Is collagen worth all the hype? A nutritionist perspective.

Is collagen worth all the hype? A nutritionist perspective.

Apr 14, 2024Megan Bowden

Is Collagen Worth All The Hype?

By Danielle Minnebo

Have you ever wondered if a collagen supplement is worth all the hype? Collagen has certainly become a strong trend in the health and wellness space. You can buy it in a powder, capsule or tablet, and now in an array of foods, including Food to Nourish Protein Cookies! As a nutritionist I clearly think it’s worth the hype, otherwise it wouldn’t have made it into our cookies! However, I do think that collagen is talked up to promise a whole lot more than it sometimes delivers. Is it good for skin health? Yes it is, but only if your body doesn’t require the nutrients from collagen for something else. You can’t pick and choose where collagen goes into the body, it simply doesn’t work like this.

Read on to understand how collagen is digested in the body and what the body utilises it for.

It’s all about the amino acid glycine

Collagen is made from animals, usually from bovine or marine sources. Your body doesn’t absorb collagen as a whole, it digests collagen as a protein, into various amino acids. These amino acids are absorbed in the gut and then transported throughout the body to where they are needed. Collagen is especially high in an amino acid called glycine. In fact, most of the hype surrounding collagen is due to the glycine that the collagen contains!

 Glycine is found in our skin, muscle tissue and the connective tissue of our joints. Glycine is essential for many different parts of the body, for muscle function, cognitive function and metabolic functions, to mention a few. Research has shown the glycine can be beneficial for the following: 

  • Sleep Glycine helps improve the quality of your sleep through boosting serotonin production, which helps people fall asleep faster and spend more time in the REM part of their sleep cycles. ( 
  • Gut health Glycine promotes the rebuilding and healing of the tissues that line the gut and can assist with conditions such as leaky gut syndrome, IBS, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. 
  • Skin health The body will use glycine to build its own collagen which it will use to maintain skin health and protect the skin from signs of aging.


Image of Food To Nourish Protein Cookies

How can you include more collagen into your diet?

  • Cook your animal protein on the bone. For example, lamb shanks, osso bucco or slow cooked roast chicken. We’re very quick to isolate the muscle meat component of the animal and discard the bones and other gelatinous parts of the animal. But this is where the good stuff is! It provides a balanced amount of the amino acids glycine and methionine, as well being a rich source of minerals and bone marrow.
  • Make your own bone broth or add a good quality bone broth concentrate to your meals. I’m an avid user of Meadow and Marrow concentrated bone broth and I’ll add this to most of my dishes now. I also freeze leftover bones from dinner, ie a chicken carcass or lamb bones. Then when I have a bag full I make a batch of bone broth. I like to reduce my bone broth so that it becomes more concentrated. I then freeze this in an ice cube tray. Then it’s very simple to pull an ice cube of broth from the freezer and add it to a meal. If you're unable to make your own bone broth, Activate Foods also sells theirs for you to add in your order. 
  • Add a plain collagen powder to your smoothie or baked goods. I’ll often add a couple of tablespoons of plain collagen powder to our pancake mix to up the protein content. It doesn’t have any flavour so goes unnoticed.

 About Danielle

Danielle is a university-qualified nutritionist, a passionate home cook and founder of Food to Nourish. In 2013, Danielle founded Food to Nourish and started producing a range of organic health food snacks that are now sold in health food stores around Australia. Every single one of these products is lovingly hand made by herself and her wonderful team of helpers in the Food to Nourish kitchen, based on the Central Coast, NSW. 

Throughout her work as a nutritionist the basic principles for Danielle have always come back to how we cook and prepare our food. The food we choose to eat each day has such a significant impact on our state of health and mind. Her approach to both her products and recipes is to always use real whole food ingredients that are nutrient dense and full of flavour.


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