I first learned about the benefits of gelatin when researching joint pain supplements. Talking with a friend at the gym, my struggle healing my knee came up. I told him I’d tried just about every supplement under the sun and nothing had seemed to be working. He laughed:
“Dude, have you tried gelatin? When I had surgery on my back, the hospital made me eat so many cups of unflavored gelatin a day. I was so sick of them by the time I left, but my back felt great. I stopped eating them and pain came back. So I remembered all the gelatin and went to buy some at the health food store. I started eating 2-3 cups a day, and after a few weeks my back felt better.”
Interesting. As we finished out convo, I made a mental note to research gelatin when I went home. A quick Google search on “gelatin for joint pain” confirmed the benefits of gelatin collagen for joints. And there were some other gelatin benefits, too.
P.S.: I’m talking about the unflavored, unadulterated gelatin here. This isn’t an article about the sugary, artificially-color stuff found at the grocery store.
My Experience With Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen
After researching, I was sold. It couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I quickly ordered the best gelatin I could find. Two containers of Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen were at my front door in a few days. I mixed a double serving with some cranberry juice and went about my day.
I continued to do this for the next three weeks. I wasn’t thinking much of it. Then I went back to my doctor. After checking my results, he confirmed the knee was healthy. I was free to do as I pleased. Free to start training and get back into things.
Now, I don’t think the gelatin collagen was the key component, but it helped my pain level and took my mind off things. I’ve been taking Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen ever since.
What is Gelatin?
Before diving too deep into gelatin benefits, let’s talk about what it is. Getting a little scientific, I found a detailed definition of gelatin (source):
Gelatin is nothing more than a processed version of the structural protein collagen found in many animals, and in humans. Collagen makes up almost one-third of all the protein in the human body. Collagen is a fibrous protein that strengthens the body’s connective tissues, allowing them to be elastic so they can stretch without breaking. As you get older, your body makes less collagen, and individual collagen fibers become increasingly cross-linked with each other. You might experience this as stiff joints from less flexible tendons, or wrinkles due to loss of skin elasticity. Gelatin can come from the collagen in cow or pig bones, hides, and connective tissues.
5 Impressive Benefits of Gelatin
There are many gelatin benefits – improving joint pain isn’t the only one. Here are five impressive benefits of gelatin:
I originally started taking Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen for joint pain. The supplement is incredibly popular when joint pain is the topic, and for good reason! Gelatin helps decrease inflammation and pain in the joints. Better recovery is an added benefit. Research has shown that individuals suffering from joint pain, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, and more can benefit from supplementing with gelatin.
While this is more of an add-on, Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen has six grams of protein per serving. Taking four servings a day adds an extra 24 grams of protein to your diet. It’s like taking an extra protein shake. Not only does the protein aid in recovery and athletic performance, but many find adding gelatin to their diets between meals keeps them feeling full.
Collagen is the main building block for our skin. It’s what gives your skin a glowing, youthful appearance. Thus, taking gelatin can improve your skin, appearance, and speed up cellular rejuvenation. The supplement also improves the elasticity of the skin. Regarding hair, many have found taking collagen improves hair growth, texture, and quality. Personally, I notice my hair is a lot thicker when taking gelatin, too.
One of the many benefits of collagen includes improving gut health and digestion. The supplement can aid in improving the digestive tract, balancing digestive enzymes, treating leaky guy syndrome, and helping with a bloated stomach. Some claim gelatin and collagen can even heal digestive disorders.
I take melatonin, so this benefit of gelatin isn’t as pronounced for me. Many swear by the supplement when sleep is the topic. Gelatin has the ability to help people stay asleep longer, fall asleep faster, and improve daytime cognitive function.
Gelatin Side Effects
The side effects of gelatin are relatively minimal (read the source here). I’ve never heard anyone have issues taking the supplement. The few minor gelatin side effects include:
How to Consume Gelatin
You can consume gelatin in pill, capsule, and powder form. I’ve tried both pill and powder gelatin collagen. I highly recommend sticking with the powder form, as I’ve seen much better results with Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Powder than I did with pills from Neocell.
If you get the powder version, then you’ll want to mix it with a fruit juice. Mixing gelatin with water tastes terrible. I usually mix two ounces of 100% orange juice with four ounces of water. Then I pour two servings of gelatin powder into the glass.
I let the glass sit and the gelatin form for a minute or so. Then I stir it up and chug it down as quick as possible. In my opinion, this is the best way to consume gelatin.
Overall, I’m a huge fan of Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen powder. I’ve gotten great results with the product. Not only do my joints feel better when taking this supplement, but my hair is thicker, and my skin glows. If you’re looking for a supplement that will improve joint pain, then I’d start here. Another benefit of gelatin is there’s little to no side effects. Plus, the product is fairly inexpensive. As always, if you have any questions or concerns with gelatin powder, sound off in the comments.
Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel – one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.