Where Do Collagen Peptides Fit Into a Keto Diet?


Keto dieters are becoming more and more interested in collagen peptides as an important piece of their fine-tuned diets. When you understand collagen and its role in the human body, adding it to your diet becomes a no-brainer. In this article, we will answer some common questions about collagen and keto. 

Are collagen peptides keto-friendly? How do you choose a collagen supplement? What are the protein needs for an athlete following a keto diet? Read on to find out. 

Collagen Peptides For The Keto Athlete

As a keto-based athlete, you pay close attention to your macronutrients. A typical keto diet consists of 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates (with slight variations depending on your methodology/goals). While a large emphasis is put on healthy fats, high-quality protein is equally as important to overall function and performance.

When choosing a protein source, you want to pick a clean protein that is easily digested and utilized by your organs, muscles, tissues, and cells. 

Enter collagen.

As the most abundant protein in the human body, collagen supports structural and connective tissues like your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, hair, skin, and nails. Because the natural production of collagen declines as you age, supplementation with collagen peptides can help your body generate new protein. 

Are Collagen Peptides Keto Friendly?

Collagen protein is keto-friendly.

But that’s not all. Our Frog Fuel products are actually fortified to be a complete protein. Just because a supplement is a collagen protein doesn’t mean it will be the complete protein source your body needs. So, be sure to read the labels and do your research before buying.  

Most people consume collagen through supplementation because eating the connective tissues of meat products is not common in American culture (and that is where collagen is found). There are also collagen proteins in bone broth, hence the recent rise in popularity of bone broth soup. This is because bone broth is made by slow-cooking the bones and those other tissues that are not usually consumed in order to release their nutrient properties.  

Some supplements may have added ingredients that are not aligned with your keto macros, so it is important to read labels and choose the right keto-friendly supplement.

Benefits Of Collagen For Keto-Based Athletes

Are collagen and keto a match made in heaven?

Keto dieters focus on eating a variety of healthy fats, many of which come from protein-dense animal products. And collagen fits right into the keto game as an animal-based protein. Because it is the most abundant protein in the human body and serves as a fast-absorbing way to get the nutrients you need, many athletes are choosing it over whey and plant-based proteins (learn more details on that in our collagen vs. whey article). Supplementing with collagen peptides is a great way to replenish the body’s stores, which tend to decrease as we age. 

More than just keeping you topped up on your protein needs each day, collagen peptides are also fantastic support for your connective tissue and cartilage.

If you’re working out a lot, that probably already sounds like a great benefit. 

But, did you know that cartilage can have just as much cellular turnover as muscle tissue? And your tendons and ligaments may even have more! Since collagen composition is 60% of the protein in cartilage, 65-80% of a ligament, 70% of a tendon, 90% of the protein in bones and collagen is keto-friendly, it only makes sense to make that your protein of choice.

Protein is vital to nearly every function in the human body. Whatever your goal is as a keto dieter/keto athlete, protein is going to help you get there. 

  • Protein helps you feel satisfied and not consume more food than you need
  • Protein helps with fat loss
  • Protein has fewer calories than fat
  • Collagen protein supports optimum healing and recovery - be it muscle tears, skin lacerations, soreness, etc. This is due to the additional amino acids in collagen that whey is lacking.
  • Collagen protein strengthens and replenishes your hair, skin, and nails
  • Collagen protein supports muscle mass and strength
  • Hydrolyzed collagen is more quickly absorbed and utilized by the body than other proteins
  • The glycine content in collagen supports the anti-inflammatory process in the body
  • Collagen may help to prevent age-related bone loss (most people start losing bone density in their 30’s)
  • Protein is necessary for healthy brain function 

No wonder so many keto dieters and athletes are talking about collagen. If you want to start taking collagen peptides, here’s how to find a high-quality supplement that aligns with the keto lifestyle. 

How To Pick The Right Keto Collagen Peptides 

Here are a few things to consider when looking for the perfect, keto-friendly collagen peptide supplement:

  • Low Sugar. Some supplements have a high amount of sugar. This will throw you off your keto game by giving your body glucose for energy instead of fat. Choose a keto collagen that has less than 1 gram of naturally occurring sugar. 
  • Low Carbs. For the same reasons you want low sugar, check the carbohydrate content. A good protein supplement shouldn’t be high in carbohydrates.  
  • Complete Protein Amino-Acid Profile. High-quality collagen brands will add a diverse amino acid profile to their supplement, making it a complete protein source. This ensures you are getting the benefits of collagen along with the 9 essential amino acids that are not produced by the body. 

Frog Fuel Liquid Protein Shots have less than 1 gram of sugar, no carbohydrates, and boast a complete amino acid profile. They come ready-to-drink, no mixing or additional liquid required. 

How Much Protein Do You Need On A Keto Diet?

The amount of protein you need may vary depending on your activity level. The recommendation for protein intake for the average person is:

  • 0.7 grams per kg for adult women
  • 0.8 grams per kg for adult men

To find your weight in kilograms, simply take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2. For keto dieters, many people choose to consume more than this.

It is important to note that endurance athletes require more protein than non-endurance athletes. The protein requirements for endurance-trained athletes varies slightly depending on the source but is generally between 1.2-1.65 grams per kilogram per day. You can work with a nutritionist or dietician if you are having a difficult time deciding on how much protein you need. 

Is Too Much Protein Bad For Ketosis?

There is a lot of misinformation circulating about protein. In particular, some keto dieters believe that eating too much protein will throw them out of ketosis. This is because some influencers teach that excess protein can turn to sugar in your bloodstream through a process called gluconeogenesis.

According to some, eating a lot of protein can throw off your ketone levels and stop your body from utilizing fat for energy. 

Now, gluconeogenesis is a real process that happens in your body. But it is not to the detriment of keto. In fact, gluconeogenesis is necessary for ketosis to happen in the first place. It is how your body creates glucose when you are not eating carbohydrates. Through this metabolic process, your body takes compounds such as lactate, amino acids, and glycerol and manipulates them into glucose molecules.

This is all important for several reasons: 

  • Your body needs glucose and glycogen to survive - even if you aren’t eating it in your diet, it will find a way to make it.
  • It prevents hypoglycemia, a dangerous and even life-threatening condition where your sugar levels drop TOO low. Gluconeogenesis ensures that your body can still function optimally even while you are following a keto diet. 
  • Fueling tissues that operate solely on glucose. Some of your cells cannot use ketones for energy. These include red blood cells, kidney medulla, testicles, and some parts of the brain. When you are in ketosis, these cells still need glucose. 

If gluconeogenesis did not work, you would not be able to go into ketosis, because you would fall into a hypoglycemic state and many of your cells would die. To put it simply, you would end up in the hospital.  

Now, this is different from the metabolization of carbohydrates into glucose. It happens more slowly, is extremely stable, and is not heightened with the intake of more protein. Studies have consistently shown that this metabolic process is not increased with extra amino acids. 

The truth is, carbohydrates are the only macronutrient that can interfere with ketosis. Watching for hidden carbs and calculating your daily intake is the most important part of remaining in a keto-burning state. 

Eating protein will not affect ketosis. A high-fat diet is naturally accompanied by a lot of protein, and this is not a problem at all. So, eat your protein.

Am I Getting Enough Protein?

Some people have trouble eating enough protein, and this can lead to a deficiency. For most people on keto, this is not a problem. But, we'll address it anyway, because a protein deficiency can lead to a variety of health problems and can have negative impacts on your performance.

Here are a few symptoms of protein deficiency:

  • Decreased workout capacity- struggling in workouts that used to be easier, not making the expected progress, workout fatigue and burnout despite normal training 
  • Neuron atrophy- brain fog, memory issues
  • Weak immune system- frequently getting sick, low energy
  • Thyroid problems- poor thyroid function, thyroid disorders
  • Weight loss plateaus- getting stuck at a certain weight despite low-calorie intake and workout regimen
  • Hair loss- balding 

It is important to get enough complete protein and to get it from the best sources. Most keto diets contain fatty animal products such as whole milk, chicken, beef, and pork. Plant-based protein can be consumed as well, but tend to be higher in carbohydrate content. 

Collagen Peptides For The Keto Athlete

Collagen has great benefits for the keto athlete. It doesn’t contain sugar or carbs and can be combined with other amino acids to diversify its profile.

Collagen is a massive protein structure (containing over 1000 amino acids per molecule). To improve digestibility, collagen is hydrolyzed and broken down into peptides. These peptides are highly bioavailable and can be rebuilt into full collagen proteins once through the digestive tract.

Frog Fuel Liquid Protein contains high-quality collagen peptides as well as all 9 essential amino acids to make it a complete protein source.

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