If you’ve been a part of the Primal, keto, or clean-eating community for a while, you’re likely well aware of all the various reasons to add collagen into your daily routine. It contains glycine, it may improve your sleep and skin elasticity, and it might even been beneficial to healing joints and injuries.
Whether you take collagen to support your hair, skin, and nails or to aid in your post-workout recovery, supplementing your diet with collagen peptides is easy and effective.
We tend to associate supplement powders with adding a scoop or two into your blender to make a midday shake or early AM smoothie, but collagen peptides can mix into virtually anything. Taking collagen can become a culinary pursuit: this versatile supplement sneaks into coffee, baked goods, savory dishes, and so much more.
Here are 12 ways to use collagen that you may not have thought of yet.
When it comes to essential nutrients, it doesn’t get much more essential than magnesium. At the most basic level, mitochondria can’t make ATP—the body’s energy currency—without magnesium. No ATP, no energy, no life. Magnesium regulates the electrical activity of the heart, helps maintain healthy vitamin D levels, and allows nerves to fire and muscles to contract. Low magnesium is associated with everything from PCOS to type 2 diabetes, depression, migraines, and cataracts, to name just a few.
This is just a snippet of magnesium’s impressive resume, which is why it’s so important to get enough. Unfortunately, the majority of adults don’t hit the recommended daily intake of 310 to 320 mg for females and 400 to 420 mg for males. Why is magnesium deficiency so widespread?
While foods like leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and dark chocolate are all supposed to contain tons of magnesium, research shows that most soil and thus food grown in said foil is depleted.
Drinking water can provide magnesium, but only if you luck out with your local water source or spend the money on high-magnesium mineral water.
Heavy alcohol use and certain pharmaceuticals (notably diuretics and proton pump inhibitors like Nexium and Prevacid) also increase the risk of magnesium deficiency.
GI disorders like Crohn’s disease and celiac disease can inhibit nutrient absorption.
Even coffee can increase magnesium demands.
The list of reasons is long, and magnesium supplementation is almost necessary just to close the gap. Perusing the magnesium section of your local health food store is intimidating, though, to say the least. So many different types and formulations. How do you pick? What’s the best form of magnesium?
You may think of protein supplements as a concern only for weight lifters, but they’re for everyone—provided that you choose the right one for you. You need dietary protein for your body’s day-to-day upkeep and to age well, and it can really help you recover from intense training. Up to a third of older adults don’t get enough protein for various reasons, like reduced appetite and changing tastes. There are lots of ways to get protein, and here, I’ll go through the different forms of one of the most convenient, beneficial, and powerful types of protein supplements: whey protein.
When a person goes looking for information on “collagen” supplements, they often come out more confused than they went in. There are seemingly dozens of different varieties. There’s gelatin. There’s animal collagen. There’s marine collagen. Hydrolysate and peptides. And then there are all the “types” of collagen: type I, type II, type III, type IV, type V, and on down the line, each with unique properties and applications. Everyone seems to say something different.
What are you supposed to believe? How does a person make sense of it all? What are differences between them?
As soon as the sun sets on the last day of summer, the world seems to explode with warm fall spices. We start to see cinnamon candles, baked goods, and bundles of cinnamon sticks as decor. While pumpkin spice takes center stage, it’s not actually the pumpkin you’re after – it’s the cinnamon with other warm spices that make your chilly nights extra cozy. You may think of it as a flavor enhancer, but the health benefits of cinnamon are worth a second look,.
For most of human history, spices like cinnamon were also prized for their medicinal qualities. Turmeric was used in food and to address digestive disorders and inflammation. Chili peppers were used for pain management. Ancient healers reached for ginger for nausea and diarrhea.
These aren’t just exaggerated cases of “folk medicine” or “old wives’ tales,” either. Current research has confirmed that many common spices do indeed have medicinal properties. Cinnamon, one of the most beneficial spices is also found in nearly everyone’s kitchen.
People often ask me why I use supplements. After all, our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t take them. Our ancient ancestors didn’t take them, nor did our medieval ones or our pre-industrial ones. In fact, nutritional supplementation is one of the most modern inputs you can imagine and, in a perfect world while eating a perfect diet, it should be unnecessary. But the world is not perfect. We don’t have the same foods available to us that our ancestors ate during the formative years of our evolution, and even if we did, modern farming practices altered mineral levels in the soil. Supplementation can restore some semblance of a “natural” food environment. Overcoming the stressors of modernity, however, is harder, because it’s not a matter of avoiding the wrong foods and eating the right ones then smoothing out the rough patches with smart supplements. Modern stressors are mostly unavoidable. You have to deal with them. Endure them. And that’s where supplements can really help. Like L-theanine. What is L-Theanine? One of my favorite anti-stress supplements is L-theanine. It’s an amino acid found in green and white tea that is structurally similar to glutamine, GABA, and glutamate. It crosses the blood-brain barrier after oral dosing, appearing in the hippocampus and increasing alpha-waves in the brain in less than an hour. It’s clearly “doing stuff” up there. But what are the benefits? L-Theanine Benefits The majority of L-theanine’s benefits revolve around our response to stress and anxiety. L-theanine takes the edge off things. More specifically and in addition, L-theanine: Reduces stress Lowers anxiety Improves performance Smoothes out the effect of caffeine Improves sleep Restores immune function Protects against alcoholic liver damage L-Theanine as a Stress Reducer When you meditate, your brain is pumping alpha waves. When you’re having a restful morning with . not much to do but hang around and quietly enjoy your time, you’re alpha wave-dominant. When you’re sitting on the beach listening to the waves lap the shore, a brain scan would reveal a ton of alpha wave activity. And when you take 50 mg of L-theanine, your alpha brainwaves kick in after about an hour. L-Theanine as an Anxiety Buster L-theanine isn’t a benzodiazepine. It won’t brute force your brain into an overwhelming state of supreme chill. For L-theanine to reduce your anxiety, you must actually be anxious. Now, much anxiety is hidden, even to ourselves. We may not know that we’re anxious about something. We may not recognize it. So theanine can really help, as long as there’s something for it to help against. The downside is that it’s subtler than taking a pharmaceutical anti-anxiety med; you don’t “feel it” as much as taking something like xanax. The upside is that it doesn’t make you drowsy and it’s non-addictive. In fact, most people tolerate theanine so well that researchers have been unable to identify a toxic dose. I’m not suggesting you take an entire bottle, of course. There may be a toxic dose, somewhere, somehow. But subjects have taken 400 … Continue reading “Why You Need to Be Taking L-Theanine”