Collagen Protein vs Whey Protein: Which is Better?

The main difference between a Collagen Protein and a Whey Protein is the amino acids profile of each. Collagen protein contains eight essential amino acids while whey protein has nine essential amino acids.

But, the difference does not end there. There are other distinct differences between the two. It is important to know the differences to help you decide which one you should use as a supplement to achieve your healthy lifestyle goals.

If you want to know more about collagen protein and whey protein differences, we have prepared a list below of the main difference between the two.

What is Whey Protein?

What is Whey Protein?

Before we discuss the differences between collagen protein and whey protein, it is best if we first get details about the two. Let’s start with Whey Protein.

Whey Protein is one of the two proteins found in milk, the other being casein. Whey protein is made up of globular proteins and is water-soluble. It is also a complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

Whey Protein is mainly used as a sports supplement because it is quickly absorbed by the body and helps to increase muscle.

What is Collagen Protein?

What is Collagen Protein?

Collagen Protein is a protein that is found in the connective tissues of animals. It is made up of long chains of amino acids and is insoluble in water.

Collagen Protein is mainly used as a supplement to improve body composition such as joint health, skin health, and hair health.

What are the differences between Collagen Protein and Whey Protein?

Collagen Protein vs Whey Protein

Now that we have a general understanding of what collagen protein and whey protein are, let’s take a look at the main differences between the two.


Collagen Protein is derived from bovine hide and skin, bone, joint material, and certain organs of animals, fishes, and fowl while whey protein is from milk.

Manufacturing Process for Supplements

The manufacturing process of these two vital proteins differs as follows:

Collagen peptides are manufactured through a process of hydrolysis where enzymes are used to break down the collagen into smaller pieces. These peptides are then packed into powders, pills, or drinks.

Whey protein is made through a process of ultrafiltration where the whey is filtered from the casein. Casein is the main protein in milk and cheese (in coagulated form).

Amino Acid Profiles

As we mentioned earlier, for these vital proteins the amino acids profile is one of the main differences between collagen protein and whey protein.

Whey protein is riched in branched-chain amino acids such as valine, leucine, and isoleucine used for muscle protein synthesis.

Collagen Protein, a structural protein, on the other hand, is made up of amino acids like proline, hydroxyproline, and lysine that are mainly used to create structure and support connective tissue, skin, hair, and nails to stay as healthy as possible.

Rate of Absorption

Whey protein takes about an hour and a half to be digested and only about eight to ten grams can be digested per hour. Though, whey protein with digestive enzymes, amino acid absorption can be boosted up to 127%.

Collagen when ingested can only be absorbed by the body at around 49.6% and 57.8% based on a study by ACS Publications. But when collagen is hydrolyzed, this is when collagen is broken down into smaller pieces, the absorption rate of main amino acids such as glycine and proline can be as high as 90% within 6 hours.

In general, whey protein is absorbed faster than collagen protein.

Effect on Skeletal Health

Whey protein supplement neither improves nor adversely affects the skeletal system while hydrolyzed collagen peptides can support bone health.

Collagen peptides stimulate osteoblasts, which are cells that create new bone tissue while also inhibiting osteoclastogenesis. Osteoclastogenesis is the process where old bone tissues are broken down.

A study done on rats showed that when given collagen supplementation, there was an increase in bone mineral density and bone growth.

Another study showed that when postmenopausal women were given a collagen supplement for 12 months, there was an improvement in their trabecular bone score, which is a measure of the microarchitecture of bones.

Bodybuilding Benefits

Whey protein with its key amino acids content supports muscle protein synthesis faster than collagen protein. Aside from the improvement in lean muscle growth, whey protein also aids in faster metabolism and post-workout recovery.

Collagen protein also helps in building lean muscle mass and easing joint pain.


The majority of the time whey protein has a chalky taste while collagen powder doesn’t have much flavor. You can mix both with water or milk but many people tend to add it to their smoothies, oats, or Greek yogurt to help with the taste.

Which is Better Collagen or Whey Protein?

Collagen Protein or Whey Protein - which is better

Deciding which is better between which protein is better depends on your fitness goals.

If you’re aiming to improve your skeletal health, then collagen peptides are your best bet. If you want to enhance muscle synthesis and growth, whey protein is what you need.

For people who want to improve their overall health, both are excellent options as they provide different benefits that can be vital.

Best Whey Protein Supplements

After understanding more about whey protein, you might now be looking for the best products out there. See below for the list of the best products that you can get from the market.

Whey Protein for Weight Loss: Isopure Protein Powder, Whey Protein Isolate Powder

Whey Protein for Weight Loss - Isopure Protein Powder, Whey Protein Isolate Powder

If you’re looking for a protein powder that can help you not just build muscles but also help in weight loss, Isopure Protein Powder is one of your best choices. This whey protein supplement has only 100 calories per serving with zero carbs, fat, and sugar.

Whey Protein For Muscle Building and Recovery: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

Whey Protein For Muscle Building and Recovery - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

This supplement contains the purest form of whey protein. This whey protein concentrate amino acid profile has the optimal support for muscle building and post-workout recovery.

Athletes trust the muscle-building qualities of each serving of this supplement that contains 24 grams of all-whey protein and 5.5 grams of naturally occurring branched-chain amino acid (BCAA).

Best Overall Whey Protein: Crazy Nutrition 100% Tri-Protein

Best Overall Whey Protein: Crazy Nutrition 100% Tri-Protein

Crazy Nutrition 100% Tri-Protein is your best choice not just to lose weight but also to build lean muscles and better muscle recovery. This bodybuilding protein powder contains 6 natural, non-GMO proteins and also satiates your hunger for improved weight management.

Be sure to explore more of the best whey protein products.

Best Collagen Protein Supplements

In your search for which protein to use, collagen vs whey, if you decided to go with collagen supplementation, here are the best collagen supplements that you can buy in the market:

Bestseller in Collagen Supplements: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder

Amazon's Bestseller in Collagen Supplements: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder is bovine collagen that contains original collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. This healthy collagen supplement benefits your immune system and improves the condition of your hair, skin, nails, joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Mix one to two scoops of this tasteless and odorless powder to your favorite hot or cold beverage. This product is dairy-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and does not contain heavy metals.

Most Positive Reviews: Vital Vitamins Multi Collagen Complex

Amazon's Choice: Vital Vitamins Multi Collagen Complex

Vital Vitamins Multi Collagen Complex is a complete collage pill supplement that contains all 5 types of collagen hydrolysate for better health of skin, hair, nails, bones, tendons, joints, and gut.

The hydrolyzed collagen peptides can be easily absorbed by the body with their enhanced absorption rate to maintain a youthful glow and stimulate the body to renew tissues.

This multi-collagen supplement pill is easy to use (you can take them on the go), gluten-free, dairy-free, and hormone-free.

Bestseller in Sports Nutrition Post Workout & Recovery Products: Physician’s Choice Collagen Peptides Powder

Bestseller in Sports Nutrition Post Workout & Recovery Products: Physician's Choice Collagen Peptides Powder

Physician’s Choice Collagen Peptides Powder is a collagen supplement with hydrolyzed collagen and patented DigeSEB digestive enzymes that improve the absorption rate.

This collagen supplement includes digestive enzymes and nineteen amino acids not only aid in improved hair, skin, and nails but also help in post-workout and recovery.

Physician’s Choice Collagen Peptides Powder is made from natural ingredients and is tested by a third party to ensure that there are no harmful additives added.

This supplement is non-GMO, non-allergenic, and hormone-free.

Knowing the differences of collagen protein vs whey protein can help you make a wise decision when it comes to what’s best for your overall fitness. We hope that the information above provided you with the details that you need about whey and collagen protein.

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