You have finally caught up to speed with adding protein powders to your smoothies or coconut oil to your coffee and now collagen supplements? Here’s why this this latest trend is one that can offer you some serious health benefits.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein found in muscles, bones, skin and tendons (just to name a few!). It is responsible for giving us that ‘skin elasticity’ that we all desire and is thought to be the ‘glue’ that holds us together. I think it’s safe to say it is pretty important.
Unfortunately, collagen production naturally begins to slow down as we age. This is a natural process that just goes hand in hand with the natural aging process, and is responsible for signs of aging such as wrinkles or joint pains. Diets high in sugar, sun exposure and smoking are all factors that can also deplete collagen levels prematurely.
So now that I have you all perked up and listening at the sound of ‘wrinkle reduction’, what are the benefits of supplementing with collagen?
It is good for your skin
So we have established collagen is incredibly important for skin elasticity and lifestyle factors and aging can deplete levels in the body. Therefore, it is thought that adding collagen into our diet may be essential in achieving that youthful glow.
One study found that supplementing collagen daily for 8 weeks showed significant improvement in skin elasticity, skin moisture and skin roughness. Just what we need with these harsh winter months!
It is good for joint health
Whether you are a bit stiff from your weekly workouts or just feeling your age when you creak out of bed in the mornings, collagen has been shown to improve joint health. Collagen helps your joints to move easier which can reduce pain and help prolong the longevity of your joints.
It can increase muscle mass
Collagen supplements are high in protein (obviously) and therefore can be a great alternative or addition to protein powder. One study found that supplementing with collagen showed higher levels of fat-free mass after a 12 week training program then those that didn’t supplement. Therefore it can be a great option to get more protein into your diet and support muscle gain.
C n’t I just get it from my diet?
The short answer, yes. With all supplement protocols, food comes first. In animal products the skin, cartilage, shanks, feet, necks, oxtails and ribs are all parts of the animal that are rich in collagen so aim to mix up your meat intake from the standard chicken breast or eye fillet. Bone broth is also a great source.
While, there are ways to get it from food, for many people it is simply not realistic to do so. Many people simply don’t like the idea of the less conventional cuts of meat all the time or don’t want to spend hours slaving over a pot making broths. While in a perfect world, we would all do this, it isn’t realistic for some people, which is where supplementing can really come in handy.
We get our collagen here.
Blueberry Cashew Collagen Smoothie Recipe
This is pretty darn cool. I really dig the work of Brad Dieter PhD over at sciencedrivennutrition.com and so, I was honoured that he asked me to write this article after a brief discussion on Facebook about the merits of insulin status as a predictor of carb-tolerance.
Read the full article here
Post by Emily White
You have heard it time and time again; if you are trying to lose fat and boost your metabolism eating small meals 6 times a day and always having snacks on hand is far superior over the traditional 3 meals a day. Personally I have always stuck to the 3 meals a day- not because I thought weight-wise one was superior over the other but because the thought of having to think of and prepare 6 meals every single day just makes me want to take a nap. So apart from being increasingly inconvenient are there any benefits to eating more frequently throughout the day?
Post by Cliff Harvey
...and before you start accusing me of being 'a Paleo guy'. I'm not. I'm a freakin' spaceman, not a caveman... BUT...Humans have eaten very high-carbohydrate foods (especially high intakes of grains) for only a short time in their overall development. For many thousands of years’ humans survived as hunter-gatherers, eating predominantly meats, eggs, fish, birds, leaves, nuts, seeds, and smaller amounts of grains and legumes.
It's only in the past several thousand (an evolutionary ‘blink of the eye’) that we have shifted to a food environment in which grains dominate our food supply. It is even more recently that we began to eat the vast quantity of highly processed and refined food that make up the bulk of the modern diet.
Read the full article at Patreon
Post by Cliff Harvey
Most people think of ketogenic diets when they think ‘low carb’. Ketogenic diets are low enough in carbohydrate (and protein), and high enough in fat, to encourage the creation of ketone bodies. This creation of ketones resulting from diet is called ‘Nutritional Ketosis’.
Ketogenic diets have a range of applications, from rapid fat-loss, to improved fat use for fuel, and application for many health conditions but some people just don’t benefit from ketogenic diets and it’s likely that your genes determine to a large degree which type of lower-carb diet you should follow. Through trial and error, or by following the tips in The Carbohydrate Appropriate Diet, or Keto-Appropriate Diet Manifesto you can find your best diet.
Your diet should be the most satisfying and comforting that it can possibly be while also allowing you to achieve your physical and mental goals.
There is a place for high protein, low carb diets.
Read the full article at Patreon
1. Drink more water
Optimal hydration is key to staying on track. Without enough water we are unable to perform at our physical and mental best, and we may feel hungrier- the last thing you need when Christmas mince pies and ham are in easy reach!!
The human body turns over about 100ml an hour so we need at least two litres per day to remain hydrated.
2.Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in the morning
Both Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and lemon juice are time honoured naturopathic remedies to promote digestion and detoxification. They are also highly alkaline promoting in the body. Perfect for times when you may be over indulging!
Article by Emily White
Snacking is something of great debate. Some say you should snack morning and afternoon to keep your blood sugar levels stable and cravings at bay, whilst others say you should ensure you are getting enough food and nutrients at your main meals that you don’t require snacks between meals. Which one is the correct?
By Amy Lynn, BNatMed
In 2012, physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide (1). It is pandemic and a strong causative factor of the major non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes. In children and adolescents, sedentary behavior and obesity were strongly correlated. In adults, sedentary behavior were strongly correlated with all-cause mortality, fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (2). Among older adults, sedentary behavior is a strong element influencing the health of ageing adults and is being considered as a significant fall risk factor, such as drugs (3). Clearly, physical inactivity is one of the top four pillars of a noncommunicable disease strategy (1).
Post by Emily White
So you are sitting across from your friend at a cafe, glaring longingly at their BLT with fries whilst you reluctantly dig into your salmon salad. To make matters worse they are a stick insect while it feels you just need to smell a potato before the weight piles on. Sound familiar? Researchers are now suggesting that our genetic make up could actually play a role in this unfair travesty.
By HPN intern Amy Lynn
Teenage years are the period of life with the fastest rate of body growth. This is also the period of sexual maturation, which is accompanied by significant physiological changes. As a result, nutritional requirements of teenagers tend to be significantly different from those of adults (1). Due to accelerated growth, the teenage body yearns for elevated nutrition, although it’s the last thought a teen wishes to engage in. Unfortunately, today, we are seeing higher nutritional deficiencies in teens due to an over active, hyper driven society. Several health conditions such as loss of height, osteoporosis, and even delayed sexual maturation may present themselves in these delicate growing years (2). In addition, the increasing decision to undertake vegan or vegetarian based diets are increasing amongst teens, which then gives nutritional deficiencies another level of disconcertment, especially within the athletic group.
Research and popular science articles by the members and faculty of the Holistic Performance Institute.