Collagen comes in many forms and lets people take advantage of its many benefits like better skin and joint pain relief.

But is hydrolyzed collagen different/better than other forms?

What is hydrolyzed collagen?

Male teacher fixing skeleton model in classroom of elementary school

  • Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body
  • There are at least 16 different types of collagen
  • They make up the structure of our bone, muscles, skin, and cartilage
  • Collagen contains glycine, proline, and arginine among other amino acids

Hydrolyzed collagen is broken down into peptides (small protein chains) and contains a few amino acids.

The reason collagen is hydrolyzed is that:

  • In its original state, collagen isn’t very useful or palatable to humans
  • To hydrolyze collagen, it goes through a process called hydrolysis
  • After hydrolyzation, collagen dissolves completely in liquid making it easier to use
  • It’s also essentially odorless and tasteless
  • It goes by a few names including hydrolyzed collagen, collagen peptides, and collagen hydrolysate

Is all collagen hydrolyzed?

All commercial collagen is hydrolyzed at least to some degree. Otherwise, we’d be eating or chewing ligaments.

The reason products and companies present collagen as hydrolyzed has more to do with being specific about what’s in their product and less to do with a marketing ploy.

Benefits of hydrolyzed collagen

Happy afro woman touching soft smooth skin on her face

Some research suggests that taken hydrolyzed collagen may:

  • Promote skin elasticity and youthful texture
  • Serve as an excellent nutrient source to help to heal the gut
  • Repair and grow muscle tissue
  • Ease chronic joint pain in osteoarthritis
  • Increase lean muscle and help improve body composition

Is gelatin related to collagen?

  • Gelatin is collagen that is partially hydrolyzed
  • It may cause bloating and upset stomach since it’s not completely broken down
  • Gelatin doesn’t dissolve as easily in liquids
  • Instead, it causes them to gel
  • Perfect for making healthy gummies and custards
  • Can also be used to thicken soups and sauces

Can I find collagen in bone broth?

Broth from the bones and vegetables in the glass dish

Collagen can also be sourced from food (bone broth, specifically) if you want to skip the supplements.

  • Cook bone broth for 12+ hours
  • Start with organic or grass-fed bones
  • Add some raw apple cider vinegar to help draw the minerals and amino acids out
  • If going store-bought, ensure that it’s been cooked for 12+ hours as well
  • To get the full benefits, bone broth needs to be cooked for 12+ hours, whether it’s homemade or store-bought

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