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The team at HVMN has been hard at work overhauling their product line since making the switch from “Nootrobox” to a performance-based supplement and food (nutrient?) company at the end of 2018. Coming off a successful launch of their Ketone Ester, HVMN announced new fasting and recovery-focused products. It has taken most of the year to get the new stuff out, but my pre-order of Keto Collagen+ arrived and tl;dr, it was worth the wait.
There are few product categories with as much noise as”keto”, having blended mixes for years, I rarely pay for prepared or formulated products. Unlike the folks at HVMN, most of what you get off-the-shelf is made by companies who don’t understand the biochemistry of ketosis (or health, for that matter). As soon as I opened the box and looked at the ingredients, I knew that the Keto Collagen+ was a different beast.
Keto Collagen starts with 10g of grass-fed collagen peptides and adds 5g of C8 MCT oil powder, not so different so far, but the devil is the the details. HVMN’s mix adds in vitamin C, and chelated forms of copper and zinc, which are vital co-factors for protein synthesis—turning that collagen into something the body can use to build and repair.
Minerals like copper, magnesium and zinc were the x-factor of the Miraculous Healing Mode protocol I used to heal after complications from surgery left me under the care of my surgeon for six months. With the protocol, I healed completely in 4 weeks, leaving my Stanford doctors stunned by the protein supercharger I had created.
You might want to get copper levels checked before adding any additional copper into your diet, but these amounts are relatively small and should work wonders for most people.
What’s not so much
I am not a fan of stevia, as it can cause gastric distress for folks, like myself, with Crohn’s, UC or other gastro-intestinal issues. And it tastes terrible. I prefer a D-ribose or allulose blend with the monk fruit, which will also give you a little performance boost, but the chocolate Keto Collagen+ tastes good. The stevia + monk fruit mix keeps the carbs off the board (net zero), which makes sense optically for the general public who barely understand nutrition labels.
Everyone is hot on C8 MCT oil, and for good reason, as it has been shown to have more cognitive benefits and generate more ketones in the liver than other MCTs. I typically go with a C8/C10 blend as the latter has been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines. My body creates inflammation better than most people in the world, so I tend to optimize that direction and I would think as a recovery product, having a little more damping of these protein-based cytokines would be a boon.
Since I’m nitpicking, I was a bit disappointed to get a half-empty plastic container when HVMN is producing such great glass packaging for their supplement line. No matter how you spin it, plastic sucks and supplements are one of the few areas I have little control, beyond sourcing ingredients in bulk to cut down on waste (which I primarily do).
How I really feel
The bottom line is HVMN’s Keto Collagen+ is well thought out and tastes good. I mixed it in with my BHB ketone blend and I even used it to make my favorite training and ride fuel, Tahini Cocoa Bombs, replacing my usual, double-fat Peruvian cocoa powder. That sums up probably the highest recommendation you will ever get from me on a product with the word “keto” in it. You can pick some up and get $15 credit by using this link.
Tahini Cocoa Bombs, HVMN-style
This is an adaptation of my go-to snack which is insanely satisfying and guaranteed to make your day better whether you are running between meetings or running a marathon. I’ve ridden from San Francisco to Los Angeles with one gear and competed in two triathlons with variations of these as my main fuel. On the Marin Century metric I brought along this newest version and ate 3 of these bad boys, and that’s it!
The HVMN Keto Collagen+ gives a high-performance boost over my usual cocoa powder and simplified the recipe—skipping my own sweetener blend, prebiotic fiber—and adds MCTs for more energy production. I hope you enjoy my favorite snack and hit me up @airjoshb to let me know what you think!
Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and while not as popular as other nut or seed butter, hold significant advantages for people wanting to train or upgrade their daily health (especially for autoimmune/immune compromised). Here are my top 5 reasons for using tahini:
- Higher in fats and amino acids than other butter, especially tryptophan (serotonin boost), methionine (important sulfur amino promotes cell methylation) and lysine (vital for protein synthesis).
- High in minerals, especially copper, magnesium, iron and zinc, all vital for using the amino acids in your body to build collagen, as well as hundreds of metabolic processes.
- No mold or fungus. Many other nuts are vulnerable to aflatoxin which can cause a host of issues.
- Minimal processing. Compared to other nuts and seeds, sesame seeds require little processing, meaning fewer chances to degrade the quality and add in other unwanted toxins or chemicals.
- Boosts nutrient absorption. Studies have shown higher levels of nutrients gained from other foods when also consuming sesame seeds.
What about the other ingredients?
Almond and coconut flour are a solid base for all kinds of grain-free things with good fiber and protein content. The acacia fiber in the HVMN product replaces my usual prebiotic fiber in the recipe, which I add to make the snack easier on your belly, supporting good digestion and protecting your gut.
Coconut oil is a great source of fats and contains a lot of medium-chain triglyceride fats which can get burned immediately as energy from the liver.
Cocoa is a superfood, a potent source of antioxidants and offering a ton of great minerals as well as some chemicals to make you feel good. I often add nibs or macadamia nuts to add a bit of crunch.
Even with the Keto Collagen+ on board I still use collagen because the gelling power (which peptides don’t have) is going to help hold these cocoa bombs together and keep the oiliness to a minimum.
60g organic tahini
100g almond flour
20g coconut flour
3 scoops (60g)
HVMN Keto Collagen+, chocolate flavor
60g organic coconut oil
10g grass-fed collagen, not peptides (bloomed in cold water)
2 tbsp cocoa nibs (optional)
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)
Add the tahini to a small pot along with the collagen and heat just long enough for it to dissolve and mix in. Turn off and let cool a bit. The mixture will be pretty gummy, but if it is too warm it will melt the coconut oil when you add it.
Put the remaining ingredients into a food processor (you can use a regular mixing bowl and do it by hand, but the processor makes sure everything gets distributed well) and pulse to mix several times.
Add in the collagen, tahini mixture and turn on the processor until everything blends together nicely and it starts to come together in a ball.
I use a small ice cream scoop and make 9-10 balls that I put on a plate and put in the fridge to harden. Keep in the fridge and eat as you wish! If you are going to take these with you on a trip or to work, I recommend wrapping them up and freezing them as they will get a tad oily when they get warm.
Don’t forget to pick up your Keto Collagen+ with this link and get a $15 credit!