If you want to make your morning cup of coffee healthier, you may have already trashed sugar and artificial creamers. But what if we told you thatto addcould something improve the nutritional value of your tea?
Yes, mix a scoop of collagen powder into your next coffee for a boost of health benefits.
Quick reminder: collagen is a type of protein found in skin, nails, hair and bones. Emerging research points to its positive effect on gut health, cartilage, joints and wound healing, Holley Samuel, RD, CPTowner of Fit Cookie Nutrition, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
In fact, collagen can help slow skin aging by increasing its elasticity and improving its appearance, for example. New York-Presbyterian.
“Different brands offer different types of collagen and therefore different benefits. But one of the most important things studies show is that thequalityextra counts,” says Samuel. “As a registered dietitian, I recommend looking for grass-fed or pasture-fed sources of collagen from brands with higher quality standards.”
Try these collagen products:
- Ancient Nutrition Multi-Collagen Vanilla Protein Powder ($23.96, Amazon)
- Vital Proteins Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides ($39.99, Amazon)
- Orgain Grass-Fed Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptide Protein Powder ($22.39, Amazon)
- Pop & Bottle Vanilla Oat Milk Latte with Collagen ($50.99 per 12 pack, BubbleGoods — Enjoy 10% off with this code at checkout: BUBBLELIVE10)
How much collagen should you add to a cup of coffee?
“Most brands include their own scoops, and usually serving sizes are one or two scoops,” explains Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDNauthor ofRead it before you eat it: from etiquette to table.
Start with half a teaspoon or a tablespoon of collagen and see if you like it. Then experiment by adding a whole scoop.
Will collagen alter the flavor of your coffee?
If you don’t want to spoil the flavor of your cup of coffee, choose a plain, unflavored collagen variety.
Plus, you’ll also want to choose a quality, fully hydrolyzed collagen (more on that later) — which shouldn’t affect the taste of your coffee, says Samuel.
But some brands also offer flavored varieties. If you go this route, just watch out for artificial flavors and added sugar.
To make sure your collagen powder mixes perfectly with your coffee, Samuel recommends using a milk frother ($10.17, Amazon).
Does heat denature collagen proteins?
Probably not. The researchers exposed collagen proteins to temperatures of 302 to 788 degrees Fahrenheit and found that initial protein breakdown occurred at around 527 degrees F, by July 2011.Biophysical Journalstudy.
Coffee is typically brewed below 200 degrees F, so the protein structure likely remains intact because your coffee won’t be hot enough to cause this breakdown process, Taub-Dix says.
However, keep in mind that coffee itself can affect your body’s ability to produce collagen. Indeed, caffeine consumption reduces collagen synthesis in human skin cells, according to an October 2014 study published in Drug design, development and therapy; however, more research needs to be done to confirm these findings.
So here’s the takeaway: “Caffeine is okay in moderation, and adding collagen to your hot caffeinated beverage may provide benefits, but more research is needed,” says Samuel.
Can you also add collagen to cold brew coffee?
If you’re a fan of cold brew, you’re probably wondering if you can mix collagen into your iced coffee. Yes, certain types of collagen — such as fully hydrolyzed varieties — can also be added to cold drinks, says Samuel.
“Fully hydrolyzed collagen is more bioavailable (meaning we can absorb and use it more easily in our bodies) and dissolves easily in hot or cold beverages.”
Conversely, “partially hydrolyzed collagen, called gelatin, is only soluble in hot drinks,” adds Samuel.
Another thing to note: “There seems to be a trend to add butter or MCT oil to your coffee and collagen blend, but more studies are needed to determine if this addition has any impact on the absorption,” says Taub-Dix.
“Collagen is better absorbed with vitamin C, and while some brands include a source of vitamin C in their collagen powder formulas, others don’t,” says Samuel. For maximum absorption, pair your collagen coffee with vitamin C-rich foods like berries or citrus fruits.