The Great Debate: Collagen in Your Coffee?
Updated: Sep 17, 2020
It’s my routine just about every morning…pour a scoop of collagen into my coffee. But lately I’ve been hearing different stories about whether the heat in the coffee takes away the effect of what the collagen is meant to do.
WHY IS IT SO POPULAR?
Collagen is a protein found in our bones, muscles, skin and tendons. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which can affect your skin elasticity, leading to wrinkles, as well as structural changes within the cartilage in your body, leading to joint pain. (For more info on collagen, click here for my previous article.) Over the past few years, the collagen market has skyrocketed as consumers learn of the claimed benefits, such as improved skin complexion, reduced joint pain and bone loss prevention.
COLLAGEN AND HOT BEVERAGES:
Consumers have found numerous ways to incorporate powdered collagen peptides into their everyday lives. But can adding them to your coffee or other hot beverages negatively affect the quality of these proteins?
According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, collagen peptides are usually made by exposing animal hides to an acidic or alkaline solution to release the collagen. The hides are then cooked in water at temperatures up to 190ºF to further extract collagen peptides. This means that collagen supplements are in a denatured (slightly predigested form) which improves their absorption in the digestive tract. However, if collagen proteins are exposed to extremely high temperatures, a process called degradation can occur, further breaking down the protein. So how high is too high?
One study which exposed collagen proteins to temperatures of 302–788ºF observed that their initial degradation occurred at around 302ºF. The boiling point of water is 212ºF and coffee is typically brewed at 195–205ºF, keeping it well below the 300 degree mark. So feel free to keep adding a scoop to your favorite cup of Joe!