I recently tried out two Vital Proteins products, their collagen protein and their collagen-sourced peptides. If you’re interested in the regenerative properties of protein, rather than just the mass-building properties, these might be products you want to check out.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, but it isn’t the same as the stuff that makes up most of your muscles. It’s a structural protein (compared to a contractile protein like what most of your muscles are made out of) that makes up a major portion of your connective tissue.
As such, collagen is found in high quantities in your tendons, ligaments, and other joint components as well as in your skin, eyes, hair, and even bone. Because of our modern food processing methods, we probably eat substantially less collagen than our ancestors did. The nutrition available in these components of animal tissue may be important for health.
Because of the role of collagen, Vital Protein contends that their products have anti-aging properties. Namely, they will boost the elasticity, health, and perhaps even appearance (where applicable) of the skin, hair, eyes, and joints. While it was hard to notice if I had particularly improved skin or stronger joints, I have for a long time discussed with my nutrition clients the benefits of consuming the connective tissues of animals. So, it’s possible I was already taking in adequate amounts as a result.
Both Vital Proteins products are odorless and virtually flavorless when used as directed on the bottle. The company recommends simply mixing them with cold, or a mix of cold and hot water and drinking immediately. They mix easier than other straight protein powders, and have much less flavor.
Unfortunately, while nearly flavorless, the protein does smell sort of like hair. Being a long-time supplement user, I tolerate odd flavors and smells pretty well, but others may need to put some flavoring agent in the protein. If you don’t drink it rapidly, some of it may stick to the bottom of your bottle as well.
I also tested the product in several ways that are not mentioned on the label. When taking in larger amounts than recommended, the light flavor can become stronger and unpleasant, and the product can take too long to drink, thus becoming gelatinous. Again, this was against their recommendations, but many people take larger than recommended doses of proteins.
I also mixed it in with a normal shake that I make, and the results were unexpected. It turned my normally liquid shake into a foam and rendered it undrinkable (although I could eat it with a spoon). For this particular shake, it wasn’t ideal, but I actually conjured up some possibly delicious recipe options that included a foam-like substance, or otherwise a thickening agent. I’ll let you guys come up with your own recipes, but keep in mind, Vital Proteins may not work in every shake.
All in all, I think this is a good product that provides a type of protein many of us do not get enough of in our diets. It’s hard to say if the health claims really are true, but the consumption of connective tissues is probably an important part of ancestral health that many modern people can’t or won’t tolerate. As such, collagen based proteins like Vital Proteins might be a great option to supplement one of the major components of this missed nutrition.
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are available for $34.00 and Collagen Protein is available for $42.00 at VitalProteins.com.