Everything you have ever wanted to know about collagen and how you can utilise it as part of your daily routine for stronger hair, supplier skin, stronger joints and bones plus improved gut health.
Protein is one of the most popular supplements in the world of health and fitness and for those following a Keto, Paleo or Carnivore lifestyle collagen is key. But how is collagen different to your regular protein powder? And why is it so important to try and get enough collagen in your diet? We’re here to answer all your questions and explain the amazing benefits of collagen in one simple guide! Here goes…
What is Collagen protein anyway?
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in the body, often dubbed the ‘glue that holds us together’ because it literally makes up the connective tissues, joints, tendons and ligaments that support the skeleton and keeps us in one piece! Your body is made up of roughly 30% protein and within this protein, collagen makes up 90% of it. So, it really is a big part of us!
What is the difference between Collagen powder and protein powder?
Protein powders can come from a whole host of different sources, such as plant protein, whey protein or collagen itself.
As these proteins come from different sources, they each have their own makeup of amino acids and bioavailability.
Collagen contains three amino acids that are lacking in whey or plant protein. These amino acids are glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. By consuming collagen, you are getting all of the amino acids your body needs to properly build and maintain your collagen in your body.
Our Hunter & Gather collagen contains 18 amino acids, 8 of which are essential for human health.
Can’t I get Collagen from normal food?
Your body makes its own collagen using amino acids from the diet, which are produced when dietary protein is metabolised. Without certain amino acids however, your body will struggle to make enough collagen.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate the whole of the animal, utilising everything from nose to tail rather than just taking the prime cuts as we do in the modern world. So, they made use of bone marrow, cartilage and connective tissues that we miss out on today.
In the Western diet, however, collagen intake is low because we tend to stick to a few main cuts of the animal and swerve anything other than muscle meat – with many of us favouring something that has been skinned, deboned and "tidied" before being packaged.
In light of this, there are some great ways to increase your collagen intake with normal diet by taking an ancestral approach and eating a real food diet. You can boost your collagen intake with normal food by eating more organ meats, making bone broth and using things like oxtail, ears and trotters.
But unless you’re chowing down on these every day, chances are you’ll struggle to get an optimal amount of collagen with diet alone.
So, how can I get enough Collagen?
If diet alone isn’t going to cut the mustard when it comes to smashing your collagen intake then the problem is worsened when you consider the fact that our natural collagen production slows down as we age.
In fact, if you’re anywhere upwards of 30 then your body’s collagen production won’t be what it was. In order to fill this gap, it takes a whole lot of organ meats washed down with bone broth – or a more convenient source of collagen!
That’s where supplements come in, if you don’t like preparing, cooking or eating organ meats – or just find it inconvenient to do so as often as is best – then collagen supplements are a reliable, easy way to top up your levels and provide a safety net for your diet.
What is hydrolysed Collagen or peptides?
You may have heard the term peptides or hydrolysed or even hydrolyzed collagen supplements and wondered what the hell this means. Having a collagen source that has been hydrolysed into peptides is a great thing and it is what you should be looking for in a supplement.
Our Hunter & Gather collagen supplement is made by breaking down full-length collagen molecules through a process called hydrolysis, this makes them easier to digest and gets them to where they’re needed quicker compared with collagen from normal food. This is a natural enzymatic process and does not require harsh hexane chemicals.
Collagen Peptide supplements provide the body with a source of collagen that is extremely bioavailable, so they can start to work their magic as soon as they’re ingested.
What are the benefits of using Collagen peptides?
Lots of protein supplements are geared toward the fitness industry, conjuring up images of bulging biceps and washboard abs! But collagen is beneficial for many different parts of the body – as well as for strength and stamina. This makes it a great addition to any healthy lifestyle. Let’s take a look…
- Promotes Gut Health – Collagen is a key structural protein for digestive organs, helping to prevent leaky gut syndrome, absorb nutrients fully and reduce the risk of digestive conditions. Looking after your gut supports overall physical and mental health so this is a super important benefit of increasing your collagen intake.
- Combats the Visible Signs of Ageing – Getting enough collagen helps to keep your skin plump, firm and wrinkle-free – helping to reduce the visible signs of ageing. It also helps to create strong nails and glossy hair for a more youthful appearance.
- Improves Joint and Bone Health – Collagen replenishes, restores and strengthens joints and bones. Supplementing the diet with collagen has been shown to increase bone strength, promote healthy bone turnover and reduce the impact of ageing on our skeleton.
- Supports Fitness and Athletic Performance – Aside from all the amazing benefits discussed so far, collagen is at heart a protein powder. So, it still has the muscle strengthening, endurance-boosting and recovery-enhancing effects of a quality protein supplement.
Where do Collagen peptides come from?
Collagen peptides currently come from animal sources only, you can find collagen from the hide of cattle (known as Bovine collagen), from the skin and scales of fish (marine) or even chicken.
When looking out for a collagen supplement be sure that you understand where the animals have come from, as not all collagen is the same. Opt for pasture-raised, European cattle if opting for bovine and check that there is no antibiotics or hormones used - as well as no GMO feeds.
With Marine Collagen, ensure that the fish are wild-caught and sustainably caught rather than farmed fish.
If the collagen brand cannot provide you with information of where the cattle, chicken or fish are from - move on and choose a company that can.
What does MG of collagen mean?
This is a bit of a marketing term used in the collagen industry, however, it can be helpful to understand how much collagen is actually in a serving of a product.
If you are using a pure source of collagen, like Hunter & Gather, the mg of collagen will be the same as the serving size. I.e 13g of collagen powder is the same as 13,000mg - it's just shown as mg instead of g. So in essence, if one company says there is 10,000mg per 10g serve and another company says there is 20,000mg of collagen per 20g serve - there is actually the same amount of collagen per gram in both it's just a bigger serving on the 20,000mg one. Mind = blown!
Where this comes in useful is when you are comparing tablets or blends of collagen, if a 10g serving size says there is only 1000mg of collagen, then you can see that there is only 10% collagen in this tablet/sachet. The remaining grammage will be made up of the additional bulkers, fillers or ingredients.
What are the different types of Collagen?
Have you heard people asking, but what type is your collagen protein? Well, collagen can come in lot's of different types but the main ones are type 1, type 2, type 3, type 4 and type 5 - or you may see this written at type I, type II, type III etc.
Collagen tablets, capsules or sachets vs collagen powder
You will find that collagen can come in many forms, such as liquid sachets, powders or tablets. Our personal preference is powder format as with a pure collagen powder you are getting 100% collagen - it's also unflavoured so you can add to your tea, coffee, water, smoothies or even yoghurt.
With the sachets or tablets, you will find most commonly other added ingredients or flavours.
In tablets, you will often find that the collagen levels are relatively low (1,200 mg of collagen per serving for example), whereas with pure powdered collagen this will be over 10x that amount. 1 serving of Hunter & Gather bovine collagen is 13,000 mg of collagen. A big difference!
Look out for the word "bulking agent" or filler, thickener, maltodextrin, rice powder - these are all cheap fillers, to bulk out the product to make you think you are getting a larger dosage than you actually are.
How to use Collagen peptide powder
Our 100% Pure Bovine Collagen Peptides are entirely odourless and flavourless, so are easily added to most food and drinks you’re eating anyway!
The powder dissolves easily into hot and cold drinks, soups, smoothies, sauces and meals – whatever takes your fancy!
Just 1-2 tablespoons of collagen peptides each day is enough to top up your levels and keep on top of the anti-collagen ageing effect.
Hunter & Gather 100% Pure Bovine Collagen Peptides
- Sourced from Bovine – We source our collagen solely from Europea cattle which are pasture-raised and finished, their diet is 100% GMO free and they are also free from antibiotics and hormones too.
- Purity is Priority – Our Collagen Peptides are produced using an innovative alkaline, water-based process without the use of solvents, heavy metals or other contaminants
- Environmentally Friendly – 100% Plastic-free and compostable packaging
- Naturally Bioactive - With a massive >90% protein content, being a Type 1 & 3 collagen, our peptides are a great source of like for like collagen as is found in human bones and skin
- Allergen Free - Completely free from the top 14 allergens including gluten, soy, dairy and nuts and contains absolutely no sugars, artificial flavours or thickeners
Learn more about Collagen peptides
Last but not least, grab your very own 100% Pure Bovine Collagen Peptides HERE.
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.