Myth: Collagen is an incomplete protein and doesn't count toward your protein goals.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is the building block of many of our tissues. It's being hyped by the nutritional supplement industry as an important supplement for healthy tissue. The science on that claim is pretty thin. If you notice a difference in your hair and nails, good for you. That's not why I recommend it.
I recommend collagen supplementation because it's in incredibly EASY way to consume protein and make your macros goal. I recently chatted with my 9am class about protein supplementation and EVERYONE in the 9am class adds collagen their morning coffee. YAY HORRAY! However, someone did mention that their friend told them that collagen doesn't count towards your daily target because it is not a complete protein. This is how nutritional myths are developed and stay afloat in a sea of bullshit.
Yes, their friend is correct, most collagen supplements do not have a complete amino acid profile. They are typically missing or are low in one or two amino acids. Unless you're relying on collagen supplementation for 100% of your protein intake, IT DOESN'T MATTER.
Here's what EC Syndowski, #bosslady of OptimizeMe Nutrition has to say about collagen supplementation:
1 - If people are having a hard time hitting enough protein (and a lot do), I'm not going to tell them certain protein sources don't count. Basics first.
The bottom line is that if you eat protein with every meal, eat mostly whole foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables, supplement with another source in addition to collagen, you are fine counting your collagen. A well balanced diet will provide you with the entire suite of amino acids.
What matters most is that you find methods of consuming enough protein to meet your goals. If the 20g of collagen in your morning coffee helps you meet those goals, count it. When it comes to a sustainable nutrition the program, the easiest one you can make a habit is the one that will work for you. Once you start putting too many restrictions and labeling foods as "good" or "bad," you'll hamstring yourself with too many food rules, and you will stray and rebel. Make it easy to do and you'll stick to it longer.
If you want to diver deeper into collagen as a supplement. Check out The Consistency Project podcast from OptimizeMe Nutrition.
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