Karen Belz
June 16, 2016 11:04 am
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Everyone takes their coffee a little differently — some prefer it black, while others can’t get enough of cream and sugar. But when we typically hear about coffee preference, we never hear about anyone adding gelatin. Should we, though?

What are the health benefits of gelatin?

According to Women’s Health Magazine, fitness bloggers of today are all about adding a little bit of gelatin to help build stronger nails and healthier hair. Gelatin, which you’d find in products from marshmallows and Skittles, to shampoo and face masks, is a colorless protein that contains a bunch of essential amino acids.

Amino acids and proteins go hand in hand, as the former helps build the latter. It’s been known to be beneficial for tissue repair, and has scientifically been proven to aid with joint pain in athletes. It’s also worthy to note that the human body can’t make amino acids on its own, so we depend on food to help deliver them to us. So, you’d assume that adding gelatin to your morning brew might help you have a healthy start to your day.

But there are downsides, as well.

It’s important to remember that gelatin is  pretty much just another superfood. While it definitely can’t hurt, and will be beneficial, it likely won’t miraculously change your life overnight. And since gelatin usually adds a chewy texture to our food, adding it in coffee adds another step that our Keurig isn’t capable of — blending and mashing it up. Unless you’ve developed a system, it doesn’t seem to be a great solution for someone who’s always on the go. Kelly Liston, a writer for OhLardy.com, attempted the coffee method way back in 2013, and had the most luck mixing her gelatin with cream by using a fork, and pouring her coffee over it.

The current fascination regarding gelatin is definitely interesting, especially since it’s been around for quite some time. Gelatin itself is collagen, in a hydrolyzed form. And it’s made in a way that won’t agree with vegetarians, vegans, or anyone who prefers not to know the nitty gritty of where their food comes from — from boiled skin, bones, and cartilage of animals. So, those who avoid animal byproducts in their diet definitely will want to avoid gelatin at all costs, regardless of its benefits.

Are there side effects?

If you’ve had limited exposure to gelatin, there are a few side effects — none of them fatal, but mostly unpleasant. According to WebMD, some may be allergic to it, while others might experience heartburn and bloating.

So, what’s the verdict?

If you’re into experimentation (and not too afraid of a practice round or two that might lead to chunky coffee) adding gelatin to your coffee might be worth a shot. If the process turns your stomach, there are also gelatin supplements that you can take along with your morning cup.

Vegans should definitely try and find alternative methods to getting the essential amino acids they need, as, besides straight gelatin, lean meat seems to be the best source. Quinoa, Buckwheat, and Hemp Seed are all fantastic foods that’ll help you stay balanced. As a substitute in cooking, agar agar has been known to mimic a lot of the properties of gelatin — what it lacks nutritionally in protein, it make up for in fiber.

Maybe we’ll just stick to milk and sugar for now.

Warner Bros/Warner Bros
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