Gelatin vs. Collagen – What’s the Difference?

Taking collagen as a dietary supplement has become increasingly popular in recent years, primarily due to the protein’s widely reported beautifying effects and health advantages. Celebrities swear by it, and studies show collagen can help support improved skin elasticity, increased bone density and reduced joint pain.

a person pouring collagen into a glass

Amid the buzz, it can be a little confusing when we hear the terms collagen and gelatin used together. In fact, three of the top questions we hear from new Custom Collagen customers are:

  • 1. Is collagen the same as gelatin?
  • 2. Does gelatin contain collagen?
  • 3. What is the nutritional difference between collagen and gelatin?

In our guide to gelatin vs. collagen, you’ll find out the answers to these questions and learn more about the benefits of both collagen and gelatin.

Comparing Collagen and Gelatin

It all starts with collagen, the most abundant protein in our bodies, found in the connective tissues and skin of different types of animals.

Gelatin is a product of collagen. It is also called partially hydrolyzed collagen, meaning gelatin is soluble in hot liquids only, not cold, because it does not completely break down in the production process. It will also gel as it cools, making gelatin a natural thickening agent perfect for food applications, usually in desserts like cheesecakes, marshmallows and puddings. Gummies are another popular gelatin creation. All these treats pack an extra nutritious punch of protein.

When collagen is completely broken down, it is called hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen peptides. Unlike partially hydrolyzed gelatin, collagen peptides are soluble in any temperature liquid, making collagen peptides perfectly suited as nutritional supplements for the modern diet, which lacks collagen sources. In addition, you can effortlessly add it to any liquid, and it is easy to digest. Peptides also serve as antioxidants, which can help protect existing collagen by neutralizing free radicals.

Partially hydrolyzed gelatin vs. collagen peptides? You decide. The list of nutritional benefits of collagen is the same as gelatin, including:

  • Improved Appearance of Skin, Hair and Nails. Nearly 80% of our skin is collagen, and it gives structure to nails and hair. Most importantly, collagen functions as an antioxidant to protect from free radicals that damage and age cells and inhibit growth.
  • Greater Joint Movement. Type II collagen is in your cartilage, the tissue that keeps joints moving smoothly, and a high-quality collagen supplement can help support flexibility and shock absorption.
  • Healthy Gut Maintenance. The intestinal wall is built of collagen, and collagen’s amino acids protect cells – two great reasons to use collagen for gut health.
  • Bone Repair Support. Half of the bone is formed by collagen. Collagen supplements encourage bone strength by increasing bone mineral density and preventing bone loss.

Collagen makes up a third of the protein in your body, so it makes sense that adding it to your routine can help support healthy skin and joints. Nutritionally, if you are wondering whether to use collagen or gelatin, there is no right or wrong answer, only what works best for you.

Hydrolyzed Collagen vs. Gelatin

As discussed, gelatin dissolves in hot liquid and gels as it cools, making it the superior product for adding collagen to recipes needing a thickening agent. Collagen peptide powder can be added to any liquid at any temperature, making it the easier and lower calorie option to incorporate into your diet. There are a few other differences between collagen and gelatin to note.

When taking collagen peptides, you know the exact amount you are getting. It’s easier to measure collagen powder into a glass of drinking water than calculate what portion of a recipe you are consuming. And because breaking the collagen molecules down into peptides increases their bioavailability, your body can more easily absorb the nutrients and amino acids they contain with hydrolyzed collagen than with gelatin.

Browse High-Quality Gelatin and Collagen Peptides From Custom Collagen

For over 20 years, our company has been a leader in innovation in the collagen and gelatin industry. The Custom Collagen leadership team brings together decades of experience, and we designed our commercial gelatin supply and commercial collagen products for small businesses and retail sales. Our state-of-the-art facility processes premium gelatin and collagen orders designed for your needs. Contact us for questions, or a quote, anytime!

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