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What am I Eating? Collagen Peptides

By Dana Babeu, R.D. | April 3, 2020

 

Collagen peptide powder seems to be the latest and greatest wellness trend at the moment. You may see people on social media adding the white, tasteless powder to their smoothies, protein shakes or coffee.Collagen peptide powder has become a daily staple for me and I’m excited to share how I use it to boost my nutrient intake. But first, what is collagen and how can we benefit from it? 

 

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It acts like a strong and flexible glue that holds together many of our body parts like skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone. Many different cells in our body produce collagen, but this production naturally slows with age. Collagen is found naturally in foods like bone broth and gelatin, and a protein-focused diet helps our bodies make collagen. You can also supplement with a powder. 

What is Collagen Peptide Powder?

Collagen powder supplements have also become very popular in recent years. The powdered form offers benefits like easy-to-digest amino acids and it easily dissolves in most warm or cool liquids with no grittiness. It comes flavored or unflavored, is dairy and lactose free and gentle on the stomach making it a great choice for people who struggle with traditional protein powders or are dairy-sensitive. There are many different brands out there that you can find at Trader Joe’s, Costco, Shoprite, Target and Amazon.

Benefits of Collagen Supplements

Collagen supplements may improve the integrity and elasticity of hair, skin, nails and other connective tissue inside the body but more research is needed. Collagen cannot be used as the sole source of protein in the diet because it lacks specific amino acids (the building blocks of protein) that the body can’t make on its own. However, it’s a great way to boost the nutrition of other high-quality protein foods we eat throughout the day. 

 

Here are some of my favorite ways to use unflavored collagen powder:

  • Add to a low-carb smoothie or mix into a ready-to-drink shake to boost the protein and nutrient content
  • Mix a scoop into a cup of milk, yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Add to coffee or tea (just note, adding to extremely hot or cold beverages may result in some clumping) 
  • Mix into a serving of salad dressing
  • Mix a scoop or two into the batter for my low carb Almond flour pancakes 

 

Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever tried collagen and your favorite ways to use it. 

Dana Babeu, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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