In this article:
- Collagen & our bodies: Types & functions
- Composition of collagen: Amino acids
- Sources of collagen: Fish vs. Bovine
- Collagen production as we age
- The need for supplementation
- Including collagen in your daily nutrition
Collagen is being talked about everywhere! It has become abundantly clear that collagen supplementation has many health benefits. It is possible you looked online and found yourself stuck deciding between Collagen Peptides and Marine Collagen Peptides. It may be confusing at first to determine the difference and which is the best collagen supplement for you. Today, let's discuss the differences and similarities between collagen peptides and marine collagen peptides.
Marine collagen peptides and collagen peptides have one significant and pretty obvious thing in common, and that is that they are both hydrolyzed from collagen protein. Let's begin by breaking down what collagen is and why it is important.
By making up about 80% of all connective tissue and 75% of the skin, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and it has a wealth of essential amino acids. Collagen is naturally occurring in the body of humans and animals, providing structure to the musculoskeletal system, much like a building block. Many people also like to think of collagen as the glue of the body, holding together the body's bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. And add to that this bonus fact, the word collagen is derived from the Greek word, Kolla, which literally means glue. For all the reasons mentioned above, you can see how the benefits of collagen are extremely widespread!
There are at least 16 types of collagen found throughout the body; however, the most discussed collagen and most abundant types are types I, II and III.
Type I collagen makes up 90% of the collagen in the body. Type l collagen is densely packed with fibers and is responsible for the structure of the skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth. Type l collagen supports skin elasticity, wound healing, skin hydration, and helps to reduce signs of fine lines and wrinkles, and decreases joint pain.
Type II collagen, on the other hand, is loosely packed with fibers and is found in the elastic cartilage, which is the cushion for the joints. This type of collagen is ideal for those looking to improve their joint health.
Type III collagen supports the structure of muscles, organs and blood vessels. It is usually concentrated in hollow organs and may strengthen and thicken the gut lining.
Now that we are clear on what collagen is, let's dive into marine collagen and collagen peptides. Both of these collagen powders are made up of type l and type lll collagen and are available in an unflavored form, making an excellent (and easy) addition to liquids. High quality collagen powders are virtually odorless, leaving no hint of its origin.
The main difference comes down to where the collagen was sourced from; it's important to know where your collagen comes from! There are many different sources of collagen, but the two most common are bovine collagen (from cows) and marine collagen (from fish). You may also hear them called grass-fed collagen or fish collagen. Bovine collagen is made from the hides of cows, which may either be farmed or given free range to roam and eat grass, hence the name grass-fed collagen. Marine collagen is made from fish skin and sometimes scales. Either farmed or wild-caught fish can be used.
The source of collagen also influences the purity and sustainability of the product. Both sources can be seen as "zero waste" since they make use of less-desirable animal parts that would otherwise go unused; they are made from the skins and hides of animals. Bovine collagen is the less-sustainable of the two as it requires more land and food to raise the cows. Cow farming also has a larger carbon footprint than wild-caught fish, although this can be partially offset by raising grass-fed, free-roaming cows. This helps to raise happy, healthy cows and ultimately results in a cleaner supplement as well. When it comes to marine collagen, wild-caught is the way to go. By following sustainable fishing practices (avoiding overfishing), this helps to reduce the environmental impact of sourcing this supplement. Fish that are wild-caught in clean waters such as the Northern Atlantic are also less prone to disease, heavy metal contamination, and antibiotic use, which runs rampant in farmed fish.
Though the benefits of these collagen sources are similar, the source of collagen determines the collagen's amino acid profile. For instance, marine collagen contains a higher amount of glycine, which is known as the “anti-aging amino”. Additionally, marine collagen has a lower molecular weight and size than collagen peptides, which allows it to be absorbed and transported at a higher and faster rate through the intestinal barrier and into the bloodstream, carrying it throughout the body. This means that marine collagen is more bioavailable. Consequently, this also determines how to use each of them for the best solubility. Marine collagen powder should be added to your glass first, before pouring your hot or cold liquid on top. This allows it to disperse and dissolve more readily. Bovine collagen peptides should be added on top of the hot or cold liquid, after your drink is poured. If using ice, first mix the powder in your cup, then add the ice.
Did you know that as we age our collagen production begins to slow down? By age 30 we begin to lose over 1.5% of natural collagen stores and by age 40 the body has lost about 15% of its natural collagen. Incorporating a collagen supplement into your routine has a heap of benefits, including warding off the visible signs of aging, promoting healthy metabolism, maintaining joint and bone health, and strengthening the immune system.
Boosting your collagen levels with marine collagen has plenty of health benefits. It is an excellent resource for building muscles and improving flexibility. Marine collagen is especially helpful to athletes and even the average gym-goer, as it helps improve endurance and decreases the time it takes to recover post-workout. Marine collagen also can help satiate the appetite, which, as a result, assists with weight management. A healthy gut is vital to the overall health of our bodies. Marine collagen supports gut health and helps to manage inflammation. It is full of glycine, which aids in promoting healthy hair, skin elasticity, and nail strength. Marine collagen is a great option for those who follow a pescatarian diet or for those who do not eat red meat.
Just as collagen can be made from multiple sources, it can also be made into different forms of supplements. Collagen capsules, pre-made drinks, powders, creams, and even liquids are widely available. For the greatest bang for your buck and smallest change to your daily routine, we recommend collagen powder. Collagen powder can be added to coffee, tea, smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, soup -- you name it, and collagen can blend right in! Marine collagen is both hot and cold soluble so it can even be used with lemon water. Simply add your scoop of collagen to the bottom of your cup or mug, pour the liquid on top, and stir until dissolved. Need more ideas on how to add collagen to your favorite recipes? Check out the “recipes” section on the Amandean website for everything from pumpkin pudding to bulletproof tea!
In terms of dosages, about 10-20 grams of collagen are recommended per day. This number may increase or decrease depending on your physical activity and health goals.
Now that we have settled the differences between collagen peptides and marine collagen peptides, let's discover how you can easily incorporate them into your daily nutrition, hassle-free! If you start your day off with a tasty cup of coffee or tea, enhance your morning routine by adding a scoop of collagen powder. Marine collagen & collagen peptides are highly soluble in hot & cold liquids. Unlike gelatin, neither will turn to gel in cold liquids, therefore, feel free to mix with your coffee, smoothie, yogurt, or even a plain glass of water. If you are looking to maximize absorption and stimulate collagen production in the body, take your collagen peptides with a source of vitamin C!
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