If you workout, are trying to build lean muscle, or simply want or need to increase the protein intake in your diet, then a protein supplement is probably something you’re interested in. Protein supplements can be helpful in supporting a multitude of health and fitness goals. There are countless protein supplements out there, from powders to bars, and even ice cream claiming to contain tons of protein. So while it’s nice to have options, it can also be overwhelming and downright annoying when deciding the type of protein to use. Not to mention, there are so many different varieties and protein sources. Two of the most popular types of protein are collagen and whey. They both get the job done when it comes to your supplemental needs, but there are some key differences. Read on to learn about what collagen protein and whey protein are, what they do for your body, and what their differences are.
What is Collagen Protein?
Collagen itself is a protein, which is found in our body. It is the most abundant protein in the human body, making it highly important for multiple aspects of our health. Benefits of collagen include strengthening your skin, hair, nails, joints, bones, and connective tissue. People typically take collagen for its direct benefits to the aforementioned parts of your body, especially the skin. Collagen and elastin are responsible for giving your skin its glow and elasticity. As we age, our natural collagen production significantly decreases, making it important for us to add collagen into our diets. Collagen is derived from animals, using their skin and bones or scales to create the supplement. Typically, collagen comes from cow, fish, chicken, or pork. The most common types are from cows and fish. 1 It contains three important amino acids. These specific amino acids are glycine, proline and hydroxyproline, which cannot be found in whey protein. As collagen comes from animals, it is important you are using the cleanest and best collagen supplements available. This means using grass-fed, organic, or wild-caught whenever possible, because it will assure the supplement is high-quality. Collagen protein can sometimes come in the form of collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen, which simply refers to the way in which the collagen was broken down into its current form. Either way, they are supplements in the form of collagen protein powder.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a bi-product of milk and has an effect on the casein in milk when heated up. Due to the fact that whey is animal-based, it is considered a “complete protein source,” which means it contains all of the essential chain amino acids that are used for building and repairing protein within our bodies. So while it is animal-based, it is not directly derived from the animal itself. This powder supplement is highly protein efficient, which means it contains 25-90% protein and can be easily utilized by our bodies for building lean muscle mass. 1 Oftentimes, whey protein has a milky taste to it, given that it is a bi-product of milk and cheese production. As with collagen, the purer the source, the better the product will be and taste. Always choose a grass-fed whey protein, so that your whey is clean. Whey protein powder is available as either a whey protein concentrate or a whey protein isolate. Concentrate contains more fat and lactose, while isolate contains more protein per serving. Isolate is typically used for people who either want to build lean muscle, or for weight loss. 3
There are several similarities between whey protein and collagen protein, making either one a good option for protein supplementation.
-Both are animal-based, contain essential amino acids that are used as building blocks in our bodies, easy to blend in smoothies and protein shakes, both are not vegan options, both are used for muscle growth and to build muscle, no known side effects, muscle building, overall similar health benefits relating to protein
There are also several differences, which are helpful when deciding which protein supplement you should be using.
Whey- bi-product of milk, contains all the necessary amino acids, specifically used for protein supplementation
Collagen- structural protein, direct product of animal, contains all the essential amino acids except for tryptophan, used as more than a protein supplement (bone health, joint health, hair and nail health, skin health)
Which protein should I use?
At the end of the day, you have to figure out what your body needs. Every person is different, with different health and fitness goals. With either type, it's important you read the labels on whichever product you choose. Those with sweeteners, additives, and excess ingredients are ones you should stay away from. Either protein is going to help you with your health and fitness goals, but whey protein is typically used more for building muscle and is used before or after intense workouts. Collagen protein seems to be better for overall health and wellness, because it offers so many more benefits than just protein supplementation. From glowing skin, to helping joint pain, and strengthening your hair and nails, collagen is the way to go if you're looking to get more out of your supplements. When it comes to choosing a supplement, powders and bars are your best bet. Powders are a bit more time consuming given the fact you have to mix or blend them with something, but they are still a good option. Our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars have the perfect blend of benefits for your body. Whether you’re looking to increase your protein through collagen, want the added benefits of a collagen supplement for your overall health, or both, Kalumi has got you covered. The good thing about our bars is that they give you a pescatarian option for your protein source, unlike other types of collagen and whey, which are derived from land animals. Each bar has 15 grams of marine collagen protein, plus superfoods like sweet potato, coco, and lemon. Not to mention, it’s convenient. Just grab it to take with you for days on the go, and it will give you sustained energy and keep you full.