Calorad collagen dietary supplements stormed onto the scene around the mid to late 1990s with claims that you can “lose weight while you sleep.” The marketing claims the product can improve a multitude of ills. The magic that seems of particular interest to the athletic consumer is the claim that this product will enable one to lose fat and increase muscle mass without any real effort. We want to believe, but are we really that gullible? Are there any facts behind such claims? Let’s start out with a closer look at the mystery ingredients found in Calorad.
CALORAD’S MYSTERY INGREDIENTS?
Truth be known, there is nothing whatsoever mystical or magical about Calorad other than it is an expensive protein supplement. A breakdown of the ingredient list reveals:
- Collagen Hydrolysate—Simply hydrolyzed collagen which is nothing more than degraded protein (collagen is a bodily protein). Why not eat an egg or a slice of chicken, or a can of tuna for $1.39?
- Aloe Vera—has a laxative effect when ingested orally and can cause gastrointestinal upset in some individual. I guess frequent trips to the bathroom could theoretically cause weight loss.
- Glycerin—chemically, it is a sugar alcohol (1,2,3 propanetriol). It is probably used as a mild sweetener, as many users have mentioned Calorad’s off-taste.
- Potassium Sorbate & Methyl Paraben—Nothing more than preservatives to keep the collagen from spoiling.
- Natural Flavor, Demineralised Water—Just a couple of extras for flavor and volume, but would hardly have any effect in the body.
There doesn’t appear to be any magic here. All of these nutrients can easily be found in food that we all eat on a daily basis.
It is probable that the said weight-loss associated with Calorad stems from the fact that its users don’t eat anything before bed, three hours to be exact. Then the consumer is supposed to take the Calorad on an empty stomach right before going to sleep. Lo and behold, watch the pounds not-so-miraculously melt away.
Enter critical thinking here: Let’s say Joe Public was formerly eating 2500 calories per day, and hypothetically, 500 of those calories were regularly consumed within three hours before bed. So now he’s replacing those 500 calories with 14 calories worth of Calorad, for a deficit of 486 calories per day.
Considering about 3500 calories per pound of fat, we estimate that 486 calories (round up to 500 for simplicity purposes) multiplied by 7 days per week equals 3500 calories extra that are not being consumed. This alone would constitute a pound of fat per week. Add in exercise and the caloric deficit would be larger, consequently leading to greater weight loss. No magic here, just elementary arithmetic. If we eat less that what our bodies need, we lose weight. We certainly don’t need to spend extra money on collagen supplements.
LEAN BODY MASS INCREASES?
Believe it or not, claims persist that Calorad will actually increase muscle mass. Irrespective of what is claimed, muscle does not just spontaneously develop from consuming of a protein supplement. To take this one step further, you could inject yourself with anabolic steroids (not that I advocate that) and not gain an ounce of muscle unless you provide additional demands on the body’s musculature via resistance training. So it’s quite unlikely that taking hydrolyzed collagen supplements will cause an increase in lean body mass.
Ceding the benefit of the doubt, consuming protein while lowering calories can help attenuate the loss in muscle tissue associated with its breakdown for use in gluconeogenesis (forming glucose from not carbohydrate sources). But even so, this would not cause an increase in lean body mass. In this case, the burden of proof is on the company to provide legitimate evidence that it can, in fact, INCREASE lean body mass, and consequently the metabolic rate.
To those selling Calorad, if this proof exists please provide it for all to see. If you are convinced that it can increase lean body mass, explain how you quantify this increase. What tests have you done to prove that Calorad does indeed increase the amount of muscle? These are honest questions that deserve an answer. Is this not a claim made by Calorad and its force of distributors?
There is no formal research on Calorad that can be found in peer-reviewed journals. Why? Simply because it does not exist. Anecdotal testimonials considered to be “testing” or proof of efficacy are completely unscientific and hold no merit except for those that sell the product. And, separating cause and effect from coincidence is difficult outside of experimentally controlled conditions, so making definitive statements as to its effectiveness is inappropriate.”