Bone Broth vs. Collagen: What's the Difference and Which is Better?

December 03, 2020 11 min read

When it comes to boosting collagen, what we really want to know is: Bone broth, collagen peptides… or both? 

Bone broth and collagen peptides have quickly become two of the top-selling dietary supplements available on the market today.

These two products have taken the health & wellness industry by storm and as they continue to increase in popularity, they are often being used interchangeably. But although bone broth and collagen peptides have some similarities, they are actually not the same thing and don’t always deliver the same benefits.

In this article, we're going to take a closer look at both bone broth and collagen peptides in order to determine the key differences, as well as answer the most fundamental question regarding these supplements: Which one is ultimately better for you?

Bone Broth vs. Collagen


What are the Similarities?

The main purpose of both collagen peptides and bone broth is to deliver more collagen into your body. Both forms can be very beneficial for individuals looking to support healthy aging, athletes, and people of all walks of life who want better skin, hair, nails, joints, and gut health.  Collagen is also particularly good for people over 60 years old.  Both collagen peptides and bone broth offer multiple wellness benefits and in the larger sense, they have much in common.

Not too familiar with collagen? Let’s have a closer look at the basics before discussing the key difference between collagen peptides and bone broth.

It’s important to keep in mind that collagen supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness, and it's always best to consult with your physician before starting a new supplement routine. Collagen supplements are fantastic for helping your body, bones, and skin stay healthy, but they do not have any pharmaceutical qualities.


Collagen

Collagen supplements in powder form are an alternative way of ingesting collagen protein and all of the essential amino acids that go along with it. If you don't have time to cook bone broth or simply aren’t a fan of this method, collagen powder may just be what you're after.

What is Collagen?

If you’ve noticed that your skin is drier, looser, less elastic, or has more fine lines and wrinkles, you have low collagen levels to blame. Or if your joints are aching and stiff, your hair is thinner, or your nails are brittle, collagen is also responsible. These are all common signs that your body is producing less collagen than you need to look and feel your absolute best.

Collagen is the main structural protein in your body and, made up of essential amino acids, it gives structure to your skin, hair, nails, ligaments, bones, gut lining, tendons, and entire skeleton. The primary amino acids in collagen include  glycine, arginine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Without sufficient collagen, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy strong muscles, plump skin, flexible joints, shiny hair, and so much more.

In fact, 70% of the protein in your skin is made up of collagenAnd despite there being over 20 different types of collagen, the primary collagen types are generally considered to be collagen  I, II, III, IV, and X. 

Bone Broth vs. Collagen

 

Why Supplement with Collagen?

Collagen is naturally produced by your body and is plentiful in your youth. Unfortunately as you age, collagen greatly begins to diminish (especially after age 30). Moreover, certain lifestyle factors such as drinking, smoking, stress, an unhealthy diet, and insomnia can all exacerbate this decline of collagen. In other words, if you lead an unhealthy lifestyle, you will lose collagen more rapidly.

Fortunately, recent research shows that obtaining additional collagen from certain foods or supplements may help restore some of your body’s lost collagen. If that makes collagen supplements sound like something of a Fountain of Youth, you’re not entirely wrong... but there's more to the story!

Clinical studies have found that supplements containing bovine collagen peptides may decrease joint aches and stiffness, slow signs of skin aging, prevent  bone loss, improve hair quality, and more.

There are two popular methods that can help you boost your body’s collagen production: Collagen peptide supplements and collagen bone broth. Collagen peptides can be found in a variety of forms, with the most popular being powders and capsules.

What are "Hydrolyzed" Collagen Peptide Powders?

If you’ve done some research on collagen supplements, you’ve likely come across the term “hydrolyzed.” High-quality collagen supplements will always be “hydrolyzed” (already ‘broken down’) for maximum absorption and efficacy. 

 The process of hydrolyzation simply breaks the protein down into smaller particles that are much easier to process for your body. This makes it the best option for athletes and bodybuilders, who need to synthesize proteins quickly without waiting for everything to digest.

One important thing to note when it comes to collagen supplements is that the terms collagen “peptides” and “hydrolyzed” collagen are actually the same thing, and can be used synonymously. In other words, when collagen is hydrolyzed, it becomes a collagen peptide.

The most popular and widely consumed form of collagen peptide comes from bovine sources. However, collagen peptide supplements can also be found sourced from marine, eggshell membrane, and chicken skin sources. This is because bovine collagen powders are easy to use, convenient to store, and offer the most control over serving size and mixability. In other words, these supplements are so beloved because they are simple, affordable, and effective.

To produce bovine collagen peptides, cattle byproducts and cow bones are boiled in water, the collagen is extracted, and then it is dried and powdered to form a supplement that dissolves easily into just about any liquid. The end result is strictly pure, concentrated bovine collagen peptides.

One major benefit of bovine collagen peptides is that they have been shown most effective in enhancing types I and III collagen. Most important for supple, smooth skin, these collagen types are vital for keeping wrinkles at bay, hydrating, and increasing skin’s elasticity.

Bovine collagen has also been  recognized as safe by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), despite the fact that they do not fully govern over or regulate dietary supplements in the U.S.

When shopping for a bovine collagen powder, it’s important to select grass-fed, pasture-raised products that are transparent in nature and undergo third party testing for purity, safety, and potency. A reputable company will manufacture their collagen peptides in GMP or NSF facilities (Good Manufacturing Practices) to guarantee top quality and safety standards.

Bone Broth vs. Collagen


Types of Collagen Peptide Supplements

There are an endless variety of collagen supplements available on the market today. At Primal Harvest, we've carefully formulated four different collagen powder and capsule products, to accommodate any of your needs and wellness goals.

  • The first one is  Keto Collagen, which contains MCT oil powder in combination with pure, full-spectrum hydrolyzed bovine collagen to support your joints, hair, skin, nails, and more. The addition of MCT oil works to help increase your energy levels and metabolic rate, so that you can perform better at the gym, focus more easily, and recover faster.
  • Our Primal Flex  joint support capsules are specially formulated for those who need fast-acting relief for joint aches and stiffness, and those who need collagen protein to support their joints and bones. It also features Ayurvedic elements like turmeric curcumin and Boswellia serrata, as well as a hyaluronic acid matrix, to revitalize your skin even further! Primal Flex capsules are the perfect option for anyone looking to relieve joint discomfort and improve mobility, because they contain a multi collagen blend of type I collagen from eggshell membrane and BioCell® type II collagen.
  • Primal Collagen is a pure, premium collagen blend of strictly 100% hydrolyzed bovine collagen from grass-fed, pasture-raised sources. With a full amino acid profile and 10g per serving, this powerful collagen peptide works to support all areas of wellness, and focuses on joints, bones, gut health, hair, skin, nails, and more. It’s designed with patented ingredients to dissolve effortlessly into any liquid you choose.
  • Finally, our Multi Collagen capsules are the ultimate collagen option for anyone who wants to enjoy all five essential collagen types, or for anyone who isn’t a fan of powder supplements. Containing types I, II, III, V, and X, our Multi Collagen capsules provide a wide variety of benefits for all around wellness support. Glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine are all in there, on top of other essential amino acids, making it a one-stop-shop for all of your protein needs, as far as your skin, hair, joints, and bone health are concerned.

The Benefits of Collagen Peptides

Supplementing with pure collagen peptides carries plenty of benefits along with it. Regardless of which type of product you opt for, you are guaranteed to get your daily dose of essential amino acids to support healthy joints, bones, and all-around wellness. 

So what exactly are the advantages of collagen peptide powders and capsules?  Here are some of the most important ones to note:

  • They're easily absorbed. As we age, our bodies become worse at digesting various nutrients and proteins, making the amino acids present in bone broth or other collagen-rich food less effective. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides are made with the optimal synthesis in mind, so your body won't have a problem making the most out of the protein for maximum benefits.

  • Less of a hassle. Taking a couple of capsules in the afternoon or throwing in a scoop or two of your collagen powder into your morning coffee is much less time-consuming than simmering an entire pot of bone broth for 10-48 hours!

  • They’re more diverse. Collagen peptide powders allow you to easily control and adjust your servings as needed. They also allow for the greatest amount of diversity and creativity when it comes to deciding how you will mix your collagen (coffee, smoothies, yogurt, juices, etc).

  • The full package. On top of providing you with the optimal amount of collagen protein, collagen powders are carefully formulated to offer a comprehensive, concentrated supplement that targets overall wellness and health. Whether you choose a powder of capsule supplement, you will likely find that the latest advancements or modern ingredients have been selected to ensure you get the most bioavailable, effective option possible.

Bone Broth

In its purest form, bone broth is a type of traditional stock that is believed to be especially rich in collagen, because it is made out of animal bones. Below, you will find more specific information regarding the methods of cooking bone broth, how it can help support the human body, as well as all of the pros and cons of using bone broth as your primary collagen supplement.

Bone Broth vs. Collagen


What is Bone Broth Made of?

Bone broth is essentially the whole-food variation of collagen supplementation. It is prepared by boiling animal bones, sometimes with the addition of other ingredients, such as joint tissue, herbs, chicken feet, and cartilage.

When preparing bone broth, it is important to remember to have the bones slowly simmer in the water, rather than boiling them. Boiling is going to lead to the evaporation of most collagen from the stock, as well as other valuable nutrients, including vitamin A, and minerals such as zinc or manganese. It is also recommended to use only the bones, with no skin or meat, and to boil for at least 10-48 hours (with 12 hours seeming to be the ideal cooking time).

Bone broth has been used for centuries as the base for various soups, especially in poorer rural communities that may not have had access to the meat or fish that other types of stock are made out of. One major benefit of bone broth is that it can contain many additional nutrients in addition to collagen, such aschondroitin sulfate andhyaluronic acid, which is  found in the synovial fluid of joints.

Although bone broth may provide some healthful nutrients and benefits for all-around health, it does offer some challenges when it comes to collagen bioavailability (or your body’s ability to absorb the collagen). Bone broth appeals to many as the most popular way to ingest collagen in a “whole-food” form, however there is actually very little scientific evidence that bone broth is effective for collagen replenishment due to absorption issues.

Alternately, although more human research is needed on the benefits of collagen peptides and bone broth, there are many studies showing that collagen peptides do work for achieving the targeted results of collagen, such as reducing wrinkles and strengthening and thickening your hair, skin, and nails. This all comes down to the fact that collagen peptides are “hydrolyzed” (‘broken down’) to allow your body to properly absorb them.

Bone Broth vs. Collagen

 

Types of Bone Broth

There are two basic types of bone broth: beef bone broth and chicken bone broth. Although they're quite similar when it comes to their health benefits, there are some differences that may lead you to prefer one over the other.

If you're interested in getting as much collagen into your system as possible, then you should definitely opt for the beef bone broth. Beef bone broth may help lead to improvements in your sleep patterns and can elevate your mood. It generally is considered to have more collagen than the chicken variation, although it may come at the cost of other valuable nutrients.

Even though it can contain less collagen, chicken bone broth is actually said to be better for your skin and contains valuable electrolytes, which are key for hydration.

Just like in the case of the human body, collagen is the most abundant protein in both types of bone broth, so you're going to get plenty of it regardless of which one you choose. The most important deciding factor could be the flavor -- if you're not a fan of the rich, meaty taste, then you'll be better off sticking with the much lighter, chicken bone broth.

Aside from the natural way of getting some bone broth into your system, you can also buy bone broth powder, which is a ready-made supplement you can take in the form of a protein shake. It might be a good choice for you if you're too busy to make your own bone broth. On the other hand, it's kind of similar to powdered milk -- you're getting the basic gist of a substance, but intuitively, you can feel that it isn't the real deal.

Bone Broth vs. Collagen


The Benefits of Using Bone Broth

Homemade bone broth is by far one of the healthiest collagen-rich recipes you can prepare. On top of collagen, it contains various other nutrients and minerals. You can drink it straight out of a mug, or use it as a base for a delicious tomato or vegetable soup. Here are some of the benefits of using bone broth as your primary collagen supplement:

  • The flavor.  The rich flavor of homemade bone broth is a huge advantage and the comforting feeling of sipping warm broth out of a mug will likely never feel like a chore!

  • Lots of additional nutrients.  Bone broth makes for an excellent holistic recipe that can support overall wellness. Aside from being rich in collagen, it can also be very good for your gut health and immune system, which is particularly important during cold winter months.

What's the Difference Between Collagen Peptides and Bone Broth?

On the surface, the difference between collagen peptides and bone broth may seem non-existent, and they are often used interchangeably. Both contain collagen protein and can be very beneficial for your health,as well as being rich in essential amino acids.

Here’s the main distinction between these two collagen methods: Bone broth and collagen peptides both contain natural ingestible forms of collagen. Collagen peptides are a powdered form of hydrolyzed collagen supplement, and bone broth is a whole-food form of dietary collagen.

Collagen peptides are “hydrolyzed” (or already ‘broken down’ for increased absorption) whereas bone broths are not. This makes collagen peptides scientifically more proven to be the optimal choice for targeted hair, skin, nail, and joint benefits thus far. While bone broths certainly have many overall wellness benefits, like immune and gut support, the absorption rate of collagen is still largely debatable.

Bone broth collagen is collagen in its rawest form. This means that it might not be as easily digestible, since the tiny particles of collagen peptides created as a result of hydrolyzation (a process implemented to isolate the protein straight from its sources) are designed specifically to promote bioavailability. This may be the deciding factor for people who have problems with their digestive system, or athletes who care about optimal muscle-protein synthesis.

Bone Broth vs. Collagen


THE BOTTOM LINE:Which One is Better?

Ultimately, the choice is yours.  Collagen peptides and bone broths have different uses and offer slightly different pros and cons. Fortunately, you can safely add both to your holistic health routine for maximum benefits. In fact, we recommend trying both and seeing what works best for you!

Remember: A collagen peptide powder is generally considered best for targeted collagen benefits and a bone broth for overall wellness support.

At the end of the day, there is still much clinical research to be done on collagen supplementation. Collagen supplements are generally considered very safe with no adverse side effects, making them a worthy dietary addition in any healthy lifestyle!

 

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Team Primal Harvest

Team Primal Harvest
Made up of a creative team of designers, writers, and content creators, Team Primal Harvest works collaboratively to bring you unique content on holistic wellness and natural supplements. With various backgrounds and skills, our team is always ready to bring you the latest news and trends on how to live your best life, at any age!