What’s the difference between gelatin & collagen? - Amandean

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December 28, 2020 5 min read

In this article:

  • What is collagen and how does it benefit the body?
  • What is gelatin and how can we use it in our daily diet?
  • Collagen vs. gelatin: What's the difference?

What is Collagen?

Let's start off with collagen. Collagen is a wildly popular supplement in the skincare and sports worlds. Our bodies naturally produce collagen. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is considered to be the foundational building block of all our connective tissues! There are many different types of collagen, but of all ~30 types of collagen in our bodies, type I reigns king! It can be found in the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and even teeth. Our natural collagen production begins to slow with age, and older collagen proteins can become damaged by free radicals, environmental toxins, and UV rays. As age starts to set in and collagen levels begin to drop, it can bring on joint pain, gut and digestive issues, fine lines and wrinkles, and lack of mobility. This is where collagen supplements shine.

There are many different sources and forms of collagen supplements. Collagen can be sourced from cows (bovine collagen), fish (marine collagen), pigs (porcine collagen) eggshell membranes, and even chicken cartilage. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides, also known as collagen hydrolysate, is a collagen supplement in which the collagen proteins have been broken down into their most bioavailableform. This makes it much easier to digest and get to work in the body. When you consume collagen, it breaks down into its essential amino acids - primarily glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. These amino acids then work to stimulate further collagen production within the body. The benefits of collagen include increased skin elasticity and hydration, better gut health, and improved joint health.

What is Gelatin?

Not surprisingly, the benefits of gelatin and its amino acids are very similar to collagen. Collagen is made up of 19 amino acids, primarily glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. When we consume collagen of any form, it breaks down into its amino acids and your body absorbs and uses as much of them as possible. Hydrolyzation determines the size of the collagen proteins and thus how bioavailable the supplement is. Simply put, gelatin is a cooked or partially hydrolyzed form of collagen.

Gelatin is sourced from the hides and bones of grass-fed cows and has a unique gelling ability that collagen lacks. Gelatin is often used as a thickener for paleo and keto-friendly recipes to boost protein. Unflavored collagen powder is soluble in hot and cold liquids and food with no noticeable flavors or texture changes. Gelatin powder, on the other hand, can be added to hot liquids and dissolves instantly, but when added to cold liquid, it will become a gelatinous, jelly-like substance. For this reason, it's commonly used in snacks like home-made gummies, jello, custards, energy balls, and high-protein baking.

When it comes to the health benefits of gelatin, they often mirror those of collagen. Studieshave found that supplementation of gelatin powder leads to high collagen concentration in the skin, making it a great supplement for overall skin health at any age. Gelatin can also help to repair the gut lining and manage gastrointestinal issues such as leaky gut syndrome. It may also be uniquely positioned to help ease joint pain for people that suffer from chronic conditions like osteoarthritis.

Which should I choose? Collagen vs Gelatin

So now that we've gone through the benefits and amino acid profiles of both collagen and gelatin, why should you choose one over the other? The main difference lies in your lifestyle & dietary preferences, but both offer similar health & beauty benefits. High-quality collagen supplements like marine collagen are easy to add to your favorite everyday hot and colddrinks, and recipes without any noticeable differences to taste or texture. However, avoid iced drinks for best solubility.

Beef gelatin is soluble in hot water but will gel when added to cold liquids. If you want to add a high-protein thickening agent to your cooking or baking, beef gelatin is your friend. Beef gelatin can be used to make marshmallows, jello, gut-healing fruit gummies, and delicious bone broths. We've also created recipes using Amandean's Grass-Fed Beef Gelatin from pumpkin pie to West African Idiyappam!

In summary, if you don't consider yourself much of a wiz in the kitchen and know that your daily coffee and smoothies will serve you well, then hydrolyzed marine collagen or collagen peptides might be the best choice for you. Wild-caught marine collagen is favored by many that follow a pescatarian diet and avoid red meat. Marine Collagen also contains a smaller particle size, making it up to 1.5x more bioavailable as compared to chicken or beef sources. It is better suited for pescatarian diets, contains no artificial sweeteners, and is GMO and gluten-free. Collagen is great for those just beginning their wellness journeys because it doesn't add any extra steps to your day but allows you to reap all the benefits for your gut, skin, joints, and bone health.

If you want more versatility in your kitchen or are looking to add a healthy boost to your favorite dishes, beef gelatin is the best choice! No more waiting around for tea time or coffee breaks - you can infuse your favorite snacks with beef gelatin and ingest your daily intake of collagen all day long. No matter what type of protein you choose, the team at Amandean is here to help! If you have a specific concern and want to know which supplement can help, search for the term on our website or contact a product expert to get a personalized recommendation!

Summary Points:

  • Hydrolyzed collagen peptides, also known as collagen hydrolysate, is a collagen supplement in which the collagen proteins have been broken down into their most bioavailable form
  • Gelatin is sourced from the hides and bones of grass-fed cows and has a unique gelling ability when used for cooking. It is often used as a thickener for paleo and keto-friendly recipes to boost protein
  • Marine collagen is better suited for pescatarian diets, contains no artificial sweeteners, and is GMO and gluten-free

Article References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/collagen-vs-gelatin#recommendation
  2. https://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/lindsey/collagen-vs-gelatin
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/gelatin-uses-and-risks#:~:text=The%20collagen%20in%20gelatin%20gets,swelling%20caused%20by%20rheumatoid%20arthritis.



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