It seems like everywhere you look, individuals are espousing the benefits of protein. For every recommendation that you increase the nutrient in your diet, you see different advice about what forms of protein are best. Collagen and whey are two of the most frequently discussed options, but which one is better? Read on for a complete comparison of collagen protein vs. whey protein and for tips on selecting the right option for your health and nutritional needs.
What Is Protein?
Protein is present in almost every tissue in your body, making up the bones, hair, skin, and muscles. Protein is also needed to produce enzymes that fuel chemical reactions required to perform vital processes to the proper functioning of the body. Amino acids serve as the building blocks for protein, with 20 needed to produce the various proteins in the body. Your body can manufacture eleven amino acids on its own, but there are nine that you can only get from the food you eat. These nine are called the essential amino acids and include:
What Is Collagen Protein Powder?
Collagen is a protein found in your muscles, bones, joints and skin. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body. Most collagen protein powder comes from cowhide or different marine sources.
Benefits of Collagen Protein
Collagen contains the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Taking a collagen protein powder helps to increase levels of these nutrients in the body. Individuals use collagen protein powder to support the production of collagen. Potential benefits of collagen powder include:
- Promoting stronger muscles and bones
- Minimizing signs of aging and restoring skin elasticity
- Supporting joint health by assisting with the production of cartilage
What Is Whey Protein Powder?
Whey is not a substance found in your body. Instead, it is a food produced from cow's milk.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Whey protein contains three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These three nutrients are sometimes referred to as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Whey protein contains BCAAs, and the benefits may include:
- Reduced risk of amino acid deficiency
- Enhanced results from workouts
- Improved wound healing
Collagen vs. Whey: Which Should You Choose?
Is collagen better than whey or vice versa? There isn't a single answer. Which one is right for your needs depends on several factors, including:
- Your Goals. Start by considering what you want to gain from a supplement. For anti-aging benefits, joint health, and maintaining strong bones, collagen is the better choice. If you are hoping to support your efforts at the gym or need to increase your supply of essential amino acids, a whey powder will better suit your needs.
- Your Diet. If you are lactose intolerant, whey protein powder may trigger unpleasant symptoms. Vegetarians need to steer clear of collagen because it is animal-derived.
- Your Health Needs. As you compare collagen vs. whey, don't forget to discuss your nutritional needs with your medical provider. They can discuss collagen, whey, and other forms of protein with you to help you determine what type of supplement is right for your unique health and wellness needs.
Collagen is a better choice for overall-protein intake. And whey makes a better fit for the highly active lifestyle.
Tips for Choosing a Collagen Protein Supplement
If you determine that collagen protein is the right option for your supplementation needs, keep these tips in mind:
- Compare the number of peptides in products. Peptides are the individual units of proteins, and some collagen powders contain more than others. Also note that peptide concentration in rarely called out on a product label. This is because most collagen supplements are pretty generic, meaning that peptide concentration is not very influential. Ensure that the supplement you choose has clear information about peptide content and the amount of protein you get per serving, Body Kitchen is an excellent example of such brands. A higher number of peptides can lead to better absorption of the protein for enhanced results.
- Look for supporting ingredients. The best collagen powder supplements contain ingredients that help the actions of the protein. For example, Body Kitchen Original Body Boost Collagen Powder features black currant extract, which has been shown to assist with the absorption of collagen.
- Consider the source. The finest quality sources give you the highest quality supplements. Choosing a product with a mix of both bovine and fish peptides can give you a complete protein profile. Grass-fed bovine hide collagen also tends to be superior to conventional hide due to the care and feeding of the cows.
- Follow the dosing instructions. No matter which collagen powder you select, always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer unless your medical provider gives you different advice.
- Factor in your dietary needs. If you have special dietary concerns, you'll want to ensure that you pick a protein powder in line with those needs. Body Kitchen Original Body Boost Collagen Powder is gluten-free and complies with keto and paleo diets.