Whey Protein Vs Collagen

Whey Protein Vs Collagen Protein: Which is Right for You?

With so many protein supplements on the market, deciding which one is the finest may be a real challenge. This is especially true if you’re trying to decide between collagen and whey protein supplements. On the one hand, collagen has become extremely popular in recent years due to its long list of advantages; on the other hand, whey is the original protein supplement.

In the end, the best option is determined by your own objectives and what you want to receive out of supplementary protein. To do so, you’ll need to know the advantages and disadvantages of collagen vs. whey, as well as how they differ.

What Is Collagen Protein?

Whey Protein Vs Collagen

Collagen is a fibrous, structural protein found in abundance in all animals, including humans. The name “collagen” comes from a Greek word that means “glue.” It got its name from the fact that when cooked in water, it turns into soluble gelatin.

Collagen is a protein that is found in the bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It has a significant impact on the condition of your hair, skin, and nails. Collagen, like other protein structures, is made up of amino acids. Collagen is made up of 19 amino acids, eight of which are essential. Glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine are the primary amino acids that make up collagen.

Glycine is a non-essential amino acid that has been discovered to improve the health and vigor of both people and animals. It is the “most important and simple, non-essential amino acid in humans…”

The amino acid arginine is a semi-essential one. This implies that, despite the fact that it is created and synthesized by the body, it is occasionally required from the food (especially when the body is under regular stress, such as athletics and bodybuilding). As a result, it’s a popular supplement among fitness experts. Arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide, which is necessary for blood flow to active muscles and blood pressure regulation. It also aids in the healing of wounds and injuries.

Out of all the amino acids, proline and hydroxyproline are the most important for whole-body protein synthesis. This means that proline must be present in order for your body to correctly utilise protein for muscle development and recovery. Proline is also important in the healing of wounds and injuries. Proline is an amino acid that is regarded semi-essential.

Collagen protein’s complicated triple-helical structure is made up of these three amino acids, as well as eight necessary amino acids and seven non-essential amino acids. A collagen molecule includes 1000 of these amino acids on average.

Collagen molecules are found in the following parts of the human body:

  • The human body contains 30% of total protein.
  • A ligament’s proteins make up 65-80% of its total mass.
  • A tendon’s proteins account for 70% of its total mass.
  • Bones contain 60% of the proteins in the body.

Animal collagen is used to make collagen protein supplements. Yes, this means there are no vegan collagen alternatives. Collagen is mostly derived from the skins and connective tissues of cows. These contain a lot of high-quality collagen and help farmers practice sustainable farming by allowing them to use the entire cow.

What Is Whey Protein?

One of the two primary proteins contained in milk is whey (the other being casein). When making cheese, milk fat coagulates and whey is left behind. Whey is the liquid coating that forms at the top of a tub of yogurt when you open it. Until it was found that whey is an useful source of protein and nourishment, cheesemakers used to discard it after manufacturing cheese.

Whey is popular because it includes all nine necessary amino acids and contains 20 amino acids, making it a complete protein source.

Essential amino acids are not produced by the body and must be received from dietary sources. Among the necessary amino acids are:

  • Histidine: It helps to protect the brain system, aids in immunological response, promotes digestion and sexual function, and regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
  • Isoleucine: It is a high-concentration amino acid found in muscle tissue that helps with energy generation and immunological function.
  • Leucine: It is important for protein synthesis and muscle repair, as well as wound healing.
  • Lysine: It increases calcium absorption, stimulates collagen development, and is essential for protein synthesis.
  • Methionine: It aids in the absorption of minerals like zinc and selenium, as well as improving metabolism and detoxifying.
  • Phenylalanine: It is an amino acid that assists in the creation of other amino acids. It is a precursor for neurotransmitters.
  • Threonine: It helps in fat metabolism, immune system function, and connective tissue strength.
  • Tryptophan: It is necessary for mood, sleep, and hunger regulation.
  • Valine: It enhances muscle regeneration and development and aids the body’s energy production.

Whey is also low in fat and lactose, making it ideal for people watching their fat intake or those who are lactose intolerant.

Whey protein is derived from milk, as previously indicated. It’s a byproduct of the cheese-making process, namely. Following the creation of the cheese, the residual watery liquid is filtered to eliminate facts and lactose, leaving just the whey concentrate. This liquid whey is spray-dried until it forms a powder using hot and cold air. Various supplement firms package this powder, which is occasionally combined with additional components (i.e. flavor).

How Do Collagen And Whey Compare?

Collagen Vs Whey Protein

Let’s take a look at the study on whey protein and collagen protein to see how they stack up. This is how the two proteins compare from a non-biased standpoint:

Absorption Rate

While it’s commonly said that whey protein is rapidly absorbed, research has shown that thick liquids take the body roughly 1.5 hours to digest (such as whey protein shakes). Furthermore, the human body can only absorb 8-10 grams of whey protein every hour.

This implies that half of your protein drink may not be absorbed at all.

You CAN, however, increase the rate of whey absorption by adding digestive ENZYMES. According to studies, combining whey protein with specific enzymes can boost amino acid absorption by 127 percent. So taking a digestive enzyme supplement might help with absorption.

Hydrolyzed collagen has previously been broken down and “pre-digested,” allowing it to be easily absorbed and used once it enters the body.

Collagen hydrolysis was linked to a higher absorption rate of collagen’s primary amino acids (proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine) 20 minutes after consumption, according to research. Here’s a more in-depth look at how collagen is digested and utilized in the body.

If whey isn’t combined with digestive enzymes, hydrolyzed collagen is the clear winner in terms of absorption speed and efficiency. Whey protein, on the other hand, may bind with collagen if digestive enzymes are added.

Muscle Building

Whey and collagen both help the body develop muscle following strength exercise, but whey appears to promote faster protein synthesis. This might be due to whey’s high leucine content.

Collagen, on the other hand, is more effective than whey at maintaining a positive nitrogen balance in the body (anabolic). The nitrogen balance is the ratio of nitrogen output to nitrogen input. If one’s nitrogen balance is negative, it means the body is malnourished and/or has been driven towards catabolic rather than anabolic processes. This is usually caused by a lack of protein and is exacerbated by overtraining.

Collagen also reinforces the extracellular matrix of muscle cells, allowing more load to be transferred with greater force without increasing the size of the muscle cells.

Collagen has been shown to improve body composition by increasing fat-free mass, lowering fat mass, and improving muscle strength in studies. Its advantages have primarily been investigated in older individuals and the elderly.

Injury Recovery And Pain Relief

Collagen appears to have substantial anti-inflammatory effects on injuries due to its high glycine concentration. In situations including exercise-induced joint discomfort, osteoarthritis, and tendonitis/ Achilles tendinopathy, hydrolyzed collagen decreases inflammation and pain while also speeding up the healing process, according to many studies.

Whey protein does not appear to have a beneficial effect on circulating inflammatory markers, according to research. By restoring levels of oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines, whey protein appears to boost the inflammatory response during wound healing.

Bone Density

According to preliminary study, feeding hydrolyzed collagen (a significant structural protein) throughout development phases enhances bone mass. Hydrolyzed collagen supplementation has been shown to help prevent age-related bone loss, improve bone growth, and minimize bone breakdown in studies.

Whey protein supplementation does not appear to harm bone health, but it also does not appear to help it.

Amino Acid Profile

The fundamental difference between whey and collagen amino acid profiles is that whey includes all nine necessary amino acids, whereas collagen only has eight. Whey also has higher BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), which are important for muscle repair and synthesis.

Collagen supplements may be readily converted into full proteins by simply adding the missing necessary amino acid, as we do with our Frog Fuel products.

Collagen comprises three amino acids that aren’t found in whey or plant-based proteins, and aren’t present in most animal products. Collagen is a fibrous protein found in animals’ skin, cartilage, and bones, whereas whey is derived from milk.

Collagen Protein Vs Whey For Bodybuilding

Both whey protein and hydrolyzed collagen appear to offer promise effects for bodybuilders when combined with a balanced diet. While whey protein promotes quicker muscle growth than collagen, both aid in muscle development and recovery. When it comes to injury rehabilitation and the regeneration of connective tissues and structures in the body, collagen appears to be more successful than whey.

The difficulty with collagen is that it isn’t as easy to come by in today’s diet as whey proteins are. All necessary amino acids may be found in animal products such as lean meats, seafood, and dairy. Collagen, on the other hand, is typically found in animal skin, connective tissues, and bones. In the past, it was normal for humans to ingest a large amount of collagen and use the entire animal. However, contemporary convenience has steadily eroded such dietary tendencies, and few of us consume these animal parts any longer.

Collagen supplementation, as a result, may be extremely advantageous to bodybuilders and athletes in general.

Why Collagen Supplements Are Important For Adults

Did you know that your body’s natural collagen protein production slows down in your twenties? According to study on collagen synthesis, beyond the age of 20, a person makes roughly 1% less collagen each year. This is why collagen’s anti-aging benefits for the skin, hair, and joints have been thoroughly researched.

Which Should You Use?

When it comes to collagen vs. whey, it’s vital to remember that these two proteins don’t compete, but rather perform separate purposes in the body.

For those wishing to assist muscle regeneration and recovery, whey protein can be consumed in the post-exercise period (preferably within two hours). Collagen is a prospective (but not yet proved) strategy to maintain healthy joints, cartilage, and ligaments when taken regularly, ideally with a vitamin C source like orange juice.

As you can see, both might possibly be employed in an athlete’s diet to complement one other. Of course, always consult a licensed medical professional before starting a new supplement regimen, as they can give you personalized recommendations for how much of each to take.


Collagen is the better option for most individuals since it is less likely to create adverse effects including digestive problems and skin changes. It also doesn’t hurt that it can help with a variety of health issues. If you’re still undecided between collagen and whey, get advice from a doctor or certified nutritionist.

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