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.
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.
Ancient Nutrition's 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.
Meanwhile, our new Collagen Peptides supplement features hydrolyzed and fermented eggshell membrane and bovine collagen, which provides support for healthy hair, skin, nails, joints and gut.
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.
- 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 and Collagen Peptides formulas 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
- Supports hair growth
- Promotes healthy hair thickness, growth with a reduction in hair breakage
- Promotes healthy nails
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.
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, as well as capsules.
Ancient Nutrition's Collagen Peptide products are made from two sources: clinically studied fermented eggshell membrane collagen, along with bovine collagen. The unflavored formula provides 18 grams of protein per 2 scoop serving (20 grams of collagen).
Collagen Peptides are also available in vanilla flavor and orange, aka Collagen Peptides Protein Powder Immune that supports a healthy immune system and healthy digestion thanks to the addition of a clinically studied SBO probiotic strain called Bacillus subtilis. There's also tablets as an option.
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 or Collagen Peptides Unflavored flavor is, yes, 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.