Collagen vs. Gelatin

By now, you've probably heard of collagen. It's a beauty and health supplement that's gaining a lot of popularity, for good reason. Here's a quick overview of collagen in case you don't know about its benefits: collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It's been shown to help increase skin elasticity, strengthen connective tissues, improve gut health, and more. Our collagen levels decrease as we age, which is why it's important to find a good source of collagen. This supplement comes in several varieties, and can be made from a few different animals. Since it is made from animal products, it is not vegan. However, one type of collagen is marine collagen, which is pescatarian friendly. Taking collagen daily has so many health benefits, it's worth trying. Some people have even reported it helping them with weight loss. Collagen production does continue to decrease after age 20, so taking a supplement may help remedy issues associated with this decline. Something you may not have heard of that is quite similar is gelatin. Now, when you think of gelatin, you probably think of Jell-O. Gelatin is one of the main ingredients in this treat, but in its natural state it's not the sugary, colorful dessert you're thinking of. There are actually a few health benefits of gelatin, which is created from collagen and therefore is technically a form of collagen. Essentially, it is decomposed collagen. Collagen must be simmered and it then turns into gelatin. People have very different opinions on whether or not collagen and gelatin are equal as dietary supplements. Some believe that gelatin is not good for you at all, and some believe it is better than collagen. Read on to find out the differences between the two, and which one you should be taking. 

Which is better: collagen or gelatin?

It is hard to give a definitive answer, because opinions do vary. However, it is typically agreed that collagen is the more popular and most common supplement for boosting your skin's glow, and helping with things like bone health, joint health, and other skin issues. It is also simply more popularized due to its ability to be a beauty booster. From skincare to supplements, collagen is being promoted as the go-to cure for all of your beauty woes. Due to its association with products like Jell-O, gelatin is often overlooked as a supplement because people don't realize some of its potential benefits, which can be pretty similar to collagen. They both provide protein and amino acids, which are vital for the human body to function. If after doing your own research you still don't know which supplement is right for you, it's always a good idea to seek medical advice from a doctor or nutritionist. 

Can I use gelatin instead of collagen?

Yes, you can use gelatin instead of collagen. It's entirely up to you which supplement you want to use. It can provide you with many of the same benefits as collagen. A great way to get both at the same time is by making homemade bone broth. This is made by boiling animal bones, typically cow or chicken. You can add any herbs or spices you'd like, and you let it simmer overnight. You will get the healing benefits of collagen, along with the additional protein and amino acids of gelatin. While collagen is the preferred supplement, there's always the possibility it won't work for your body. If this is the case, it's certainly ok to try gelatin and see what works better for you. At the end of the day you want to take a supplement that makes you feel good and gives you the results you want. 

What is difference between collagen and gelatin?

Gelatin is derived from collagen. When you simmer parts of the animal where collagen is found, (such as the skin or connective tissues) it produces gelatin. It is partially broken down, but not as much as hydrolyzed collagen. Gelatin can only fully dissolve in hot water, due to the difference in its chains of amino acids (otherwise known as its amino acid profile). It can still be mixed into things like smoothies, but it will not dissolve in cold water. Also, when it starts to dissolve, it turns liquids into a gel form. This is because it cannot fully dissolve. For many people, gelatin is not as easy to digest as collagen. Especially if you are someone who has stomach issues, gelatin may not be the best choice of supplement for you. Collagen is formed through chains of amino acids like glycine and proline. These essential amino acids act as building blocks for the body. Collagen will dissolve in anything, whether it be in hot liquids or in cold liquids. It does not have a gel effect on liquids because it is able to fully absorb. Collagen is also more widely available due to its popularity. You can almost always find it in any health food store or grocery store. Even beauty stores are starting to sell collagen supplements. It's not like gelatin is difficult to find, it's just not as common as collagen. Another difference is that collagen comes in several varieties. You can find products like collagen protein, collagen hydrolysate, collagen peptides, collagen pills, powders, gummies, and liquid shots. Gelatin supplements typically only come in the form of gelatin powder. 


Are collagen peptides the same as gelatin?

No, collagen peptides are not the same as gelatin. Collagen peptides are broken down even further into smaller particles than gelatin. This means they are much easier to absorb, because the collagen is broken down as much as it possibly can. Digestion of this supplement becomes much easier when it is in this hydrolyzed (broken down) state. Collagen peptides are also typically very high-quality, whereas gelatin is cheaper to produce and not always the best product. Of course, it's always important to read the labels of any product you buy so you know what's in it. Whichever you choose, look for unflavored varieties. Flavored supplements almost always have sugar or other additives. 

Is gelatin bad for you?

It's not bad for you- it's just not as good for you as collagen. Especially taking hydrolyzed collagen as a supplement, it's more likely you'll see results with a product that's easier to absorb and digest. People have reported digestion issues when taking gelatin. Collagen supplements are trusted and utilized in many supplements, like we discussed previously. If you want to try something different than a collagen protein powder, or taking pills, a great option is our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars. They contain 8 grams of hydrolyzed marine collagen, and 11-13 grams of protein. They also include specific ingredients that help increase the production of collagen, like Vitamin A from sweet potatoes and polyphenols from cocoa butter. They are easy to just grab and go, while giving you enough energy to replace a meal if needed. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.


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