You've most likely heard the terms "collagen" and "collagen peptides" before. We understand how confusing it can get hearing these terms thrown around without anyone actually explaining what they mean.
A lot of people will say collagen is good for you but they never really explain why or how. That's why most people end up feeling skeptical about it, even though it is scientifically proven to be beneficial for our bodies.
Luckily, we're here to help you understand what exactly collagen is, what the difference between collagen and collagen peptides is, what they do to our bodies, and why they're such a big deal in the beauty and health industry these days.
So get ready to put on your thinking hats because we're about to get a little scientific in here!
What is collagen?
The word collagen came from the Greek word "kólla" which directly translates to "glue". It was given this name because collagen is a protein in our body that is responsible for keeping our bones, skin, and connective tissues together—it's basically the glue that holds everything in our body together.
It is the most abundant protein in our body and might even be considered the most important because, without it, our bodies would not have structure.
Collagen is made of amino acids—all proteins are—but collagen specifically is primarily made of these three amino acids called: proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine.
Each protein in our body is made from a long chain of amino acids. We have 20 different amino acids in our body and the specific order of these amino acids is what defines the function of each protein.
It takes three very long and tightly twisted chains of amino acids to form collagen. Making it strong enough to build the structure of our body but is difficult to break down during digestion. That is why in its full-length and unhydrolyzed form, collagen is indigestible.
There are 16 types of collagen in our body, but only three are the most researched:
Type 1 Collagen
Type 1 collagen is the most common collagen found in our bodies. It is a major building block for our skin, hair, nails, tendons, organs, and bones.
It also starts to decline by the time we reach 25 years old. That is why when this type of collagen starts to decline, our skin begins to sag, our hair gets thinner, and our nails become more brittle.
Type 2 Collagen
Type 2 collagen is mainly responsible for our cartilages and our skeletal system. It is less prevalent in our body as compared to Type 1 and 3 collagen but is still very important. If you want to protect your joints you need more Type 2 collagen in your diet.
Type 3 Collagen
Type 3 collagen is the collagen found in our bone marrow. It's also usually found alongside Type 1 collagen. Some people even consider Type 1 and Type 3 collagen as one and the same. You can find a lot of Type 1 and 3 collagen in marine collagen, mainly in fish skin.
What are collagen peptides?
Remember when we said collagen in its full-length form cannot be digested? Well, scientists just thought that it would be a shame if all the benefits of collagen went to waste because our bodies couldn't digest it.
And what happens if our collagen starts to decline and we can't take it as a supplement? What happens to our bones, skin, and connective tissues? That's where collagen peptides come in.
Collagen peptides are just shorter chains of protein that are derived from collagen. They still have the same three amino acids and the same functions but since they're shorter than collagen have different properties.
The best part? Unlike collagen, collagen peptides are bioactive and can actually be taken orally as a supplement. So once they've been digested the collagen peptides travel throughout your body where they can start building and rebuilding connective tissues, bones, joints, and skin. They can even be used as a source of energy.
You can also find lots of Type 1 and Type 3 collagen in collagen peptides. So you don't have to worry about sagging skin, brittle nails, and thinning hair even after your 25th birthday.
What is hydrolyzed collagen?
When we talk about collagen and collagen peptides another term also comes to mind and that's hydrolyzed collagen? We've talked about the difference between collagen and collagen peptides, but what's the difference between collagen and hydrolyzed collagen?
Hydrolyzed collagen or collagen hydrolysate is just another term for collagen peptides. It's called hydrolyzed collagen because collagen must undergo a process of hydrolysis to become hydrolyzed collagen, otherwise known as collagen peptides.
The process of hydrolysis occurs when the molecules of collagen are broken down with water. Hence the name hydrolysis because in Greek "hydro" means water and "lysis" means "to unbind".
This process of unbinding the collagen molecules with water is actually a softening process that allows us to extract the collagen peptides from the full-length collagen.
Most hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides are in powdered form. This is actually great because you can add it to pretty much anything you eat or drink.
You can sprinkle it in on your meals, blend it in a smoothie, put it in some cookies, or eat it as is. Some hydrolyzed collagen also comes in capsule form so you can take it as a vitamin after a meal.
Hydrolyzed collagen is also the collagen you'll find in most products advertising to have collagen in them — and yes, they work!
What are the benefits of Collagen?
Now that we've differentiated collagen from collagen peptides and collagen peptides from hydrolyzed collagen, we can now move on to the most important part of our article. Understanding the benefits of collagen and collagen peptides to our health:
As we've mentioned before, collagen plays a big role in strengthening the bonds of our skin. Studies have found that the more collagen decreases in our bodies the more wrinkles we get and the drier our skin feels1.
The good thing is, several studies have also proven that taking collagen supplements or collagen peptides does help in reducing wrinkles and hydrating our skin2 So even as our natural collagen levels decline, we can still take supplements to help repair our skin.
One study in 2013 found that women who took supplements with at least 2.5 to 5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides for 8 weeks straight did in fact have more hydrated skin and showed a significant increase in skin elasticity than women who didn't take collagen peptides3. It was also proven not to be a placebo effect.
There was another study conducted in 2015 that found women who mixed collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen into their drinks and drank it for 12 weeks straight also had fewer wrinkles, better skin elasticity, and hydrated skin as compared to women that didn't4.
Taking collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen as a supplement does not only help rebuild the damage that our declining collagen has caused. It even helps in promoting further production of our natural collagen levels and the production of other proteins such as elastin and fibrillin that are also responsible for strengthening our skin.
Collagen may be the nearest thing we have to fight aging or at least the physical effects of aging.
Bone & Joints
Collagen is also the main component of our bones and joints5. As we get older and our natural collagen declines, the risk of us getting joint and bone problems such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis increases.
But just as collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen helped in increasing skin health, so did it help in relieving joint pain and increasing bone density6. Studies actually concluded that it not only relieved the pain and inflammation but improved the overall symptoms of osteoarthritis.
A study conducted on 73 athletes back in 2008 found that those who consumed 10 grams of collagen peptides for 24 weeks were able to lessen the amount of joint pain they had as compared to those who didn't7.
Another study conducted in 2012 discovered that adults who took only 2 grams of collagen peptides every day for 70 days straight also had a significant decrease in joint pain and inflammation and had better physical performance than those who didn't take the collagen peptides8.
Although researchers found that 8 to 12 grams of hydrolyzed collagen are more ideal to get rid of joint pain. The previous study shows that even as little as 2 grams of hydrolyzed collagen is enough to make a big difference.
As for studies on bone density, a study in 2014 comparing two groups of women, one taking 5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen combined with calcium, and another group of women taking only calcium showed that the women taking the combination of both collagen and calcium had better bone density than the ones that only took calcium9.
Further studies in 2018 showed that 66 women that took a mere 5 grams of collagen for a year showed a 7% increase in their bone density as compared to women that didn't consume collagen10.
It's common knowledge that protein is important in building and repairing muscle. One to 10% of the protein responsible for repairing muscle is actually collagen11.
A lot of gym supplements and protein shakes actually include large amounts of collagen in them because of their ability to help rebuild muscle growth. They're even used by bodybuilders to help get in shape for competitions.
Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements has helped people with sarcopenia—the loss of muscle due to age— repair and even boost their muscle growth12.
Another study conducted on skinny or less muscular men who were asked to take 15 grams of collagen while simultaneously participating in an exercise program was found to have a significant increase in muscle growth than men who didn't take collagen13.
Other Health Benefits
It's plain to see that collagen is no hoax. Scientists and researchers have studied the effects of collagen and it clearly shows that it has several benefits to our skin, bones, joints, and muscles. But the benefits don't stop there.
Other studies have proven that collagen may also improve heart health. Others also claim that collagen helps with gut health and even promotes weight loss.
Collagen has been proven to play a significant role in providing structure to our arteries. Our arteries are responsible for carrying the blood from our heart to the rest of our bodies.
Studies have shown that without enough collagen in our bodies our arteries may weaken14 and may lead to life-threatening conditions such as atherosclerosis which may result in heart attacks or strokes.
Researchers found that healthy adults who consumed 16 grams of collagen a day for 6 months had significantly improved their atherosclerosis as compared to when they weren't taking collagen15. It even showed that collagen had increased the amount of good cholesterol in their system which also helps in improving heart conditions such as atherosclerosis.
So - Is There Any Difference Between Super Collagen and Collagen Peptides?
In conclusion, there is no difference between collagen peptides and super collagen. These terms are used interchangeably to describe a hydrolyzed form of collagen - one that is more digestible and usable by our bodies.
But, no matter what you refer to this powerful protein as, one thing is certain - you need the very best of the best.
Where can you get the best collagen supplements?
Finally, convinced that collagen can improve your beauty and health? If you're wondering where you can get some of the best collagen supplements there's really only one place to go and that's Obvi, obviously!
Obvi - The #1 Collagen Supplements Online!
Whether it's weight loss, skincare, immunity support, muscle growth, or just overall health improvement that you're looking for. Obvi has collagen supplements for your every concern!
We have collagen in all kinds of forms, from powdered hydrolyzed collagen to capsules, to collagen whey protein and protein bars. We have it all! And they aren't just your typical collagen supplements. We offer them in a variety of fun and tasty flavors.
Try our Best Selling Super Collagen Protein Powders in Cocoa Cereal, Fruity Cereal, and Cinnamon Cereal. They taste just like your favorite breakfast snack but without all the crazy sugar content.
Instead, they're jam-packed with healthy nutrients such as Biotin B7, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin E.
These ingredients not only act as antioxidants but work together with the collagen peptides to further boost the natural production of collagen in our bodies.
This is what sets aside normal collagen peptide supplements from our Super Collagen.
Our customers love our Super Collagen Protein Powders. We have sold over 2,000,000 servings!
If you're curious to try out what the collagen buzz is all about, visit our website and grab one of our affordable and effective Top-Selling Bundles or build your own collagen bundle to fit your personal goals!
Looking for other collagen supplements? We've got all kinds of options for you, including: