collagen protein blog

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


Protein is a vital macronutrient playing a crucial role in supporting bodily functions, including muscle repair and growth. When it comes to protein supplementation, many options are available, such as collagen protein, whey protein, and plant-based protein.


Understanding Collagen Protein

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is responsible for providing structural support to our skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. It is composed of amino acids such as glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, which are essential for maintaining healthy epithelial and connective tissues. Collagen protein, typically derived from animal sources like beef, fish, or chicken, is known for its unique amino acid profile.


Whey Protein

Whey protein is derived from milk and is classed as a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. It is particularly rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are essential for muscle growth. Whey protein is a popular choice among athletes and fitness enthusiasts due to its absorption rate, bioavailability, and ability to build muscle.


Plant-Based Protein

Plant-based protein sources include options like soy, bean, pea, rice, and hemp protein. These protein powders are derived from plants and offer an alternative for those following vegetarian, vegan, or dairy-free diets. Plant-based proteins often have a slightly different amino acid profile compared to collagen or whey protein, and some may be incomplete proteins, lacking one or more essential amino acids. Usually, the serving size for a plant-based protein is larger when comparative to whey or collagen protein as whilst it is still quite a bioavailable alternative protein, it is not as biocompatible with our digestive processes as an animal-based source such as collagen.


Differences in Composition and Benefits

Collagen protein stands out due to its high content of specific amino acids like glycine, proline and hydroxyproline, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, and joint health. It has been associated with promoting skin elasticity and reducing joint pain.

On the other hand, whey and plant-based proteins offer different amino acid concentrations.  Whey and plant-based proteins offer higher amounts of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) particularly leucine which is strongly associated with muscle growth. Whereas the amino acid profile of collagen protein is more associated with muscle maintenance and recovery rather than making gains. Collagen proteins also rarely contains the amino acid tryptophan, a neurotransmitter that is associated with the regulation of mood and sleep.


Collagen and Protein Powder Compatibility

Collagen can be easily combined with whey or plant-based protein powder if required. For those looking to develop their own individualised protein blend to support exercise recovery and muscle building, by combining collagen with whey or plant-based proteins they can utilise the advantages of both protein sources.

For some people, traditional whey and plant-based protein powders may cause digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. This could be due to the microbial fermentation that occurs in our guts during digestion, which seems to especially affect individuals with dairy sensitivity or food intolerances. Collagen protein does not cause gastrointestinal discomfort like this, plus as it is already hydrolysed the body can digest the collagen and make use of its benefits quickly and easily.

The best protein powder to choose will depend on your own goals, diet, and health requirements. While whey and plant-based proteins provide a comprehensive amino acid profile for muscle growth, collagen protein is perfect for maintaining the health of skin, muscles, and joints. Collagen is a versatile protein source that may be used alone or combined with whey or plant-based protein powder to create a unique protein blend that maximises both sources' advantages.


Why choose Nutraviva collagen?

Nutraviva Collagen Hydrolysate powder is a grass fed and finished premium collagen protein supplement containing 100% natural, unblended, and unflavoured hydrolysed collagen peptides. It contains smaller pre-digested peptides compared to those found in other proteins, allowing them to be absorbed by the body more rapidly than intact proteins, thus maximising nutrient delivery to cells.

Nutraviva’s Marine Collagen is a 100% pure natural fish collagen peptide sourced from high quality wild cod. Created from natural, raw materials that are harvested from the crystal-clear waters of the North Atlantic, this wild caught collagen supplement is sourced from Ocean MSC approved raw materials that are used to identify sustainable fisheries.

Nutraviva Vegan Collagen Alternative is a true protein substitute for collagen hydrolysate formulated with carefully selected ingredients including Australian-grown faba bean protein isolate which contributes to the maintenance of muscle mass, muscle repair and the development of normal bones; a suite of crucial amino acids essential in collagen formation; the prebiotic inulin for gut health; vitamin C and specific cofactors necessary for collagen synthesis and skin health; zinc contributing to normal skin structure and maintaining hair and bones; acai berry powder loaded with antioxidants, and silica to assist with hair and nail health.



back to news