Why I Drink Green Jello

spirulina smoothieI’ve seen several articles lately about the health benefits of gelatin (though I can’t remember where, or I’d link to them). I’ve been taking pure gelatin for quite some time and it is a part of my daily health regimen.

According to Nourishing Traditions and much of the information I’ve read from the Weston A. Price foundation, there are various health benefits to Gelatin, including:

  • Supports skin, hair and nail growth
  • Good for joints and can help joint recovery
  • Can help tighten loose skin (like the kind you get after having four babies in five years…)
  • Can improve digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily though the digestive track
  • Rumored to help improve cellulite
  • Great source of dietary collagen (side note: collagen is too large to be absorbed by the skin, so those skin creams are pretty useless… get it internally and use coconut oil for lotion!)
  • Source of protein (though not a spectacular one) but its specific amino acids can help build muscle.

Gelatin is a good source of protein (6 grams per Tablespoon), collagen and amino acids (it has 18, 9 of which are essential). Of these amino acids, Glycine is reported to help liver function and Lysine is utilized in muscle building and calcium absorption. Because of this, gelatin is often included in recipes for homemade baby formula, as it also helps digest milk proteins.

Gelatin is readily present in traditional foods like homemade bone broths but most of us are still likely not getting enough. As this article explains:

You know how, over the past century or so, we’ve skewed our fatty acid intake by eating less animal fat and more vegetable oils, so that we’re getting way too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3s, too many unsaturates and not enough saturates? In exactly the same way, we have been skewing our balance of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Gelatin-rich foods, from bone broths to head cheese to foods like pig’s feet and ox tails, were a large part of a traditional diet. Our ancestors relished every part of the animal, and just as they ate organ meats that most modern Americans now spurn, they also ate all the gelatin-rich bony and cartilaginous bits of the animal. In this modern era of muscle meat and little but muscle meat — think boneless skinless chicken breast — much of this gelatin has vanished from the diet, but our bodies’ need for it has not.

Gelatin has been added to formulas to support joint health, and many people do notice almost immediate joint relief from it, though the reason may not be so straightforward. As this great article from a PhD in Biology/Endocrinology (read it!) explains:

For a long time, gelatin’s therapeutic effect in arthritis was assumed to result from its use in repairing the cartilage or other connective tissues around joints, simply because those tissues contain so much collagen. (Marketers suggest that eating cartilage or gelatin will build cartilage or other collagenous tissue.) Some of the consumed gelatin does get incorporated into the joint cartilage, but that is a slow process, and the relief of pain and inflammation is likely to be almost immediate, resembling the anti-inflammatory effect of cortisol or aspirin.

Because of its ability to coat and heal the stomach, some experts suggest adding Gelatin to the diet to help alleviate food and other allergies.

If you’ve ever wondered why chicken soup is so good at curing colds, Enig and Fallon point to gelatin for the cause. Gelatin may also alleviate asthma, fatigue, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and colitis

Why I Take Gelatin

In addition to the health benefits above about balancing out amino acids and being a good source of protein, I take gelatin for its skin, hair and nail promoting effects. I have noticed a substantial difference in my skin tone and smoothness. I’ve actually upped my Gelatin lately as I am weight training for strength and it is supposed to be protective of joints and it helps build muscle.

As an added benefit, it is giving me extra protein and collagen and helps absorption of other minerals. If you are trying to improve skin or joint health or do strength training, I’d recommend gelatin over whey proteins (which are often inflammatory and have added ingredients). I’ve also added it to food and drinks I make for my kids to help them better absorb nutrients.

Gelatin seems to be especially effective when taken with meats (balances out the amino acids) or on an empty stomach (to promote Human Growth Hormone production).

Optimally, we’d be able to consume high-quality homemade bone broth a few times a day and would be well balanced and have no need for extra gelatin. Since I’m not there yet, I’ve actually been supplementing with high quality powdered gelatin. Not the stuff from the store, though you can make some healthy Jello variations with it (recipes soon!).

How I Take Gelatin

The brand I use is Vital Proteins. According to their website and emails I’ve exchanged with them, it is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised and humanely treated cows. They have a Collagen protein version that gels (green lid) and a collagen peptide form that does not gel (blue lid) and mixes easily into drinks.

I dissolve one tablespoon in warm water on an empty stomach when I wake up, and mix some in my daily veggie smoothie (vegetable flavored Jello, anyone?). I’ve also lately started taking a tablespoon at night right before bed, which seems to be improving my sleep and I certainly don’t wake up hungry.

My kids most enjoy taking it in the form of a coconut smoothie…


  • 8 ounces homemade coconut milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter or 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Gelatin Powder
  • natural vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • Ice and additional coconut milk as needed to thin

Important Note: This type of supplemental gelatin is NOT the same as Jello or similar brand products at the store. While these products do contain Gelatin, they are also packed with sugar, artificial sweeteners and artificial colors! Do not eat these foods as part of a health regimen. There are, however some great recipes for homemade healthy “Jello-like” treats

Ever taken Gelatin? If not, what is the strangest supplement you’ve ever taken? Tell me below!

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Reader Interactions

Reader Comments

  1. Wow- very informative article!  Thanks for doing all the research to present this to your readers— Any opinion on adding gelatin to a 21 month old’s raw milk?

    • I would. I have given it to mine as soon as they started eating solids and most WAP homemade formula recipes include it. It is supposed to improve digestion of dairy and is basically tasteless!

      • Please read the Wikipedia article on gelatin.
        There is an interesting part at the end about the transmission of Mad Cow via gelatin.
        The risk is low but it might give a person pause if giving it to an infant.

          • that’s not an answer. Please respond to his post, is there a connection or not, if not why, and do you have any proof or research to back it up?

      • Hello! What dosages do you recommend for babies? I cannot find this information anywhere. Thank you so much! K

  2. I’m assuming you can add it to just about anything, like pot roast or chicken soup, etc. Yes, I realize these would already have some gelatin, if using homemade stock, I was just thinking it would up the amount and would be easy to disguise.

    Thanks for the post!

  3. This was a fantastic post.  Thank you!  I did not know some of this, especially that gelatin helps with fatigue and growth hormone production.  I also wanted to say that I looove how your email updates come as a summary of the week.  I get way too many emails, but I want to keep track of some blogs, and this feature totally rocks.   :)

  4. I have read something about never heating it up in a microwave-do you know anything about that? If I remember right it changes something in it that makes it dangerous to consume, carcenogenic maybe? One of those tidbits I’ve filed away but can’t remember fully.

      • you will probably notice if you ever do put it in the microwave – you won’t have gelatin anymore, it won’t gel! I don’t remember why, but if not straight dangerous, microwaves at the very least render gelatin ineffective

    • Whatever form of gelatin is used, it should never be cooked or reheated
      in the microwave. According to a letter published in The Lancet, the
      common practice of microwaving converts l-proline to d-proline. They
      write, “The conversion of trans to cis forms could be hazardous because
      when cis-amino acids are incorporated into peptides and proteins instead
      of their trans isomers, this can lead to structural, functional and
      immunological changes.” They further note that “d-proline is neurotoxic
      and we have reported nephrotoxic and heptatotoxic effects of this
      compound.”55 In other words, the gelatin in homemade broth confers
      wonderous benefits, but if you heat it in the microwave, it becomes
      toxic to the liver, kidneys and nervous system.

      • This is bunk, and it saddens me to see that the rumor about microwaving being ‘dangerous’ is believed by anyone who took 10th grade chemistry. Wellness Mama has a chance to spread this basic knowledge to her visitors by replying to or removing these posts. I hope she does do her research on this, and by research I mean first learning how to evaluate scientific research, then comparing what has been published to what was reproduced by other scientists and advanced forward, or at minimum looking into the debate sparked by some research. Science literacy is just too low in the Western world and that is scary.

        The microwave works in the SAME WAY as other direct and indirect heat sources discovered since, and including, fire: the water molecules, or anything containing electric dipoles (like sugar and fats) get excited and move around faster and faster. All this does is create friction at a molecular level, and produces heat. If you’ve heard microwaves use ‘radiation,’ you’re right, but let’s be more specific: microwave is a term that refers to the part of the spectrum of radiation leveraged by microwave ovens to create heat, and it is non-ionizing radiation. And guess what, we need that kind of radiation to survive (UV light), and leverage it day-to-day in things like televisions …and microwave ovens. Of course too much is too much. That’s why you’re told to not stand in the Sun for too long, and wear sunscreen for good measure. To learn more about microwaves, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djBAMazLy0I

        The article quoted out of context by Lee G. above was put forward by Dr. Lita Lee in 1989. It concerned breast milk, and the specific concern was about toxicity levels of changed proteins for babies. The key phrase is “could be” and note, this was a question about toxic levels for babies, not adults. In science, “could be” means “not proven to be.” So, maybe microwaving breast milk changes enough proteins that you wouldn’t give it to your baby. That was the question. But the real reason not to microwave is because microwaving is an un-eaven process and you could accidentally boil the milk and cause a splash. That’s too hot; babies want milk that is the temperature of Mommy, not hot chocolate.

        In other contemporaneous research, by the way, the quantities of changed proteins in microwaved milk was very small. (J Am Coll Nutr, 1994; 13: 209-10). Further, Dr. Lee has proven herself to be a quack profiting off homeopathic medicine. She’s a chemist, not a molecular biologist or biochemist like you’d expect from a nutrition scientist. And she peddles to a non-scientific crowd. Lest you say she’s fighting the good fight, I’ll remind you that homeopathy that works is called medicine.

        • When something changes the molecular structure of something, or goes through a process where the proteins are “folded” and become dangerous, that seems like a great reason not to use it.

          Here’s just one article… But there are many more including those found on the Weston Price website about why microwaves should be avoided and studies listed to prove the dangers associates with microwaves.


          And it’s very “’10th grade” of you to insult the owner of this blog.

          • Agreed! Well said. I don’t *have* to eat my lunch heated, sure it would be nice but I will not die from eating my lunch cold. I may however get ill from microwaving it, and if there’s a chance of it, no one will convince me, not even the microwave sales person up there commenting.

            I was also reading the below recently when I was researching EMFs for another purpose, and this came up about microwaves, including the scientific research to back it up:

            “Microwaved meals change blood chemistry
            The research, from Search for Health (Spring, 1992): After study participants consumed microwaved vegetables, Swiss Scientist Hertel measured the following effects:

            Cholesterol levels increased rapidly.
            Hemoglobin decreased significantly (creating anemic tendencies.)
            Lymphocytes (white blood cells) showed a significant term decrease.
            Increased stress (evidence by the increase of leukocyte)
            NOTE: Leukocyte response can indicate pathogenic effects such as poisoning and cell damage.

            More harmful effects of microwaving
            The research, from Pediatrics (vol. 89, no. 4, April 1992) on microwaving human breast milk:

            Cuts down on lysozyme activity
            Reduces key antibodies
            Promotes potentially dangerous bacteria.
            Milk heated to 72 degrees lost a full 96% of all immunoglobulin-A antibodies, which fight invading microbes.
            Researcher’s conclusion: microwaving likely reduces and reverses the potential benefits of food, above and beyond the harm heating itself causes.

            Another study of microwave problems reported in the journal The Lancet showed that when infant formula was microwaved for ten minutes, it altered the structure of its component amino acids, possibly resulting in functional, structural and immunological abnormalities.

            The additional EMF field of a microwave
            Even if your microwave oven were perfectly sealed, you would still be exposed to a harmful level of EMFs. That’s because all appliances working on electricity produce a toxic electromagnetic field that’s on 24/7 running the clock and more. This magnetic field can penetrate the body.

            Electrical fields are the part of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that can be shielded.

            Magnetic fields are the part of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that penetrate concrete, steel and human bodies. (Which is why they’re great for x-rays!) Unfortunately, they can have serious health implications. (See EMF explained and EMF health risks.)

            EMF fields are measured in milliGauss (mG). One milliGauss is 1/1000 of a Gauss)

            .5 mG to 2.5mG: For safety, the EPA recommends you limit your magnetic field exposure to .5 mG to 2.5mG.
            1-25 mG: exposure from a microwave at 3 feet
            100-500mG: exposure from microwave at 4 inches”

            THE POINT FOR ME
            None of us actually really needs to reheat anything in a microwave. It can be done on a stove in a sauce pan, so none of the defensiveness from the microwave salesperson above is really needed either. If it was the only option available then a debate *might* be useful. I would actually prefer to eat my food cold. At work, when I can’t heat my lunch on a stove, I eat it room temp or cold. I refuse to use the microwave.

        • A little experiment done in grade school using two groups of the same type of plant: the plants that were watered with microwaved water (water which was then cooled to room temp before using) had much stunted growth. The similar plants watered with regular tap water grew big and healthy. There must be some effect at the molecular level. Try the experiment yourself. See if you get the same results.

          • The EMF is created by the magnetron, a resonate, em cavity tuned to create microwave frequencies and amplify them…..not by the microwaves themselves. Just stand 5+ feet away while its running. Your food will be fine and retain no residual magnetic field. I promise.

  5. When you make smoothies using coconut oil, are you using warm or cold ingredients? I keep getting chunks of solid coconut oil in my smoothies because I like them cold. Any tips?

    I love the advice for eating gelatin. I’m currently having a crohn’s flare and my stressful schedule is making it impossible for me to make chicken soup right now!

    • I just ran across this page, so you may have already discovered a reliable way of incorporating coconut oil into cold smoothies. If not, here’s how I do it: prepare the smoothie completely, but without the coconut oil. Once the smoothie is blended to your satisfaction, open the top and spoon in a couple of TBSPs of coconut oil, then replace the top and blend again for 15 seconds or so. The CO will not congeal into hard blobs, but will be completely mixed in. I use a VitaMix, so I don’t know whether this will work as well with a standard kitchen blender.

      • I use a plain old $40 Oster blender, have been for years, and add my coconut oil with my other ingredients, including frozen fruit sometimes. I never have chunks of oil, or anything else for that matter. I put in nuts, fruits, seeds, you name it. The only thing my Oster doesn’t liquefy is berry seeds and the hard part of pomegranate seeds, but I don’t mind.

        Yesterday, I received a diagnosis of osteoarthritis in my knee, so this morning I put a tablespoon of gelatin in my smoothie. I’m eating it with a spoon, just have to figure out what to do to keep it more liquid, or I’ll just keep using a spoon, no biggie. Of course the chia seeds help it gel, too.,

        Thanks for a great article, and thank you all for valuable comments!

    • If you melt the coconut oil and pour it in a thin stream into the blender while it mixes you can blend it in without chunkies.

  6. i just got my gelatin (from your amazon link) in the mail and i’m about to take my first dose of it. do you do this and do the almond butter/coconut oil mixture at night too? 

    • Sometimes. I’ve recently just been mixing the gelatin in warm water (1/2 cup cool first then hot to dissolve) or herbal tea at night and then still taking the coconut oil/almond butter after that. How are you doing? :-)

      • Hi there wellness mama!! You are amazing!! I love your website!! I am allergic to eggs and dairy. My hair has been thinning. Will this gelatin help me? Also, is it safe to take every day since it’s beef and eating red meat every day is dangerous, right??shouldn’t beef be consumed in moderation? Please help.

        Also, is the Great Lakes brand 100% organic and grass fed, hormone & antibiotic free ???

        Thank you so much for your website and your inspiring info! Keep up the great work!!!!!

        • The warnings about meat stem from the fat content (and many would disagree with the warnings), but gelatin does not consume the fat from the gelatin, so would not carry the same warning. Gelatin is more a concentration of amino acids, and ones that many people don’t get enough of. I’d definitely check with a doc if you are unsure or have any health concerns, but I personally feel comfortable eating gelatin daily. Great Lakes says they are grass-fed, but don’t list this on their packaging. Recently, I’ve started using Vital Proteins because I could verify that they are grass fed.

  7. I’m wondering if you know what the difference is between the Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate (beef kosher) Unflavored and the Beef Gelatin?  I just looked on their website, since your post has me interested, and it looks like the Hydrolysate is for mixing in cold liquids.  Have you tried both?  What’s your preference?  I’m very interested as I know my family would greatly benefit from this addition to our smoothies.  Thanks!

    • I haven’t tried the Hydrolysate. I haven’t been able to find any reason it wouldn’t be just as good…. the regular just seems less processed to me. For smoothies, you really can’t tell a difference anyway since it is getting all mixed in, but if you wanted to be able to dissolve in juice or something, the hydrolysate might be better. If you do try it… let me know how you like it!

      • The GL website says the regular gelatin will clump in cold things, like smoothies, but have you not found that to be the case?

          • Isn’t hydrolysate a split (and therefore damaged & excitotoxic) protein of the kind (similar to isolates) that Sally Fallon says should be avoided?

  8. I accidentally purchased the one made from pigs, instead of the one made from cows.  Do you think there is a significant difference in the two products?

    • You should still get all the good effects of the Jello. I just like the beef version better and it might have a slightly higher amount of nutrients, but when I talked to them, it sounds like their pigs are raised in a healthy/humane way.

      • Hi!! So I just tried taking this gelatin for the first time but stupidly stirred it into cold juice and so it got all caught in my throat and was all powdery – major fail! I’ve pieced together that if I try to stir a tablespoon into a cold liquid, I need to add a hot liquid after to dissolve it, correct? And if so, does it make your drink all thick and gelatin-ey?
        Thanks for the info :)

        • It shouldn’t make your drink hot. What I do is stir it in to about 1/4 cup cool water (stir quickly) and then add 3/4 cup brewed herbal tea that is still hot. This makes a hot tea that doesn’t have the weird texture at all if consumed within about 5 minutes…

  9. Really interested in putting this in my smoothies. Do you just put the powder in and, if so, does it dissolve in the cold liquid? Or do you dissolve it in some water and then pour that in?

  10. I love your website!!  I am interested in starting to take gelatine and was wondering about how to start – once a day and build up or dive right in??  Also how much do you give your kids (mine are 9 & 11 year old boys)?

  11. Thank you for an amazing post and for linking us to the gelatin you use. Takes a lot of the much needed work to find a decent brand out of the way.
    I’ve been thinking about adding vitamin d to my soon to be 1 daughters coconut milk. But now I will also be adding gelatin.
    Can I ask you? I’m looking for a coconut milk without all this added sugar I see all the time. Any suggestions?

  12.  My brother was born a preemie with the cord around his neck (blue when delivered) and spent one month in the hospital. This was in 1961 in Germany. As soon as he came home, my mother cooked calf’s foot jelly for him and gave him about a tablespoon daily. He never had any other problems and had a totally uneventful childhood.

  13. This has been VERY informative. I’ve recently found out I have developed an allergy to eggs and soy, and it’s been a long search online all day trying to find a good protein substitute for these. I’m so grateful for this information. Now I not only have a good egg and soy protein substitute, but a new understanding of the health benefits of gelatin. Thank you so much!

  14. I’ve been doing some research about gelatin.  Since reading your article I started supplementing the gelatin you suggested twice a day.  I am breastfeeding.  I’ve read a few articles that state that Arginine  is not recommended to supplement during pregnancy or breastfeeding.  Thoughts?

  15. I am a little confused.  Are you saying you replaced the gelatin for your protein over whey protein?  I generally add a vegetarian protein powder (Sun Warrior) to my green shakes every morning.  Is gelatin a better substitute?

  16. I’m pregnant. One of the problems I’ve been dealing w/ (besides constant nausea) is an aversion to meats. I’m worried I’m not getting enough protein, which is adding to my “morning” sickness. I haven’t found anything saying gelatin is bad to take while pregnant, but thought I’d ask around here, and get your take on it.

  17. I have a question, can this drink be made without Chia Seed.  I know Chia Seed add thickness, but isn’t the Geletin enough for that? Thank you for your help.  CatGross Ventura, CA cathi@144web.com

    PS:  Have you used Geletin yet for thickening gravies or sauces?  For health reasons I cannot use any “Grains”, “Starches”, “Pectin”, “Sugars”, or “Gums” for thickening, so I’m hoping Geletin will be a good option.  Thanks again. 

    • Can definitely make without chia seeds. Gelatin is great for thickening things, just don’t boil it or it will set. It does best if sauces are semi-warm but not hot when served.

    • I used to use Chia Seeds, until my Doctor placed my on the SCD Diet (Special Carbohydrate Diet) for healing my Gut.   Chia seeds are SCD illegal because they are “mucilaginous”.  What that means is that they form a gel consistency when they come into contact with water.  And this gel can feed those little bacteria in the gut that we’re trying to starve by adhering to the SCD. So, because of that, I at this time cannot use Chia seeds.  Maybe in the far future after my gut heals, I will.  But I really don’t like the idea of possibly feeding the bad bacteria in my stomach.  So, we will see on that matter.  But thanks for asking.  If your wondering what the SCD diet is for, it’s for people like me who were on the Gluten Free Diet for Celiac Disease, but it didtn’ work along with other types of Stomach/ intestinal issues such as Ulcerative Colits, Corhns desease, IBS/IBD and other stuff like this.  It’s kind of the last resort diet. 

  18. Thank you for your informative article! I started taking geletin when I first wake up then I do a short HIIT workout. I am wondering if it is better to take it before or after or does it matter? I was also told that branched chain amino acids are good to take for muscle growth (I just want to be strong and build muscle as I get older), but it appears geletin has that same stats if not more as the stuff they the liquid stuff they sell in the store, any thoughts? Thank you :)

  19. 2 years ago I started taking gelatin at bedtime on an empty stomach (we eat at 5:30 and I took it around 10) for the HGH benefits. It was like drinking cardboard, so I started adding it to herbal tea. Much better. Then I was having trouble with insomnia for the first time ever, and a friend told me about natural calm, so started combining the two instead of using herbal tea. I eventually stopped doing that and can’t really remember why… I hadn’t heard some of the benefits you listed. I will have to start again. I use the same brand you do. I did try making a jello dessert with it and made a HUGE math error and added way too much gelatin and it was ROCK. SOLID. And very funny for Thanksgiving. Glad I could laugh about it :)

  20. I just love your blog. So informative! I have a question about gelatin brands. I know you recommend the great lakes brand, but is the “knox” brand acceptable? It was the only brand of gelatin at my local co-op, so I figured it was safe. Thanks so much!

  21. If I am just starting to use gelatin how much should I take? How much water and/or hot tea do you use in which to dissolve the gelatin? Some specifics about the protocol would be appreciated. Thanks!!

    • My typical regimen is about a tablespoon at night. I fill a mug about 1/4 full of cool water, add the gelatin powder, stir quickly and immediately pour in hot herbal tea (pre-brewed) and stir. The herbal tea makes it taste great and the cool water at the beginning helps dissolve the gelatin…

  22. Do you know if this is something I could take in a capsule or does it do a lot better when mixed with something and eaten/drunk? I’d really like to start taking it since it’s so good for you, but I can’t even stand to be in the room when Jell-o is made! I know it’s not Jell-o, but anything I was given as a kid when I was sick, I now absolutely can’t stand without feeling nauseous, so I really don’t know if I could stomach this. And it’s hard to make sure I get a tea in at night that I could take it with, and definitely not during the day with something like smoothies :( silly day job getting in the way of all my ideas! 😉

  23. Hi Katie!

    I would like to ask if you know any other brand of a really good powdered gelatin. I live in Norway and am unable to buy either Bernard Jensens’ or Great Lakes’ powdered gelatin due to shipping restrictions… I can only buy NOW brand without a problem and I know that is not a good one – for gelatin I mean.

    I (also) really need some help… I am trying to get organized with following WAP diet (doing stocks and broths) and I am getting stuck and literally drowned in all this work… which is getting me really frustrated… if I am already literally loaded with doing only stocks and broths (and the WAP formula for my baby) how is it going to be when I go to doing sourdough and fermented foods and the rest? I am somehow unable to keep all up and it seems that it is only me with this problem :( can you give suggestions? Is it only me facing this problem? TIA

  24. I noticed that you mentioned that the store bought options could be “packed with sugar, artificial sweeteners and artificial colors” and so I checked my KNOX gela”TINE” (as stated on the box) for it’s ingredients and all it lists for ingredients is “gelatin”. It also says Natural Gelatin on the box. Is this something that should also not be used for a supplement? I am only asking because I would much rather try this brand if I will notice any relief in arthritis and sleeping through the night. I would have no issues checking out a different brand, but thought that this would at least get me on the right track since I have it in my pantry not being used. What say you about this??? :)

    • That one isn’t grass fed, but it should accomplish a lot of the same things. The only reason I included the disclaimer about sugar and artificial flavors is that one reader thought I was talking about boxed Jello mix and was drinking that!

  25. The biggest difference I can tell after taking gelatin every day is my gut health. Feeling great! My favorite way to ingest gelatin is through a drink mixture I love: in my BlenderBottle I scoop 1 tsp each of gelatin, activated barley, DE (diatomacious earth) Barley Green Juice, Truvia and let the whisk do it’s thing. Add 2 tsp of chia seed. During this time I’ve brewed a cup of green tea (herba mate is delish), I pour this into the bottle, add a little honey, and shake it up. You can add cacao powder for a chocolate drink or mint/peppermint for a refreshing drink.

  26. what do you think of fish collagen ? I haven’t tried it, but I read that is more effective than animal gelatin? Thank you

  27. Hi Katie, I was wondering if taking Gelatin capsules is the same as using powder? I don’t have easy access to a health food store and I’m hesitant to order online. I bought Spring Valley Gelatin 1300mg. It’s 2 after each meal and at bedtime. Am I wasting my time and money or is this the real thing? Thank you!

  28. Another question, I saw somewhere, I’ve read so many of your posts lately they’re kind of running together, that you used to have acne and now your face is clear and scars are gone. What would you say benefited you the most in reducing the appearance of scars? I don’t have many breakouts but have have some scars. Thanks again!

  29. Can you tell me a little how gelatin would benefit a baby? My baby hasn’t started solids yet but I do give him a probiotic with breast milk. Could I mix gelatin in with the probiotics (not sure if I need to make them separate)? And how much would I give?

  30. Hi Katie,

    I’ve been using Knox Gelatin for close to 20 years now, to help severe cramps I get regularly. It started when I was getting foot cramps (not a good development when you are in rush hour traffic on a freeway!), and it alleviated it. Later I developed intense cramps from colitis, and if I can get some in my system when I first feel the cramps coming on, it stops that pain quickly. It also helped my rather weak nails strengthen.

    Good work passing this on!
    Great Website!

  31. what about these collagen supplements you can get from whole foods are they the same? been taking collagen-c after trying out the gelatin powder to see if i get the same effect.

  32. Wondering if there is a vegetarian gelatin option. I don’t think I could take the Great Lakes brand….I’ve been vegetarian my whole life.

  33. Please help! I bought some 100% beef gelatin from our Co-op. I tried to make two things of fruit snacks with it but the flavor is horrible. The beef gelatin tastes disgusting and smells even worse. Is it the kind I bought or did I do something wrong?

  34. My husband has been taking gelatin daily for several years now, and he swears by it’s benefits. He was in a bad car accident 30 years ago, and his knees were messed up, as well as his back. He was like an old man for so many years, then the gelatin made him young. He now loves race walking and hiking. I have had several recent injuries, and have contemplated taking the gelatin as well, but I have a question. My mom used to give my brother gelatin because he got frequent nosebleeds. Do you know if gelatin has any blood clotting benefits, and if so would that be a problem for someone who should be taking anti-coagulants.

  35. Great post! I’ve been thinking of adding this gelatin to my daily Paleo Smoothie…And not I think I will!! Thank you for your well researched article!!

  36. What is your take on the gelatin capsules? Is that form just as healthy or is the powder form better?

  37. I am interested in trying this, but am a vegetarian. Is there a vegetarian gelatin that would give me the same benefits!!

  38. I use the Great Lakes hydrolysate in my coffee, smoothies and even mixed into the fruit purée when I make fruit leather in my dehydrator. I LOVE it. I use the regular gelatin for making healthy gummies, jello and marshmallows.
    Since starting the hydrolysate daily, my digestion is better and I love how much more full and satisfied I feel for much longer after a smoothie or breakfast. Noticeable with my toddler too. And he loves his “doot wole ups” (fruit roll ups) – all organics – kale sauteed in coconut oil, banana, strawberries, blueberries, chia seeds and gelatin. Puréed and dehydrated!

    • Pretty funny that another Tamara would post something I have a question about! I’m interested in getting this for my dad who is beginning to battle with osteoarthritis, but he’s a hardcore old school working man and so when I try to give him ideas for changing his diet, it’s often too much of a hassle for him to try it. I think adding it to his coffee is TOTALLY something he could do. Any tips? Can the coffee be piping hot?

  39. Hi, I’m really interested in buying the gelatine however Amazon will not let me but it as I’m in Australia (thinking it must be to do with customs and the animal component of the gelatine). Wold you have any sugggestions as to how I can source this fantastic product? Thanks

  40. Hi, I just want to say that I recently discovered your blog. It’s been about a day or two and I’m in love…I’m actually not doing homework right now because I just can’t help sucking in all this information like a sponge. Health means everything to me, I’ve been obsessed since I was 14, and although I got so disheartened to learn how bad grains are for you (you think you’re doing something good for yourself…) I know I’m ready for a REAL change. My skin has been so bad lately and I just know it’s because I’m eating the wrong “healthy” foods (And possibly because of my birth control…which I did read your article on, but I’m too scared to do anything about it yet). I’ve always been obsessed with health but I’ve never found something that made me feel great and made me LOOK healthy (on my face). But everything you write just clicks. It makes 100% sense, you have recipes, make things simple, without being ‘too good to be true’ and of course, you cite your sources. I’m going to start oil cleansing…and sprouting grains, if I feel like I need them…and making bone broth:) and maybe start eating red meat again! Grass fed of course. I apologize for rambling but thank you SO much for sharing your brain in this wonderful, INTELLIGENT and inspiring blog. It’s really hard to find good, solid information these days but you have provided that and so much more. I wish I had found it sooner. Thank you and wishing all the best to you and your family.

  41. I just learned about the benefits of gelatin for arthritis from a doctor friend and discovered your blog during my research. I have been diagnosed with osteopenia- do you feel the gelatin can help reverse this condition? Also, can you comment on using gelatin capsules instead of powder? Thank you!

  42. So I just started taking Great Lakes and my 10 week old son virtually stopped spitting up. He is only breastfed and spits up all day. Is there any correlation here and when I googled breastfeeding and gelatin supplements I didn’t really find anything good or bad, is it safe?

  43. Does the gelatin need to be dissolved in liquid? I have a 15mo old who doesn’t drink much. Can I add it to his yogurt or applesauce?

  44. Hi Katie,
    I’ve use gelatin for a month 2 months ago and it did improve my knees mobility to some extent. I want to start using it again but I’ve read in some articles that it should be used only 30-40 days once every 6 months. Do you know anything about this restriction? Are there any side effects if it’s overused?
    Thank you so much.

  45. Finally found a way to add Great Lakes Gelatin hydrolysate and not taste it – by adding it to strong ginger tea! Psyched that I’ll finally be able to take this regularly. I have added it to smoothies but can always taste it. This may be a solution for others with this issue!

  46. Hello, was looking for homemade cellulite recps & came across gelatin. I am a gummy bear addict, seriously it’s all I eat 6 out of 7 days. Go thru 16 to 20 lbs a week. Im in my forties & only weighted 100 lbs tops while pregnant but the year I’ve been eatg my bears have put about 6 pounds on me but I lately noticed a major firming of my skin. Had 2 babies aftr 41 & wasnt easy on the body even on a skinny girl…readg about gelatin helping cellulite & firming the skin made me actually look on my legs and it’s barely thr, haven’t worn shorts in 3yrs but this year I think I just might. Gummies have gelatin so yes any form whether flavored mix, plain powder & even candy will work. With the flavored kind or gummies you have to watch out for those calories which in my case has finally made me not stick skinny. The weirdest thing I’ve taken is diatamaceous earth, it’s a miracle on the many wonders it works from, thinning hair, arthritis, fatigue and even a natural flea killer on pets. It’s a form of silica that your body also needs but is often lacking. Check out the many positive reviews. Just be certain you buy the food grade only. I get it at a local flower/feedstore for $8 and it lasts for years..

  47. Hello. Thanks for this interesting post and your other posts as well. I had a question on the quality of the Great Lakes Gelatin. You mentioned in your post that in your email contact with the company and on their website they said their cows are grass fed. I went on their website and nowhere does it say the gelatin comes from cows that are grass fed. I think that is odd since that is the type of information consumers are looking for and a company would actually want to promote. What type of proof did they give to you that convinced you of the product quality? I would be grateful if you can share this information. Thanks a lot!

  48. Thanks for the extensive article on this! I had a hunch one day that I was missing something from my diet, and internet research confirmed that it as true! Since I can’t buy Great lakes gelatin (they don’t ship to Canada), I tend to binge–eat gummy bears :( .

    It’s strange, whenever I eat gummy bears I get this weird craving, and I just eat them all up at once. Like a whole bag! I don’t have that with any other food, I think it must be because my body is craving gelatin. What do you think?

    My girlfriend laughs at me, but I think it’s true 😛 .

  49. Katie, is there any chance you could come up with a recipe for *GUMMIBEARS MADE WITH s w e r v e *? That just would be heavenly. I crave them! Thanks Barbara.

  50. Thank you so much! I had no idea! I have a lot of digestive issues and would love to give gelatin a try for that as well as its many other benefits, but I’m allergic to anything from a cow. Do you know of a brand of gelatin that does not come from a cow or where I might look for it?

  51. I just tried 1 tbsp. Great Lakes Kosher gelatin (orange label) in my pea protein smoothie and I couldn’t tell it was there. Awesome! I have tried it in my tea and I can smell rather than taste it which doesn’t work for me so much. Thanks for your wonderful website!

  52. Hi, I just read about the other kind of gelatin (the hyrdolysate kind) on another webpage and she says this about it: Collagen hydrolysate is more quickly assimilated into the body than regular gelatin, and greatly improves hydration to the connective tissues. It also higher amounts of the amino acids glycine, lysine, and proline, which are particularly beneficial to cell growth and reproduction. That means it’s very good for supporting a healthy and nourished metabolism! This is the link to the webpage, http://butterbeliever.com/choosing-gelatin-powder/ and I just wondered what your thoughts are about it? I want to purchase some gelatin and start taking it daily, thanks:)

  53. Can I get the same benefits from gelatin in capsule/supplement form? Really wanna kno. Many people have asked this during this conversation but no one has been answered. Thank you

      • Ok thank you. So the one I have is spring valley gelatin but it only says nail health. Will I get skin health benefits as well, being that it is still gelatin in general? Skin health is my goal. I told my boyfriend to get powder but he decided on capsules (he’s taking them as well for skin) and doesn’t like powder.

  54. Love reading your posts and this one is no exception; but, it seems that every time something is suggested it is recommended to take first thing in the morning on an empty stomach: room temperature water, lemon w/water, sole w/water, APV w/water, now gelatin w/water and all are recommended to take first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I’ll try most anything and have tried all of these for a period of time but I’m wondering which one is the best to try to stick with. (Thanks in advance for your response.)

  55. I don’t eat meat but decided to buy the Great Lakes gelatin anyway. Do you know if taking the gelatin will raise my cholesterol or increase my PMS symptoms? I stopped eating meat for those reasons above and my cholesterol decreased and PMS symptoms really subsided.

  56. Does gelatin REALLY help with loose skin after pregnancy, and to what extent. I am terrified of this. I wish someone could tell me that I will get this at this point in my pregnancy, so that I can be aware of the impending doom that will befall me. So far, at 37 weeks i started getting 2 stretch marks at lowest part of belly and it is making me depressed.

  57. Hi Katie! Quick question for you! I’m allergic to beef and I noticed that when I eat the Knox gelatin or Jello I do NOT feel good afterwards. Since this is a better and more natural alternative, do you think I would have stomach issues with it? Or do you know of another brand that might cater to my allergy better? Thanks!


  58. I am trying this on my dog. what lb per ratio would you recommend on a human? I hope it works, she is in pain and everything vets give only mask the pain.

  59. Are we supposed to use organic gelatin from grass fed beef? Is it ok to use the Great Lakes supplement even though it’s not organic?

  60. Hi Katie! I just started following you a few weeks ago, and am so thankful for all the helpful tips and healthy alternatives!
    My concern with the gelatin, as well as all of the grass fed organic products, is the cost. I of course want to give my family the best, but we live on a remote base with little access to anything other than what our commissary sells (I.e. very few organic choices). I gasped when I saw the price of the gelatin! I will check to see if our commissary sells the Knox gelatin, and hopefully it’s quite a bit cheaper!
    My heart just grieves that I can’t afford to offer my family the healthiest options…do you have any hints on how to save money on more organic/natural options?

  61. Hi! I JUST started taking gelatin. Very excited to see it’s results. :) I’m taking Vital Proteins, I thought it was “even better” than Great Lakes, but upon getting the jar in the mail, it says it comes from grass-fed cows in South America, too, so I have a feeling this is the same/similar source of Great Lakes. Still, it’s another brand maybe some can look into if they’d like to. The one I have is 100% bovine.

    I just wanted to share a great little recipe I made that masks the gelatin “feel” really well! I’m not bothered by any taste, it seems like it’s not even really there, but in case the taste bothers anyone, this helped mask it as well.
    Healthy hot chocolate! 😛
    -1 loose/heaping tbls of cocoa powder (raw, not added sugar or anything like Hersheys)
    -8 oz milk
    -1 Tbls gelatin powder
    -Raw honey (to taste)
    -pinch salt
    Just stir the cocoa powder and gelatin with 4oz of COLD milk.
    Heat the remaining 4 oz of milk (adding a pinch of salt and the honey to the pan as it warms up)
    Add the hot milk mixture to the cocoa-powder/gelatin mix and stir and voila! Creamy, warm hot cocoa without sugar and full of good minerals!

    Sometimes the cocoa powder doesnt’ always blend all the way, so mixing it in a larger vessel first (as opposed to a tea cup or something) and swirling it around can help.
    Enjoy! :) I think this will be wasy to have gelatin every night for me now. :)

  62. So I’m interested in the gelatin…..I was trying some forms of the SCD diet to help with some minor digestive issues and some skin breakouts. In the intro diet they have you make homemade jello using packets of plain gelatin (that you find in the baking aisle of the grocery store). What’s the difference b/w the packets and the powder you mention? I mixed with plain concentrated 100% grape juice…and it was divine grape jello—my kids love it! Is the powder better with more health benefits? I’m just not sure what the difference is? thanks!

  63. I am confused about whether to buy the Collagen protein or the collagen peptides? Is one better than the other or is it simply a texture issue? Do you use the peptide one since you are drinking it?? Or do you use both??

    • I use both. The collagen protein is great for getting things to thicken and gel (and for making Jello). It isn’t idea for mixing into things since it tends to gel as it cools so I use collagen peptides to mix into drinks.

      • I have been drinking the collagen peptides (blue lid) since December for a herniated disc and shredded rotator cuff and I have mild osteo arthritis starting to form and it seems to be the root cause of my problems. I noticed that the peptides were helping about 3 weeks into it. I stayed consistent until about 3 weeks ago (late Feb.). I only drank it 2 times a week. This past week we have been packing and moving our house. My back started to go out 2 days ago (March 20) and my knee started shooting pain behind the knee cap and down and up the side of my leg. I was limping so badly Friday and Sat. so, I made myself the Collagen that GELS (from the green lid), as I had just ordered it so I could try it. I followed the directions on the can and drank it Friday and Saturday and woke up this morning (Sunday, march 22) and almost all my pain is gone. I was sure that I was going to head down to needing and MRI on my knee, AND my back was starting to go out again. I am a believer in these products!! Your blog post was shared with me back in November when I herniated my T4 disc and it was the beginning of my journey with bone broth (I am making my own too).

  64. I am confused and a bit suspicious. You link the gelatin you use as Vital Proteins but in the recipe the link is for Great Lakes! I guess the recommended gelatin relies more on which company is sponsoring the post and not on the product you genuinely believe in. This is the second blog I have visited today where Vital Proteins is suddenly the hero product. I have had great difficulty sourcing Great Lakes but just recently managed to get some shipped to the U.K. My efforts were based on information I have read on blogs like Wellness Mama etc. In other words blogs I believed in for their honest opinion.

    • Sorry for any confusion you have. Both companies actually have a great product and I have both in my pantry right now. I’ve been able to get more specific answers from Vital Proteins about their sourcing and health of their cows, which is why I have changed my recommendation for now. Great Lakes also claims to have grass-fed sourcing for their gelatin, but they have not changed their packaging. Great lakes is still a great brand, and I definitely recommend them too, I just am waiting for them to change their packaging to reflect their sourcing.

  65. Hi Katie please disregard my earlier email, now I know that you prefer the Vital Proteins brand. Sorry about that!

    Just curious: it says “bovine hide gelatin”

    I thought gelatin comes from the bones, not the hide?


  66. Is it safe to give gelatin to a little baby who is still breastfeeding? I have a 4 month old and am wondering if he has some allergies to foods I eat like dairy. I want to make sure his gut is working at its best before introducing him to food and was wondering if I could give him gelatin in some breastmilk. How much would be good for a little baby?

  67. Hey Katie,
    I see that you’ve edited the brand of gelatin you use. I’m still taking Great Lakes brand, any reason for the switch?

  68. Hi Katie,
    I adore your blog. . . so much that it distracts me from homeschooling. Smile. Wink.
    I am wondering if you have switched gelatin brands from the red/green containers (on Amazon-I am blanking on the name) to the blue/green lids containers on Thrive Market. Or. . . are these totally different supplements. I get confused between collagen and gelatin. . .

    Thank you for you time and response. I know you are super-busy. : )

    • They are both good. Vital Proteins has been able to confirm their sourcing for me and their powders are smoother but both are good brands. THe breakdown is this:
      Collagen (does not gel): Collagen Hydrolysate from Great Lakes, Collagen Peptides from Vital
      Gelatin (does gel): Gelatin from Great Lakes, Collagen Protein from Vital Proteins

      • Thank you. : )

        So nutritionally speaking, are they one and the same, just in different forms? Or do they have separate benefits and should we take both, gelatin and collagen?

  69. Love this article! Sorry if I missed this, but how much gelatin do you give your kids daily? How much for a 14 month old daily? I’m just learning about gelatin and don’t want to give too much/too little.

  70. Thanks for the article. I’m pregnant and trying to incorporate more gelatin into my diet. Just tried mixing some into a TBS. of cold milk and then into my eggs before scrambling. It worked great, couldn’t even tell. Also at 6 weeks the nausea has just started and I’m loving your homemade ginger soda. So far it seems to get rid of my nausea. Thanks

  71. Hi, I just had a comment and a little bit of research advice.. i am now trying to find the link for you..but i had understood..you ONLY use n know unflavored gelatin DISSOLVED in hot water or tepid water and drank or mixes with a hot drink.. this is in its collagen state.. if you drink it chilled or allowed to form to jello or gelatin state then you have changes the benefit properties of the collagen ..I have a site that has been researching and using the product for ver 20 yrs..The main thing I want to stress is drinking the no knox in its purest form in very warm liquid or hotter if it is comfortable to you .Don’t sprinkle or chill in any way, you are not getting the collagen, the other benefits yes you may get these by what ever means this or other personal blogs suggests..but if you want the pure collagen that we are needing for your face to keep from sagging, wrinkles,plus over all well joint and body needs that collagen is extremely important.. then just dissolve and drink..now REMEMBER this is just another suggestion and I WILL find this link for you .and it only make sense..when you cool off gelatine (which is collagen in the purest form) it changes the properties and is just plain old non flavored jello…so..like I said..just my suggestion to you from what i have studied.. will find the link soon.. thank you.Judy

  72. Please tell me why you are using Vital Proteins now instead of Great Lakes. Is it because the collagen petides gel in both cold and hot liquids? I like the price of great lakes but if there is a health reason I will switch to Vital Proteins. Thank you in advance!!

    • I was just able to get more documentation from Vital Proteins about the quality of their gelatin and feel more comfortable recommending it for that reason but both are great brands. The Collagen Peptides (VP) or the Collagen Hydrolysate (GL) do not gel in water. The Collagen Protein (VP) or the Gelatin (GL) do gel.

  73. I am trying to find out if there is a gelatine powder that is made from animal products that do not contain the added hormone rBST?

  74. Wow-wow-wow… after reading this I tried it- I had some old Knox gelatin in the cupboard that I bought for this purpose (but never used:-). I took one envelope and washed it down with water (until I could get some juice) and- I can’t believe it! The VERY NEXT MORNING the joint pain in my thumbs was almost completely gone, and the “hunch” I wake up with in my back every morning was gone! I noticed I was able to get up out of bed and wasn’t having to take a few minutes to un-kink my lower back. My mom is 86, has arthritis pretty bad in her back and knees- I started her on it- and she feels better- she says she can feel the difference- although it will take longer with her because of her age and because she’s had the pain for so long. Coincidentally, my sister-in-law also told my mom to take gelatin- she said that people who were scheduled for things like knee surgery started taking gelatin, and within 3 months they felt they had improved to the point where the patient elected not to have the surgery. I am not advertising this and Wellness Mama did not seek this endorsement- I’m just excited!

  75. Hi Katie, My 4 year old daughter has recently had head surgery to increase the size of her skull. she has a 2.6cm gap running from ear to ear across the top of her forehead.. This bone needs to regrow in the next 2 months when her distractors (currently keeping the gap open) will be removed. I have bought her the great lakes gelatin but wondered how much I can be giving her daily. I would really appreciate your help with this. Thanks you Beth

  76. You’re wrong about collagen creams. They aren’t meant to force collagen into the skin. Collagen is prevents moisture loss and acts as a barrier to prevent that moisture loss while the other ingredients in the creams hydrate and promote natural hydration to skin that has lost its natural barrier function.
    Also,coconut oil is comedogenic which will cause breakouts.

  77. Ive been taking gelatine for 4 months now and cannot tell you how happy I am with the results of my nails. I cannot keep up by filing them back !! There is no excuse from not taking this magic power! Just stir a teaspoon full in your juice and enjoy – knowing your skin is glowing, your hair is growing and your nails are stronger than ever!!

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