Collagen has become quite a hot topic – especially in keto circles. But is it just a fad, or does it actually have some benefits for gut health – especially for those who have disorders related to the gut?
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the supportive protein that gives bones, cartilage, and tendons their strength. It is one of the most abundant proteins found in your body and is essentially the ‘glue’ that holds your body together.
You can’t get collagen from food directly (but you can from supplements) – your body actually has to make it.
Your body breaks down dietary amino acids (from protein-rich foods like chicken, meat, and dairy) and then it produces collagen.
How Collagen Improves Gut Health
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and leaky gut are two very painful conditions that negatively impact digestive health (and ultimately overall quality of life).
IBS affects the large intestine. Symptoms of IBS include cramping, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, nausea. It can also lead to depression and anxiety.
Leaky gut is when the lining of the small intestine is damaged. Undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxic waste products”leak” through the intestines and go into the bloodstream.
Symptoms of leaky gut include (among others), chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating, headaches, brain fog, memory loss, arthritis or joint pain, and autoimmune diseases.
Collagen contains the specific amino acids glycine and proline. These amino acids are essential building blocks for repairing damaged intestinal lining.
Additional Benefits of Collagen
Aside from improving certain gut-related disorders and improving general gut health, there are many additional benefits to taking collagen. Some of these include:
- Improved skin health and elasticity
- Stronger nails
- May prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease
- Could help lower your cholesterol and prevent against heart disease
- Ease joint and knee pain
- Reduce back pain
How Much Collagen Should You Take?
The minimum effective dose appears to be 10g per day. Currently there is no evidence that shows there is a lethal dose, so it is safe at any reasonable dose.
The supplement you purchase will have a recommended dose on the container. If you want to take more, consult with your medical practitioner.
How To Add More Collagen To Your Diet
The simplest way to add more collagen to your diet is to drink bone broth daily. This can be homemade or store bought. If you choose to go with store-bought, make sure it is a good quality brand.
If you purchase a good quality collagen powder that dissolves easily, you can add it to almost any food or drink you can think of. Here are some ideas:
- Add it to coffee, tea, or any other warm drinks (a small milk frother will blend it in nicely)
- Add it to your keto smoothie
- Mix it into your keto drinks
- Add it to your workout shakes (pre- or post-workout)
- Add it to your fat bombs
- Mix it in to your keto ice cream before freezing
- Add it into soups and sauces
- You can even add it into batter for recipes like keto bread, keto pancakes, or keto cookies
Here are some recipes to help you get started with adding more collagen to your diet.
Chocolate Collagen Keto Fat Bombs
Image credit goes to Daily Burn
At a whopping 332 calories, these fat bombs are definitely a ‘one-a-day’ treat. But in comparison to other treats, you can eat this knowing you are doing your body and gut well.
The Chocolate Collagen Keto Fat Bombs uses a chocolate protein powder that is packed with collagen from grass-fed cows.
- Calories: 332
- Fats: 33.9g
- Proteins: 2.6g
- Net Carbs: 2.4g
View this recipe on Daily Burn: Chocolate Collagen Keto Fat Bombs
Collagen Protein Coconut Chocolate Milkshake
Image credit goes to Ketovale
Keto-friendly smoothies and shakes are a great way to get in extra healthy fats, as well as some get some collagen into your daily diet.
This Collagen Protein Coconut Chocolate Milkshake uses a light version of cocnut milk, so the fat in the recipe isn’t too high. If you need to get some extra fat in, rather use the full-fat coconut milk.
- Calories: 97
- Fats: 4.7g
- Proteins: 11g
- Net Carbs: 2.4g
View this recipe on Ketovale: Collagen Protein Coconut Chocolate Milkshake
Keto Collagen Chocolate Squares
Image credit goes to Dr Jockers
I used to enjoy a square of plain dark chocolate with tea after dinner occasionally, so it is exciting to see a similar, but much healthier, after-dinner treat option.
These Keto Collagen Chocolate Squares only use 5 ingredients to come together. The hardest part about making this is waiting an hour while it hardens in the fridge!
*Nutritional info does not include the collagen.
- Calories: 124
- Fats: 12g
- Proteins: 2g
- Net Carbs: 1g
View this recipe on Dr Jockers: Keto Collagen Chocolate Squares
Low-Carb Zucchini Nachos
Image credit goes to Healthful Pursuit
When looking at this recipe, your second thought may have been – “How do they add the collagen to nachos?!?” (Because I know your first thought is “mmm, nachos…”)
But back to the question – the collagen isn’t in Low-Carb Zucchini Nachos exactly, but rather it is in the MCT guacamole that is served with it.
- Calories: 578
- Fats: 38.6g
- Proteins: 43.7g
- Net Carbs: 7.3g
View this recipe on Healthful Pursuit: Low-Carb Zucchini Nachos
Keto Chocolate Collagen Shake
Image credit goes to Advantage Meals
Monk fruit extract provides a hint of sweetness in this Keto Chocolate Collagen Shake.
If you don’t have cacao powder, you can substitute 1:1 for unsweetened cocoa powder. Top with a little more whipped cream and some cacao nibs for a decadent dessert.
- Calories: 251
- Fats: 14g
- Proteins: 28g
- Net Carbs: 3g
View this recipe on Advantage Meals: Keto Chocolate Collagen Shake
Chocolate Almond Butter Collagen Fat Bombs
Image credit goes to What Great Grandma Ate
Chocolate and almond butter make for a delicious combination in desserts, smoothies, and – in this case – fat bombs.
If you need a little fat boost, combine it with some collagen for a healthy little snack, like in these Chocolate Almond Butter Collagen Fat Bombs. It will also help kill any sugar cravings!
- Calories: 67
- Fats: 6g
- Proteins: 2g
- Net Carbs: 0g
View this recipe on What Great Grandma Ate: Chocolate Almond Butter Collagen Fat Bombs
Collagen Keto Bread
Image credit goes to Bulletproof
Most recipes using collagen tend to be smoothies and fat bombs, so this quite an interesting addition.
The texture is lighter than normal gluten bread and doesn’t have that typical ‘chewy’ factor, but this Collagen Keto Bread is an excellent keto bread option.
If you are going nut-free, you can substitute the almond flour for coconut flour.
- Calories: 77
- Fats: 5g
- Proteins: 7g
- Net Carbs: 0g
View this recipe on Bulletproof: Collagen Keto Bread
Keto Blueberry White Chocolate Panna Cotta
Image credit goes to Healthful Pursuit
How delicious does this Keto Blueberry White Chocolate Panna Cotta look? Perfect for a treat on a hot summer evening.
The xylitol in this recipe may not be necessary if you have been sugar-free for a while, and have adjusted eating foods that are less sweet, as the berries do provide some sweetness.
- Calories: 271
- Fats: 24.9g
- Proteins: 6.1g
- Net Carbs: 6.3g
View this recipe on Healthful Pursuit: Keto Blueberry White Chocolate Panna Cotta
Hot Keto Collagen Chocolate
Image credit goes to Wicked Stuffed
There is something so comforting about hot chocolate in winter. I used to drink loads of it. But the sugar-filled powdered mixes don’t compare to the rich, creamy, keto-friendly versions.
The benefit of using a chocolate collagen powder is that there is then one less ingredient required for chocolate flavored recipes.
Serve this Hot Keto Collagen Chocolate with with some heavy whipped cream on top, and a sprinkle of plain cocoa on top, for a cosy, decadent treat.
- Calories: 223
- Fats: 19g
- Proteins: 8g
- Net Carbs: 6g
View this recipe on Wicked Stuffed: Hot Keto Collagen Chocolate
There’s More To It Than Collagen
One of the toughest things about the ketogenic diet that many people struggle with is that all of our bodies are different and therefore our bodies will react differently when on the diet, and need different keto supplements.
You might read how someone was able to lose 10 lbs in 1 week and got into ketosis after just 3 days while you’ve been struggling for 3+ weeks to make the pee strip turn darker.
There is no step-by-step formula to get into ketosis that can apply to everybody.
Some people need to eat fewer carbs than others while some might need to incorporate exercise into their daily routine sooner.
The point is that when you get rid of sugars and lower the number of carbs you consume you are doing a great thing for your body anyways. If you can focus on those things and let everything else happen naturally you’ll find yourself in a much better state of mind.
If you’re interested in getting more guidance with regards to the Ketogenic Diet then check out our program Keto Bootstrap. We help walk you through the Ketogenic Diet and provide you with all of the information that you need to succeed.