Tag: collagen

The Definitive Guide to Collagen

For decades, the health community had written off collagen as a “useless” protein. It wasn’t essential, in that it contained no amino acids you couldn’t make yourself. It didn’t contribute directly to muscle protein synthesis, so the bodybuilders weren’t interested. In all my years running marathons and then competing in triathlon at an elite level, no one talked about collagen. It was completely ignored, especially after the rash of collagen-based “liquid diets” ended up with a lot of people dead or in the hospital.

But you know my bias is to look at things from the perspective of human evolution and ancestral environments. And there is a ton of collagen on your average land animal. Close to half the weight of a cow is “other stuff”—bones, skin, tendons, cartilage, and other collagenous material. Most meat eaters these days might be throwing that stuff away, if they even encounter it, but humans for hundreds of thousands of years ate every last bit of that animal. Even as recent as your grandmother’s generation, utilizing every last collagenous bit of an animal to make soups, stocks, and stews was standard practice. This was the evolutionary environment of the ancient meat-eating human: rich in collagen.

Read More

How to Strengthen Tendons and Ligaments for Injury Prevention

People do not pay much attention to how to strengthen tendons and ligaments, until they suffer a tendon injury. Only then do you realize that training your tendons is just as important as working on muscle strength and endurance.

Our bodies “expect” a lifetime of constant, varied movement. From a very early age, most humans throughout history were constantly active. They weren’t exercising or training, per se, but they were doing all the little movements all the time that prepare the body and prime the tendons to handle heavier, more intense loads and movements: bending and squatting and walking and twisting and climbing and playing and building. It was a mechanical world. The human body was a well-oiled machine, lubed and limber from daily use and well-prepared for occasional herculean efforts.

Read More

Primal and Keto Collagen Recipes

Mark’s said it before: He advocates for collagen to become the fourth macronutrient. Collagen supports collagen-based structures in the body, such as fascia, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, skin, nails, and hair, and most of us just don’t get enough of it from meat, dairy, eggs, or plant proteins. Learn more about the important role glycine, the primary amino acid found in collagen protein, and check out our creative culinary ways to include more collagen in your diet.
Reasons to Include Collagen in Your Diet
Most people regard amino acids in one of two ways: essential, meaning our bodies can’t synthesize them, or inessential, meaning our bodies can. There’s also a third category of amino acids: conditionally essential, which become essential in times of illness and heightened stress. One such conditionally essential amino acid is glycine.

Read More

Instant Pot Oxtail Stew

People don’t talk about oxtail stew these days, but it’s a true Primal-worthy classic. With an arguably richer taste than beef and more succulent feel when cooked for stew or soup, oxtail might just become a new favorite. But the real difference (and reason behind the appealing stewed texture) is the ample connective tissue—an incredible source of collagen for the benefit of skin, hair, joint health, performance and more. (Since we used bone broth here in lieu of water or regular stock, this recipe is one of the best you can make for collagen content.) You’ll enjoy warming up with this gelatinous, flavorful and hearty dish on a late winter night. And you might consider making an extra batch: it tastes even better the next day.

Read More

Does Vegetarian Collagen Exist?

I’ll start with the bad news: There are no vegetarian collagen sources. Every collagen supplement you see on the shelf came from a living organism. Though somewhere down the line someone will probably grow legitimate collagen in a lab setting, it’s not available today or for the foreseeable future.

Now, some good news: Vegans and vegetarians probably need less dietary collagen than the average meat eater or Primal eater because a major reason omnivores need collagen is to balance out all the muscle meat we eat. When we metabolize methionine, an amino acid found abundantly in muscle meat, we burn through glycine, an amino acid found abundantly in collagen. If you’re not eating muscle meat, you don’t need as much glycine to balance out your diet, but it’s still a dietary necessity.

Read More

Dear Mark: New Coffee Study, Letting a Fever Run its Course, Collagen Dosage

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, I give my take on a new, big coffee study, which analyzed several meta-analyses of existing coffee and health data. Second, should you let a fever run its course or try to defeat it at all costs? The body obviously “wants” to get hotter in these situations. Is there a good reason? And finally, how much glycine do people need per day?

Let’s go:

Read More

Dear Mark: Mostly Questions About Collagen

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m quickly answering a bunch of questions from readers. Most are from the comment section of last week’s collagen post, and others concern different topics. They’re all interesting and useful, including how I consume podcasts, gelatin loss during chicharrone production, adding collagen to hot coffee, how much vitamin C to take with collagen, collagen’s effect on ketosis, and why I include a processed food product like whey in the pantheon of Primal-friendly foods.

Let’s go:

Read More

How to Augment and Support Your Natural Detox Capacities

Conventional wisdom has decreed that “detox” is a myth. They’re not even sure if toxins even exist, as far as I can tell. On the other side, you’ve got detox gurus prescribing cayenne-maple-lemon tea and glasses full of charcoal water as cures for essentially everything. Where’s the truth lie?

First, detoxification does exist. It’s an established concept, after all, with its very own spot in the dictionary. When we come into contact with toxins—compounds that pose a threat to our healthy homeostasis—we must remove or nullify them. That’s detoxification.

Read More

Latest Posts