Collagen peptides seem to be the next fad product resurrected by the supplement industry. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides are nothing new. In fact, they have been around for decades. The only reason that you are hearing about it AGAIN is because the supplement industry is making a killer profit off of it. Last I check I could buy a pallet of this stuff for about $1.00 pound. But can collagen peptides be useful and should you buy it? Is the hype legit? In this article, I take a look at collagen peptide powder and make an opinion on its use for sports nutrition and muscle building benefits.
What is Hydrolyzed Collagen Powder?
Hydrolyzed collagen has been around for about 350 years. It is nothing new and it’s not a cutting edge sports nutrition muscle building product. Hydrolyzed collagen is food. The FDA has deemed it fit for the human population to consume collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen is an animal product. It can come from three sources; cows, fish, or pigs. It comes from the skins, bones, and connective tissue of these animals.
From a dietary standpoint, it is a protein powder. The powder is about 97% protein. But please don’t even try to put it next to whey protein or even rice or pea protein from a muscle building standpoint, it ain’t even close. The main flaw with hydrolyzed collagen is that it is not a complete protein. (I’ll get to that later in this article)
Hydrolyzed Collagen vs Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
These two words mean the same thing. One could call it hydrolyzed collagen or hydrolyzed collagen peptides. When the collagen is manufactured, most of the time, enzymes are added to the collagen to break the amino acids down into smaller peptides for easier absorption by the human body. Most hydrolyzed collagen peptide powders have a molecular weight of around 5,000 daltons. Which means 50 amino acids on average linked together. To compare, our Hydrolyzed whey protein 520 has an average molecular weight of 500 daltons, 10 times better than the best hydrolyzed collagen peptide powder.
How It’s Made
The collagen manufacturers will typically get the pig and cow collagen from slaughterhouses. Collagen from fish is typically taken from the skin and bones a well. The process to make hydrolyzed collagen peptides is complex. Here is a manufacturing flow chart.
Now that you know how hydrolyzed collagen peptides are made is it worth using?
Hydrolyzed Collagen Benefits
The research is pretty solid regarding hydrolyzed collagen’s benefits. Even though most of the research is young, it is still pretty significant. I believe the #1 benefit of hydrolyzed collagen is skin and joint support. The human body contains collagen which declines as age increases. Thus hydrolyzed collagen may be useful for older people. Supposedly the skin loses collagen as the human body ages as well. Consuming animal collagen may help the skin look more youthful. But I have not seen anyone claiming that hydrolyzed collagen peptide is the fountain of youth. Remember, that this product has been around for hundreds of years, this isn’t the first time hydrolyzed collagen has been around the block. That is why at the beginning of this article I classified this as a resurrected product. Hydrolyzed collagen has been marketed by supplement companies for decades. Additionally, unscrupulous supplement companies in the past would make “protein shots” out of hydrolyzed collagen because you could jam 50 grams of protein into a little vial. Little did the consumers know that the protein was hydrolyzed collagen and not 100% whey protein.
Are There Better Collagen Powders Over Others?
Supposedly there are three types of collagen that companies selling collagen supplements are trying to market. However, this is kinda poppy cock. Because all quality collagen manufacturers are going to use the type for human use.
Hydrolyzed Collagen For Sports Nutrition
Should you replace your whey protein powder with hydrolyzed collagen? Absolutely not. Collagen is an incomplete protein, which means it is short on essential amino acids. It also means it won’t do diddley squat for muscle recovery and/or help increase anabolism. Not only that but it is way off balance as far as its amino acid profile goes. If one were to use hydrolyzed collagen as a source of protein they would end up being nutritionally deficient. It contains massive amounts of glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. None of these are of course essential for muscle building. Hydrolyzed collagen is NOT a sports nutrition protein powder.
Hydrolyzed Collagen Supplements
Technically hydrolyzed collagen powder is not a supplement. It is used in food more than anything else. As mentioned previously in this article, people were making use of it for hundreds of years, it’s only called a “supplement” because of some guy in a suit working at the FDA headquarters. One can find it in many foods such as dairy products, frozen foods, gelatine desserts like gummy bears, marshmallows, lozenges, and wafers. One can find it in meats as well as bakery fillings and icings.
DIAA of ZERO…Can’t Get Any Worse
A protein powder’s quality is measured by something called the DIAA. (DIGESTIBLE INDISPENSABLE AMINO ACID SCORE). This is the scientific way to judge and score the quality of a protein source. I have written a few blog posts about this. Our Muscle Shake I feel ranks the highest of the whole food protein powders FYI. Milk protein powder, hydrolyzed protein, and whey isolate rank the highest on the DIAA chart. If you’re well versed in the protein powder world and read my articles you’ll know this already and hopefully, you’re taking advantage of this knowledge. Hydrolyzed collagen has a DIAA of ZERO. Meaning it is a completely worthless protein powder as far as its anabolic potential goes. It’s so bad it actually makes other proteins worse.
Hydrolyzed Collagen Is A Catabolic Protein
Of course, you’re never going to see this sentenced published anywhere but on Proteinfactory.com. There is just too much money to be made off of hydrolyzed collagen sales. Supposedly sales of hydrolyzed collagen will top 100 million this year. But yes, you read right…..
HYDROLZED COLLAGAN PEPTIDES ARE CATABOLIC!
It took me a while to find but here is the study.
This study came to the conclusion that combing hydrolyzed collagen with a high quality protein will decrease its efficiency. As bodybuilders that is the LAST thing we need. Trying to build muscle mass is difficult enough. Consuming protein is essential to increase anabolism and muscle protein synthesis. Why on Earth would you consume something that will lower the efficiency of a proteins muscle building effects?
Here are some things that they consumer should be aware of.
Watch for companies selling this product as a sports nutrition product. This product is far from being a sports nutrition powder. I would rather drink a glass of chocolate milk anyday of the week and twice on Sunday for post workout than collagen powder.
Watch out for protein shots. Most of them contain hydrolyzed collagen. Physically a manufacturer cannot product 100% whey protein shots. The closest thing I saw was a liquid egg protein that had 60 grams of protein in 30 ml.
In conclusion, I think I put forth enough evidence that would make you steer clear from hydrolyzed collagen powder. I don’t think anyone could give me a reason to use it. In the past, I have a hard enough time putting on muscle mass, so the last thing I personally want to do is make it even harder. I guess if you’re one of the lucky ones that puts on muscle mass easily, and you’re having joint issues and you feel your skin could use improvement, then maybe give hydrolyzed collagen a shot. Supposedly from what I have been reading, hydrolyzed collagen peptides are decent for that purpose. But if you lose muscle mass, get weaker, and increase body fat, don’t blame me, I warned you. At least your skin will appear more youthful (maybe)
Buy Pure Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
As a supplement manufacturing expert, I can find the good quality raw materials being produced. If you still want to try hydrolyzed collagen peptides I recommend the Peptan brand. Peptan is a brand name for a collagen produced a public company called Darling Ingredients with the ticker symbol $DAR. Might be a good investment if you think sales of hydrolylzed collagen peptides are going to increase.
You can buy it on Amazon. You’ll see it contains the Peptan brand of collagen.
For previously written articles on hydrolyzed collagen, you can click this link.
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.