By Dr. Josh Axe
Collagen has become a popular ingredient in sports supplements, skin serums and healthy aging formulations alike. However, a quick stroll through the supplement section of your favorite health store can easily leave you feeling confused when it comes to choosing an option that’s right for you.
From gelatin to hydrolyzed collagen to collagen peptides, there are tons of different collagen varieties out there, making it challenging to know which ones may be worth the price tag.
So what’s the difference between hydrolyzed collagen vs. collagen peptides, and which is best?
In this article, we’ll cover several important things to consider when choosing a collagen supplement — including whether a formula with added botanicals may suit you best, plus why it’s recommended that you opt for collagen that’s been “hydrolyzed” in order to support absorption.
What Are Collagen Peptides?
Considered the most abundant type of protein in the human body, collagen can be found throughout connective tissues including the skin, muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and digestive system.
Not only does collagen help to hold the body together, but it also supports an overall healthy gut, skin, hair, nails and joints.
Collagen peptides are small units of protein that are derived from animal products. They are also referred to as hydrolyzed collagen or collagen hydrolysate. Many of the best collagen peptide supplements are sourced from chicken, bovine, fish and/or eggshell membrane collagen.
The human body makes its own collagen; however, as you get older, collagen production starts to naturally slow down. Several lifestyle factors can also cause collagen levels to be affected, including smoking, excessive sun exposure and an unhealthy diet.
In addition to an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, this is where collagen peptides powder can come in — these supplements help to replenish levels of amino acids that your body needs to create and maintain its healthy collagen levels.
Hydrolyzed collagen peptides are already broken down so they are generally easily absorbed, allowing the amino acids to go to work to support an overall healthy you.
The new Multi Collagen Protein formulation is powered by a clinically studied fermented collagen, which is a first-of-its-kind that results in smaller collagen peptides for faster, easier and more beneficial absorption.
You now know that collagen peptides provide you with amino acids (the “building blocks of protein”). But what do collagen peptides do exactly? Collagen peptides overall benefits can include:
1. Supporting Gut Health
Collagen is an important contributor to gut health because it helps to form and maintain the gut lining. By supporting gut lining integrity, collagen protein can contribute to healthy nutrient absorption, elimination, general digestive health and overall healthy immune system function.
In fact, the new Multi Collagen Protein formula is the only one with a collagen ingredient and a probiotic ingredient.
2. Supporting Healthy Joints and Joint Comfort/Mobility
Healthy joints also are supported by collagen, since the amino acids in this protein are responsible for helping to maintain healthy connective tissues including cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
Ancient Nutrition's new Multi Collagen Protein is actually proven to do the following:
- Reduces knee stiffness in a week†
- Rapidly reduces joint discomfort in 7 days†
- Improves stiffness and knee function at 30 days†
- Helps reduce joint cartilage breakdown resulting from normal wear and tear†
3. Supporting Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails
Collagen is a major component of the hair, skin and nails, so it should come as no surprise that regularly and consistently adding a serving of collagen peptides powder to your diet over time can be beneficial for your appearance.
In fact, collagen peptides make a great addition to a natural beauty routine and, depending on the collagen formulation, can be used to promote healthy skin by supporting skin elasticity and hydration, plus healthy nails and healthy hair.
Moreover, the new Multi Collagen Protein formula is now clinically proven to accomplish the following …
- Improves the appearance of crow's feet after 28 days and skin tone after 8 weeks†
- Promotes healthy hair thickness and growth while reducing hair breakage†
4. Improves Exercise Recovery
Again, the only collagen protein with clinically studied ingredients even does the following:
- Provides rapid relief for exercise-induced joint discomfort (day 1) and stiffness (day 5) immediately following exercise†
- Improves exercise recovery by 53%†
- Helps to protect joint cartilage from breakdown due to exercise†
- Helps reduce joint stiffness and joint discomfort resulting from exercise†
Collagen Peptides Supplements
Collagen protein can be hard to get in high amounts from your diet alone, but powder supplements are a quick and convenient way to take advantage of the many potential perks of this protein.
You’ll find collagen peptides in supplements including hydrolyzed collagen protein powder and collagen capsules.
Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein is one collagen product featuring collagen peptides that are sourced from four different food sources: grass-fed and pasture-raised, cage-free and cruelty-free sources including chicken, bovine, fish/marine and eggshell membrane collagen. The new formula includes 100 percent of adults’ daily recommended intake of vitamin C, along with the soil-based probiotic Bacillus coagulans. The new formula is also now available in vanilla and chocolate.
Our food-based formula features five different types of collagen (Type I, Type II, as well as Types III, V and X) and is made without fillers, sweeteners, artificial ingredients and GMO ingredients. Plus, the fact that it’s hydrolyzed means that it’s ready for your body to use and absorb.
Collagen peptides are also found in a number of other Ancient Nutrition products, including:
- Keto Collagen — Keto Collagen is the first-of-its-kind keto collagen protein powder created specifically for those following the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. It provides not only 18 grams of collagen protein per serving, but also performance fats in the form of MCTs which support natural ketone production.
- Multi Collagen Capsules — For those looking for a potent and convenient alternative to collagen peptides powder, fermented Multi Collagen Capsules are a great choice. These capsules provide 1.5 grams of potent collagen per serving; by fermenting collagen and using it in the clinically studied formula, we’ve been able to make the benefits of collagen peptides up to 20x greater by weight than typical hydrolyzed collagen peptides powder. These capsules, which can be taken any time of day, also feature a botanical blend to boost energy and fight fatigue.
- Bone Broth Protein Salted Caramel — Bone Broth Protein powder offers many of the same benefits as real bone broth, only it’s highly convenient. This delicious flavor is sweetened with stevia, is low in carbs and has no added sugar, and features collagen types I and III to support healthy joints, ligaments, tendons and more. BBP also contains 20 grams of protein per serving and 19 amino acids.
- Multi Collagen Protein Rest + Recovery — With 13 grams of collagen peptides per serving, along with plant extracts such as tart cherry that have been traditionally used for rest and recovery, this formula is ideal for athletes and active adults. It can help support muscle recovery and strength, especially post-workout, and also contains ashwagandha to promote restful sleep and a calm, relaxed state of mind.
- Multi Collagen Protein Gut Restore — Not only does our Gut Restore formula feature 5 types of collagen, but it also uniquely contains 1 billion CFUs of soil-based organism (SBO) probiotics to help promote healthy gut microflora, reduce occasional bloating and support healthy skin.
- Multi Collagen Protein Joint + Tissue — If you’re looking for support when it comes to post-exercise recovery and help reduce discomfort, this is the supplement for you. It features 11 grams of collagen per serving along with calcium fructoborate that has been clinically studied to support joint comfort. It can help promote overall joint health, flexibility, mobility and range of motion within as little as one week of use.
How to Use
How often should you take collagen peptides? And what’s the recommended serving?
In order to obtain the benefits of collagen peptides, it’s recommended that most adults take at least about 10 grams of collagen daily, which can be split into 2 divided servings or taken at once.
Lower doses of about 3 to 5 grams per day may also be supportive of skin health, while higher servings of about 20 to 30 grams may be best for supporting joint health, so the amount you take really depends on your goals. And if you choose to take fermented collagen capsules, you can reap the benefits of collagen by taking as little as 1.5 grams daily.
Collagen peptide powder can be taken every day, either with or without other foods. Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein Pure flavor is unflavored, so it’s very easy to enjoy any time of day, such as by adding a scoop to coffee, oatmeal, a shake, and many other recipes such as pancakes, muffins, etc.
Eating a nutrient-dense diet that is high in collagen-boosting foods — such as those that contain vitamin C, copper, manganese and antioxidants — is also helpful for getting the most benefits when using the best collagen peptide supplements.
Is it safe to take collagen peptides? For most adults, collagen supplements are generally very safe and well-tolerated. Considering collagen peptides are typically gluten-free and made without dairy, soy and nuts and artificial sweeteners, they are unlikely to cause side effects when taken in recommended amounts.
Still, like other supplements, it’s important to pay close attention to the ingredients list of the supplement you choose, this way you select a high-quality product made with trustworthy ingredients.
Choosing a product made with pure hydrolyzed collagen peptides can help ensure you’re getting the most for your money. Ideally, the best collagen peptides supplements should be purchased from reputable retailers and made from sources that are made without fillers, antibiotics and artificial ingredients.
You should also be sure to check with your healthcare provider before adding collagen or other supplements to your routine, especially if you take daily medications.
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat Dirt, Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine, Keto Diet, Collagen Diet and Ancient Remedies.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease