Most of the body is made up of different types of protein. Proteins serve different functions in the body. Some are enzymes that catalyze reactions, some are structural proteins in bones, and some help create the protein matrix for the brain or certain organs in the body. Collagen is the most prevalent protein in the body. It provides the matrix for the structure of skin, hair, and nails, and the pliability of tendons and ligaments. Collagen is partly in bones, and it’s in all the connective material that helps you move.
The overall scheme of the human body is made up of a ton of collagen. Collagen is different from the other types of protein in that it has a very unique amino acid profile. Muscle, for instance, has an amino acid profile of about 22 amino acids. The amino acid profiles of meats like fish, chicken, duck, lamb, and pork are very similar to the amino acid profile of human muscles, and that's what makes these foods good for building muscle. The body takes in the amino acids in the ratio it needs to build muscles and to replace the normal tissue turnover in the heart, lungs, liver, and so on.
We are eating more meat than ever, and mostly animal meat. Proteins are just collections of amino acids, and all proteins have amino acids in them. Animal meats, whey protein, and egg protein all have an amino acid profile that lends itself to building muscle, or to repairing certain tissues. But, these amino acid profiles don't help build back ligaments, tendons, joints, skin, hair, or nails. That's where collagen comes in. But we'll get to that in a moment.
The meat we eat is high in methyonene, which is sort of an anti-collagen amino acid. So just as an imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fats can occur, so too can an imbalance of methyonene occur from eating too much red meat. As a result, your collagen tissue may be compromised. If you eat a lot of meat, not only are you not getting collagen, but you will actually need more collagen.
Now, the amino acid profile in collagen is totally different. It's more of a structural protein, and it is very high in proline, hydroxylproline, and glycine. Those three amino acids, in the specific ratio collagen provides, are critical for the rebuilding of the collagenous matrix throughout the body. You can get those amino acids in vegetables and other plant-based foods, but not as the same profile or structure that you would get in a collagen meal.
Where do you get collagen? Collagen is abundant in animal bones, which is why bone broth is so popular. Knox gelatin was a popular source of collagen in the 50s, 60s, and 70s and was taken to improve hair, skin, and nails because it was high in glycine. Gelatin is a cooked form of collagen. One of the reasons hospitals serve Jell-O is that it is easy to digest because it contains gelatin, along with gelatin's reparative features. Gelatin has a similar amino acid profile to that of collagen. If you take the collagen parts from an animal and boil it down, you'd get gelatin, so we don't get much collagen in our diet unless we eat the nether parts of the animal. But if you don't do bone broth, where do you get your collagen? You supplement with products such as Collagen Fuel or Primal Kitchen Collagen-Rich Bars. Collagen is not going to build muscle. It is not going to generate energy. It is going to repair tissue.
Sodium in Collagen Fuel comes from the sea salt. More people are dying from cutting back on salt as opposed to having too much salt. Salt got a bad reputation because food manufacturers were adding too much sodium in the form of preservatives like MSG. If you eat processed foods, you are likely inundated with sodium, and may want to cut back on added salt. But this is not an issue for anyone who is eating healthy. The sodium in sea salt actually helps with absorption.
Collagen Fuel is not a meal replacement. You should take it on an empty stomach or an hour or two before or after other food due to its unique amino acid profile, which you don't want to interrupt. Collagen is rich in Hydroxyproline and Glycine, two amino acids that are low in other protein supplements. If you mix protein with Collagen Fuel, it will offset the benefits, and it becomes more about muscle building. The reason you take Collagen Fuel is for joints, skin, hair, and nails. You can take it pre or post workout, either way. You just can't mix it with protein. You can mix it with water. You can mix it maybe with juice if you want, but nothing that has protein in it. If you want to mix it with berries to add some carbs to it, you can.
“Whether you do cross-fit or whether you do yoga, you are stressing your joints, your tendons and your ligaments, and what are you doing for them other than pushing them beyond their limits for short periods of time? What are you doing to get the raw material to repair and build them back before you go home? That's the beauty of this. That is why every gym and yoga studio should be told about collagen protein.”
The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.