How Gelatin Is The Best Supplemental Protein
So how do you “get your protein”? Do you eat plenty of lean meats? How about consuming the fanciest protein supplements?
Well, let me tell you about one of the best protein sources available – we can get it in powder form, but it has always been available to us. It’s gelatin powder. I’ll tell you why gelatin is the best protein powder you can buy.
Humans have traditionally enjoyed a diet that including whole animals. Sure, the amount consumed would vary by location, but the premise stays the same. The entire animal – the skin, the organs, the joints, the bones, and finally, the muscle meat – was always consumed in some fashion.
Nowadays, we shun everything except the lean meat. We think organs are icky, we believe skin is fattening, and we don’t even know that the joints and bones can be used as food. Now, what are we missing through all of this ignorance?
We end up not consuming collagen. (And gelatin is more-or-less processed collagen.)
That’s right, collagen. Organ meats are rich in collagen proteins. Broth made of bones and connective tissue is super-dense in collagen. But what does this mean for our health?
Collagen is a type of protein found in connective tissue, joints, bones, organs, and generally throughout the entire body. It is rich in the amino acids glycine and proline. In typical muscle meats, collagen content is lacking. The proteins found in these meats are not rich in glycine and proline.
Historically, proline and glycine have been considered non-essential, because our bodies are able to synthesize these amino acids (take a look at the list of essential vs. non-essential amino acids here).
However, the Weston A. Price Foundation and Ray Peat have both claimed that glycine and proline are not really non-essential. The Weston A. Price Foundation recognizes how both increased proline- and glycine-consumption mitigate various (and numerous) diseases.
Ray Peat discusses how increased glycine-consumption can relieve metabolic and hormonal “stress” our bodies undergo when we consume too much of the other amino acids, particularly tryptophan.
The Weston A. Price Foundation even determines these amino acids to be “protein-sparing” – meaning, your body requires less protein to get by and recover each day. Excellent!
The way I look at it is this – our bodies absolutely need the amino acids form gelatin to function optimally each day. One process in particular that I can think of is collagen synthesis, the process that pretty much REBUILDS our joints and skin. Studies show that collagen hydrolysate (or, gelatin) can combat osteoarthritis. So instead of keeping our amino-acid-intake imbalanced and low in glycine and proline, why not give our bodies a little help by ingesting some extra collagen? Sure, we don’t NEED the extra proline and glycine to survive, but it seems like it can bring us to a higher state of repair and disease-prevention.
So, if I convinced you to eat more collagen-rich foods, you must be thinking “but, I don’t want to eat organs or connective tissue!” Like chicken noodle soup? Then you should try bone broth – it’s rich in collagen. I find the two to be very similar, and delicious. There are recipes for broth in the link below to the Weston A. Price Foundation website. Unfortunately, it does take hours to make it, so I take the easy way out.
I just use supplemental gelatin powder. Gelatin is hydrolyzed collagen, meaning it has been broken down on a molecular level. That’s fine, ’cause all we need are the amino acids glycine and proline which remain intact in gelatin.
For the best deal on the market, you can get the Now Foods brand of gelatin powder, in 4 pounds. Honestly, I can say this is your best bet. I bought a giant container last year, and it lasted me 8 months.
The way I use it is, every single morning when I have breakfast, I make tea (dried fruit tea or green tea) and add one tablespoon of gelatin powder to my cup. Make sure you first pour cold water on top of the gelatin to make a paste, then add the boiling water and tea bag.The consistency is a little weird at first, but now I’m 100% accustomed to it. It’s pretty tasteless.
Again, that product I use is Now Foods brand of gelatin powder, in 4 pounds. If you want to start out with something cheaper (but not as cheap per ounce), you can buy individual bags that are one pound each, by Now Foods. I’ve purchased these bags before, too. You will save a few bucks in the long run with the 4-pound container, though. Gelatin doesn’t go bad or spoiled in a dry environment.