If you're beginning the keto diet, you may need to take a good, hard look at your supplements. Some supplements contain unwanted carbohydrates, fillers, sugars or additives that are not keto-friendly.
Fortunately, collagen — or should we say, the right collagen supplement — isn't one of them.
Collagen can lead to a number of health benefits, including strengthening your hair, skin, nails, joints and bones. Plus, it's filled with amino acids (the building blocks of protein) while being naturally free of carbs.
Below, we explain why you should take collagen and why it's suitable for a ketogenic diet. Finally, we'll explain how to find the right keto collagen supplement to fit your lifestyle.
What Is Collagen, and Why Should You Take It?
Collagen is known as the "glue" that holds your body together. It’s found naturally in all of your connective tissues, including your cartilage, skin, nails, bones and ligaments. Without collagen, the structure of these tissues would slowly break down, leading to dry, wrinkly skin, brittle bones and stiff (often painful!) joints.
Every human being naturally loses collagen as they age. In fact, after the age of 30 you can expect to experience a 1% loss of collagen per year . In other words, by the time you hit 80, you will have lost half of the collagen you were born with. This leads to a number of unwanted side effects commonly associated with aging, including decreased skin elasticity, painful joints and weakened bones.
But here's the good news: You can replace collagen lost due to aging by consuming collagen supplements. What's better, as long as you choose the right product, collagen should be keto-friendly.
Is Collagen Keto-Friendly?
Short answer: Yes … if you choose the right product.
Longer answer: When you’re following the keto diet, your goal is to burn ketones — rather than glucose — for fuel. To do this, you must stick to a very low-carb, high-fat diet known as the keto diet.
When beginning a keto diet, you should take a close look at all nutrition labels (even those on everyday supplements) to ensure they're low-carb friendly. Fortunately, collagen supplements should contain just one ingredient — collagen — which is naturally free of carbohydrates. This simple ingredient is high in protein (containing 11.7 grams per 13-gram serving) while containing 0 grams of carbs and sugar. Therefore, it’s low-carb, paleo-friendly, dairy-free, gluten-free and perfectly suitable for the ketogenic diet.
You can use collagen strictly as a supplement to support gut, skin and joint health, or you can use it as a protein powder for its high amino acid content. Collagen is filled with essential amino acids, including glycine, leucine, lysine and hydroxyproline (among others), which can help rebuild muscles post workout . And unlike other protein powders, such as whey or casein, it doesn't contain a trace of sugar or carbs.
How Do You Find Keto Collagen?
When searching for a keto-friendly collagen supplement, know this: Not all products are created equal. Therefore, before purchasing a supplement advertised as "keto" on online such as Amazon, look for the following characteristics:
- Single ingredient: Your supplement should contain one ingredient and one ingredient only — collagen. Avoid any product with extra fillers and additives on the label.
- Zero-carb: In its natural state, collagen does not contain carbohydrates. Therefore, do not select a product that has even 1 gram of carbs on the label.
- Sweetener-free: In its natural state, collagen peptides are a white, unflavoured powder. There should not be any artificial sweeteners or artificial ingredients involved.
- Non-GMO: Always search for a high-quality keto collagen supplement produced from GMO-free sources.
- High-quality sources: Choose collagen products sourced from the highest-quality animals you can find. For example, bovine collagen should be sourced from grass-fed cattle while marine collagen should be sourced from wild-caught fish.
- Hydrolysed collagen: There are a number of collagen products, including collagen protein powders, creams, pills and peptides. Always choose hydrolysed collagen peptides, which are highly bioavailable.
- Made through an enzymatic process: Choose hydrolysed collagen made through an enzymatic process so the end product is free from solvents.
How Should You Take Keto Collagen?
You can add collagen peptides to virtually any hot or cold beverage to improve your skin, joint and gut health. Many people enjoy adding it to their morning coffee or tea. If you're an athlete, you might consider consuming keto collagen protein peptides as a post-workout smoothie, to encourage muscle protein synthesis .
Consume 10-30 grams of collagen per day to enjoy its maximum health benefits. To get more collagen in your diet, try these keto-friendly recipes:
- Bulletproof coffee: Bulletproof coffee is a low-carb morning beverage often enjoyed on the keto diet. You can enjoy bulletproof coffee by blending grass-fed butter, coconut oil or MCT oil powder with collagen peptides and black coffee.
- Keto iced mocha: This iced mocha contains nearly 14 grams of protein and 15 grams of fatty acids with only 1.2 grams of net carbs. Made with chilled coffee, collagen, MCT oil, cacao powder and dark chocolate, it's a delicious summertime treat.
- Keto chocolate, raspberry, collagen, MCT and vitamin smoothie: Looking for a low-carb treat? This smoothie contains raspberries, cauliflower rice, MCT oil, coconut milk, collagen powder, cacao and nut butter (preferably cashew or almond — not peanut butter) to create a satisfying dessert you can enjoy while in ketosis.
- Keto coconut and vanilla almond flour pancakes: Who says you can't enjoy pancakes on the keto diet? This low-carb recipe is made with almond flour, collagen, eggs, coconut milk and vanilla for a keto-twist on fluffy pancakes.
- Keto mint cacao smoothie: This low-carb smoothie contains a favorite flavour combination — mint and chocolate. Made with spinach, collagen, chia, cacao, mint leaves and coconut milk, it's a great recipe to enjoy as breakfast or dessert.
- Spinach, cucumber and strawberry salad: You can easily blend peptides into your salad dressings to get more collagen into your diet. This salad recipe combines spinach, cucumbers, strawberries and a delicious, homemade dressing for a keto-friendly side dish.
- Keto cinnamon spiced latte: Looking for a fun morning beverage to try? This cinnamon spiced latte is a low-carb twist on the classic pumpkin spice latte — without the dairy or sugar.
- Paleo collagen powder protein bars: If you're tired of drinking protein shakes post-workout, try these delicious protein bars instead. With coconut flakes, cashew butter, vanilla, chocolate and coconut oil, they're a great, high-protein treat (simply omit the dates to stay keto).
Enjoy Collagen Peptides as Part of a Keto-Friendly Diet
Collagen peptide is a nutritional supplement known to improve the health of your bones, skin, hair, gut and nails. Because it's high in protein and contains zero carbohydrates, you can consume it on the keto diet.
When searching for a keto collagen supplement, always look for unflavoured, hydrolysed collagen peptides. Choose products from high-quality sources, like bovine grass-fed collagen or marine collagen sourced from wild-caught fish.
Hunter and Gather collagen peptides are free of GMOs, sweeteners, additives and bulking agents. Consume 10-30 grams of keto collagen per day to enjoy the health benefits.
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms, and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do, however, recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.