collagen vs gelatin

Gelatin vs. Collagen: Definitions, Benefits, and Critical Differences

You must’ve heard about collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the human body. It plays a significant role in our general health, especially skin, muscles, joints, gut, and bones. As our body naturally reduces collagen production after the age of 25, we should consider taking collagen supplements, which boost the amount of collagen in our bodies and encourage its production.

There are many types of collagen supplements. Not all of them are created equally, mainly since some products encompass only certain types of collagen. These supplements come in different forms – from powdered collagen peptides and pills to gelatin and gummies. And you must be wondering what makes them different from each other.

This article will explain the difference between collagen and gelatin, the two most popular forms of this vital protein.

A Brief Introduction to Collagen

Before we jump to the actual difference between gelatin and collagen, let’s talk a bit about collagen supplements in general. There are at least sixteen collagen types, but the four of them are considered the most vital – type I, II, III, and IV.

Here is how each of them impacts our health:

  • Type I: This type provides structure to bones, skin, cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth. It accounts for 90% of our body’s collagen.
  • Type II: It is found in elastic cartilage, which cushions your joints.
  • Type III: This type is responsible for supporting the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.
  • Type IV: Type IV is found in your skin layers, and it helps with filtration.
Collagen supplements are widely used for cosmetic and pharmaceutical purposes, especially since they have beneficial effects on the skin, nail, and joint health. They often come in the form of powder, pills, or gelatin, and each of them has many uses – from food to medication to even manufacturing.

What is Gelatin Collagen?

Gelatin is a form of collagen that is cooked enough for amino acids to break down into smaller components. These amino acids are later extracted, filtered and dried into sheets or powdered.

Does gelatin have collagen?

Yes. Gelatin is a degraded form of collagen, which means that it contains this vital protein. Like powdered collagen supplements, gelatin can also be added to food or beverages to promote skin elasticity, muscle mass, and bone and joint health.

Collagen vs Gelatin – Similarities and Differences

Collagen refers to the most abundant protein in our body, while gelatin represents its cooked form. Although they share many characteristics and benefits, these two terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably. Their uses vary significantly, and you’ll choose one or another depending on your needs.

Collagen vs Gelatin – Nutritional Value

Due to their similar composition, collagen and gelatin have almost the same nutritional profile. Have a look at the following table that compares 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of unsweetened collagen and gelatin.
     Collagen  Gelatin
We can see that these proteins have basically the same nutritional values, providing almost 100% protein per serving (2 tbsp).

Besides, they have a similar amino acid composition, which is why they are both rich in nutrients and low in fat and carbs.
However, you should be careful when choosing a particular product, especially gelatin. Collagen and gelatin may differ depending on the animal source and techniques used to extract the gelatin. Besides, some commercial products may contain sugars, artificial colors and sweeteners, which may reduce the nutritional profile.
Are you looking for grass-fed, sugar-free, and 100% natural collagen and gelatin? Check out the best Hearthy Foods products.

Are you looking for grass-fed, sugar-free, and 100% natural collagen and gelatin? Check out the best Hearthy Foods products.

Collagen vs Gelatin – Chemical Structure

The most significant difference between gelatin and collagen is associated with their chemical structure. Collagen is naturally formed by a triple helix composed of 3 chains, each of which contains over 1,000 amino acids.

Gelatin, on the other hand, has undergone partial hydrolyzation (breakage), which means that it is composed mostly of shorter amino acid chains. Therefore, it is much easier to digest than pure collagen. Still, most collagen supplements are made of an entirely hydrolyzed form of collagen (collagen peptides), which are easier to digest than gelatin.

The chemical structure of these two proteins also impacts their final form. That said, the gelling properties of gelatin allow it to form a gel that thickens when cooled. Collagen peptides lack this characteristic, which is another reason why we shouldn’t use these terms interchangeably.

Another critical difference that you should have in mind is that collagen dissolves in both hot and cold water, while gelatin only works with hot beverages.

Extra tip: Sprinkle powdered gelatin into a cold liquid before adding it to a hot beverage, and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. If you add it directly to a hot drink, the gelatin will clump.

     Collagen  Gelatin
Chemical structureTriple helix consisting of thousands of amino acidsDegraded form of collagen with shorter amino acid chains
DigestibilityEasy to digest, especially when taken as collagen powderVery easy to digest, thanks to shorter chains of amino acids
SolubilityDissolves quickly in hot and cold waterDissolves in hot beverages only
Gelling propertiesNoYes
FormPowder, granulated, pillsPowder, granulated, sheet
UsesNutritional supplementNutritional supplement, gelling agent in cooking
BenefitsSkin, hair, nails, joints, bones, gut, muscles, etc.Skin, hair, nails, joints, bones, gut, muscles, etc. It significantly helps muscle recovery.

Collagen vs Gelatin – Benefits

Despite some essential differences between these two nutrients, they share some significant health benefits you should bear in mind. They are both widely used in cosmetic products and medicines to improve skin, nail, bone, and joint health, promoting skin elasticity, muscle mass, and bone structure.

Let’s see the benefits of collagen and gelatin to our body:

Anti-Aging Effects

Both collagen and gelatin are beneficial in improving skin aging signs, including dryness, scaling, wrinkles, and reduced elasticity that often come from lowered collagen content in the skin.

Apart from enhancing your skin’s overall quality, collagen peptides and gelatin may boost hyaluronic acid levels, which is vital for skin structure and protecting against skin damage provoked by ultraviolet rays.

Joint Health

Collagen and gelatin can help reduce the symptoms of joint wear caused by intensive exercise, and prevent osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that provokes pain and disability. Regular protein intake can alleviate the signs of joint pain and stiffness, providing smoother movement and facilitating the physical activity.
is collagen and gelatin the same thing

Hair Gloss and Density

Collagen and gelatin supplements may improve hair's appearance, promoting hair density, thickness, and growth. Besides, collagen enhances the production of keratin, a protein essential for general hair health.

You are also encouraged to take collagen and gelatin supplements if you have any hair-related condition. Collagen acts as a potent antioxidant that fights against hair damage provoked by different external factors and free radicals that harm hair follicles.

Bone Health

Gelatin and collagen play a vital role in bone health, preventing the onset of osteoporosis, a condition caused by low bone density. Collagen supplements improve your bone mineral density and help inhibit bone breakdown by strengthening joints, cartilage, and other critical parts of the bone. You can take collagen supplements together with magnesium to boost the overall effect.

Muscle Mass

Collagen forms about 1-10% of total muscle tissue, playing a vital role in their strength and function.
Therefore, athletes are recommended to include collagen supplements into their diet, as well as people with age-related muscle mass loss.

Apart from boosting muscle mass, collagen and gelatin help with:

•    Muscle recovery
•    Lowering the risk of sports injuries
•    Creatine production.

does gelatin have collagen

Other Benefits of Collagen and Gelatin

Regular collagen and gelatin intake can bring long-term health benefits. You may notice some of the following improvements:

•    Reduced symptoms of leaky gut
•    Reduced stress and anxiety
•    Stronger teeth.

Do you want to know more about collagen benefits? Discover the 8 vital advantages of taking collagen supplements!

Gelatin vs. Collagen Peptides – Which One to Choose?

Now that you are more familiar with the similarities and differences between collagen gelatin and collagen peptides, you must be wondering which form is the right for you.

Bear in mind that both collagen and gelatin are easily absorbed by our digestive system, which is why your final choice will depend mostly on their purpose.

While you can add collagen to your favorite desserts, smoothies, soups, coffee or tea, the gelling properties of gelatin allow you to make homemade gummies or jellies or thicken dressings or sauces. Therefore, you can use these supplements to boost your meals with extra nutritional value.

Collagen Peptides vs. Gelatin: Whenever in Doubt, Go for Hearthy Foods

You’re not sure where to buy the best collagen and gelatin supplements? Look no further. Hearthy Foods is a leading company that produces 100% clean, natural, and grass-fed bovine collagen and gelatin you can easily add to your favorite drinks, teas, smoothies, soufflés, jellies, and other recipes that call for an extra dose of nutritional elements.

Order our halal and kosher certified collagen and gelatin from our official website or find us at the nearest store.

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