The Cool Thing About Collagen

What do Organic Chicken and Vegetable Soup and Mango Mint Gummies have in common?  


So what about collagen...?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is regarded as the substance that holds the whole body together and can be found in the bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, hair, skin, and nails.  Yea, I think holding all of the above together is important.  

Collagen is especially vital to those who live an active lifestyle.

Every time you train- whether you run, bike, CrossFit, or all of the above, your body systems undergo stress.  Now don't jump to conclusions because I said the word stress.  We tend to think of the word stress negatively, but that is not the case.  The goal of this load (stress) on your systems is to adapt from this stressor and produce the desired change.  It is the stress that creates progression.  See, stress is not all bad.

But here's where it can go bad.  If you do not recover and rebuild from this stress, you are in a constant state of breaking down.  

Positive stress (the kind we want) is simply like this.  Take one step back, and two steps forward.  

Let's use muscle building as an example of this.  You may wonder how to build muscle?  Well, in order to build muscle, you need to tear it.  Sounds crazy, but its true.  When the stress of an adequate load (weight) is forced on muscle, small fibers of the muscle actually tear.  This can be seen as the "one step back."  

How do you take the "two steps forward?"  

Give your body what it needs and it will not only repair the muscle tears, but it will build stronger and better equipped to handle increased load.

Here is where PROTEIN and COLLAGEN come in!  To take those steps forward, we all need to get better at our nutrition and rest.  

Protein is a macronutrient that when consumed, gets broken down into amino acids.  One of the functions of these amino acids to build muscle.  That is perfect, because remember you just put yourself through stress, tore down muscle, and want to build it stronger!

And it gets even better with collagen proteins.  Collagen proteins are 8% arginine, which arginines function is to stimulate the growth hormone, and increases muscle mass by helping the synthesis of creatine in the body.  Good deal right?!

Now, how can you get more protein collagen to hold your body together, and facilitate progress in your athletic endeavors?

The nutrition part.  Keep in mind that for this article I'm only going into detail about the importance of these specific nutrients, there are MANY more components!

Sources of Collagen Protein 


1.  Supplement with grass fed beef gelatin, and collagen peptides.  

Have you heard of gelatin?  If you've ever had JELLO (who hasn't) you've consumed gelatin.  Gelatin is another name for the collagen that I want you to supplement with.   This beef gelatin is going to provide a lot of high quality protein to your diet and give you the benefits of collagen.  So awesome!  Collagen peptides, and beef collagen are almost the same, they are just used in different types of recipes.  For these Mango Mint Gummies, I used the recipe and grass fed beef gelatin from Vital Proteins.  My girls and I love this flavor of gummies!  I have made a number of things from gummies, to protein bars, smoothies, even cookies using gelatin and I'm very happy with this brand!  


Mango Mint Gummies from Vital Proteins


2. Bone broth.  

Bone broth is sort of like a chicken or beef broth, but more nutritious and contains higher amounts of collagen.  It is very simple to make.  All you do is take a a minimum of a couple pounds of bones either from chicken or beef.  What I most commonly do is roast a whole organic chicken, take the meat off, and put everything else into a slow cooker.  Cover the bones and all the typical "throw away parts" with water.  Add a couple diced carrots, a chopped onion, salt, pepper, and a few bay leaves and set to low.  Let that cook for at least 8 hours, and if you can do longer it just gets better.  Afterwords, strain the broth and use in homemade soups.  I made this incredibly delicious and simple soup this week! 

Organic Chicken and Vegetable Soup


Pictures don't do it justice, you have to make it to appreciate it.  

Here's how:

In a medium-large pot, add the following-
7 cups bone broth
2lbs skinless chicken thighs
2 cups chopped organic carrots
4 stalks chopped organic celery
2 tbsp chopped dried onion
1 tbsp dried thyme, and oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 or more tsp salt and pepper (taste and adjust).
Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, add 3 cups chopped organic cauliflower.  Continue to cover and cook for 15 more minutes.  Then, remove the chicken thighs and shred the chicken.  Add the chicken meat back to the pot, and stir.  
Trust me, you won't miss the noodles.  And you need to drink all the broth!



 I have a strong standpoint that nutrition is very important AND highly effective for all populations.  From general well being to sport performance, we can value what we put into our bodies to facilitate what we get out of them.   My goal is to share that adding Collagen to your diet is really simple, and there are ample reasons to do so (hello nice skin and increased performance).

 Go get on it!    


June 11, 2015 by Dana Faldmo
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