Questions Re Gelatin

Unsurprisingly, my post about my gelatin supplementation and my excitement about it has generated a lot of interest, and raised a lot of questions. Let me address this.

* Although I did wake up four pounds lighter the next morning, as I said I do not believe gelatin made me magically lose four pounds of fat overnight. I have not been dropping weight like crazy, though I've remained a couple of pounds lighter. I do feel like my body is a bit firmer, like the gelatin is doing good things for my muscles. Keep in mind that I'm doing Slow Burn on my Total Gym every 4-6 days or so.

* I am, indeed, swallowing plain, dry gelatin powder. Some of you have found it nasty to swallow. I have been taking a lot of supplements for over thirty years, and am an accomplished swallower; it really doesn't bother me. I do make sure to have a glass of water right there, ready to drink right away, rather than putting the gelatin on my tongue and then running the water. The less time allowed for the gelatin to interact with saliva, the less sticky gunk will wind up in your mouth.

* There is absolutely no reason not to stir the gelatin into a glass of water and drink it down. I just find swallowing the dry powder easier, especially with the quantities I'm taking.

* The only reason to take the gelatin on an empty stomach is in hopes of getting a hypothetical growth hormone release. There are apparently many benefits to increasing your gelatin intake, of which the possibility of growth hormone release is only one -- and one I'm not even sure of.

* If you are hoping for a growth hormone release, then not only do you need to stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime (I try to allow three hours,) you mustn't eat anything after taking the gelatin, either. The point is for concentrated doses of specific amino acids to hit your bloodstream without a bunch of anything else interfering. And again, many people find that quitting eating a few hours before bed helps control weight in and of itself.

* This also means that if you want that (again, I stress, hypothetical) growth hormone release you shouldn't mix the gelatin with another food, like yogurt.

* On the other hand, I see no reason why those double-strength Knox Blox or other finger-jello wouldn't be fine, so long as it has only calorie-and-carb free liquid added to the gelatin.

* As for "jello water" being used for diarrhea, yes, gelatin is soothing to the intestinal tract. Just another benefit, and a good reason to use real, homemade broth instead of packaged stuff if you're getting over a stomach bug.

* If you like Jello dessert gelatin, might as well eat the sugar-free stuff, though come to think of it, is it still sweetened with aspartame? I don't know. If you're sensitive to aspartame but otherwise not worried about artificial flavors and colors, remember that Jello is basically gelatin and Kool-Aid. No reason not to use add-your-own-sugar Kool-Aid plus the sweetener of your choice to make a gelatin dessert.

* Never considered the risk of a choking hazard. Again, I'm so used to swallowing supplements that I just take it for granted I won't have a problem. But gelatin doesn't swell the way guar or xanthan do. I was frankly shocked the first time I used guar!

I still feel ridiculously strong and positive. And today I once again woke up early and took a sunrise walk. Of all of the effects of the gelatin so far, this is the one that absolutely stuns me. I am a lifetime insomniac and night owl; my entire adult life has been organized around the principle that Dana Doesn't Do Early. (Be glad; if I'd been a lark instead of an owl I might have been a lawyer or something, instead of a cookbook author.) That I'm waking up cheerful and energetic around 7 am, more mornings than not, is nothing short of bizarre, given my history.

I'm still waiting for my specific growth hormone releaser supplements to show up, though I may continue with just the gelatin for a while even after they do, so as not to muddy the waters, as it were.

I will keep you posted.

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Anything further to report?

I found your bit on gelatin to be fascinating. (Actually all your posts are great). I'm wondering if you have anything further to report. It's been a few more weeks since you started taking it.


Thank you thank you, I decided to try the Gelatin a week ago, since then my eyes are alert and I have far more energy, before my eyes felt like they were sooo heavy and they looked it as well, now they feel different, refreshed alert.......... I dont know if its the Gelatin but I am not going to stop taking it thats for sure LOL

Capsules equally effective?

Monday through Thursday nights I did the straight powder mixed with water. Felt great all those days, but the drink is nasty. I bought some gelatin capsules from GNC and took those Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday I started to feel lethargic again in the afternoon. Today is the first morning all week that I didn't pop awake at 6 or 6:15. I'm taking 7 grams worth of the pills to get the equivalent of what I was taking of the powder. Maybe there is something about the body having to digest the capsule stopping the effect? I can't decide if I'm going to try finishing the bottle (it's about a week's worth) to see how I feel before trying the straight powder again and see if I still feel this way, or if I'm going to switch back to the powder tonight.

I still take the powder straight in my smoothie in the morning. I was so hopeful that I could take capsules instead of drink the sludge, but if that is what is required to feel great, drink it I will.

Capsules NOT equally effective

Last Friday night through Tuesday night I took the equivalent gelatin in capsule form, and i just didn't feel as great. Better than before, but still not great. Last night I switched back to the straight powder, and this morning I feel great again. Not a scientific study, but convincing to me. The good news is that I found a better way to drink it than the sludge. I bought some Celestial seasonings teas at the store yesterday. They have no calories or anything artificial in them. I steeped a cup of tea, removed the bag and then mixed in my gelatin. It completely dissolved, though it globbed up a little at first. This helped a lot with the texture that was gagging me. It just made the water a little thicker, but not gritty and sludgey. The flavor of the tea also masked the gelatin taste. I have no problems with this method of taking it. In fact, a nice calming cup of tea will be a great bed time ritual. The powder is also less expensive than the capsules, so that will save me money. I ordered some of the Great Lakes kosher gelatin on amazon.

Excellent idea

A great idea that will help a lot of people; thanks.

It does make me feel great, there's no question. I had to go to Chicago and back yesterday; I got in at 2:30 this morning. Before I went to bed, I took time to do three things: Wash my face, brush my teeth, and take my gelatin! Actually to to sleep around 3:30, and was up at 9, so I got about 5 1/2 hours of sleep. I feel fine. Had more gelatin when I got up, of course.


Apparently I've really missed something .... I would like to know what started this whole gelatin thing cause I have sleep issues and PF... Can someone fill me in?

Filling Plattypus In

Here's a link to my original article:Gelatin Is Blowing My Mind .

Ok then...

Thanks Dana, I read the article and am going to give it a go. I know there have been mixed reviews but it is too tempting and easy not to try it. I'll report back :-)

It works for me!

So, after having my fifth baby in 3 years, I have just felt so exhausted, like someone has been slipping me sleeping pills. I get plenty of sleep, and wake up feeling like I pulled several all nighters. I was exercising for a few months, which helped with the energy, but I had to take a 6-week break for a small procedure. I read your post, and since I happened to have some gelatin in my pantry (no idea why), and I had eaten dinner 4 hours previous, I drug myself downstairs to drink some. I chose to mix one envelope with about 4 ounces of water, chug, refill my glass with water, chug, brush my teeth and Listerine (to get rid of that taste). It's pretty gross, but livable. I don't do artificial sweeteners, so it's plain water for me.

When I woke up the next morning just before 7, I felt better! I added another envelope to my morning smoothie, and it was undetectable, save for a small amount of grit. I felt good until late afternoon and started to feel tired and sluggish again. I drank it again last night 4 hours after dinner (we eat dinner early bc the kids go to bed by 7), but 30 minutes before bedtime so I don't wake up for a potty break in the night. I woke up this morning feeling good. I felt fine (which is a huge improvement) all day. Instead of collapsing into a tired heap after I put the baby down around 8, I did Pilates tonight, then went on to work on a project I abandoned when I got pregnant last year. I'll be going to bed shortly. I just went down and had my gelatin water, put in a load of laundry, and am now finishing up a few things. I am setting my alarm for 6 to get up and exercise (it's so hard to get back into exercise). I did drop the 4 pounds of water weight I put on as I ate my way through NYC last weekend during a getaway with DH. That may just be because I went back to eating normally, but the gelatin may have accelerated it. I don't need to lose any weight, so I doubt I'll see any more weight loss.

I also have knee pain, for which I take glucosamine/chondroitin. It does help, but I had to stop taking it when I was pregnant, and it takes several months to experience the effects. Hopefully the gelatin helps with that, too. With 5 young kids, I need all the energy and strong joints I can get!

As a side note, I am becoming more and more convinced of the need to eliminate artificial and processed foods from our diet. I started making all of our food from scratch a few years ago when my son was diagnosed with a few food allergies. I even make my own broth and can it (along with other things from my garden). I am not at all surprised that as we have become a supermarket society we are unknowingly losing out on health benefits from natural foods, like the gelatin/collagen from the bones that we used to cook into our foods. We have very few processed foods in our house, and we love it. My next experiment is to make cheese from the raw milk I buy at a farm near me.

If you haven't read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, you should. Fast Food Nation is the scariest book I've ever read, and it told me what I should run from (everyone should read that book). The Kingsolver book was so uplifting and told me what I should run toward. I also enjoyed the information in Jillian Michaels' Master Your Metabolism. She talks a lot about hormones and the roles they play in our bodies. I filled out her metabolism questionnaire online, and I'm a fast oxidizer, which means 80% of my food needs to be protein and fat, leaving 20% for carbs. I already knew that, but it was still interesting. She writes about growth hormone and not eating a few hours before bedtime.

Anyway, I'm feeling the effects, and intend to keep it up. Thanks for the heads up!

Trying Gelatin

Since I read your first blog on gelatin, I decided to give it a try too. My experience does seem different from yours.

I don't get any energy rush or pumping up in any way noticeable. I am 54 and you did hint that the HG effect may not work for some of us ever-so-slightly-older folk. I'm sure there is some variations in different people too. So, I don't see most of the HG benefits you are getting.

I do notice a ever so slight depth in sleeping. I can't say I fall asleep any faster, but that's not much of a problem anyway. I seem to sleep deeper until I pop awake in the morning. I wouldn't say it's a huge difference, but I noticed it a bit.

What really surprised me was a huge and remarkable improvement in my plantar fasciitis. Basically it's gone away. I've had this in my left foot for a few years. I've done the stretching and shoe inserts inside my CROCS. All that helps, but it never goes away. My doctor brother and PT sister say it will take a long time to go away. Well, a few days of gelatin and it's pretty much gone. Oh, I can wear the wrong shoes or go barefoot too long and it will spring back, but it seems to clear up in a day again.

This shouldn't really surprise me as much as it did. The plantar fascia is basically a large ligament bundle that connects the heal bone to the toe bones. Well, gelatin and collagen and all those lovely amino acids are great for ligaments, tendons, etc. Hey, that's where gelatin comes from - connective tissue. So, it seems to be feeding my plantar fascia stuff it really likes.

Of course it's still early. I've been trying if for less than a couple weeks. A little Googling shows that people have though it would be good, but I didn't find much where people have actually tried gelatin for PF. I'll keep up the intake and see how this goes in a month or two.


Plantar Fasciitis

Oh, yes, I know about plantar fasciitis; I had for a while, stemming from a pretty bad car wreck in 2000. It's nasty as can be. Mine cleared up when I got really good chiropractic care that fixed the general torquing of my body from the wreck. But, yes, gelatin is connective tissue (and as a massage therapist I am seriously acquainted with fascia!) and will, indeed, help your body grow nice healthy connective tissue. But it's also apparently anti-inflammatory, so that's probably helping, too.

So glad it's working for you!

Collagen Rush?

Thanks to your posts, I roasted a chicken last night and started a broth in the crock pot with the carcass and some carrots and onions that I'd roasted with the chicken. Just a bout an hour ago, I extracted the broth and had a cup full (with a bit of heavy cream). Gave quite a rush of energy. I can see why homemade broth is recommended for the Atkins flu (which I've been experiencing).

Collagen Rush

The energy is one of the things that really struck me when I started taking gelatin. And I didn't get better sleep for a couple of days, since I dropped one of my two regular sleep meds (doxylamine, aka Unisom) because it interferes with HGH release. I mean, of course sleeping better would mean more energy, but why improved energy virtually immediately? Dunno, but I like it.


I finally had a chance to try the gelatin again last night only this time I dissolved 3 tsps in a cup of chamomille tea before bedtime instead of just straight powder. Once again I DID NOT have a good night's sleep. First of all, it acts like a diuretic for me (which is great and especially last night because I made heroin wings and they were really salty for some reason) and I am up every 30-45 mins but even when I go back to bed I don't seem to fall into a deep dreamless sleep. Instead it reminds me of the sleep I get the first day or two I take my seasonal allergy medicine. Guess it is reving my system or something. Any suggestions? - this week is less busy so I should have several days in a row to have the gelatin on an empty stomach before bed to maybe spur a HGH release so we will see if it happens again. Question? - when you drink the gelatin lemonade during the day, is it on an empty stomach or just throughout the day so as to get the other benefits from gelatin? Your results sound amazing - good for you and thanks for sharing everything with us!

Reving your system

Having read a lot of comments about GH releasers in general (and I repeat: I do not know if gelatin is working as a GH releaser; this is speculative), people say either "Wow, best sleep ever!" or "Too energizing, can't sleep." Those people often report taking the GH release first thing in the morning with nothing else (I have tea with mine, but nothing else with protein, fat or carbs), waiting an hour, and then working out, to good effect. Don't know if you've got that kind of time in the morning.

But yes, you can take gelatin any time, or just add it to recipes, to get the other benefits.

buying gelatin also has large bulk quantities. I think I'll start having some finger jello for my bedtime snack :)

Finger Jello

TNBIM just had some finger gelatin as a bedtime snack, 'cause he's not as good at swallowing lots of powder as I am.

direct swallow

OK, I did try swallowing directly last night! I did it but I won't do it again! I had these images of the gelatin expanding in my throat & choking me (sorry) Of course that didn't happen but I had to continue to drink water until I could feel the "lumps" go away. Tonite I will dissolve in the water. No different feeling this morning though its saturday & I always sleep later!

Oops on source

Senior memory moment. I guess Knox is made from animals. I believe the question is whether the animals include pigs which means Knox isn't really kosher. Google is all over the place on this. Sorry if I've caused any confusion.


Yes, I had this discussion the other day with my friend Rabbi Hirsch Meisels, of Friends With Diabetes. There is kosher gelatin available -- ie, from beef only, and from kosher-slaughtered beef at that. But you have to be careful with reading label information. If it's just labeled "gelatin," best to assume that it's from beef and pork, both.

kosher gelatin

amazon has Great Lakes unflavored kosher gelatin and it qualifies for free shipping with a $25 order. It's the best price I found.

Source of gelatin?

I believe that Knox gelatin is not main from animal products whereas natural gelatin is an animal product. Do you think the source matters? Or is the amino acid profile the same?

Knox not from animal sources?

I can find nothing to suggest that Knox is not from animal sources. Further, so far as I can tell, the very definition of "gelatin" is that it's collagen, ie animal connective tissue. Pretty sure they couldn't call it gelatin if it weren't from animals.

Gelatin Jigglers 1 envelope

Gelatin Jigglers
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (3 teaspoons)
¼ cup cold flavored drink or water and 1 tablespoon Davinci syrup
¼ cup boiling water
Pour gelatin over cold flavored drink to soften for 3 to 5 mins. Stir to mix,
Pour boiling water into mixture and stir until dissolved and clear.
Pour into 3 small containers

For more flavor mix flavored drink double strength or use flavored drink in place of boiling water. Do not boil drink mix containing aspartame. I use Arizona pomegranate green tea iced tea stix because it is sweetened with splenda. Cover and Refrigerate.
I triple this recipe and put in Popsicle mold to make 8.

Jigglers recipe

Thanks! I'm sure that will help a lot of people. :-D

possible GH and estrogen?

any concern with possible GH release and estrogen? a BC survivor, I don't eat tofu often, mostly try to avoid, as info is still 50/50 on which way to go on plant based estrogen and it's affect on BC. my grandmother use to make bone-stocks when I was a child, funny how we've changed so many things and need reminders not to stray too far from earlier origins of basic and pure foods.
thank you Dana

early morning instead of evening?

With my schedule I end up eating dinner fairly close to bedtime (bad, I know.) I get up early and work out and walk in the morning before I leave the house. I am flexible about my breakfast schedule. Would it work if I tried the gelatin in the morning on an empty stomache and then did my workouts and then ate breakfast? Does the gelatin make you sleepy? Any guidance on how long to wait to eat after taking gelatin? (Assume I'm going for the HGH release here).
Thanks for everything!

Gelatin and (possible) GH Release

The reason for the before-bed dose is this: GH release is naturally pulsatile, which is to say the stuff isn't secreted into your bloodstream continuously, but rather in pulses, several times a day. The biggest pulse comes about 90 minutes after falling asleep. Hence, the timing of potential GH releasers at bedtime.

However, some people do claim success with GH releasers first thing in the morning instead, and I'm taking gelatin both at bedtime and on arising. My guess is you'd do best with this schedule if you got up, took the gelatin, took the walk, and then did a workout, since this would allow time for the gelatin to be digested and absorbed. But I admit I'm guessing, here.

Trying it out

Was intrigued by your post about got some at Wal-mart.....
Gotta find another way to swallow it....just trying to 'do it' was not too successful....but eventually it got down. Whew.

Am curious to see how it makes me feel as time goes on...


How about filling an empty

How about filling an empty capsule or three with the gelatin powder and swallowing that? Presto, right to the stomach, no gagging on sticky goop. Maybe more concentrated to possibly have that hypothetical HGH rush? Hmm.

I bought collagen capsules at

I bought collagen capsules at The Vitamin Shoppe.

I bought collagen capsules at

I bought collagen capsules at The Vitamin Shoppe.

Making gelatin capsules

No reason not to, I'd just have to swallow a lot of them to get my tablespoon of gelatin at bedtime; I find swallowing the powder quicker and easier. You can also buy gelatin caps, but they're likely to be considerably more expensive than powdered gelatin. If people want to make their own capsules there is a device to make filling them quicker and easier. We used to carry these back in my health food store days, but I never tried it, so I can't vouch for its efficiency. Probably easier than filling dozens of capsules by hand.

Gagging in Texas

Hi Dana,

I'm new to the low-carb way of eating and just wanted to tell you that I've enjoyed reading your blog, using your cookbooks, and gleaning what I can from your Web site. Thank you for sharing your knowledge in such an informative and entertaining way.

I tried to take some gelatin at bedtime last night, but ended up gagging and having to spit it out. (Sorry for that visual.) I have a low gag threshold, I guess; I have a hard time with pills, too. (I'm told that men make the worst patients.) Since I've just started drinking unsweetened green tea (for the health benefits), I may try adding the gelatin to the tea to help keep it down.

I noticed that even though you gave the link to the company you're buying your growth hormone stimulating supplements from, you didn't actually name the products. I understand that you may not want to do that for fear of seeming to endorse them. But...if you could share the product names with me, I would like to try them also, and I could share my results with you as well.

Thanks again, and keep on doing what you're doing.

Gelatin on Amazon

I am definitely going to be giving this gelatin thing a try... I mean, even if you are seeing a placebo effect, it's one hell of a strong effect! :)

Anywho, I checked out the Amazon link you provided for bulk gelatin in your last post (Unflavored Gelatin - 1 lb) and I did the math... with shipping, that works out to $1.52/oz.

I found two other options on Amazon that are worthwhile... especially if you have Amazon Prime which includes free 2nd day shipping.

Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin, Regular, 16-Ounce Can (Pack of 2) works out to $0.70/oz.

Or, if you prefer to stick with Knox, Knox Original Gelatin (32-Count Envelopes), Unflavored, 8-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 2) works out to $1.22/oz... Or, if you do the Subscribe & Save option, you'll save 15% and have it autoshipped periodically... in that case, it works out to $1.04/oz.

Been lurking a few weeks

Been lurking a few weeks (Hi), registered to comment.

I decided to give this a try for no other reason than I had a box of unflavored Knox in the pantry. I'm usually too lazy to join in many supplementation projects. :)

I've been dissolving a tsp in the morning into my hot tea. (I'm an intermittent faster, so this comes right in the middle of my fasting period--this wasn't planned and I didn't know it was significant until just now when read this followup post). I am a terrible swallower, but the hot tea makes it unnoticeable. Recommended.

Anyway, this morning I woke up 45 minutes before the time I usually drag myself out of bed, and a half hour before the alarm would have started going off. This does not happen to me, ever. Now that I think about it, yesterday was a good day too, I was in a good mood all day and I spent several hours on some projects that I've been putting off for weeks. But the early rising is really the significant part. Again, this just does not happen to me.

(I'm also free of joint pain this morning, but surely it's too early for anything like that?)

Just wanted to add some anecdotal info.

Too early?

I felt noticeably better the next morning, which is quite a lot of what got me so excited. It's too soon for gelatin to have helped rebuild your joints, but it could be having an anti-inflammatory effect, I suppose, or increasing the degree of water in the joint.

Here is how I take the plain

Here is how I take the plain gelatin: take just a small amount on the tip of a teaspoon, put it in my mouth and chew it. It is crunchy at first. Don't try to take too long chewing though since it globs up when wet. I think it tastes like
lumpy cooked cereal once it gets wet. Anyway, do this several times until you take the amount you want.
Too soon for me to tell if it is doing anything yet, but I am hoping to helps my joints.