There’s a lot of buzz around collagen and it’s well-known benefits right now, and for good reason. You may be wondering, “Can I mix my collagen powder with protein powder? The short answer, yes.
Collagen is the most common protein found in your body and is a vital protein building block for your hair, skin, and nails – as well as bones, muscles, and joints. It’s found in connective tissue, tendons, fat, and ligaments throughout your body, working hard to keep your skin looking young and wrinkle-free, and joints working smoothly.
But, as we get older – starting in our 20s and reaching our 40s and 50s – the body produces less collagen each year, leading to joint pain, decreased muscle mass, saggy wrinkly skin, and brittle hair – yikes!
"Starting in our mid-20s, we slowly begin to lose collagen," Dr. Aivaz says. "For women, we can lose up to 30% of our collagen production in the first 5 years of menopause."
The good news: Collagen comes in all kinds of supplement forms, including collagen powder, pills, capsules, liquid, and now, even collagen drinks.
“Collagen is what keeps our skin from sagging, giving us that plump, youthful look," says dermatologist Dr. Ohara Aivaz. When you combine a collagen supplement with protein powder, your muscles, joints, and body will be more than happy.
This article discusses if you should mix collagen peptides with protein powder, what are the benefits of collagen peptides and whey protein, and what is the best protein powder for muscle growth for women and men.
How It Works
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein in our bodies. Particularly, the amino acids glycine and arginine that are found in protein, help improve our skin, hair, bone, and joint health.
Collagen peptides are rich in these amino acids. Due to this, collagen protein powders provide a boost of amino acids to help your body with workout recovery – while helping to keep your joints healthy and working properly.
Other protein powders, such as whey protein or pea protein powder, also contain amino acids to help your body with workout recovery and muscle building.
When you mix collagen with a protein powder, you’re maximizing protein content (amino acids) that your body uses to refuel, build muscle mass, and support and soothe aching joints, muscles, and bones. It’s a win-win for your body, health, and hair, skin and nails!
Collagen Protein Vs. Whey Protein: Which is Better?
Whey protein powder seems to be the most popular protein powder, but collagen supplements provide the most effective benefits when it comes to maintaining healthy joints, bones, muscles, and skin. This is due to two reasons.
First, collagen has an abundant amount of the amino acids that are necessary for keeping joints and muscles healthy – as well as youthful looking skin.
Second, collagen is naturally found in our bodies – in our connective tissue, tendons, muscles, joints, bones, and skin. As we age, collagen in our bodies decline at a rate of 1.5% per year, which leads to joint pain, muscle deterioration, and saggy skin. Taking collagen supplements daily helps reverse these things to keep your body healthy and strong.
If you experience pain or stiffness in your knees, hands, or hips, collagen peptides may also help to promote functionality in these areas. According to the Current Medical Research and Opinion, patients with arthritis experienced significant improvement after taking a collagen supplement daily.
Another clinical study found that the daily ingestion of 10g of collagen hydrolysate helped to support joint health in patients with knee and hip issues.
Collagen Peptides & Protein Powder for Muscle Strength
You may be wondering, is collagen protein good for building muscle? Yes, it is!
It becomes harder to maintain muscle strength and lean muscle mass as we age. Our metabolism also changes as we get older, making it harder to lose weight and having less energy. But, that’s where collagen whey comes in.
Collagen supplements have shown to reverse age-related decreases in muscle mass, as well as fight signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and dull hair.
A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that collagen peptide supplements, combined with exercise and resistance training, improved overall body composition by increasing fat-free mass (lean muscle mass), muscle strength, and loss in fat mass in participants, compared to those who took a placebo.
Can Collagen Replace Your Post-Workout Protein Powder?
The answer is, yes and no. It depends on what your workout goals are.
First, it’s important to understand what a complete protein and incomplete protein is. A protein is considered “complete” when it contains the nine essential amino acids that our body cannot produce on its own. When a protein doesn’t have all nine essential amino acids, it is considered “incomplete”.
Collagen isn't considered a complete protein and only contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids.
If you're drinking a protein powder after a workout to increase your muscle mass, a complete protein option is probably going to be the better choice. This ensures that you're getting all of the amino acids you need to build muscle.
However, collagen is great for supporting connective tissues and improving joint pain after exercise, which most other protein powders can’t do as effectively as collagen peptides.
In a recent study with 147 athletes, both male and female, half of them took a collagen hydrolysate liquid while the other half took a liquid placebo. After 24 weeks, researchers found that those who took the collagen supplement had less joint pain overall – when walking, lifting, standing, carrying objects, and at rest, compared to those who took a placebo.
Collagen Peptides for Younger Looking Skin
According to the Cleveland Clinic, collagen makes up 75 to 80 percent of our skin, so it’s no surprise that this protein helps to reduce wrinkles, sag, dryness, and even cellulite.
A study in the Journal of Medicinal Food studied the results of collagen peptides as cellulite treatment of normal and overweight women. The results showed that with daily collagen supplementation over six months led to a significant improvement of cellulite appearance in the skin.
Collagen peptides have also shown to help with skin dryness by increasing hydration. Other anti-aging effects, like the improvement of skin elasticity, have also been shown to have significant effects from collagen supplements.
When you combine collagen peptides powder with a complete protein powder like whey protein or soy protein, you’re getting the amino acids needed for your body to recover from working out, as well as supporting joint, muscle, bone, and skin health.
Consider taking Vital Proteins Collagen Whey Protein Powder, or, mixing Wholy Dose Unflavored Collagen Powder (which also contains biotin) with a pure whey protein powder like Isopure Whey Protein Isolate Unflavored, or soy protein powder like Bob’s Red Mill Soy Protein Powder after your workout. Your body, joints, muscles and skin will thank you!