5 Research-Backed Reasons to Put Collagen in Your Morning Coffee
In this article, we break down:
- How coffee plays an integral role in the daily routines of Americans (and why we care)
- Research-backed benefits of collagen protein supplementation
- Why putting collagen powder in your coffee turns your morning 'joe into a veritable superfood
Why We Care About Coffee
64% of adults in the U.S. drink coffee every day according to a study by the National Coffee Association.
The number of people who consider themselves “coffee drinkers” but aren’t necessarily daily users is even higher.
Upwards of 83% of Americans drink coffee at least occasionally based on a 2013 study.
Since its official birthday in 1671, this same liquid energy has been fueling morning productivity and keeping new parents awake throughout the day on little-to-no sleep.
Even though it’s a few hundred years old now, new generations are picking up the habit earlier than ever.
Millennials especially, who consume 44% of all coffee consumed in the U.S.
Once thought of as a junk-food vice, coffee is now lauded as a superfood.
Studies show coffee consumption helps with fat burning, mental focus, and may even protect you from cardiovascular disease.
But we’re not here to sell you on coffee. Or even to make you feel better about getting all hopped up on Espresso shots..
(..just go easy, OK? 2-3 cups of coffee per day isn’t necessarily bad for you.. but if your stress level is climbing or you have problems with anxiety, backing off the bean is the easiest thing you can do to chill out).
The main reason it’s relevant to us at SaltWrap is that the vast majority of our clients drink coffee first thing in the morning.
And of those who don’t, many more drink tea. On any given day, 159 million Americans are drinking tea.
These caffeinated drinks are clearly a big part of our clients’ lives.
So it’s important we understand what is going on here.
Mainly because whether you (the client) are training for a triathlon or trying to lose 20 pounds, coffee is likely on the menu.
The question is: What, if anything, should we do about that?
Beyond the obvious — warning you to avoid putting sugar and food coloring in your coffee — we see an opportunity.
We see a delivery vehicle for getting good nutrition in your body first thing in the morning.
One of the main focuses in our practice is seamlessly integrating healthy behaviors into clients’ daily routines.
Because a good daily behavior is much more powerful than a great behavior implemented only a few times per week.
So it’d be ideal if we could sprinkle some kind of magic fairy dust into coffee that helps our clients recover from exercise better, reduce joint pain, and maintain a strong metabolism.
Can I use collagen as a meal replacement?
With all the marketing buzz around collagen, it seems like the one true panacea.
The elixir that solves all of our problems.
But its not. While collagen has demonstrated benefits for joint health and connective tissue repair, it should NOT be used as a meal replacement. Sure, it's fine to use it instead of sugar-laden or artificially sweetened creamers. But it's actually quite dangerous to use collagen in place of dietary protein.
That's because collagen is not a complete protein. It only contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids your body needs. Bottom Line: Use collagen as a joint health supplement. Don't think of it as a "protein" or dietary meal replacement.
Collagen & Coffee: A Perfect Match
Specifically, collagen peptides.
Which means the collagen molecules that have been broken down into smaller parts, helping them dissolve more easily in liquids.
Usually this process occurs through hydrolysis—a chemical reaction with water (this is why you'll often see beverage-grade collagen supplements referred to as "hydrolyzed collagen peptides.").
When you mix collagen peptides with a morning cup of coffee, you have darn near a perfect start to the day.
First, a quality collagen protein powder will pretty much completely dissolve in a hot beverage.
Second, it has virtually no taste.
So you can add it without ruining your brew.
But what is really interesting are the many benefits of collagen on measurable health indicators.
Now, everyone is talking about collagen right now.
A quick Google search pulls up 66,700,000 results for “collagen.”
Most of those results are news-ish articles promoting its seemingly endless list of benefits.
Some are articles casting doubt on it being the literal Fountain of Youth.
And several more are links to collagen supplement brands you can order online and have delivered to your doorstep in 5-7 business days.
Like any topic that bubbles up to the top pages of news sites, what collagen ACTUALLY does has been twisted and morphed.
It’s tough to decipher what’s true and what’s hype anymore.
So we put together a short list of actual, research-backed reasons to put collagen in your morning coffee.
We’re going to stay away from referencing even reputable secondary sources.
Instead, we’ll be pulling from published studies to find out what the true confirmed benefits of collagen are.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the second most abundant substance in the human body, behind water.
And it is the most abundant protein in the human body.
It's the major building block for tendons, bones, and skin.*
As we age, our body produces less and less collagen. By age 60, our ability to produce collagen has decreased by 50%.
This leads to aging joints, saggy skin, and loss of lean muscle tissue.
By supplementing with collagen, you can give your body the raw materials it needs to build strong, stable bones and joints, and help maintain a healthy gut lining, immune system and metabolism.*
There are several types of collagen, but research shows upwards of 90% of the body’s collagen is made up of Type I and Type III collagen.
The Top 5 Reasons to Put Collagen in Your Morning Coffee
Collagen helps reduce joint pain and maintain joint integrity.
A meta-study by Nutricion Hospitalaria cited more than 60 scientific studies designed to measure the impact of collagen on joint pain and overall joint health.
Their findings showed that collagen supplementation improves joint comfort, prevents joint erosion and helps maintain the integrity of the bone and soft tissue that make up joints.
And, interestingly, ingesting collagen improves the body’s ability to produce its own collagen. This is good news, because collagen production typically declines rapidly with age.
Caffeine in your morning coffee wakes up your brain and nervous system, and adding collagen to your mug “wakes up” your creaky, stiff joints.
Collagen improves skin elasticity, tone and moisture.
A placebo-controlled study from Skin Pharmacology and Physiology showed that women who took a collagen supplement showed significant improvements in skin elasticity (how stretchy and supple your skin is) compared to those who took a placebo.
Even after 4 weeks, significantly higher skin elasticity levels were found in the women who took collagen.
Skin elasticity is important not only because it prevents skin sagging and wrinkles, but also because it’s a good indicator of overall health.
It reflects the health of the largest organ in your body.
Collagen supplementation may help maintain your gut lining health.
Health news sites like to talk about how collagen improves gut health (prevents leaky gut) but don’t explain how collagen is linked to digestive health.
This causes our B.S. flag to climb the pole… but it turns out, there is good science behind the digestive health claims.
Collagen helps support gastric juice production and maintains the health of the mucosal lining in your stomach.
But that’s not exactly nailing down how it works OR demonstrating the effectiveness of collagen on a specific biomarker.
Here’s what we think matters:
Collagen contains two key amino acids that have shown the ability to repair damaged gut lining: glycine and proline.
Glycine especially has been widely studied for its ability to repair a variety of stomach disorders.
Adding collagen to your morning coffee gives your gut some nourishment to start the day — before you have the chance to assault it with junk food.
Collagen supplementation may support increased collagen synthesis in injured joints.
In addition to helping prevent age related wear and tear, collagen protein may also boost collagen synthesis in joint structures.
In a small placebo-controlled study, 5-15 grams of collagen protein enriched with Vitamin C resulted in five times greater collagen mass in injured ligaments than the placebo group (measured by % of dry mass collagen).
If you're looking to boost collagen synthesis for a recovering joint, a Type II collagen matrix like this one is your best bet.
[See Related: This patented Type II collagen maintains its natural molecular structure]
Collagen may help stabilize appetite and hunger levels.
Studies like this one in Eating and Weight Disorders demonstrate that collagen (a.k.a. gelatin) helps stabilize appetite levels and reduce hunger.
If you are on a weight loss regimen, or just watching your caloric intake, adding collagen to your morning coffee is a great way to ward off cravings.
Both caffeine and collagen act as appetite suppressants.
(BONUS) Reason #6 ... It’s an easy way to create a healthy daily habit to support overall joint and muscle function.
This isn’t coming from a peer reviewed journal or anything, but it’s important.
A quality collagen supplement vanishes in hot beverages.
It has virtually no taste and it won’t ruin your cup of coffee.
And more important, if you can make collagen + coffee a habit, it will be an easy one to maintain.
Unlike swallowing those horse-sized supplement pills sitting unused in your medicine cabinet.
There are many more benefits to collagen supplements than this list of five. But these are the most comprehensively studied benefits.
Collagen supplements also show promise for supporting your immune system, cognitive function, improving liver health, maintaining eye health, and protecting cardiovascular health.
While more research is needed to nail down exactly what collagen does for these systems and how, it’s clear that collagen is a fundamental building block of each.
Supplementing with collagen may not be a fountain of youth, but it’s about as close as it gets in the supplement world.
Our chief recommendation
Add 5-10 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptides to your morning cup of coffee or tea to support joint health, metabolic health, and several other bodily systems and organs.
How to Choose the Right Collagen Supplement
With so many options, you may be wondering which is the best type of collagen.
We don’t like to toot our own horn (OK, maybe a little), but we believe we’ve found it. And, we took the whole “collagen in your coffee” thing to the next level.
We created the first coffee creamer specifically designed to support healthy joints and muscles.
But describing it as a coffee creamer doesn’t do it justice.
It’s a joint and muscle-building superfood, masquerading as a delicious coffee creamer.
Read more about Joint & Muscle Creamer (Natural Italian Cream flavor) at the link below.
Learn more about SaltWrap’s Joint & Muscle Creamer
Summary: The Top 5 Research-Backed Reasons to Put Collagen in Your Morning Coffee
- Reduces joint pain and maintains joint integrity.
- Improves skin elasticity, tone and moisture.
- Helps maintain your gut lining, improving food absorption and protects your body against disease.
- May support increased collagen synthesis in injured joints.
- Stabilizes appetite and hunger levels.
- (Bonus) It’s an easy way to create a healthy daily habit to support overall joint and muscle function.
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Author: Scott Hogan
I created SaltWrap to bring together the most practical ideas in sports nutrition therapy, injury recovery and functional fitness — with the goal of keeping you (and myself) strong, mobile, and built to last.
I've worked as an A.C.E. (American Council on Exercise) Certified Personal Trainer, Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach (A.C.E.), and nutritional supplement formulator.
But more importantly — I've spent most of my life battling injuries, joint pain, and just being plain beat up. So I know what it's like to struggle toward fitness goals.
SaltWrap is here to push you through injuries, setbacks and perceived physical limitations. To a place beyond what you think you're capable of.
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