Last week I mentioned that I was going to look into using collagen as a nutritional supplement to help my PT tendon heal. I’ve been doing a little bit of research and thought I would share what I have learned, including my favorite recipe for adding collagen and gelatin into my diet!
Collagen and Getalin: What’s the Difference?
I first came across collagen as a nutritional supplement with multiple health benefits, including the support of healthy tendons. As I looked into this, I also found information about gelatin and got confused until I learned the difference. Basically, gelatin is the cooked form of collagen. Since the sources of collagen (animal bones, skin, and scales) are not eaten raw, this is the form of processed collagen that forms a gel when mixed with hot liquid.
There is also collagen hydrolysate, which is collagen that is processed more intensely. The greater processing means it can be used in regular drinks like water, coffee, or smoothies. Some people have an easier time digesting collagen in this form. However, both gelatin and collagen hydrolysate are broken down into the same amino acids when digested, and therefore have similar benefits.
Why do we need collagen?
Collagen is a protein that helps to form the structure of our bodies. It supports strong bones, flexible joints, and smooth skin. While our bodies can make collagen on its own, we produce less as we get older. Also, the food we eat in a typical modern diet today doesn’t include the same amounts that it used to.
Why would runners benefit from collagen?
Clearly, it sounds like anyone could benefit from this. There are a few specific reasons why runners may appreciate collagen:
Helps with muscle repair
Promotes restful sleep
Supports the re-growth of joint tissue and can help relieve joint pain
Helps keep bones strong
How to include collagen or gelatin in your diet
Collagen can be added to just about anything! Smoothies, baked goods, oatmeal, even plain water! Gelatin is a little bit trickier, since it needs to be mixed with a hot liquid. Bone broth is a natural source of gelatin, but you can also purchase gelatin in a powder form and use it in soups, stews, sauces, or to make homemade jello/gummies.
Whenever I consider trying something new to improve my running or prevent/recovery from injuries, I think about the risk/benefit ratio. For something like collagen I see low risk and high benefit, because even if it doesn’t cure my injury it can still have many other health benefits. Other than the cost (about $25 for 10 ounces of each powder) I don’t see there being any risk in giving this a try.
Being that I am throwing everything I have into healing my injury, it will be impossible to know exactly what helped. But hey, if Lauren Fleshman suggests something for helping to heal an injury, it’s gotta be worth a try, right?
Here are some articles that were used to inform this post and probably explain the benefits of collagen much better than I can!
I was not compensated or asked to write this post, I just wanted to share what I have learned about collagen and gelatin. This information should not be taken as medical advice. Also, this post contains affiliate links- thank you for your support!
Have you ever taken collagen or gelatin?
What types of supplements do you take to support your health and/or running?
How do you decide if you will try something to prevent/recover from injury?
I’m linking up with No Guilt Life, MCM Mama Runs, and Marcia’s Healthy Slice for Tuesdays on the Run, Rachel, Susie, Lora, and Debbie for the Coaches’ Corner and Annmarie, Nicole, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday!