Gelatin (Jellie) Recipes for Athletes

Gelatin is a degraded form of collagen, therefore, they have virtually identical nutritional profiles. Here are some recipes that I have gathered over my time working with athletes, and making them jellies, to provide supplementation with collagen. Some I have borrowed from dietitian colleagues through our amazing network. 

For athletes wishing to supplement with gelatin/collagen, here are some recipes made with gelatin, either as the powdered unflavored form, or using Jell-o or jelly crystals. For all recipes I have used the safe food-grade gelatine powder (in Australia I use McKenzie’s Gelatine Powder, but other countries will have an equivalent product, which you can just purchase off the shelf of a supermarket. A popular brand in the USA is Knox. Look for unflavored gelatine, not jelly or jell-o powder.

When eating these jellies, be aware that the gelatin will peak in the bloodstream after 30 minutes with 5 grams, after one hour with 15g, and about two hours with 25g. So the timing of supplementation is important. For example, if you can consume it immediately prior to the weight loading fitness session have one jelly (or 5g/1tsp), if you take it for a game, and your loading session may be more than one hour away, take 2 jellies (or 10-15g/2-3tsp).

Recipe 1: Gelatin + Vitamin C tablet Jellies

This recipe makes 1 tray of jellies providing at least 80mg vitamin C + 5g gelatine per jelly:

Take 2-3 jellies 30 minutes prior to any tendon loading session, this will allow peak amounts to be available during training. 

Recipe 2: Regular jelly/Jell-o with added gelatin

Add to a saucepan and heat up until all the crystals are melted, do not boil. Pour into an ice cube tray. Each jelly will contain roughly 4-5g gelatin. 

Gelatine powder Gelatine powder is available from most supermarkets

Recipe 3: Keith Baar recipe

Mix the gelatin with the water. Then bring the juice to a boil. Add the hot juice to the gelatin mix and stir until dissolved. Pour gelatin into a flat tray (or molds). Refrigerate, then cut into 8 pieces (~10g gelatin)

Recipe 4: Jelly/Jell-O without added Vit C

Make jelly without the Vit C, and eat the jelly with an orange or other Vit C rich fruit. This is the food first approach.

Recipe 5: Quick no-fuss quick drink version

This option saves the hassle of having to make up batches of the jellies ahead of time!

Add Ribena cordial to water as per directions, or use the Ribena Blackcurrant juice version, 200ml then add 2-3 teaspoons of unflavored powdered gelatin last, stirring quickly and drinking it really quickly. Be careful as it turns gluggy quickly and can be a bit tricky.

* You can also use Diet Ribena if you don’t want the extra calories 

Better still use a glass of pineapple juice instead! The bromelain content in the pineapple juice prevents it from setting (that’s why you never use it to make jelly), so while it does thicken a little, the gelatine doesn't clump together the way it does if you add it to Ribena or orange juice.

Recipe 6: Add gelatin to anything!

I have seen some food-based recipes like pancakes made from gelatin, but have never tried any before. Some experimenting may allow you to add some more variety to how you take this supplement, so you don’t get texture fatigue.

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