Collagen peptides are the latest nutrition sensation, but what exactly are they? We hooked up with Further Food to learn more about what they are, what they do, and how they taste.
Take it from a busy mom, protein powder is pretty much the only reason I haven’t starved to death yet.
Between article deadlines and massively cranky toddlers, I’m lucky if I get to the leftover chicken nuggets before the dog does most days.
When nutrition is crammed into whatever time is left around the margins of a busy life, protein powders make a lot of sense — but a lot of them are totally disgusting.
While nutritionists’ recommendations vary substantially, the general consensus is that the average adult needs about 50 grams of protein per day, and more if they’re working on building muscle.
For a little bit of perspective, an egg has six grams of protein, and a cup of lentils has about 18 grams.
In an ideal world, people would have more than enough bandwidth to squeeze in all 50 grams of protein in a food-based diet. Almost all scientists and physicians agree that it’s the complex arrangement of vitamins, minerals, amino acids that makes the most difference in the type of proteins we consume, and the best balance is almost always found in natural sources.
But life happens, kids get sick, and we’ve all gotta do what we’ve all gotta do to survive.
Why I’m Not Wild About Whey
I’m no stranger to protein powders. I’ve tried more combinations and cocktails than you grimace at, and believe me — it’s not always pretty.
But one protein supplement I’ve never really been able to love that seems to be EVERYWHERE is whey.
It’s grainy, it NEVER blends well (especially into a green smoothie), and they almost always come loaded with a ton of artificial flavors, sweeteners, and added ingredients.
The reason is that whey is not the most appetizing protein powder to begin with. A by-product of dairy processing, it’s tough on guts and even tougher on tastebuds. Manufacturers compensate for the funk with lots of added ingredients, and the result is a protein powder that’s edible at best, and getting dumped in my sink most days.
What Are Collagen Peptides?
When I sat in my best friend’s kitchen one morning as she chatted and buzzed around the kitchen, I noticed her adding a bunch of stuff to her afternoon cup of coffee.
“What is that?”
She sprinkled some detergent-looking white powder into a cup and said like it was no big thing that it was just her collagen peptides.
Collagen protein powders have blown up BIG in the last year, and for lots of really good reasons. These proteins are incredibly easy to dissolve, disappearing completely into everything from a cold cup of green juice to a hot mug of bulletproof coffee.
Even better, collagen supplies our bodies with an easily digestible protein that’s loaded with a ton of other benefits:
- Improves leaky gut
- Improves hair skin and nails
- Reduces the appearance of aging
- Builds stronger bones
- Helps you lose weight
- Stabilizes blood sugar/reduces hunger pangs
Why People Are Freaking Out About Collagen Protein
Collagen protein is really picking up steam because it has so many benefits, and it just so freaking versatile in the kitchen. But it’s also wildly popular because it addresses a big problem with the over 20 crowd – we’re not producing collagen like we used to.
As we age, our bodies produce less and less of this protein. Collagen is a structural protein and is responsible for everything from the smoothness of our skin to the strength of our bones. As the years pass, our bodies don’t make as much of it on their own, and cue the crow’s feet.
Back in the ages of primordial man, we got tons of collagen from our natural diet. We were eating a lot of things off the bone, consuming collagen from the unprocessed game that we hunted. In the age of the supermarket, natural collagen is tough to come by unless it’s in a bottle of bone broth — or unless you’re using collagen peptides.
Further Food: Sustainably Produced Collagen
I’m totally sold on collagen as a protein source, but I definitely don’t have time to make my own bone broth. Luckily, Further Food has made it crazy easy to get this nutritious protein source without having to press pause on life.
Further Food makes their products with clean ingredients, no sketchy fillers or preservatives. All of their products are made in the USA, too.
Further Food makes collagen protein products, a matcha blend, and an amazing ready-to-mix turmeric tonic that was MADE for fall.
Lucky me, Further Food sent me some of their products to try out, and now they’re pantry staples. Check out what they sent:
Unflavored Collagen Peptides
I used these collagen peptides every morning in my coffee for about a week and LOVED them. They dissolved so easily, there were almost never any “globs” that formed, no matter how haphazardly I dumped them in.
Chocolate Collagen Peptides + Reishi Mushroom
Reishi mushrooms are a natural anti-inflammatory agent and Chinese superfood. They have properties that have been linked to everything from lower blood pressure to improved focus and immune system function.
You would think that the addition of a finely ground mushroom powder would make Further Food’s blend of collagen and reishi grainy and weird, but it was anything but. The cocoa powder was a nice subtle chocolate flavor in my morning coffee, and I felt SO on top of the world after a bulletproof mug of this.
Collagen Peptides On-the-Go Packets
One thing I’ve always hated about traveling was that I could never make a collagen coffee in my hotel room without making a REAL mess. Collagen coagulates if it’s not mixed with enough water, making a sticky mess, and pissing off many a housekeeper.
These on-the-go packets are way more practical for travel. I keep a few in my purse all the time for those afternoons that I’m just running on fumes and too busy to stop.
I’m normally a one cup of coffee a day kinda gal, but matcha provides a kind of energy that’s always been really different for me, so I added a cup of Mindful Matcha to my afternoon routine.
The energy surge I got from this stuff was incredible. It blended so well, and I swear, I was going for six hours on the energy boost I got from it, without any jitters. Be careful how late you drink it though — matcha doesn’t mess around.
I’ve tried to make golden milk about a half a dozen times and promptly given up after choking down another miserable mug of something mildly spicy, and utterly inedible.
This Turmeric Tonic isn’t your Pinterest epic fail — it’s a carefully balanced recipe that you’ll always get right the first time, and tastes like a chai with a kick. I love mine with a splash of almond milk and plan to pound a mug a day in the fall as my kids start wandering around with runny noses.
My life, like everyone else’s, never stops. Products like these make it more realistic to get the protein I need, and the resulting energy boost makes it worth its weight in gold.
Have you ever tried collagen peptides? What did you think of them? Tell us on Facebook or Instagram and tag us in the post! @AvocadoGreenMattress and @FurtherFood
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