Collagen vs. Collagen Peptides: What Are the Differences?
You may have seen collagen peptides listed on the ingredient label of popular supplements and skin care products, but what are peptides? And do they work to do anything for skin, gut, and joint health?
Read on to discover why some doctors, including Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, think collagen peptides may be just the tool you need to support you from the inside out.
What Is Collagen, and Why Is It Important?
Collagen might bring to mind fillers and injections, but it's actually our body's most abundant protein, keeping our skin youthful and supporting gut and joint health!
This amazing protein acts like scaffolding, connecting our skin, ligaments, tendons, joints, and bones, while also working to keep joints flexible. There are 28 types of collagen, but there are five primary types (noted by the Roman numerals I, II, III, IV, and V) that do most of the work.
Type I collagen, which makes up 80 to 90 percent of our skin's collagen, is produced by fibroblasts, cells that also create two additional structure-supporting components called elastin and hyaluronic acid. Together, collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid keep our skin firm and youthful.
Sadly, our body's collagen production starts to slow down as early as our twenties. Factors like sun exposure, alcohol, and nicotine can also speed up this decline, causing our collagen production to decrease by one to two percent per year.
But don't worry! Research shows that consuming collagen hydrolysate (aka collagen peptides) in foods or supplements can support fibroblast production, which in turn supports our body’s production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. This not only encourages a youthful skin appearance, but also promotes gut and joint health.
What Are Collagen Peptides?
Collagen peptides are small, easily digestible protein molecules derived from collagen. These peptides are obtained by breaking down collagen into shorter chains of amino acids (i.e. the building blocks for all proteins), acting as the building blocks for healthy skin, bones, and connective tissues.
Consuming collagen peptides in foods or supplements can support your body’s collagen levels, promoting firm, youthful-looking skin, supporting your joints, and aiding digestion.
With that, let’s talk about the benefits of collagen (and collagen peptides) in more detail below, starting with our skin.
Supports Younger-Looking Skin
Collagen production can be impacted by both intrinsic factors (genes and hormones) and extrinsic factors (environmental free radicals). For instance, sun damage can affect collagen in the skin, contributing to wrinkles and fine lines.
To minimize these signs of aging, it's crucial to consume collagen-rich foods like bone broth and avoid harmful factors like sun damage and nicotine. Dr. Kellyann recommends clean, grass-fed bovine collagen hydrolysate for easy digestion.
Plus, as our collagen production decreases, we might notice facial fat redistribution, fine lines, wrinkles, or sagging since we don’t get as much of that structural support collagen is crucial for. Thankfully, consuming collagen-rich foods or supplements with collagen peptides can help restore our skin's natural radiance.
Dr. Kellyann's collagen hydrolysate is made using a proprietary method that perfectly produces high-quality, pure organic beef collagen protein. This results in super-concentrated, easily digestible collagen, allowing your body to absorb collagen peptides for nourished, glowing skin.
Supports Healthy Digestion
When digested, collagen peptides release amino acids, which are the building blocks for proteins in our body. These amino acids are absorbed and distributed through our bloodstream, providing numerous benefits.
Collagen is packed with amino acids like glycine, proline, glucosamine, and glutamine, as well as minerals like chondroitin. Glycine can help support digestion by supporting the production of stomach acid, which helps break down fats and hard-to-digest foods. This can, in turn, help support regularity, overall wellness, weight loss, and even healthy cholesterol levels.
Glucosamine and chondroitin work together in the gut, promoting mucus production for smooth digestion. Another fantastic amino acid from collagen peptides is glutamine, which plays a crucial role in gut health.
Glutamine helps maintain a healthy gut biome by supporting the cells that make up your gut! For example, it can help support the growth of intestinal cells, then provide a protective effect over those cells as they carry out their jobs within the digestive tract.
So, embrace collagen for a happy, healthy gut and overall wellness!
Supports Joint Health
Because collagen is such a crucial component of our joints, decreased collagen production with age can make us feel a little less limber than we used to. Collagen, and the amino acids contained inside, keep our cartilage stretchy. When that production slows, we may feel “creaky” and stiff as we go through our day-to-day activities.
The amino acids glycine, glutamine, hydroxyproline, proline, and chondroitin, work together to keep our bones and joints lubricated and flexible.
Collagen peptides can help to support joint health and mobility, with the amino acid proline offering the bonus effect of helping to maintain the health of tissues surrounding the joints, too!
Which Is Better: Collagen or Collagen Peptides?
If you want to restore that feeling of nourished flexibility to your skin while supporting your gut and joint health, collagen peptides can help.
That said, collagen isn’t bad, it’s just that collagen peptides are more easily absorbed by the body.
Because collagen peptides are broken down into more easily digestible components, they’re more easily absorbed and can be put to some serious work! We’re such fans that we offer hydrolyzed collagen powders, shakes, and smoothies so you can have a variety of options to work rejuvenating collagen into your own unique lifestyle.
What Are Good Sources of Collagen Peptides?
We recommend Dr. Kellyann’s flavorless collagen peptide powder — it’s versatile and can be added to coffee, smoothies, shakes, and really any other recipe you can think of! It’s free of hormones and antibiotics, plus it pairs well with The Bone Broth Diet and many other dietary preferences and wellness programs.
Besides her popular peptide powder, Dr. Kellyann also offers collagen coffee, creamers, coolers, shakes, and hot cocoa. It’s never been easier to get your daily allowance of collagen in whichever convenient form you choose.
You can also add more collagen to your diet by eating foods that are naturally rich in collagen protein.
For example, vegetables like red leafy greens (think chard), and lean meats like fish can support your body’s collagen supply.
As a bonus, these foods can also contain other valuable nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, iron, and lycopene.
Collagen Peptide Recipe Ideas
Incorporating flavorless collagen peptide powder into your daily routine is a breeze with these tasty, convenient recipes. Get creative with these delightful ideas:
- Smoothie Boost: Supercharge your morning smoothie with a scoop of collagen peptide powder. Blend it with your favorite fruits, greens, and a liquid base like almond milk for a nutritious, energizing start to the day.
- Protein Pancakes: Mix collagen powder into your pancake batter for a protein-packed breakfast. Combine gluten-free oats, eggs, mashed bananas, and a scoop of collagen powder for a gluten-free, delicious treat.
- Collagen Coffee: Elevate your daily coffee or tea by stirring in collagen powder for a healthy, frothy beverage. This seamless addition will keep your skin glowing and your joints strong! Or, you can save yourself the prep time with our Collagen Coffee.
- Overnight Oats: Prepare a jar of overnight oats by combining rolled oats, yogurt, milk, chia seeds, honey, and collagen powder. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy a nutritious breakfast on-the-go!
- Chia Seed Pudding: Create a delightful chia seed pudding with coconut milk, chia seeds, honey, and collagen powder. Let it set overnight for a creamy, protein-rich snack or dessert.
- Energy Bites: Make no-bake energy bites with a mix of oats, nut butter, honey, and collagen powder. Roll them into bite-sized balls for a portable, healthy snack.
- Veggie Dip: Whip up a delicious veggie dip by blending Greek yogurt, herbs, and collagen powder. Enjoy with your favorite raw veggies for a protein-packed snack.
- Collagen-Infused Nut Butter: Blend your favorite nut butter with collagen powder for an upgraded spread. Use it on toast, smoothie bowls, or as a dip for fruit.
- Healthy Baked Goods: Add collagen powder to your favorite recipes for muffins, cookies, or brownies. This sneaky addition will boost protein content without compromising flavor!
Get inspired by these easy recipes and enjoy the rejuvenating power of collagen peptides in your everyday meals and snacks!
The Bottom Line
Taking charge of your health and wellness has never been easier. Restoring a youthful appearance no longer requires a trip to the plastic surgeon's office — it can start right from your own kitchen with a few tasty, well-selected ingredients.
Support your body’s collagen levels by adding a scoop of Dr. Kellyann’s Flavorless Collagen Peptide Powder to your favorite meal today.
Skin Collagen Through the Lifestages: Importance For Skin Health and Beauty | Plastic and Aesthetic Research
Listing of Vitamins | Harvard Health Publishing
Everything You Should Know About Collagen Peptides | The Cleveland Clinic
24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain | National Library of Medicine
Role of Collagen Hydrolysate in Bone and Joint Disease | National Library of Medicine
Roles of dietary glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline in collagen synthesis and animal growth | National Library of Medicine
Collagen | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
The Role of Glutamine in the Complex Interaction between Gut Microbiota and Health: A Narrative Review | National Library of Medicine
Glutamine Restores Tight Junction Protein Claudin-1 Expression in Colonic Mucosa of Patients With Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome | National Library of Medicine