Bone broth, or collagen? THAT is the question. Bone broth has collagen. So, collagen has…bone broth? No, but, both of these two products have exploded on the wellness scene recently, and, more often than not, are used interchangeably.
But is taking a collagen supplement the same thing as drinking bone broth?
What’s the difference between bone broth and collagen?
Do bone broth and collagen offer the same benefits?
Which one is better?
Or should you take both?
Here, we’ll answer all these questions and break down the difference between bone broth and collagen peptides, powders, and supplements.
WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It’s made up of a combination of amino acids, primarily, glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine. It’s this specific combination of these four amino acids that makes collagen so special.
You cannot find this combination of amino acids, in this concentration, in ANY other protein source.
These four key amino acids help give structure to our hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments, tendons and gut lining. They make our muscles grow, our bodies flexible, our skin tight and plump, and our hair shiny.
Collagen makes up to 70% of the protein within our skin, helping it stay toned and supple.
Sounds a lot like The Fountain of Youth, right? That’s because when we’re young and spry collagen production is at its peak. Unfortunately, as we get older – after the age of 30 to be exact – our body’s collagen production starts to fall.
You may have already noticed your skin looking drier? A few more lines and wrinkles? Joints popping and clicking WAY more than they used to when you're twerking on the dance floor???
*Resume Happy Dance.*
There are two ways that you can supplement with collagen: collagen "peptides," which come in a multitude of forms, most commonly capsules and powders, or, the whole-food form of collagen: bone broth.
WHAT ARE “HYDROLYZED” OR POWDERED COLLAGEN PEPTIDES?
Let’s start with the collagen supplements. You’ve probably heard the term collagen “peptides” or, “hydrolyzed” collagen, these are the same thing – a powdered form of collagen that has been extracted from bovine hides (cow skin) – not bones.
The animal hides are washed and soaked in an alkaline or acid solution – typically a lime slurry pit – to loosen the collagen bonds; the hides are then boiled to extract the collagen. The extracted collagen is evaporated, concentrated, desiccated in drum driers, and then pulverized, which results in the powder form of collagen. (NOTE: Information on the ingredients and processing of any collagen powder or supplement should be readily available on the manufacturer's website.)
HOW IS BONE BROTH DIFFERENT FROM COLLAGEN PEPTIDES?
There are several ways that bone broth differs from collagen peptides…
For starters, when prepared correctly (read more about how to tell if your bone broth is legit HERE), bone broth is made from animal bones. And JUST bones (plus some chicken feet, joint tissue, and cartilage if you're doin' it right). NO skin or meat. Collagen peptides, on the other hand, are made from animal hides, or, skins, which results in a different collagen profile as well as overall nutrient content.
Collagen peptides are a very simple supplement containing one thing: collagen. Bone broth contains multiple nutrients, including naturally-occurring chondroitin sulfate, which is found in bones and cartilage, hyaluronic acid, found in the synovial fluid of joints, and nearly 20 other forms of amino acids, plus minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Finally, bone broth also contains alkylglycerols- lipids that have been shown to have powerful immune-supporting properties.
Degree of Processing
As outlined above, making powdered collagen peptides involves multiple stages of processing. Traditionally-made bone broth only undergoes one process: slow-simmering bones in water for 18-48 hours.
At Bonafide Provisions, we slow-simmer (never boil) our bone broth at a gentle, low heat for a minimum of 18 hours in order to extract all the collagen. Our bone broth is then cooled and frozen-fresh to preserve nutrient content at its peak. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR TRADITIONAL PREPARATION PROCESS.
At Bonafide Provisions, we believe that the human body evolved eating food and, as a result, is more able to recognize, digest, and use nutrients contained in food.
(NOTE: while we are NOT scientists or doctors, we are experts in common sense...)
Our founder, Sharon Brown, is a certified Clinical Nutritionist and her experience working with thousands of nutrition clients across the country taught her that, many times, the body does not recognize or use manufactured nutrients the same way it does nutrients from whole-food sources.
That's not to say the body can’t use nutrients from supplements - we take a few supplements ourselves - but it is our experience and opinion that, when given the choice, the body prefers whole-food sources of nutrients.
Bone broth is one of the most bioavailable sources of collagen because it comes in a whole-food form.
“I think collagen is interesting and there is some data out there suggesting benefit, but I prefer for my patients to eat food,” says Valori Treloar, Massachusetts dermatologist & nutritionist.
WHICH ONE IS BETTER?
Research shows that using simple collagen peptides does work for achieving the targeted results of collagen, such as reducing wrinkles and strengthening and thickening your hair, skin, and nails.
Bone broth, on the other hand, is more of an all-inclusive health supplement providing a multitude of nutrients that support gut health, brain health, joint & bone health, and immunity, in addition to strengthening your hair, skin and nails.
You also don’t have to decide between one or the other as they have different uses.
Collagen peptides or powdered gelatin can be used in baking to add a chewy, gummy texture to cookies and make homemade gummy collagen candies.
Bone broth can be used to make, well, just about anything. Seriously.
We put bone broth in our smoothies (yes, SMOOTHIES), in our waffles, mashed potatoes, even our coffee; we use it to make our rice and quinoa, braise meats, sauté our vegetables, the list goes on and on!
So there you have it, friends. While bone broth and collagen are not the same things and do not deliver the same benefits, both can have a place in your kitchen, depending on what you're after.
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I got collagen powder but wanted bone broth in powder form. Is it availabble? Primarily interested in joints. I FIND bone broth but ONLY chicken no beef. Difference?
Collagen peptides from bovine is usually done with harsh chemicals. I think using a Organic bone broth is a much better idea.
Well written and to the point. I appreciate the detail in this article!