What is the Difference Between Collagen Protein and Plant-Based Protein?


The trend towards plant-based products has drastically increased over these past few years. From foods and protein powders to beauty lotions and moisturizers, plant-based options are becoming more popular as consumers learn more about how items are made.

One question we regularly get is how our collagen protein compares to plant-based protein alternatives. Below we go into detail about these different types of protein in efforts to help you make a better decision about what you’re putting in your body.

What Is Plant-Based Protein?

In simple terms, plant-based proteins come from plants rather than animal sources. Animal sources include fish, meat, dairy, and eggs, while plant-based proteins include beans, lentils, and nuts.

Plant-based proteins provide many health benefits. Primarily, plant-based diets are linked to lower risks of heart disease because they help lower cholesterol and they have also been shown to reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes. Plant-based foods are also linked with weight control, as diets high in plant protein may help individuals control their weight.

Plant-based proteins are great for vegetarian and vegan diets and they are mostly free of the common allergens, such as dairy and gluten. They are generally easy to digest and absorb.

One of the drawbacks of plant-based proteins is that they are not considered complete protein sources because they lack all essential amino acids. Essential amino acids that the ones that the body cannot produce naturally, thus they must be obtained through the regular diet. Some plant-based protein sources, such as pea protein, contains all essential amino acids but not at adequate levels. Having low levels of some amino acids contribute to these sources not being complete proteins.

The best way to ensure you’re getting sufficient nutrients in your diet if opting for a plant-based protein is to complement with other sources of protein. This will help you obtain all essential and non-essential amino acids. Some of the most popular examples of plant-based protein supplements are pea protein, hemp protein, and soy protein.

What is Collagen Protein?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body; it is found in our bones, skin, ligaments, tendons, tissues, and muscles. Think of collagen as the glue holding everything in your body in place. Although our bodies naturally produce collagen, production starts to decline after our twenties. This is when we start to experience fine lines and wrinkles, dry skin, and achy joints. After this point, it’s essential to include collagen in our diet to keep our skin looking youthful and our joints pain free.

Collagen supplements are derived from animal sources. Most collagen in supplements come from the bones, skin, and connective tissue of animals, including pigs, fish, and cattle. Plants do not produce collagen; you can only obtain it from animal sources. Aside from supplements, collagen can also be obtained from foods, specifically from bone broth.

Collagen has many notable benefits. Collagen is key in producing hydrated, elastic, and moisturized skin and its consumption is beneficial for the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen promotes strong and healthy hair and can also reduce the frequency of brittle nails. Collagen can also help improve joint health, as collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. And, since collagen is a key structural component of the cartilage, maintaining sufficient levels if essential for keeping joints healthy.

Collagen can also help prevent bone loss. Consuming collagen supplements may help reduce the risk of bone disorders and may help lower levels of proteins in the blood that stimulate bone breakdown. Collagen is also beneficial for digestion and gut health as its combination of the amino acids Glycine, Glutamine, and Proline, helps the stomach absorb nutrients, prevent inflammation in the intestinal lining, increase metabolism, and support digestive health.

Although collagen protein is free of the most common allergens, it’s not suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets. There are studies that show that excess protein can also be dangerous to our health as this may damage our kidneys. As with everything, too much of something is definitely not a good thing. So only look for supplementation if your diet is lacking protein, you exercise or have a medical condition, or notice that the addition of animal protein won’t affect your health.

What’s Better, Collagen Protein or Plant-Based Protein?

When it comes to protein, one is not necessarily “better” than the other one. When deciding, look at the benefits and drawbacks of each and see which fits better in your diet. If you’re opting to recover from exercise, build muscle, or improve your skin and joints, collagen might be the better option due to all the benefits it has to offer. If your diet is pretty complete and you want to opt for a vegetarian or vegan diet, plant-based proteins might be the choice for you.

Nonetheless, we truly recommend collagen, especially if you’re over 30 years of age. As mentioned, the collagen production in your body starts to decline as you get older. In which case, you need to encourage collagen production by boosting collagen consumption. This will allow you to keep enjoying all the benefits of collagen, such as moisturized skin and healthy joints.

If you’re looking for a collagen supplement, we recommend our product, Proteinex. Proteinex is a liquid hydrolyzed protein source that has been broken down into its simplest form of amino acids, making it easily digestible by the body. Our product contains all essential and non-essential amino acids, and its free of fat, sugar, carbs, as well as dairy and gluten. In just two tablespoons you get 18 grams of ready-to-drink pure protein – no mixing required. Having a liquid option is convenient and especially effective when on-the-go. Plus, it’s purely collagen so you know your body will thank you later!

Click the product below and see how Proteinex can be a great addition to your diet!

References:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/plant-based-food

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/why-mark-bittman-wants-you-be-part-time-vegan-ncna889916