to get to bed. I try and log off the internet around 9 pm. Sometimes I read, sometimes I go straight to bed.  I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to the time change. Has it really been nearly 2 weeks?

Recovery from anything, whether it’s a race or hard training cycle takes time. Just like training, there is no secret that does it all at once.

Questions for you:

How do you recover?  

How long do you take off after a big race? 

 

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? 

Vital Proteins Berry Blast Recovery Smoothie

Vital Proteins Berry Blast Recovery Smoothie

I have been trying to post a couple of posts including Vital Proteins each month. As an ambassador, I get to try products and authentically post about them.  I’m not being paid, but if Vital Proteins and Collagen has helped me, it will more than likely help someone else too.  So each month I try and post a recipe I’ve been personally using.  Some I hesitate to call “recipes” because they are: add these things and put into a blender.

With the heat, I’ve been enjoying smoothies lately.  I’m not a smoothie person in the winter, but hot weather is another story.  This month I’ve been enjoying the Vital Proteins Strawberry Lemon.

Vital Proteins Berry Blast Recovery Smoothie

I have had a serving after each run or workout to recover faster and honestly, I have been!  After my 25k this smoothie was the first thing I’ve had.  I also have found including collagen into my routine has made my hair grow faster.

A Few Benefits of the Beauty Collagen are:

  • Help Improve Hair and Nails: Collagen helps hair and nails grow faster and stronger (I have seen this first hand with my own hair).
  • Skin Health: Helps to improve the moisture and glow into your skin.  This has also helped me personally, and my skin is the best it’s been in months.
  • Post Workout Energy: If I don’t eat after a run, I find myself sluggish, so this provides energy that I need. With Vital Proteins, there are no added sugar or preservatives.

Last month I posted about using the Vital Proteins Strawberry Lemon for a recovery smoothie, and I’ve made some minor tweaks to include more carbohydrates and calories. I’ve found the extra calories help me recover faster.  As I posted on Instagram yesterday, one of my primary goals is to stay healthy.

  • 1 Chopped frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen berries (I use either strawberries or raspberries)
  • 1 cup oatmeal (to add carbohydrates)
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Scoop Beauty Collagen

Mix and Go.  

I’ve found the consistency to be much thicker and I’m able to recover faster.  I have a smoothie after each run or workout (whether it’s 3 miles or 15).  Plus it’s refreshing in the humidity.

Here are more Vital Protein Collagen posts:
Skin Benefits from Collagen
Recovering with Collagen Protein
Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

Thank you to Vital Proteins for your support! 

Questions for you:
Do you eat after a workout or run?
Are there any recipes or things you would like to see about Vital Proteins or Collagen?

 

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