Collagen Protein vs Whey | What the Difference? | TOP Benefits!

Collagen protein powders have steadily increased in popularity over recent years. Some would even say it’s nearly as popular as whey protein, which heavily dominates the market.

Having said that, with all these different protein powder options, it can be difficult to make a single decision on which road to take. Do you choose collagen protein for its benefits to your bone and joint health, or do you take whey protein because it’s well known to help with muscle building?

Luckily, both collagen protein and whey protein vary greatly when it comes to effects, benefits, and results. While there are a few things that you’ll notice are the same, it’s certainly the standard results you’ll get from protein powder like weight loss or increase in lean muscle mass.

To help you make a better decision, we’ve tackled the differences between collagen and whey. Take a look at their individual advantages and perks below.

What is the Difference Between Collagen and Protein?

People use collagen protein supplements to improve their skin quality, heal their joints, decrease inflammation, and increase their bone density.

To put it simply, collagen is a type of protein. However, it is not a complete protein. That essentially means it doesn’t have a full amino acid profile. On the other hand, it still contains some non-essential amino acids like glycine, proline, alanine, and hydroxyproline.

Typically, when you’re looking at protein powders, most of the major choices you’ll come across are complete proteins. This includes grass-fed whey protein, pea protein, and even soy protein.

Difference

The lack of amino acids is typically why collagen is rarely referred to as a protein source. Despite that, one cannot argue the fact that collagen protein is a great source of protein. Proline and Hydroxyproline, out of all the amino acids, are the most important for whole-body protein synthesis.

And besides, there are ways to make sure you get a full amino acid profile even when you’re taking collagen proteins. Sure, this is an extra step. But it’s well worth it when you consider the advantages to your well-being and physical appearance that collagen protein delivers. It’s no secret that exercise and diet are the basic tenets in the constant effort to keep your body healthy.

Pros & Cons of Whey Protein

Although these supplements dominate the market, they’re also largely frowned upon for various reasons. Some health buffs will tell you that they prefer WHEY over other choices simply because it’s the most effective option for gaining muscle.

Whey Protein

This isn’t necessarily true as there are plenty of alternatives in the market that allow you to build muscle more quickly and more effectively than whey protein does.

That said, let’s take a quick look at the highs and lows of it.

PROS
  • Has counteractive effects for cancer
  • It is antimicrobial
  • Helps control infections
  • Usually has a high protein yield (an average of 25 grams per serving)
  • Has a relatively good absorption rate – this means it’s already broken down, which allows it to absorb into your body quickly)
  • Relatively better tasting compared to plant-based alternatives
  • Convenient and allows you to get a good amount of your daily protein requirement in a single serving
CONS
  • Usually high in calories, which can cause unexpected weight gain in the long run
  • Contains varying levels of sugar and fat naturally
  • Relatively expensive compared to whole food
  • Some brands are not lactose-intolerant. This could lead to stomach distress and nausea, among other side effects, since it will most likely retain some amount of lactose
  • Not good if you’re looking for overall nutrition. Typically contain nothing more than your standard protein content
  • Can cause stomach distress and bloating even if you aren’t lactose intolerant
  • Does not offer many advantages apart from what increased protein levels offer

Pros & Cons of Collagen Protein

You might still be asking yourself: Is collagen a protein? It is. In fact, it’s one of the most abundant protein sources in both land and sea animals. More than that, it provides you with a host of health advantages that affect your outer and inner wellbeing.

Collagen Peptides

That said, there are certainly upsides and downsides to collagen protein.

Take a look at the pros and cons below:

PROS
  • Improves your overall bone health
  • Boosts your joint health, which leads to better mobility
  • It helps aid in ligament and muscle recovery better
  • Helps in your body’s natural abilities to care for wounds
  • Helps reduce fractures and osteoarthritis
  • Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Improves your skin’s elasticity
  • It can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
  • Leads to a more youthful appearance
  • Improves skin dryness
  • Can help with weight loss
  • Helps you achieve glowing skin
  • Improves your hair by making it stronger and shinier
  • It also boosts the strength of your nails
  • Boosts gut health
  • Helps improve your immune system
  • It offers a remedy to a leaky gut syndrome
CONS
  • It doesn’t contain a complete amino acid profile
  • May cause allergic reactions depending on the source of collagen
  • The feeling of being overly full
  • May leave a lingering bad taste

Can You Take Collagen and Whey Protein Together?

Although collagen is technically a protein, it isn’t a complete source of protein. That said, since there are plenty of collagen supplements in the market, you can definitely take it alongside whey protein. Combined with a healthy diet, this is ideal if you’re looking to get the combined results of collagen powder and whey protein powder.

Keep in mind that since collagen is still a protein, you will need to watch your daily consumption. Make sure you’re not going over your recommended daily dosage, or it could lead to kidney issues in the future.

Of course, collagen and whey together may not necessarily be the most effective supplemental source of protein. While you may choose to take collagen purely for its health benefits, you can certainly choose other protein powders to partner with it.

Whey and Collagen Together

For example, a vegan or plant-based protein powder that has more manageable amounts of protein, but with added nutrition can still help you achieve your bodybuilding or weight loss goals.

The most important thing to remember is to check your preferences. Make sure you’re comfortable with the effects of both protein sources before diving into this combination.

That said, most experts do recommend taking together. This not only boosts your body’s anabolic state, but both protein powders actually play off of each other’s weaknesses and strengths beautifully.

For example, while it is not a full protein source, whey protein is. This means you’re getting your essential amino acids alongside some of the amino acids you can find in collagen that is good for your overall health.

What are the Side Effects of Taking Collagen?

There are no direct side effects of taking. However, there are some side effects that are usually caused by your body’s response to certain ingredients in the collagen powder you’re taking.

Take a look at some of the side effects you could encounter when taking collagen powder:

  • Severe allergic reactions – some powders are sourced from shellfish or other animals. If you are allergic to certain animals, you may suffer from an allergic reaction. The key is to look for a specific source. If it isn’t listed, check the allergens listed. If you’re still unsure, bone broth is a good source that lets you know exactly what you’re getting.
  • May leave a bad taste in your mouth – due to nature you may find that some brands leave a lingering taste in your mouth. This isn’t something we encourage and would suggest looking into brands that are known to be better tasting.
  • Can make you feel bloated or overly full – while it effectively helps curb your hunger, some users have reported that they experienced feeling overly full or bloated after taking it. Reports of this instance are few and far between, though, so it’s important to listen to what your body tells you to be on the safe side.

Summary: Generally, there aren’t many reports regarding the side effects of taking. Like any other product in the market, it would depend on your body’s response to certain brands. I would suggest taking a look at reviews and choosing a well trusted brand to make sure you have all the necessary information before going through with your purchase.

What are the Side Effects of Taking Whey Protein?

Despite being the most popular protein powder source in the market, it is definitely notorious for its long list of potential and quite frequent side effects.

While you could argue that not everybody’s body will react the same way, it definitely has a longer and more closely-knit community of customers complaining about its side effects.

Take a look at those side effects below:

  • Can cause stomach distress – whether you’re allergic to lactose or not, it is notorious for causing a long list of stomach upsets. This can include bloating and gassiness to more serious issues like stomach pain.
  • It can lead to kidney failure – one of the most common issues with whey is that users often overestimate the amount of protein they need. And because whey powders are such a potent source of protein, it can often lead to kidney failure.
  • High in calories, sugar, and fat – although the label may tell you otherwise, your powder could be causing you to gain weight you don’t want in the long run. This is because whey naturally contains sugar and fats, which could contribute to its calorie content. If you’re watching your calorie intake, this will make it more difficult for you to do so.

Summary: Overall, it is popular solely because it is the most researched protein powder in the market. That said, there are many good brands that offer a high quality protein without risking the side effects. However, you might still experience bloating, nausea or stomach distress which is the most common side effect of whey protein regardless of brand.

Collagen Peptides vs Collagen Protein

This is a question I get asked all the time. What is the difference between peptides and protein? For the most part, they’re fairly similar.

They carry the same types of amino acids and eight of nine amino acids. However, there are a few key things that differentiate them from one another.

Collagen Peptide vs Collagen Protein

Here are my key takeaways:

  • Collagen peptides are derived from collagen. They are short-chain amino acids and are usually found in the form of protein powder. Basically, your collagen protein powders contain peptides. These absorb into your body to deliver all the good advantages that collagen protein powders are known for.
  • Collagen peptides are more easily absorbed by your body. This means peptides are more bioavailable. Since collagen is a form of long-chain amino acids naturally found in your body, it takes some time to fully enter your bloodstream and digest. Peptides, on the other hand, are readily absorbed by your body because they are essentially broken down.

Bone Broth Protein vs Whey

Like I said before, there really is no comparing whey and collagen protein. They are both a good source of protein. Albeit, collagen protein does not have a complete amino acid profile. And they both have differences that make them independently suitable for different needs.

But what does that have to do with bone broth protein? Bone broth protein is a type of collagen protein. The only difference is that it’s mainly sourced from either cows or chicken.

Whey vs Bone Broth

Unlike other collagen protein supplements in the market, this means you’re getting a clear description of where your protein source comes from.

But generally, there are only two things you need to remember if you’re stuck choosing between bone broth protein and whey protein:

  • What are your goals? Are you trying to gain muscle fast? Is overall nutrition a factor for you? Ask yourself these things and remember: WHEY is not as nutritional as bone broth protein. Yes, it provides you with a good source of protein, which helps build muscle or lose weight quickly, but it really doesn’t offer much more than that.
  • Do you have a sensitive stomach? WHEY is generally more finicky when it comes to your stomach’s well-being. It usually causes gastric distress, among other stomach upsets. Bone broth protein, on the other hand, not only improves your gut health, but it’s highly unlikely that you will develop any side effects.

Can You Substitute Collagen for Whey Protein in Baking

Definitely, the good thing about collagen protein powders is that it usually contains only one ingredient: collagen or collagen peptides.

This means you’re adding something into your cooking that has a good amount of protein, added nutrients, and advantages without having to worry about added sugar, fats, and allergies.

Can You Take Both Whey Protein And Collagen Protein Together?

Certainly, whey and collagen protein are a good duo since they’re vastly different when it comes to their effects and advantages. They also play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses well so you’re able to fill in the gaps of each protein source.

Final Thoughts

What to take

Overall, I can confidently say that while collagen and whey protein play off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses nicely, I’d much rather pair a collagen protein with another protein source.

My professional opinion is that while whey protein is popular and easily accessible, it’s not always the best option in the market.

I’d much rather go for a plant-based alternative if it means I’m getting more balanced nutrition.

That said, collagen protein is a good source of protein, especially if you’re able to pair it with something that could help you make sure you’re still getting all your amino acids.