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Gelatin is high in essential amino acids: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, proline and tyrosine. These are the amino acids that are needed to assist the body in muscle repair. However the body is unable to rapidly synthesize these amino acids in the required amounts post workout or recovery from trauma or disease. Supplementing with gelatin or hydrolysed collagen can assist in this process of recovery and repair.
If we compare gelatin and collagen with other proteins, it is true that they have lower essential amino acids and branched chain amino acids, BUT they have significantly higher concentrations of other important amino acids such as glycine, alanine and proline. BCAA (branch chain amino acids) are important in muscle protein synthesis however they are not the only important amino acids in muscle synthesis.
The alanine in gelatin has been shown to help protect cells from being damaged during intense aerobic activity, when the body cannibalizes muscle protein to help produce energy.
The proline in gelatin helps keep muscles and joints flexible. It is also used in the development and maintenance of healthy skin, muscle and connective tissues, especially at the site of traumatic tissue injury.
The glycine in gelatin boosts our level of creatine, which helps build muscle mass. Glycine also helps to repair damaged tissues, without it our wounds would never heal. By taking gelatin or collagen daily it has the ability to repair damaged tissues, increase cartilage formation and reduce inflammation of joints.
Please note* Gelatin is not a complete protein (meaning it does not contain a complete amino acid profile) – therefore you cannot use gelatin as your only protein source.