Collagen or Not

Brilliant Friends,

I love collagen powder. The stuff from grass fed cows is amazing in my morning butter coffee. It makes the coffee blend better with the butter and creates a fuller consistency.

The collagen gives me a boost of energy, and works wonders for recovery from strength training. This form of protein supplement has given me a boost in recovery over the long term, helping me build flexible joints and tissue. I noticed my skin and nails seem healthier too.

In the short term, however, it isn’t as helpful. I’ve found that I get hungry and lose focus around hour four when I add it to my butter coffee. Without the protein, I can last the entire day before dinner without feeling hungry, distracted, or weak.

One possible reason for this is ketosis, the state in which we run primarily on fat for energy. Protein intake can end ketosis. This is not a bad thing at night for me, when I don’t need deep focus. But in the morning it feels more sluggish than running on good fats.

I haven’t actually tested my blood for ketone levels, but I can tell when my mind is clear and focused versus when I have lower focus and energy.

Since I’m already getting enough good collagen from grass fed or wild meats, especially the tendons, extra powder in the morning coffee probably hasn’t been missed. Other than the great taste and texture, of course.

The other thing is hunger. Protein intake signals the digestive system to start, stimulating hunger. Hunger can be distracting, although my energy level may still be high. The Bulletproof Diet suggests taking collagen in the morning for women over 40 and for anyone trying to lose a lot of weight.

I am not 100% sure of this, but I have also heard and read that women may benefit from protein in the morning without the downsides. It sounds a bit weird that men would have a different outcome. But that’s true for other biological processes, so it isn’t necessarily false.

I still add the collagen for my wife, daily. She doesn’t eat as much meat as I do and can probably benefit from the extra protein. Of course, I’m talking about a few teaspoons, not heaping scoops.

On mornings after training, I will have one or two tablespoons.

What works for one may not for another. And what works for you today may not work best the next day. So keep pivoting.

I’m curious to find out how big of a difference this makes for you. Soon, we’re all going to be using individualized amounts of fat, protein, and carbs. We’ll be fine-tuned to our needs for optimizing each day. Until then it’s just a matter of simply trying.

For us it’s more than simply putting something in the mouth when there’s hunger. It’s about true satiation, duration of focus and energy, and how we feel, think, and act.

Let me know what you’ve experienced.

To powerful living,

Steve

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