If you ever searched for keto supplements, you likely came across marine collagen peptides. Supplement companies usually sell these as protein powders, but they are also available in pill form. Marine collagen is a great alternative to dairy protein powders, and it also comes with added health benefits. The reason why marine collagen is so popular among keto dieters is that it is non-inflammatory, easy to digest, virtually tasteless, and – of course – keto approved.
Marine collagen is also fairly new on the wellness market, so research is just beginning to unveil its many potentials. So far, most studies on marine collagen look promising. As current research evidence suggests, marine collagen is not only good for post-workout recovery, but it also helps protect your joints, gut, muscles, and skin when you take them for a long time.
To learn more about marine collagen, including what it is; why keto dieters use it; and what health benefits you get from it — read our quick overview down below. We talk about how you can use marine collagen to upgrade your keto diet and why choose marine instead other types of collagen peptides.
Collagen is a general term referring to a group of structural proteins. These proteins make up at least 25% of all of your body's protein content. There are around 30 different types of collagens, but types I and II are the most abundant, comprising 90% of the collagen in your body.
The word "collagen" comes from Greek and means "glue.” Scientists also often refer to collagen as "the glue that holds everything together." This is because collagen is what gives structure to your skin, joints, bones, and connective tissue. Its production peaks in your 20s and starts to decline in your 30s. This leads to the first visible signs of aging like wrinkles and muscle loss. Luckily, there are ways you can boost collagen production and taking collagen supplements is just one of them.
Your body makes collagen from amino acids found in protein-rich foods. But you can also get collagen directly from animal tissue. Animal cartilage, for example, is the most common food source of collagen. Your body also needs vitamin C to produce collagen. Without it, collagen production declines, and you can even develop scurvy. Scurvy is a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency in which the body can't repair damaged tissue.
Collagen also makes up the majority of cartilage tissue and is necessary for scar formation. Ever noticed how scars are different from normal skin? That's because scars are denser in collagen than healthy skin and because collagen fibers in scar tissue go in one direction instead of the normal web-like pattern. The web-like pattern is what gives your skin elasticity and flexibility.
About Marine Collagen Peptides
When speaking of collagen as a supplement, what people are actually referring to are collagen peptides. Collagen peptides are the hydrolyzed form of collagen. The reason why manufacturers use hydrolysis to make collagen supplements is because this makes them easy for your body to digest and use.
Collagen peptides are usually sourced from cows and pigs. However, they can also be made from marine animals like fish. Manufacturers started making marine collagen peptides to cater to people who can't eat bovine or porcine collagen for health or religious reasons. Then there's the risk of mad cow disease and other health problems associated with farm animal products.
Another great thing about marine collagen is that it comes from a sustainable source. Supplement companies make it from the bones, skins, fins, heads, guts, and scales of fish that fish companies would otherwise discard. Some marine collagen is also made from jellyfish and sea sponges. Our Kiss My Keto Marine Collagen is made from wild-caught Pacific snapper, which is a high-quality source of collagen.
To make marine collagen peptides, manufactures separate the scales, fins, and bones because different tissue has different types of collagen. Different fish parts are then ground, and chemicals are used to separate collagen from non-collagen proteins, fats, and pigments. The collagen is then hydrolyzed to make it available for your body to digest and use.
Collagen Peptides in the Body
The body metabolizes collagen peptides just like any other nutrient; it all starts when the small intestine absorbs the peptides. From there, it gets transported from the bloodstream and into target areas such as the skin, cartilage, and connective tissue. In these tissues, collagen peptides act as building blocks for local cells. Collagen peptides also boost the production of new collagen fibers.
You can get collagen directly from food. Bone broth and gelatin are two widely-available sources of collagen. Your body is able to absorb a great amount of collagen from these foods according to research. A study from 2015, for example, shows that your body absorbs at least half of all collagen when taken in the form of gelatin .
However, it's much easier and more reliable to get collagen from collagen peptides. Studies on hydrolyzed collagen show that 90% of it gets absorbed within 12 hours after ingestion . Marine collagen is even better in terms of bioavailability because these peptides are smaller than bovine or porcine collagen peptides. Studies have already examined this and found that most marine collagen circulates the bloodstream very soon after you take it .
Marine collagen is popular in the keto world. But why exactly is this so? Do these supplements improve ketosis in some way or is it because they’re low-carb? One explanation is that since the keto diet requires that you cut down on protein, taking protein supplements on keto can be a bit tricky. It’s easy to go overboard and many protein supplements are hard on your digestive tract.
To avoid problems associated with protein powders, keto dieters go for marine collagen. Marine collagen won’t upset your digestive tract, which is already busy breaking down hard-to-digest fats and protein. Marine collagen is also easy to incorporate into a wide range of keto dishes without affecting their taste. Besides that, marine collagen does not cause inflammation which is a major goal of the keto diet.
Highly active keto dieters also want something that supports muscle and joint health, and marine collagen definitely fits the bill. Others use marine collagen as an anti-aging supplement. But when it comes to the specific benefits of collagen for keto, we have to disappoint you and say that there is no direct link. Marine collagen won't boost ketone production, and you also can't take too much of it. It just happens to complement the keto diet very well.
You will have to take marine collagen as you would any other protein supplement. It contains glycine, proline, and arginine which are all glucogenic amino acids. Glucogenic amino acids are those that your body can use to make glucose through a metabolic process called gluconeogenesis. So make sure the marine collagen you take fits your keto macros.
#1 Better Collagen Production
As already said, collagen production declines as we age. If your protein intake is low, you may also experience an even greater decline in collagen.
Taking marine collagen is a simple way to meet your daily protein needs. But there are many other benefits that come with marine collagen:
Luckily, there are many ways you can boost your body's own collagen production; you can increase your protein intake, take vitamin C supplements, avoiding stress and smoking, and limit your time in the sun.
However, taking marine collagen is a simpler and more effective way to get more collagen in your body. You'll especially benefit from these supplements if you're 35 and older. This is when the body is struggling to make enough collagen to keep your skin firm and your joints strong.
#2 Youthful Skin
Collagen is a popular skincare ingredient, and for good reason. Adding it directly to your skin improves firmness and elasticity.
But taking it orally will have a stronger effect on your skin's elasticity, at least as far as research is concerned. One recent study on aged mice, for example, shows that the supplement form of collagen boosts skin firmness in mice whose biological age was equivalent to 45 human years .
To further improve how your skin looks, you’ll also need to take enough vitamin C. The recommended daily intake is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women. Besides vitamin C, avoid spending too much time in the sun and definitely don't smoke. These two things increase the number of free radicals in your skin which damages DNA irreversibly.
#3 Strong Hair & Nails
If you suffer from brittle hair and nails, then marine collagen may be for you. Of course, these problems are not always a result of low collagen levels.
Hormonal problems and nutrient deficiencies can also make your skin and nails look lifeless.
Nonetheless, collagen makes up a big portion of our hair and nails and taking it as a supplement won't do any harm. Add it to your drinks and smoothies and see if there's any improvement. You may benefit from this if you are over 40. Studies show that hair diameter and thickness decrease sometimes in our mid-40s . Later on, hair also becomes dry and brittle due to less oil production, so keep that in mind as well.
#4 Healthy Joints
Your joints are covered in cartilage that prevents friction. Cartilage is smooth, elastic, and strong. It is made up of a special type of cells called chondrocytes that produce a lot of collagen.
Joint cartilage is sensitive to injury and difficult to heal. Taking marine collagen can help joint tissue heal itself but to some extent.
Studies show that collagen supplements ease joint pain in athletes . Athletes need to pay special attention to joint health as regular exercising can wear down the joints. Research also shows that they reduce the severity of osteoarthritis . This is why doctors often prescribe collagen supplements to patients with joint diseases. So far, we know that these supplements don’t cause side effects making them safe for everyone.
#5 Stronger Muscles
As we grow older, our muscle mass tends to decline. Declining collagen production is partially to blame for this. The other causes are a drop in testosterone levels and a slower metabolism.
A study involving elderly men with sarcopenia (muscle loss) shows that, compared to placebo, collagen peptides boost muscle mass and strength when combined with strength training .
That means that taking collagen supplements can help preserve muscles as we age. These supplements are also good for your workouts no matter what your age. Studies show that hey improve muscle gain and strength in the same way as whey protein supplements. And besides that, studies also show that some types of collagen are essential for muscle regeneration .
#6 Gut Health
Gut health is especially important for keto dieters. It ensures that all nutrients get absorbed so the cells in your body can function normally.
The diet is high in fat and proteins which are both difficult to digest, so you want your digestive system to be in optimal health. Luckily, studies on marine collagen show that it can help in this department too.
One study using Alaskan pollock collagen, for example, shows that this it improves the health and functioning of the intestinal lining. Intestinal lining disorders increase your risk of food allergies, IBS, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and autoimmune disorders . The reason why marine collagen helps your gut heal is because of an anti-inflammatory amino acid called glutamine.
#7 Appetite Control
Marine collagen is entirely composed of amino acids. Amino acids, if you didn't know, are the building blocks of protein, and protein is highly satiating.
If you need a quick protein fix to keep you full on a keto diet, then adding collagen peptides to smoothies, pancakes, coffee, and even soup can help.
The keto diet has an appetite-suppressing effect all in itself. But if you feel like you still are eating too much, or hunger pangs are interfering with your life, then add marine collagen to your meals. You’ll especially benefit if you add them to carb and fat-rich meals to balance out macros.
How to Take Marine Collagen
We suggest taking one scoop of our Marine Collagen Peptides to your favorite beverage one or two times a day. Make sure you add this amount to at least 8 oz of liquid. However, you can also add this supplement to batters, soups, smoothies, and baked goods. It adds moisture to these meals without affecting the taste.
For workouts, you can take one to two scoops of collagen peptides a half an hour before and after workouts. They get absorbed pretty quickly and your body can use them for muscle repair and even energy. But all in all, you can take collagen peptides any time of the day just stick to the daily limits to avoid stomach upset.
Marine collagen is an easily-digestible supplement coming from a sustainable source. Keto dieters love it because it boosts their protein intake and protects gut health. But the best thing about marine collagen is that it doesn't just boost your protein intake, it improves your health as well.
Marine collagen heals joints and muscles, it beautifies the skin, it strengthens the hair and nails, and it also heals the gut. Adding it to your keto diet is also great for appetite suppression and for better workouts.
Add it to your shakes, smoothies, batters, and soups or simply take it with a glass of water. Just make sure to keep your intake within the recommended daily limits.