In our humble opinion, there’s no better way to elevate your daily recipes than with a couple scoops of collagen powder. But don’t just take our word for it: Studies have shown that taking collagen peptides will support skin elasticity and hydration levels and promote youthful texture.*
Collagen supplements (our favorites, here) also provide many of the amino acids and nutrients needed for hair growth, and, not to mention, they can help support your gut and joint health.* Some people like mixing their collagen into their beverage or smoothie of choice, while others like to whip out the mixer and make some food creations. Essentially, you can have your cake and reap skin-supporting benefits, too.*
Now, we have a library of yummy, collagen-infused recipes to test (seriously, go whip up our food and beverage options and let the flavors speak for themselves)—but before placing your tray into the oven or simmering your pot on the stove, you may be wondering: What does heat really do to collagen? Can the temperature diminish its benefits?
We sent the question over to our trusted director of scientific affairs and in-house nutritionist, Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., R.D. Her answer? A little more nuanced than you think.
What happens when you bake or cook collagen?
“High-quality collagen peptides in powders are temperature stable,” notes Ferira. “mindbodygreen made sure that the collagen in beauty & gut collagen+ boasts this kind of stability. What this means is that the collagen powder is quite versatile in its ability to be incorporated in your favorite cold, tepid, warm, or hot beverage, smoothie, or food.”
But here’s the thing: Collagen powder is not invincible or indestructible. Says Ferira, collagen can withstand temperatures up to approximately 200 degrees Celsius (or 392 degrees Fahrenheit). “A temperature significantly higher than that for a prolonged period of time will increase the potential for damage to the integrity of the protein,” she adds.
What does this mean for your daily recipes? Well, hot liquids (like your morning coffee) usually hover around 100 degrees Celsius (or 212 degrees Fahrenheit) at boiling point—so there’s no need to worry about damaging collagen’s integrity while stirring into your brew or a hearty, skin-supporting soup.*
But when it comes to baking, that’s when collagen care becomes necessary. That’s because when you bake, you can easily crank the heat way over 392 degrees Fahrenheit—plus, the collagen may be exposed to that super high heat over a long period of time. “Above 200 degrees Celsius (i.e., greater than 392 degrees Fahrenheit), the collagen can start to lose its inherent properties and structure,” says Ferira. “Additionally, its smell and taste may become more prominent.”
How to bake collagen without losing its integrity.
So long as you bake at low temperatures, a high-quality collagen powder should be just fine. Ferira suggests sticking to 170 degrees Celsius (or 338 degrees Fahrenheit) is your safest best, but even recipes that call for 350 degrees Fahrenheit should be OK (again, they are below that 392 degrees Fahrenheit cutoff mentioned earlier), but not for very long. You’ll want to monitor how long your tray sits in the oven: up to 20 to 30 minutes should be A-OK.
Or, you could always aim for no-bake recipes that require zero heat. “[This] will 100 percent ensure the protein integrity remains intact,” Ferira notes.
Chuck some collagen powder into any recipe you like—or you can always go the simple route and stir it into your morning coffee. But if you’re in the market for a little inspiration, take a peek at some of our favorite mouthwatering recipes.
TL;DR? A high-quality collagen powder should be able to stand up to 200 degrees Celsius, or 392 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. So, before you add collagen peptides to your yummy recipes, make sure the directions don’t call for any temperature above that point. Just some food for thought.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.