Many keto dieters are asking the question, “Does collagen have carbs?” More and more people are interested in collagen peptides and their role in the human body. As you’ll see from this article (if you don’t already know), adding collagen to your diet is a no-brainer.
So does collagen have carbs? How do you choose a collagen supplement if you are on a keto diet? What are the protein needs for an athlete following a keto diet?
In this article, we will answer all your questions on if collagen peptides are keto, if collagen does have carbs or not, and how much - and what type - of collagen you should be taking.
Sound interesting? Before we get into if collagen does have carbs, let’s make sure you fully understand what collagen peptides are, and how they can benefit someone on a keto-diet.
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.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Wondering where collagen is found? Only in every corner of our bodies from our muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, hair, skin, and nails.
Because the natural production of collagen declines as you age, supplementation with keto collagen peptides can help your body generate new protein. So just how does that help a keto athlete? Let’s look into some of the benefits of collagen protein.
Benefits of collagen for keto-based athletes
If you’re a keto dieter/athlete, you shouldn’t just be asking “does collagen have carbs?” but “how can collagen help aid my performance?”
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 collagen serves as a fast-absorbing way to get the nutrients you need, many athletes are choosing it over whey and plant-based proteins - two sources we actually compared in our collagen protein vs whey protein article.
Supplementing with keto 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, 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, eating foods high in collagen and protein will help you get there.
There are many benefits of collagen protein, and these include that:
Protein helps you feel satisfied and not consume more food than you need
Protein helps with fat loss
Protein has fewer calories than fat
- Protein is necessary for healthy brain function
Collagen protein supports optimum healing and recovery - be it muscle tears, skin lacerations, soreness, etc.
Collagen protein can strengthen and replenish your hair, skin, and nails
Collagen protein may support muscle mass and strength
Hydrolyzed collagen is more quickly absorbed and utilized by the body than other proteins
The glycine content in collagen may support the anti-inflammatory process in the body
Collagen may help to prevent age-related bone loss (most people start losing bone density in their 30s)
No wonder so many keto dieters and athletes are talking about collagen. But does collagen have carbs? And even if it has so many benefits, is it actually keto-friendly? Let’s answer these questions once and for all.
Does collagen have carbs?
It is quite simple to answer the question: “Does collagen have carbs?”
The answer is NO. Collagen does not have carbs.
That being said, just because collagen does not have carbs doesn’t make its use cut and dry for people on a keto diet.
Why is that?
Later on, we’ll discuss how there may be a bit more to the story thanks to a process called gluconeogenesis. This is where too much protein can actually cause you to revert from a fat-burning state to a glucose-burning state.
However, this process is necessary for ketosis, and is of no risk to your keto diet.
So if collagen does not have carbs, what is the breakdown of a collagen supplement? Well, speaking of Frog Fuel collagen, one serving contains 15g of protein, 60 calories, and 0 carbs.
That’s right, our collagen does not have carbs at all!
That being said, some collagen does have carbs added in from fruit, coconut water, and other flavors - so it’s incredibly important to read the label of your collagen supplement carefully.
Of course, after asking: “Does collagen have carbs?” the next question is usually, “is collagen keto friendly?” So let’s answer that question too.
Are collagen peptides keto-friendly?
Collagen protein is keto-friendly when you get it from a high-quality source. That is to say, collagen protein on its own is keto-friendly.
Many companies will put in sweeteners and additives that could make a supplement no-so-friendly for keto athletes. So, be sure to read the labels and do your research before buying.
The only additions in our Frog Fuel products are ones to boost your athletic performance and fortify our supplement to be a complete protein.
Collagen protein by itself is not a complete protein, and if you want complete vs incomplete proteins, then you need to be aware of that when consuming a collagen supplement.
So now that you know collagen does not have carbs, and is keto-friendly, how much of it should you be taking?
How much protein do you need on a keto diet?
The amount of protein you need in your diet 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 vary slightly depending on the source but are 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 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 - Hypoglycemia is 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.
- It fuels 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.
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 make sure you are eating 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
So obviously, no one wants to end up protein deficient! A common question we then get from fitness folks is, “How many grams of protein should I have after a workout?”
The answer depends on your gender, fitness goals, and your protein absorption rate.
Here’s a general rule of thumb that works for most people:
Healthy with low activity level: 0.8g per kilogram of body weight
Healthy with moderate activity level: 1.2g per kilogram of body weight
- Healthy with consistent, intense, or endurance activity: 2.0g per kilogram of body weight
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 tends to be higher in carbohydrate content.
A great way to get extra protein in your diet (without any added carbs) is through taking collagen peptides. So let’s discuss 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 collagen peptides to supplement into your diet:
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 supplemental collagen does not have carbs.
- 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.
The best collagen supplement for keto athletes
Frog Fuel liquid collagen peptides have less than 1 gram of sugar, no carbohydrates, and boast a complete amino acid profile. They come ready-to-drink, with no mixing or additional liquid required. This makes them the perfect choice for keto athletes.
In addition, Frog Fuel liquid collagen is nano-hydrolyzed to improve digestibility, making it easier for you to benefit from all the perks of your collagen supplement. This highly bioavailable collagen protein can be fully digested in 15 minutes or less.
Our collagen does not have any carbs, just the protein and essential amino acids your body craves - making it the best keto-friendly collagen supplement to fuel your workouts.