The hype around collagen and bone broth has skyrocketed over the last few years with no sign of slowing down any time soon. Both products are known for their impact on overall wellness, with something to offer for basically anyone.
Even though some of the benefits from these products overlap, is one better than the other? Or is it best to include both in your daily routine?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to decide if collagen, bone broth, or a combination of both is best for you.
Are bone broth and collagen the same?
Bone broth and collagen are both extremely popular supplements with similar benefits. However, they aren’t exactly the same.
The biggest difference - Bone broth always contains collagen, but supplemental collagen is not the same as collagen that comes from bone broth - if that makes sense.
Also, collagen is made with animal hide. Bone broth is made with animal bones.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein. In fact, the body contains more collagen than any other type of protein. It’s found all over the body, including the muscle, skin, connective tissues, and bones.
Taking collagen isn’t the same as taking protein powder. It has a specific makeup of amino acids that make it function differently in the body. Collagen does technically contribute to your overall protein intake, but its benefits are more specific.
Although the body can make collagen on its own, we all start to make less as we age.
Certain environmental factors like UV exposure, pollution, stress, and smoking can also cause collagen to break down.
Supplemental collagen has become widely popular with evidence that it can prevent or reverse unwanted effects of collagen breakdown.
How is collagen made?
There are a few types of supplemental collagen. You can choose the source of collagen (bovine or marine), based on your own dietary preferences.
The most common type is bovine, where collagen is extracted from cow and pig hide. The extraction process involves washing the hides and then soaking them in a solution that makes it easier to remove the collagen.
After it is removed, the collagen is turned into the flavorless powder you know as hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides. Obviously, the process is a little more complicated than that, but those are the basics.
What are the benefits of a collagen supplement?
Collagen provides structure to pretty much every tissue in the body. The most well-known benefits of taking a collagen supplement include:
Youthful skin - supplementing collagen may increase skin elasticity and minimize wrinkles.
Decreased joint pain - taking a collagen supplement may reduce symptoms of arthritis, and has been shown to slow the progress of osteoarthritis.
Increased muscle mass - taking protein supports muscle growth, and collagen provides specific amino acids to further support this process.
Stronger bones - collagen may improve bone mineral density, preventing osteoporosis.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is basically extra strength stock. Yes, like the kind you cook with. The difference is in how it’s made.
Regular stock (like chicken or beef stock) is made by simmering meat, vegetables, and seasoning over a long period of time.
The process of making bone broth is similar, except the meat is replaced with bones and connective tissue during the cooking process. Some recipes call for vinegar as well to help pull nutrients from the bones into the broth.
Why use bones instead of meat? Nutrition.
Simmering bones and connective tissue with water and vinegar for a long period of time pulls vitamins, minerals, and collagen into the broth. Some of the nutrients found in bone broth include:
- Vitamin A
- Omega-3 fatty acids
The exact makeup of the bone broth you choose depends on the types of bone and connective tissue used to make it.
Naked Broth, our bone broth protein powder, uses only 100% high-quality European beef bones, and it is processed through a chemical-free procedure to retain maximum nutrients and increase absorption.
Bone broth gives you all of the benefits from collagen, plus more.
Bone broth packs a punch of nutrition, which means it can offer many benefits if you drink it regularly.
Supports gut health - The topic of gut health has exploded in the wellness industry. We’re learning that balance in the gut plays a role in so many processes throughout the body and impacts overall health.
Bone broth contains gelatin, which may help your body absorb certain nutrients. It also contains glutamine, an amino acid that supports the structure of the intestinal walls.
Fights inflammation - Chronic inflammation has been linked to diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions.
Bone broth is considered to be an anti-inflammatory food because it contains two amino acids that fight inflammation, arginine and glycine.
Improves joint health - Bone broth provides collagen to strengthen joints and fights inflammation in the joints.
Helps sleep and cognitive function - Drinking any warm beverage can help you relax. Bone broth also contains glycine, which helps you relax even further and could make it easier to fall asleep. There are actually a number of studies finding glycine to help improve sleep quality.
Better sleep means less grogginess throughout the day. When your sleep improves, you’ll think more clearly and likely find that your memory improves.
May help with weight loss - Bone broth is low in calories but still satisfying. Naked Bone Broth provides 20 grams of protein per serving, which is more than enough to keep you feeling full between meals.
The gelatin in bone broth may also keep you feeling full longer. Feeling full longer makes it easier to reach a calorie deficit for weight loss.
Is bone a good source of collagen?
Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen. Because it’s made from whole foods, collagen from bone broth is highly bioavailable (your body might absorb more of it).
Drinking bone broth helps supplement collagen, and provides nutrients to support the body’s natural collagen production. Bone broth is rich in glycine, which is an amino acid needed to produce collagen.
Other nutrients that support collagen production include:
- Vitamin C - berries, citrus, peppers, broccoli
- Proline - eggs, dairy, mushrooms, asparagus
- Copper - whole grains, sesame seeds, cocoa, dried fruits, lentils, organ meats
Collagen vs. Bone Broth: Which One Should I Take?
It comes down to your lifestyles, primary goals, and preferences.
Bone broth and collagen have a lot of overlapping benefits, but here are some of the key benefits of both.
Check and see which primary benefits fit your biggest priorities. And the best part is that you'll still most likely get some of the benefits of the other one, whether you pick collagen or bone broth (of vourse, you can always take both).
Collagen protein primary benefits:
- Improve appearance of skin
- Stronger nails and hair
- Gut health
- Flavorless and odorless, mixing with any drink
- Works well with shakes and smoothies
Bone broth protein primary benefits:
- A whole food
- Improve gut health
- Superior amino acid profile for muscle growth
- High glycine content for better sleep
- Fight inflammation
- Goes best with warm savory beverages
- Best for cooking grains or used in stews, soups
How to use bone broth powder in recipes
Bone broth may not be flavorless like collagen, but it’s still pretty versatile. You can easily mix it into warm water to create a soothing and nutritious beverage. It also mixes well into savory soups.
Our favorite way to use bone broth is as the base for classic comfort foods. Think mac n cheese, rice, and mashed potatoes. If you’re looking for something sweet, bone broth works really well in recipes baked goods, smoothies, and even coffee.