Love Life Supplements have carved out a reputation as a solid, trustworthy supplement manufacturer thanks to great products like Primal Power whey protein.
But in today's Primal Collagen + Vitamin C review, we'll see whether their latest product carries on that trend.
(or if it joins the many products which have fallen short of my deliberately harsh supplement rating system...)
You've heard me say before that the supplement industry is 80% B.S., so I believe that when a manufacturer develops a truly unique and/or high quality product they deserve full praise.
But which is it for this particular protein supplement?
Let's get to work to find out..
Right about now, you might be wondering what a collagen supplement is, or why you need one.
Collagen is a structural protein that provides us with tons of benefits, from the strength of our bones and cartilage, to the elasticity of our skin, hair, ligaments and tendons.
Hydrolized collagen (as is the case with Primal Collagen) are simply easier for the body to digest, much in the same way hydrolized whey protein operates.
Once consumed, collagen is broken down into amino acids in the liver, using what it needs before releasing the rest of the amino acids into the bloodstream where, with the assistance of vitamin C, your cells begin to construct collagen.
So the theory here is that by consuming a collagen-based supplement, you are providing your body with the ability to restore it's collagen-based tissues, which are mentioned above.
Given the obvious training benefits to stronger ligaments, tendons and joint health, that's potentially fantastic news for anyone who lifts weights on a regular basis.
OK. This is where you guys have become accustomed to me tearing a new a**hole in a product for overhyping an ingredient or two.
But in today's Primal Collage + Vitamin C review, I'm not going to do that.
(Take a second to let that shock sink in!)
Because once we delve into the science, the research is pretty darn good.
In fact, if you are one of the many weightlifters who has experienced recurring joint issues thanks to hoisting heavy iron around your local gym for years on end, you are one of the people whom this product will be the most useful to.
A very interesting 2013 study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, discovered that test subjects who had previously experienced knee issues while training began supplementing collagen for three months and noticed a significant improvement in knee extension. To anyone with regular knee discomfort, that should be ringing out like music to your ears. (1)
To make matters even better, the workouts used for this particular trial (and the main reason I brought it up) were stepmill sessions.
If you're unfamiliar with this beastly cardio kit, it's the machine Sylvester Stallone once described as "a piece of hell I hope to never experience again", after using it as part of his workout routine for Rambo III.
Other than the leg extension, it's the one piece of equipment which is really going to exploit any potential weaknesses in knee extension, thanks to it's endless staircase-like motion.
Which make the findings of this 2013 study quite remarkable.
An earlier study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences noted the usefulness of supplementing collagen for treating and decreasing the effects of osteoarthritis (again, in the knee). (2)
In fact, during the first study mentioned above, it was also noted that subjects using collagen were able to exercise for longer without experiencing joint pain, and recover faster after training, too.
It does also have those additional benefits of boosting the elasticity of your skin, and the research shows that it will do the job quite well (hence the boatload of collagen-based wrinkle creams you can see advertised on late night television!), but the main reason to use this as a supplement from a gym-goer's perspective is definitely for the potential benefits to ligaments, tendons and joint health, and protection against the onset of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. (3, 4, 5, 6)
There is enough research out there now to suggest it's a very useful supplement from this perspective.
One interesting thing to know if you are one of the many people who use those collagen creams for skin benefits, is that they are totally ineffective due to the collagen molecules being too large to be absorbed properly.
So stop wasting your money in the search for eternal youth.
So despite being a supplement which is often totally overlooked, it's looking pretty good for collagen so far, right?
To be honest, I've really enjoyed trialing this alongside my usual 6 days-a-week, heavy lifting schedule and it has performed admirably, so I'm happy to recommend it although there are a couple of things you should take into consideration first.
Love Life Supplements are a company that don't mess about with their ingredients, and I like this a lot.
Their labels are always very transparent, and they don't include much 'filler'.
It's quite refreshing to see a company just stick to the proven essentials, rather than following the industry path of shrouding formulas in mystery (you know my feelings on proprietary blend B.S.) or hyping up unheard-of ingredients as the so-called "next big thing" to make a quick buck.
In Primal Collagen + Vitamin C, they have created a product which is very useful to anyone who lifts weights on a regular basis (particular if you're over the age of 35), but it should not become your main protein supplement.
The reason being that collagen should not be taken in high dosages because (as a protein source) it has far less efficacy and a below average amino acid profile. That's because collagen is very low in leucine, and leucine is the one amino acid we don't want to skimp on if the goal is to build lean muscle tissue.
So it makes sense to draw the obvious health benefits from collagen, but then to get the bulk of your protein intake from elsewhere.
That said, you can definitely still build muscle (in the most basic of terms) using collagen-based protein if you absolutely wanted to go all out, as was shown in a 2015 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. (7)
It's just not the optimal way to go about it.
So for best results, you should look to combine this with your regular whey protein.
Because then (and only then) you are getting the best of both worlds.
The recommended dose of collagen to draw all of the maximum health and training benefits is just 10g per day.
Given that the serving size offered by Love Life Supplements Primal Collagen is 15g, you've hit your daily recommended dosage here and this makes it very easy to use this as a backup protein source, leaving the rest of your protein intake to come from your daily food intake and whey protein.
LLS are very open about this on the packaging, recommending you consume just one serving (15g) daily.
We're now at the end of my Love Life Supplements Primal Collagen + Vitamin C review. So, what is the final verdict?
As you can see below, I've given this supplement a huge 4 star rating on my deliberately harsh supplement rating system.
It's a product that I've enjoyed using and the obvious training benefits make it a no-brainer.
That puts it an elite category of supplements which arrived at the website and left without getting totally savaged, so I'd like to say a big well done to the folks at Love Life Supplements and I hope they continue to do the great work they have been doing.
For readers wanting to test this out for themselves, you can get the product here.