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What’s the Difference Between Collagen Vs Collagen Peptides?

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: July 3, 2022

Contrary to popular belief, protein is not just a singular supplement but is a group of substances that are formed from various building blocks that can do certain things. While we may believe that protein is the supplement that helps us become bigger after a workout, these proteins are often associated with whey or protein. Protein is one of the three main macronutrients found throughout the body, necessary for the repair of muscles, tissues, and all cells within multiple necessary systems found within our internal selves.

In this article, we will talk about the well-known collagen protein. We will also define collagen as both a protein and a peptide, and the purported differences between the two, so that you are more informed the next time you are starting at a product that contains this useful substance. First, we will take a look at what collagen is as a whole, and then how it works in comparison to the peptide counterpart. Finally, we will talk about the benefits of having a collagen supplement you can have, inside and outside the body.

To describe the difference between the two forms of collagen, we must first understand the difference between a protein and a peptide. A protein is a complete substance that is created from different building blocks within the body, and cannot be created. This means the only way to have a full protein is to synthesize it from other materials or consume it from other sources. This is why the only way to increase your protein intake is to eat protein-heavy foods, and the only way to increase your collagen intake is to ingest foods high in collagen (connective tissues of animals, usually found in soups and cuts of meat). A peptide, on the other hand, can be created and synthesized. It also serves similar to an amino acid, in that peptides can be used to create collagen proteins. The difference is the availability and method of delivery. While proteins can only be eaten, peptides can be applied via creams/lotions/supplements, found in other substances, and created altogether. peptides are also soluble in water, whereas proteins are not, making them easier to incorporate into various methods of consumption.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundantly found protein within the body. It makes up more than just your skin; ligaments, muscles, tendons, and joints are all formed from the collagen protein. The most well-known use for collagen is to provide the dermis with the proper structure - including strengthening your bones and firming up wrinkles. Collagen comes in four different forms, all of which help a different function.

  1. The most common type of collagen is found in all connective tissues.
  2. This type is found in joints and discs - creating a cushion for impact and the proper bending and extension of these groups.
  3. Type 3 is the main component of the fibers found in the skin and blood. This type is usually added to skin care products.
  4. The least talked about form of collagen is type 4, a component of certain organs, including the eyes, inner ears, and kidneys.

Many foods contain collagen, which is usually in products that have a gelatinous substance after cooking. Gelatin is the protein substance that comes from the connective tissues of animals and is a natural source of collagen for the body. Unfortunately, this means that many vegan diets do not contain much collagen, and supplements need to be taken.

Furthermore, Vitamin C is extremely important in the synthesis and delivery of collagen, meaning eating citrus fruits and green vegetables can increase the natural formation of collagenpr within the body.

Collagen Peptides vs Collagen Protein

To describe the difference between the two forms of collagen, we must first understand the difference between a protein and a peptide. A protein is a complete substance that is created from different building blocks within the body, and cannot be created. This means the only way to have a full protein is to synthesize it from other materials or consume it from other sources. This is why the only way to increase your protein intake is to eat protein-heavy foods, and the only way to increase your collagen intake is to ingest foods high in collagen (connective tissues of animals, usually found in soups and cuts of meat).

A peptide, on the other hand, can be created and synthesized. It also serves similar to an amino acid, in that peptides can be used to create collagen proteins. The difference is the availability and method of delivery. While proteins can only be eaten, peptides can be applied via creams/lotions/supplements, found in other substances, and created altogether. peptides are also soluble in water, whereas proteins are not, making them easier to incorporate into various methods of consumption.

Benefits of Collagen

  • Skin Health:  Collagen is a fundamental substance that is found in most skin care products. This is because it helps to increase healthy skin turnover, which promotes the recovery and maintenance of the skin without impurities. Collagen also helps to tighten the skin by helping it become more firm and elastic, reducing the signs of aging. Finally, collagen increases the water retention in the skin - which helps to further rejuvenate it.
  • Joint Health: Collagen is the most abundant protein found within the body, and is also the key ingredient in all connective tissues. Furthermore, it is found abundantly in the gelatinous sections of animals, which are usually the fat and joint connective tissue. This contributes to the direct formation and recovery of human bones, and the fluidity of movement between the areas where the joints connect. This is why collagen supplements and a diet high in this substance are recommended for those suffering from osteoporosis or arthritis, or who are in danger of forming said ailment.
  • Muscle Health: Collagen may not give you the pump you are looking for in the gym, but it is the most abundant protein also found in skeletal muscles. Collagen is not a substitute for such proteins as whey and casein because it is not a complete protein, meaning it is missing certain amino acids (such as leucine) that are necessary for strength and muscle gain. Collagen, however, is extremely abundant and can be used in the recovery and prevention of muscle wasting and weakness.

FAQs

Can collagen cause acne?

Collagen is a protein and is often added in its peptide form to be absorbed through the skin in a more soluble fashion. As such, you may find this in certain skin creams. Collagen is mostly used for the tightening and cell turnover of the skin - which reduces wrinkles and increases elasticity. While it usually does not cause direct concern about acne, it also may not be the best way to cure it - as acne most often needs to be dried, not hydrated.

Can collagen cause joint pain?

Collagen is found in the connective tissue of joints and muscles, so it does not cause joint pain. It alleviates it.

Is collagen safe?

Collagen in its pure form is extremely necessary for the body and cannot be considered unsafe. Please read and follow the label of any products that contain collagen, as they may have other active ingredients that can cause side effects.


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