Another important Protein consideration:

Collagen (from collagen/glycine)

Why Collagen...for:

  • fueling cellular methylation & detoxification
  • improving skin elasticity
  • strengthening your gut lining
  • strengthening joints & tendons before a workout
  • improving protein digestion
  • killing a sweet tooth after a meal
  • regulating blood glucose levels in meals with Carbs
  • falling asleep faster & sleeping deeper

Glycine--found in Collagen--is an essential amino acid

So while we’re on the topic of optimizing your best Protein/Good Fat choices to get IN your MICROnutrients so that you can be a good fat-burner and feel energized…

There’s a cellular body process that you can support for cellular energy & routine detoxification…called Methylation.

And the amino acid Glycine--found in Collagen--helps to fill in an often-missing ingredient to power this cellular process.

Nutrition researchers Dr. Chris Masterjohn, Alex Leaf and Vladimir Heiskanen, share in a fabulous panel on Glycine (one of the main amino acids in Collagen)…that the roles of Glycine (found in Collagen) include:

"...detoxification, glutathione synthesis, heme synthesis, creatine synthesis, collagen synthesis, removal of intermediates when metabolic pathways are backed up, and it acts as a calming neurotransmitter."

And the Weston A. Price Foundation pulls together different research to share that the amino acid Glycine (found in Collagen) improves your ability to digest protein, which affects your health and energy on a myriad of levels.

And a little bit of it with every meal can help you regulate your blood glucose levels, too.

Plus: Collagen is found in connective tissue & helps build your connective tissue--and you can add it to your diet by taking a Hydrolyzed Collagen/Glycine supplement and by frequently eating the skin of animal protein, too.

So many fabulous benefits, right?

I'm going to share how you can rock Hydrolyzed Collagen/Glycine on a meal-by-meal basis.


Bone Broth is OUT...Hydrolyzed Collagen/Glycine is IN

And briefly, I wanted to share that the PHD program recommends Bone Broth as a main source of Calcium and Collagen.

Bone Broth actually does NOT contain a lot of calcium. This is something that’s been updated since the publishing of their book.

And when it comes to youthfulness--the most body-absorbable form of Collagen is supplemental Hydrolyzed Collagen (in combo with sulfur-rich Veggies, Vitamin A & C)--only this form has been shown to be helpful with building skin elasticity (not bone broth)...

Plus, the amount of Glycine found in Bone Broth varies greatly--so if you're looking to get IN your Glycine...homemade & many (although not all) store-bought Bone Broths are a wild card in this area.

Additionally--you're likely to get more minerals in soup by making a mineral-rich Veggie Broth, than by making Bone Broth.

So if Bone Broth is OUT...what's IN?

Please see the previous Micro section for better Calcium sources…and here, let’s talk Collagen! And why you want to get Hydrolyzed Collagen/Glycine on a Daily basis.

Why is collagen so important?? (it's the Glycine)

Collagen is THE building block of cell membranes, vibrant skin, and joints. It’s important to eat it, as collagen levels do decrease as you age.

And remember--Glycine is the amino acid that's found IN Collagen.

And Alex Leaf highlights in the Glycine panel that:

"We run a deficit of our ability to synthesize glycine relative to our needs of about 10 grams per day, according to the most conservative estimate."

Supplementing Collagen or Glycine--and eating the skin & connective tissue of animal protein too--is important because as a culture, we tend to focus on mainly eating muscle meats, and not eating meat with skin (or not as much meat-on-the-bone) too. 

As Paleo people, we used to eat all of the animal…and with these lingering “Paleo cellular needs” still in place—that’s why our cellular processes still need the amino acids (mainly glycine & proline) found in Collagen.

Plus: Alex Leaf shares in this panel on Glycine that as humans we may likely exist with a daily deficient of Glycine too. That our bodies are basically designed to get us to the age of fertility, and then vibrant health is not needed as much anymore. :0

So he asserts that we actually need at least 10 grams of Glycine (found in collagen) a day--if not more--to adjust for this inherited Paleo "working deficiency," too.


Making Collagen/Glycine work for YOU

So ideally you want to aim to get at least 10 grams of Glycine a day.

Read on for Glycine/Collagen inspiration & start thinking about how you can strategically get IN your daily Collagen/Glycine in a way that works for you, too…

5 Reasons why Glycine/Collagen ROCKS:

Why Collagen:

1. For cellular energy & detoxification

Importantly, it's a key ingredient in the Methylation/Detoxification process

Supporting the process of methylation, on a meal-by-meal basis, is really important for cellular energy...and to detox bad stuff out of your body so that you can be a better fat-burner, too:

Nurturing your methylation system is super important--because it's the process of 1 carbon metabolism that supports the body-tasks of having good digestion, being able to build muscle, continually removing fat from your liver (detoxification), building cell membranes throughout your body, and getting rid of histamine reactions, feeling happier, among lots of other things)…

The process of Methylation requires several important inputs (in each meal ideally, for best results): 

  • Methionine (found in all protein, but in greatest concentration in animal protein)
  • B vitamins (including Folate & B12)
  • Vitamin A
  • minerals
  • Choline/Betaine
  • and Glycine (found in Collagen)

So as this course has been emphasizing too--you want to make sure that you’re getting all of your needed vitamins & minerals to support this and other body processes...

And at the same time—supporting the process of methylation, on a meal-by-meal basis, is really important for cellular metabolism/energy & routine detoxification. Plus, it's hard to get all of the Collagen/Glycine you need just by eating it once per day.

And for these main reasons^^^, that's why I do recommend getting in your Hydrolyzed Collagen/Glycine...on a meal-by-meal basis.

But I would be remiss in getting you excited about the benefits if I also didn’t talk about Collagen’s outward perk too:

Why Collagen:

2. Skin beauty & joint health...and reducing oxidative stress

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, especially type 1 collagen. It’s found in our muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. And in fact, it takes collagen to help you synthesize more collagen. 

One of Collagen's most outward perks—is that it help you make youthful, plump skin…In fact, in a double-blind study, after 12 weeks of supplementation, researchers found significantly increased skin elasticity and skin moisture, woot.

And Collagen supplementation has been shown to increase the speed of wound healing and skin recovery from surgery procedures, as well.

Collagen is also very helpful if you're going to be moving (great for maintaining/repairing your joints…and a 24-week clinical trial found that Collagen supplementation did reduce joint pain in rest and activity for athletes who participated in the trial)…

Plus, supplementing with Collagen/glycine has been shown to significantly reduce oxidative stress, that comes along with aging.


Why Collagen:

3. Gut Lining love

And fabulously, Collagen is rich in these anti-inflammatory amino acids…mainly proline and glycine…which help promote detoxification, fat digestion, and reduce inflammation in the GI tract. These amino acids also have been shown to also help heal/repair the stomach lining and prevent stress-induced ulcers.

By strengthening the gut lining, this reduces whole body inflammatory levels and improves digestive function, neurological health,  thyroid function, hormone balance & insulin resistance, personal happiness…among other things.

So to say that Collagen supplementation helps maintain a strong gut lining…is extremely impactful on many facets of health.

Plus, one of my favorite perks that I’ve found is that supplementing Collagen on a meal-by-meal basis helps me feel energized after eating…kills a post-meal “sweet tooth”…and help eliminate the need to snack between meals, too!

Why Collagen:

4. Kill a sweet tooth after a meal

Now, one of the super-star amino acids found in Collagen, called Glycine—actually tastes really sweet!

And because most animal protein (meat, dairy & eggs) are dominant in methionine amino acid (and lacking glycine)…

It can leave us feeling slightly hungry or with a “sweet tooth” craving after a meal.

The Drs. Jaminet highlight in The Perfect Health Diet book, how cravings generally point to missing nutrients…and when we get all of the nutrients we need, this quells hunger.

And I’ve found this to be SO true with my Collagen/Glycine Shooter recipe that I’m going to share with you below!

Plus, as nutrition researchers Dr. Chris Masterjohn, Alex Leaf, and Vladimir Heiskanen break down in a really thorough panel on Glycine…Glycine is really helpful in the body for:

“detoxification, glutathione synthesis, heme synthesis, creatine synthesis, collagen synthesis, removal of intermediates when metabolic pathways are backed up, and it acts as a calming neurotransmitter.”

And although Glycine is consumed in the diet…

”methionine, found abundantly in animal protein, increases the need for glycine.”

I’ll share more about Glycine below too….but for now, know that it tastes SWEET…it’s found in Collagen supplements & I’m excited to share my Collagen/Glycine shooter recipe with you (to kill a sweet tooth & tap into ALL of the Collagen benefits).


Ok, now that we’ve covered how powerful Collagen/Glycine is for zapping a post meal sweet tooth, lovely skin & gut health with it’s scores of health implications…Plus:

Why Collagen:

5. Get good sleep

Plus, one study found that:

“3 grams of glycine before bed would help you not only fall asleep but get better sleep.”

In fact--the glycine found in Collagen helps you fall asleep faster & sleep more glycine lowers the core body temperature & helps people get into slow wave sleep faster, as well as stabilize that slow wave deep sleep, too.

Fall asleep more quickly & sleep more deeply--I'll take it! 🙂 These results have been replicated in several human studies with the same results.

Some people may experience Glycine as excitatory--in this case, Dr. Chris Masterjohn recommends looking to correct any imbalances in your energy metabolism (more deets about this, here).

Also, Dr. Chris Masterjohn has observed with his clients that some people do better with 5 grams of collagen/glycine before bed--to sleep through the night. 

I personally do best with 5 grams of Glycine before bed to sleep through the night.

It's worth experimenting to see if 3 or 5 grams of Glycine would work best (or addressing energy metabolism too) for you.

Why Collagen:

6. Strengthen joint/tendon health before a workout

Additionally, if you take some Collagen (and why not add some extra sweet Glycine powder in there too) before a workout...

This actually helps to get these joint-building amino acids INTO your joints, when blood flow into joints is maximized, with your workouts/exercise.

Collagen/glycine has been shown to strengthen joints, when taken before a workout in preparation for that increased blood flow--and it does not contribute to building muscle (other amino acids do that)--with lifting weights.

Great pre-movement strategy for feeling GOOD with the Get Lifted workouts, brisk walking & dancing, too!

Why Collagen:

7. Cut the blood glucose AND insulin response by 50%

And finally--the last rockstar reason to take Hydrolyzed Collagen/Glycine on a meal-by-meal basis is because it can be a great help with managing blood glucose and insulin response to any meal that contains Carbs.

This is a good tip for anyone who's looking to have and maintain good energy & health...and for people who are experiencing spikes with blood glucose after a meal or negotiating Type 2 Diabetes.

3-5 grams of glycine before a meal helps stabilize your blood sugar after the meal, and 15 grams of glycine a day every day has been shown to improve long-term blood sugar stability in Type 2 Diabetes (this recommendation is def not a substitute for one-on-one medical care and attention…but it can be an added safe strategy to help manage blood sugar stability).

Plus, taking Collagen/Glycine before a meal has been shown to help improve Protein digestion...

And Glycine is a building block ingredient in making bile salts, which helps improve fat digestion...


Excited about the power of Collagen/Glycine??

Let's get practical next...

Let's get into how to pull this off...what 3-5 grams of Glycine found in Hydrolyzed Collagen actually looks like...and one cautionary note to consider too.

How to use Collagen

1. On a Meal-by-Meal basis:

20 - 30 minutes before a meal is ideal

Ok—so for simplicity’s sake—let’s go with the recommendation of taking supplemental Hydrolyzed Collagen before a meal to help regulate blood glucose & insulin levels.

You can certainly take your collagen/glycine with a meal…or even after a meal…

But why not go for that blood glucose regulating effect?

Also, there seems to be some research presented in the Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine book (written to share accumulated research around gelatin…by a gelatin company…but still, it lists all the cool older gelatin/collagen research and this cumulative book was originally written in 1945)…

Anywho, there are several still-valued, older researcher studies (like by Pottenger) that share that you can help stomach acid over-production as well as a lack of stomach acid…and help calm the digestive nervous system…by taking your Collagen/glycine before a meal too.

So for all of these reasons—that’s why I’m going to recommend this before-a-meal strategy here. Overall though—just be sure to get IN your collagen/glycine each day—that’s really the bigger picture!

Ok, with that said—let’s talk about how to take supplemental Collagen/Glycine before a meal to get that blood glucose/insulin regulating support…and good digestive support, as well.


Tips to take Collagen before a meal

Taking a little Hydrolyzed Collagen or Glycine powder in your water...and drinking it 20 - 30 minutes before you a powerful way to help improve blood glucose regulation and improve protein and fat digestion...while supporting the energy & detox process of methylation, each time you eat.

So the way I do this personally—is mix in 2 tablespoons of Collagen powder (which gives you 2.8 grams (almost 3 grams) of Glycine…

Plus I add in one to two 1/4 teaspoons of powdered Glycine…because it makes it taste way better :)…AND because then it gets me up to that treasured 3 - 5 grams of Glycine before a meal.

Then after drinking this “Collagen Shooter”—I get busy making the meal…driving to the restaurant…walking the dog…wrapping up a work project—whatever I’m going to do before I eat.

Then I’ve hit the ideal target of 20 - 30 minutes before a meal. #rockstar

If I forget—I just take my Collagen/Glycine after a meal, too.

Mix & match Hydrolyzed Collagen + Glycine to get 3 - 5 grams of Glycine before a meal

DON’T use Collagen to replace Protein

So--the big thing here is that Collagen is NOT a complete source of Protein (it doesn't have a complete set of Protein amino acids). And if you try to use it as a replacement for animal Protein--it can actually decrease the amount of Tryptophan that gets into your brain.

Tryptophan is used to make Serotonin--which can best be described as a neurotransmitter that helps you deal with Stress.

If you don't have enough Tryptophan (or Serotonin)...then not being able to deal with Stress can cause you anxiety and depression, too.

And Step One here is to make sure that you'er eating enough PROTEIN on a daily basis. You would want to go for 0.5 - 1 gram of Protein per pound of bodyweight on a daily basis.

And in fact--not getting enough Protein, or calories in general--is a form of Stress on your body. So--make sure you are getting IN your Protein...

And Step Two: don't use Collagen as a "substitute" for Protein either...

Your Collagen supplement needs to be combined with animal protein and never used as a substitute for animal protein so that you don't drive down serotonin in your brain with too much Collagen and too little protein! Doh!

Dr. Chris Masterjohn recommends that generally you can accomplish getting enough Glycine in your daily diet by consuming 1 - 2 grams of supplemental Collagen or Gelatin, for every 10 grams of animal-based Protein in your diet.

Lemme break it down:

Some crucial things to know about using Collagen WITH MEALS:

A. It’s not a substitute for regular Protein—and you shouldn’t “count” it in your total Protein count for the day AND you shouldn’t use it to replace other Protein

And you may be wondering—does Collagen, Gelatin or Bone Broth “count” towards my Daily Protein?

In a short answer, no they don’t. Collagen, Gelatin & Bone Broth—they are all not “whole proteins” and you shouldn’t count them towards your total protein count. Dr. Chris Masterjohn explains that they’re more like "grains of sand" filling in around your main chunks of protein instead.

Also, more about this in point B, but importantly too:

Collagen doesn’t have any tryptophan in it. Don’t use it to replace the rest of your protein (more info here)…use it on top of the other protein.


B. Serotonin is a stress-coping chemical…don’t “bonk” it by competing with or not having Tryptophan

Serotonin is a stress-coping chemical…It helps your gut and brain deal with stress in really interesting ways. When you don’t have enough Serotonin in your brain, this can cause anxiety and depression…

The key to this is Tryptophan, the amino acid that you need to make serotonin…And here’s the thing:

Collagen doesn’t have any tryptophan in it. (That’s why again you don’t want to use it to replace the rest of your protein…use it on top of the other protein).

You can deplete tryptophan by not feeding tryptophan (like collagen protein) while you DO feed not-enough animal protein (like taking too big of a dose of collagen powder with not enough animal protein to counterbalance it or by using veggie protein, that doesn’t have tryptophan in it either).

Again, you can’t replace animal protein with collagen…and you don’t want to use too much collagen in ratio to the animal protein you’re eating…in order to not deplete your serotonin (which is made from tryptophan).

don't "count it" towards your total Protein for the day... and don't use it to replace animal protein either, for brain health & happiness

As a Pescatarian/open Vegetarian—If you want to consume beef/marine Collagen before a meal—then you want to do it when you eat animal-based protein…

And again though, as a general rule of thumb, when it comes to taking Collagen before/with a meal—you would want to take Collagen in a ratio with animal protein…on a meal-by-meal basis…so as to keep a good balance of serotonin in your brain, and not feel anxious, depressed or overwhelmed.

2. Before Workouts...Before bed:

So just like we can support the crucial process of Methylation, better digestion & blood glucose/insulin control by getting in 3 - 5 grams of Glycine before each meal (that has animal protein in it)…

It also pays dividends to add in more Collagen/Glycine before workouts and before you go to sleep, as well. And you want to aim for a minimum of 10 grams of Glycine a day.

Plus Glycine competes for absorption in the intestines with other amino acids—which is another reason why it’s helpful to take it 20 - 30 minutes before meals, before workouts & before bedtime.

The Glycine found in Hydrolyzed Collagen supplements is easier to absorb than pure Glycine powder (although pure Glycine powder may likely be better for people who are prone to oxalate kidney stones, see link)…


“About 2 rounded tablespoons of hydrolyzed collagen generally provides 2-3 grams of glycine. Depending on your priorities, you could take it before your workout, before each meal, or before bed, or all of those. You can also take glycine as a pure powder. It’s sweet, and you can use it to replace your sweeteners.

Point being that 10 grams of glycine per day from some type of glycine-rich protein food, like collagen, or from just pure supplemental glycine is an absolute minimum that everyone should be thinking about. And that requirement, especially if you’re larger and you’re physically active, could be substantially higher.”

Taking collagen/glycine before a workout helps get that collagen into the joint tissue--which is very compact tissue. When you workout/lift weights/brisk walk/dance...this increases the blood flow into your joints, bringing this collagen with it. Yes!

And see more details at the start of this page detailing how 3 - 5 grams of glycine before bed can help you fall asleep faster & stay asleep longer. 


What I personally do:

I take powdered Collagen + Glycine in a little water (see visual RECIPE above) with my meals, on a meal-by-meal basis.

This is giving me around 15 grams of Glycine a day…which is not bad.

Optionally or additionally, I sometimes take 2 tablespoons of Collagen powder with 3/4 teaspoon of Glycine powder in some filtered water before I go workout…or I could do the same thing before bed.

What’s the difference??

Collagen -- Gelatin -- Glycine powder

Plus, have you wondered what the difference is between Collagen & Gelatin?

Well, supplemental Hydrolyzed Collagen has smaller amino acid particles (as it’s processed a little more)…making it easier to digest and absorb for most people.

Collagen dissolves in cold or hot liquid. It doesn’t have much taste & you could add a 1/4 teaspoon of Glycine to it, to make it sweeter. 🙂

Gelatin--on the other hand--dissolves only in hot water & is used to make things “gel”—like gummy treats, thick smoothies, marshmellows.

And then there's actually a 3rd option: Glycine

For people who have trouble digesting either collagen or gelatin—you can just supplement straight Glycine powder too.

Remember, Glycine is the "youthful skin" amino acid found in Collagen, that we're wanting to get.

Glycine before bed is also great for helping you sleep deeply, as well. Glycine is cheap (and sweet-tasting)—you can get it as a powder & use this instead of OR in combination with Collagen powder, to get IN this important Protein Micro.

You could use 1/4 teaspoon glycine powder, to get 1 gram of Glycine (side note: there are 2.8 grams of glycine in 2 tablespoons collagen powder). 

and still be supporting youthful skin, gut lining, joints, and cellular metabolism/methylation.

**If you’re prone to kidney stones—check out these tips from Dr. Chris Masterjohn—and the long story short is, that using Glycine potentially may be better than collagen or gelatin in your case... (visit link to learn more if this applies to you!!)...

And finally, be sure to look at who might not do well with Glycine in this post here. Glycine can not be good for some people who have challenges with their electrolytes & energy metabolism.

Wrapping Up: Why we need glycine, found in Collagen:

Detoxification…having beautiful skin & strong bones…good sleep…regulating blood sugar…many body processes we need to feel good & be happy.

Collagen is fulfilling a completely different set of amino acids—so it shouldn’t be counted toward your Protein content for the meal or day.

So neat, right?? Send me ANY questions!! Excited to hear what you think! 🙂

Go for getting in 3- 5 grams of Glycine before a meal to help regulate blood glucose/insulin levels after a meal…as well as good protein & fat digestion.

Great before a workout or before bed, too.

Recommended Brands:

With Hydrolyzed Collagen…

The Vital Proteins brand uses a lower temperature process…so some people find that they’re better able to digest this brand. It’s more expensive however—but if it works better for your digestion—it may well be worth it.

Great brand to start with, for sure. They also make Marine Collagen, too.


*Great Lakes is one of my favorite brands because it’s a well-established company that tests their products and uses pasture-raised, grass-fed animals.

Less expensive and many people will do just fine with digesting this brand.*


I’m currently trying the Custom Collagen brand—because you can buy it in bulk pretty inexpensively. It doesn’t taste as good as Great Lakes by itself (however, I add Glycine powder when I take it, to make it taste just fine though)…they test & use pasture-raised animals too…


Powdered Glycine:

I use Bulk Supplements powdered Glycine. Oh so sweet (great sugar replacer)…makes that Collagen Shooter a pleasure to drink…helps kill a post-meal sweet tooth…makes getting IN 10+ grams of Glycine a day more affordable…

And you can buy it in bulk.

Love it. 🙂


And be sure to check out my Collagen Shooter recipe in my Breakfast Recipe book, too! To explain it simply here:

If you're eating enough animal-based Protein within the same meal--then as a general recipe you can combine 2 tablespoons of Collagen + one to two 1/4 teaspoons of Glycine with a little filtered water...and drink it 20 - 30 min before your meal  (during or after too) OR before a workout OR before bed.

Are you inspired to incorporate Collagen/Glycine into your day??

First: before we Take Action...let's review PROTEIN & COLLAGEN so far:

Take the Chapter 5 Quiz:

Open Quiz +

Chapter 3 Quiz:

Weekly Protein Planning is important because:
True or False: A main tenet of The Perfect Health Diet is that when you have all of the Macro- & Micro-Nutrients that you need…this eliminates hunger between meals and makes it much easier to burn fat/lose weight.
Protein is the *most satisfying* Macronutrient because:
You want to plan your weekly Protein around the amount & kind of PUFA fats it contains because:
What are high PUFA foods, that you would want to eat only occasionally, as a "pleasure food"?
True or False: If you’re following these Protein Planning guidelines (2 meals of omega-3-rich oily fish/shellfish a week or daily algae oil…plus getting LOW with your omega-6 foods and cooking oils) you do not have to worry about an omega-3 to omega-6 “balance.”
What is the most sustainable source of omega-3-rich seafood:
Pasture-raised egg yolks contain an important omega-6 called, Arachidonic acid that helps your body:
The best cooking oils are:
The process of Methylation is super important because:
Collagen (and the amino acids proline & glycine) help:
Which one make things “gel”…Collagen or Gelatin?
Who is better off just using straight Glycine, according to Dr. Chris Masterjohn?
How can Collagen/Glycine “bonk” your serotonin?
True or False: Collagen should “count” towards your daily Protein & it’s recommended to use it to replace Protein in any smoothie or meal.
How do you make Theresa Marie’s Collagen/Glycine “shooter”?

Take Action...let's plan these daily/weekly "Supplemental Foods"

Download the Supplemental Foods planning guide. It's really important to get in crucial Micronutrients...and you can do that with these daily/weekly "supplemental foods"...or the Alternative Ideas I'm recommending too.


Take Action, Jackson