Tuesday, September 25, 2018

My experience with collagen peptides

If you remotely pay attention to trends, you know that collagen is the hot thing right now.  I wrote it off because I don't really buy into fitness trends because if you've lived more than 20 years, you know these things are cyclical and what they tell you is awesome for you this year is caca the next.  You all know I have issues both with my digestive system and my joints and muscles from our intense workouts.  I admit I succumbed to peer pressure on this one after continually reading blogs raving about collagen from people whose opinions I trusted.  How much better they felt, their skin cleared up, their hair and nails were growing faster than they could maintain, their joints felt better, they pooped like champs, their dogs got well behaved, the bee population started coming back, their mothers in law treated them like their own, etc.

After doing a lot of research for something with the least amount of taste, highest protein with the least sodium and most water-soluble qualities, I went with a big ol' tub of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides(affiliate link)

It's Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed, Non-GMO, Kosher, and all that jazz.  At 20 grams of protein per serving (2 scoops), it wasn't something I could ignore since I sometimes struggle to hit my protein target once or twice a week.

My primary reason for giving this a go was we had started lifting heavier, and it was taking a toll on the bod.  Also playing a part was my horrible gut makeup on the quest to become a daily pooper and if I could get good skin, hair, and nails out of the deal, it sounded good to me!  Typically I would drink it in the morning with my tea on cardio days and with tea in the evening after strength training sessions to attempt to help repair immediately with the amino acids they all tout.

They claim it's tasteless, but there is a definite aftertaste and mouthfeel change to your drink.  I can't even tell you what the taste is, but I would say it tasted like plain gelatin smells if that makes any sense.  The mouthfeel is actually silky but being a person who is very sensitive to textures, it wasn't my favorite.  I'd usually try to chug it down because I didn't enjoy it much.  Again, it's not because it was nasty, but it made just enough difference in taste to my tea that I noticed, but you guys all know I'm weird anyway so take it with a grain of salt.

I took it pretty religiously for about 2 1/2 months waiting for the benefits to roll in.  I was going to feel 25 again!  I was going to have thick, gorgeous hair and nails!  I was going to come out of the bathroom every day with a cape on, my hair blowing in the wind with my hands on my hips and head held high!  What happened?

Well, I lost some weight...in the wallet.

I'm not saying it doesn't work because, with over 2000 reviews on their own website of 5-star ratings and 4-star ratings of almost 3000 reviews on Amazon, it's gotta be doing something for some people.  It just didn't for me.  😞

When someone else mentioned it did nothing for them (but they only used it 4x...come on, now!), the company responded it takes 2-6 weeks of consistent use to see the benefits.   Many people have noted recently the formula seems a little different and doesn't dissolve as well but I can't attest to that since I didn't do it for a long time.  Some suggest it's best for smoothies or oatmeal and not as much for tea and coffee so that it doesn't alter the flavor because despite it saying it's tasteless, there is a slight taste like I experienced.   I'll be honest though, the biggest deterrent for me was the price on this one.  While I appreciate all of the non-GMO, pasture raised, etc., it's a steep price to pay at over $1.50 per serving if you do not see any benefit from it.  I did see that Trader Joe's now carries Great Lakes Gelatin for $10 per 7 ounce can which means if you bought 3 of them to match the amount you were getting in the one I was buying, you'd still be saving $13.  Great Lakes is a very reputable brand, and if you don't have a Trader Joe's near you, you can buy it here on Amazon.  (affiliate link)  The only reason I didn't get it is a handful of people said they got constipated with it and I didn't need to tempt that vixen.

I will say that my nails seem to take forever to grow now that I'm not taking it anymore but I didn't feel like they grew so much faster while I was taking it if that makes sense.  So maybe I couldn't see that until after the fact.  To be fair though, I'm also not using the protein nail formula that helped my nails grow religiously anymore so I can't pinpoint the collagen for sure.  My joints are as sore as they've ever been, but lately, they seem to be slightly more sore.  But again, there were other contributing factors that changed at the same time, so I don't know that I can pinpoint the collagen as the tipping point.

Just because my experience wasn't Earth-shattering doesn't mean yours couldn't be.  I have read some pretty amazing things from people whose lives it has changed, but as even my chiro confirmed, my body is the exception to many a rule.  I may try the other brand in the future, but for now, I'm giving my body a chance to just do its thang on its own without any supplements and stuff like that.  I already eat a goodly amount of amino acids to help naturally rebuild my muscles and joints, and I suspect I just need to get more flexibility exercise to help with that stuff.

So I encourage you to take a look at these, read the reviews from people and see if they're right for you.  I don't find anything wrong in seeing if there are products out there that can help me feel better or recover quicker and if they work, great!  If they don't, at least there's one more opinion in the thousands out there that you can take into account.

Have you or would you try collagen peptides?  What has been your experience?

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  1. I think it's one of those things that just works for certain people that maybe don't get what they need from food or who knows. It's also one of those things where the scientific studies come out every few years and contradict each other. Try it for yourself and see if it helps is the way to go with most things as long as there is no potential for harm involved.

  2. I haven't tried it, but I have heard of collagen supplements for all the things you listed, and particularly about the elasticity of skin. I agree that some things work for some people and fall flat for others. I've been trying different brands of R-Lipoic Acid for my neuropathy and have had good success with some, while others (ironically the more expensive one) did nothing for me. So I do think it's a matter of trying different brands, but always with the knowledge that something might not be effective for my particular body. It's a bummer when you don't get the great results as others experience.

  3. I've been taking gelatin off and on. I started in hopes it would help my pealing nails. It didn't but I notice that my plantar fasciitis and some other aches in the knees and backs seems slightly better. It's not a miracle cure but it helps and since gelatin is versatile in the kitchen, I keep it on hand. It's best in smoothies where you can disguise the texture. I read a couple quick articles comparing peptides to gelatin and one mentioned that gelatin is better at helping digestion. I imagine it brings more water into the process and helps things bulk up while maintaining flow. I hope that description is vague enough for family friendly internet posting ;)

    1. What brand do you recommend? I'll have to look into that for sure!

    2. Now Foods Beef Gelatin Natural Powder. Mostly because it was one of the cheaper options on Amazon. But when I first started using it I just picked up a box of Knox at the grocery store. As far as I can tell, gelatin is gelatin.


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