What Is Hydrolyzed Collagen?
Posted April 2022
“Contains hydrolyzed collagen!” Ever found this phrase in large, all caps font plastered all over the labels of collagen supplements—and thought, “Well, so what? What’s so special about it?” If you have, this article is right up your alley. Here, we explore what hydrolyzed collagen is, its benefits, and how much you should take per day.
What is the difference between hydrolyzed collagen and normal collagen?
Hydrolyzed collagen, also known as collagen hydrolysates, will only make sense if you first learn about "normal" collagen. So, let's start there. As the main structural protein that forms the connective tissue throughout your body (i.e., skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments), collagen consists of three chains of amino acids, tightly wound together to form a triple helix. Each chain is over 1,400 amino acids long, so it’s safe to say that collagen is a large molecule.
To that end, your body may have difficulties digesting and absorbing “normal” collagen. Enter hydrolysis, the process of using water and enzymes to break chemical bonds between protein—cleaving collagen into shorter chains of amino acids. And that’s how you end up with hydrolyzed collagen: smaller collagen peptides that can more easily pass through your intestinal barrier and into your bloodstream (i.e., more digestible). When researching a collagen product, be sure to check it has an average molecular weight of between 2-3 kDa for optimal absorption and effectiveness just like our Premium Collagen Peptides.
Does it work?
It’s more digestible. That’s good. But a more pressing question weighing on your mind should be: “Does hydrolyzed collagen work?” How, exactly, does supplementation benefit you? The short answer is that hydrolyzed collagen is well-worth its hype. For those interested in the long answer, though, here’s a list:
- Skin: Research consistently shows that taking collagen supplements helps support skin elasticity and hydration levels, which help your skin stay firm, taut, and youthful-looking. Wondering how it accomplishes that? Check out our past article here to find out.
- Hair: Want healthy, thick, and luscious hair? Then hydrolyzed collagen supplementation is just what you need. We cover how collagen helps hair growth in more detail here.
- Nails: Beyond boosting your body's keratin production (a protein found in nail beds), collagen peptides also increase your body's levels of arginine—an amino acid responsible for carrying nitric oxide through the capillaries into the nail bed. And that gives you stronger, shinier nails.
- Joints: Struggling with joint pain? Collagen peptides can help decrease joint inflammation—and, in turn, pain—by lowering the production of a key inflammatory marker, Tumor Necrosis Factor (NCF). Find more information on how collagen alleviates knee pain here.
- Teeth and gums: As covered in our past article, “Does Collagen Help Your Teeth and Gums?" collagen supplementation promotes tooth pulp health, encourages firm tooth anchoring, and enhances gum integrity (i.e., thicker and healthier gums).
- Surgery recovery: Recovering from surgery (or about to head into a surgery)? Do stock up on hydrolyzed collagen. By promoting wound healing, fending off infections, and rebuilding cartilage, collagen peptides supplementation could have you living your best life once again, post-surgery, at neck-breaking speed.
- Stretch marks: You adore your baby—but the stretch marks that came with pregnancy? Not so much. While they're perfectly normal, there's nothing wrong with wishing to minimize their appearance. And that’s where hydrolyzed collagen supplementation comes in. But wait. What if you’re breastfeeding? Fortunately, there’s no evidence suggesting collagen supplementation to be harmful to either a nursing mum or her baby (psst: it may even stave off postpartum hair loss!)
How much hydrolyzed collagen should I take per day?
First, a disclaimer. There aren’t any official guidelines on how much collagen you should take per day. That said, we've personally seen our customers get incredible results—from better skin to healthier hair to faster wound recovery—with our collagen peptides, which are all formulated with 15 grams of collagen per serving.
And don’t worry: 15 grams of collagen per day is a perfectly safe amount; this study published in Amino Acids, for instance, found that 20 grams of collagen per day can help reduce post-workout muscle soreness (yet another collagen supplementation benefit).
Hydrolyzed collagen is "normal" collagen broken down into shorter chains of amino acids, making them more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. To date, studies show that hydrolyzed collagen is living up to its hype—benefitting nearly every part of the body, from head to toes. Don’t forget to check your collagen supplement has an average molecular weight of between 2-3 kDa for maximum absorption and efficacy just like our Premium Collagen Peptides. As for the daily dosage? Fifteen grams appears to do the trick.And … you'll find precisely 15 grams of high-quality hydrolyzed collagen in every scoop of our collagen powder. Coincidence? We think not. Instead, it's a sign for you to shop now.