Whether you’re trying to boost your protein intake or add more greens to your diet, there are tons of options when it comes to supplements. Collagen and whey protein powders are two of the most popular supplements on the market, each touted to boost our overall health in one way or another. But which one really gives us more bang for our buck? Let’s take a look at what collagen and whey protein powder's are, the benefits of each supplement as well as their drawbacks, how each one compares to the other, and when it’s best to choose one over the other if you want to take supplements regularly as part of your health and fitness routine.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that’s present in your skin, bones, and tendons. Collagen is a protein that’s present in your skin, bones, and tendons. It helps give structure to connective tissue throughout your body. These proteins serve as building blocks for tissues, and they make up about 30% of all protein in our bodies. It is especially abundant in connective tissue such as ligaments, joints, skin, cartilage, and bone marrow. About 1/3 of our body's collagen is found in bone. The rest is found throughout our muscles, blood vessels, and other soft tissues (skin).
As you age, you produce less collagen—and that can lead to wrinkles and loose skin as well as weak joints, but taking collagen supplements can help boost your body’s supply of it. Studies have shown that collagen supplements can help repair damaged cartilage for people with osteoarthritis. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of collagen supplements.
Pros of Collagen Supplements
You should consider adding collagen supplements to your daily routine. Collagen peptides (or hydrolyzed collagen) are a fast-absorbing form of protein that can help improve your skin, joints, muscle development, and gut health.
Cons Of Collagen Supplements
There are some downsides and side effects of collagen supplements that you should be aware of. Remember what we said about collagen is not technically a complete protein. While it does have all 18 plus of your body’s amino acids, that your body needs but three are missing from its sequence (leucine, isoleucine, and valine). As a result, it’s important to pair collagen with another source of those particular nutrients—whether it be through food or another supplement.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is one of two types of protein found in milk; it’s water-soluble and easy to digest. Whey is a protein supplement that comprises whey protein.
Pros Of Whey Protein
It’s often used as a supplement because it's a great source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and essential amino acids that help you maintain muscle mass. It’s also high in cysteine, which supports liver function, detoxification, and glutathione production. If you aren't dairy-sensitive, whey protein powder can be an excellent addition to your diet—especially if you're working out regularly.
Cons Of Whey Protein
The biggest problem with whey protein is that it contains lactose—something you may want to avoid if you have lactose intolerance. Whey protein can actually be less effective than collagen powder if it comes from a highly-processed dairy source.
The Differences Between Collagen And Whey Protein
Both collagen and whey protein supplements can be a vital part of your diet. They are rich in nutrients and good for your health. One big difference between collagen and whey protein is that each serves a different purpose. Collagen helps repair cartilage, ligaments, tendons, skin, and bones whereas
Whey helps with muscle growth after exercise & whey is a complete form of protein supplement, whey protein will check all your boxes. If you’re looking for one product that does both things well then opt for Whey since it is more universal than Collagen products. If you have a sensitive stomach, opt for hydrolyzed collagen protein instead of an undenatured variety.
How To Find A Quality Supplement
It’s not always easy to spot a high-quality supplement in a sea of collagen powders and whey proteins. Look for a reputable brand and make sure they offer sourcing & manufacturing certificates on their website.
These certifications will show you where your ingredients came from (and if it was tested after being imported) as well as how it was made (so you know there aren't any gross chemicals). If possible, ask your supplement company these questions: How are your products tested before being sold? and What's your testing process? Quality companies should be happy to answer!
Can Collagen Or Whey Be Taken Together?
Taking collagen with protein shakes doesn’t have any adverse side effects and can even have a positive effect on your body. The key to getting the most out of collagen and whey concentrate protein is knowing when to use them and how to include them in your diet. The best time to take whey and collagen would be immediately after a workout when your muscles are most open to absorbing nutrients. If you find that you enjoy having both supplements in your routine, taking them together wouldn’t hurt but isn’t really necessary.
Pea Protein vs. Whey Protein: Which Is Better?
Pea protein is a plant-based option suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and those with dairy allergies. It is hypoallergenic and has more fiber. Whey protein is derived from milk and has a higher leucine content, aiding muscle growth. Choose based on dietary restrictions and preferences.
While collagen and whey protein do very different things for your body, there’s little evidence to suggest one is superior to another. If you’re looking for a quick recovery snack after your next workout session – try some whey protein. But if your focus is on getting more bang for your buck when it comes to nutrition in general – take advantage of collagen peptides as well!