Collagen Peptides are healthy for the gut, hair, skin, nails, bones and joints. But are they a good addition to the keto diet? Here’s what you need to know.
The ketogenic diet has earned itself plenty of supporters in recent years, with the high-fat, low-carb diet promising numerous benefits. Though people have reported weight loss, better energy levels, improved mental clarity and other benefits while on the diet, it should be said that getting into ketosis — a state in which the body burns fat instead of glucose for energy, producing ketones in the process — isn’t always easy. Many people don’t realize that eating too much protein can actually derail your ketogenic diet, as the body can create glucose from protein (1). So will Collagen Peptides work against you on the keto diet? Here’s what you need to know.
Protein and Keto
When you don’t consume glucose, the sugar found in carbohydrates, your body turns to stored fat for energy. This is one of the reasons why ketogenic diets often result in weight loss: The body is forced to burn fat for fuel. However, the body reverts to glucose-burning whenever it can, which is why ketogenic diets are so low in carbohydrates. But it isn’t just carbohydrates that can create glucose in the body: The body can also manufacture glucose from proteins through a process called gluconeogenisis.
When this happens, the body reverts to burning glucose, meaning that you’re kicked out of ketosis. This is the main area where the ketogenic diet differs from traditional low-carb diets. While some low-carb diets allow for ample amounts of protein, the keto diet requires you to eat roughly 70 to 85 percent fat, somewhat limiting your protein consumption.
The Benefits of Collagen Protein
Collagen is, of course, a protein, and just like any other protein, too much of it will cause you to revert from a fat-burning state to a glucose-burning state. However, collagen also has plenty of benefits that are important to keto practitioners. Collagen is rich in amino acids that are often lacking in modern diets, and can go a long way toward promoting gut health, which is important for nutrient absorption.
The Bottom Line
The amount of protein found in a serving of Collagen Peptides (18 grams) is probably not enough to kick you out of ketosis, so you probably don’t have anything to worry about. However, if you want to stay in ketosis, it may be a good idea to add some healthy fats, such as coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, to your collagen beverage (you can read more about biohacking your coffee here). Vital Proteins’ Collagen Creamers are made with coconut milk, which means they contain healthy fats in addition to collagen protein.
Although Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides don’t contain any added sugars or fillers, some other brands may not be as clean — so be sure to read your ingredient labels to make sure there aren’t any sugars or sweeteners in your collagen products.
(1) Bielohuby, Maximilian, et al. “Induction of Ketosis in Rats Fed Low-Carbohydrate, High-Fat Diets Depends on the Relative Abundance of Dietary Fat and Protein.” American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 300, no. 1, 2011, doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00478.2010.