It’s easy to confuse the differences between collagen peptide supplements and bone broth. Collagen peptides are new to the anti-aging and fitness scene, while bone broth has been used for centuries for its health benefits.
Both collagen and bone broth have their pros and cons you should know about before using one. So it’s in your best interest to use the one that will give you the maximum benefits you’re looking for without any drawbacks you don’t want.
Here you’ll discover the winner in the battle of collagen vs bone broth. This comprehensive guide will outline everything you need to know about bone broth and collagen powder supplements.
I’ve used bone broth and collagen extensively for years, so I can help you choose which is better. So keep reading to find out if collagen or bone broth will work best for you…
Which Is Better Collagen or Bone Broth?
Collagen peptides are better than bone broth since collagen contains a significantly higher concentration of beneficial amino acids like glycine, leucine, proline, and lysine.1
While bone broth and collagen essentially have these same amino acid profiles, collagen supplements contain a higher concentration. These amino acids will give you the anti-aging and gut health benefits you’re looking for.
Collagen peptides are also hydrolyzed, meaning they’ve already been broken down for you. This makes it easier for them to digest and absorb in your stomach.2 They also mix easily in cold water and can quickly toss a scoop into your daily protein powder or greens drink.
Collagen peptides have the benefit of being directly transported into your bloodstream.3 This brings unique biochemical benefits, such as quickly shuttling to your skin, hair, and nails.
Not all bone broth has collagen, or at least at high levels. Most animal bones contain some collagen levels, but they vary significantly depending on the source. This makes it hard to get consistent levels of collagen from bone broth.
How Bone Broth Is Different Than Collagen
Bone broth is made by boiling the bones of animals (usually chicken or beef) with some connective tissue still attached, such as tendons and ligaments. This simmering process can last for 8-48 hours, which helps release nutrients like collagen in the bones.
While bone broth has some collagen, it also contains small amounts of minerals, vitamins, electrolytes, and proteins from the animal and added vegetables used to make it. This makes bone broth a more well-rounded food than collagen.
One cup of bone broth generally contains about 5 grams of collagen. A typical scoop of a collagen supplement contains about 10 grams of collagen peptides which have already been pre-broken down, making them easier to digest and absorb.
While bone broth is an effective way to get collagen, there are better options. If your main goal is to maximize the anti-aging benefits of collagen in your skin, hair, joints, and nails, then taking a collagen peptide supplement is the easiest and most efficient way.
Bone broth does contain more gelatin than collagen. This is why bone broth thickens up and gets more gel-like as it cools. Gelatin is very similar to collagen with its amino acid profile and health benefits, but it can have a gross taste to many and is heavier on the stomach.
Collagen Benefits: What It’s Good For
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. Dermatologists call it “the support structure for your skin.” With age, your body’s collagen production gradually decreases each year, contributing to the aging process and causing wrinkles, thinning hair, sagging skin, brittle nails, etc.4
Collagen peptides are made by hydrolyzing collagen. Hydrolysis is the chemical process of breaking down a complex molecule into smaller components, in this case, proteins into peptides and amino acids.
The collagen is broken down using enzymes or acid-based treatments. The resulting mixture of different-sized peptide molecules – two to three times shorter than collagen molecules – can be absorbed easily by the body for a dietary supplement.
The proven benefits of taking collagen peptides include:
Youthful-looking skin: Collagen improves skin elasticity which is your skin’s ability to stretch and then bounce back to its tightness.5 This reduces the appearance of wrinkles, sagging skin, dark age spots, crow’s feet, laugh lines, etc.
If you’ve ever asked, “why is my skin aging so fast?” it’s usually due to loss of collagen. Ultraviolet rays from sunlight can also cause the collagen in your face to break down faster.6 Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) from sugar and refined carbs also break down skin collagen.7 Consider taking a blood sugar support supplement like IC-5 if this is an issue.
Collagen also benefits the skin by improving hydration and blood flow.8 This will create a more supple and plump appearance instead of dry and deflated. Collagen has also been found to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite.
Thicker hair: Hair tends to thin over the years from genetics and hormonal changes but also from loss of collagen.9 Collagen peptides can help to regenerate and deliver nutrients to hair follicles to encourage hair regrowth.
The amino acids in collagen can be used to build keratin which is what hair is mainly made of. This can help to thicken hair and prevent it from thinning.
Less joint pain: Collagen has been found to reduce joint swelling and tenderness. Your bones have cushioning end caps called cartilage that can gradually wear down with time. Collagen can help rebuild damaged cartilage and reduce joint pain by allowing them to move smoothly against each other.10
Stronger bones: Collagen is the main protein found in your bones and makes up 30% of them. Bone strength and density decrease with age making your bones more brittle and smaller. Studies have found collagen peptides to significantly increase bone mineral density, giving them strength again.11
Improved digestive health: If you have digestive issues such as a leaky gut or IBS, collagen can help rebuild and repair your gut lining. Collagen contains glutamine and glycine, which are what your gut lining is made of. This will help with the digesting process and lower gut inflammation issues.12
Benefits of Drinking Bone Broth
Drinking bone broth also has a wide variety of health benefits. Bone broth contains a rich list of ingredients in addition to collagen.
Bone broth contains calcium that can strengthen your bones and teeth. It also contains other minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, sulfur, and silicon, which contribute to strong bones and joints.13
You can boost your digestion by drinking bone broth regularly too. The gelatin in bone broth can reduce gut inflammation and boost digestion.14 If you suffer from a leaky gut or IBS, then drinking a little bit of bone broth can help reduce these painful symptoms.
The gelatin in bone broth can also stabilize your blood sugar and prevent insulin spikes. In addition, it can help increase the feelings of fullness, making you eat less and contributing to weight loss.15
The gelatin in bone broth gives it a thicker silkiness feel when drinking. This can cause a negative with drinking bone broth. Gelatin does help to improve gut health, but it can be heavy on your digestive system, causing bloating and even belching.
But if you prefer not to take a collagen supplement, then drinking a lot of bone broth is the best and most natural way to get collagen. Beef bone broth is better than chicken since it contains more glycine and proline.
Can You Take Bone Broth and Collagen Together?
While collagen peptides win in the battle of collagen vs bone broth, that doesn’t mean you have to take only one or the other.
Since your body’s collagen production decreases with age, replacing it’s a good idea. This means you can use collagen peptide supplements and drink bone broth.
I take collagen peptides every day and drink bone broth often. Even on the same day! It’s best to spread it out to maximize the benefits, but you can drink a cup of bone broth mixed with collagen peptides if you want.
Another big benefit of taking collagen peptides is it’s a lot easier. You just toss a scoop in water, a protein shake, or even lukewarm coffee. But with bone broth, you either have to make it or keep buying it.
Making bone broth yourself can be messy, time-consuming, and tedious. When you have to keep making it, many will end up stopping because the process can be a pain.
And while boxed bone broth and bone broth powder have collagen, they can be expensive. So you’ll have to keep buying a lot since you need to drink more bone broth to get the same benefits of a scoop of collagen peptides.
Best Collagen to Look Younger
When picking out a collagen peptide supplement, there are a few things you should look for to get the best.
- contains at least 10g of collagen
- hydrolyzed collagen peptides
- multiple types of collagen (type I, type II, type III, type V, type X)
- odorless and flavorless
- mixes easily
- no sugars, artificial sweeteners, or fillers
Most collagen supplements only use one or two different types of collagen, which will limit your results. I’ve found many collagen supplements also clump when mixing, especially in colder water.
I have to stress to make sure the collagen is odorless or flavorless. Collagen powder can taste and smell awful, like a wet goat or cow. This makes it a lot less likely you’ll want to keep drinking it.
Brands will then add a lot of sweeteners to mask the taste. So it’s essential to make sure the collagen powder doesn’t contain sugar, sweeteners, and fillers.
My pick for the best collagen is Ageless Multi-Collagen by BioTrust. This collagen powder meets all of the above criteria, and I use it daily.
Contains 5 of the key types of collagen in scientifically ideal forms. Uses hydrolyzed collagne peptides making it easier to digest. Mixes easily, no clumping, with no odor or taste.
- Supports healthy, youthful looking skin & skin elasticity
- Supports joint health & comfort
- Supports hair health & growth
- Supports healthy body composition
So if you can only take one, I recommend taking a hydrolyzed collagen peptide supplement. It’s the clear winner if you’re comparing collagen vs bone broth.
You’ll get a significantly higher concentration of collagen than drinking bone broth. The collagen is also pre-broken down, making it easier for your body to digest and absorb. It’s also easier and simpler to use a collagen powder than to make or keep buying bone broth.
But you can also use collagen and bone broth together. Decreased collagen production in your body should be replaced if you want to look and feel younger. Use bone broth when fasting to curb hunger while not breaking your fast. And it contains a wider variety of nutrients than just collagen.
Bone broth and collagen powder both have their place. If you can only choose one, I’d pick collagen peptide powders. But you can definitely consume bone broth too, without worry.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.