The Difference Between Collagen & Paleo Protein
June 20th, 2019
I hear this question all the time: “What’s the difference between Paleo Protein and Collagen Protein?” That question is almost always followed by, “Is one better than the other?” and “Which one should I purchase?”
These are excellent questions, and I’ve got the answers for you!
My Paleo and Collagen Proteins are—yes, you guessed it!—both types of protein. Despite this similarity, they are very different products, each with its own health benefits and purpose. First, let’s discuss what is alike about them and then I will explain how they differ.
Protein: It’s practically everywhere!
Proteins are long chains of amino acids, folded into three-dimensional molecules.Their shape determines their activity in nature, as well as their roles in your body. There are millions of types of protein in the world. Within our bodies, the many different types of protein are responsible for synthesizing your DNA, hormones, and enzymes. Your muscles, heart, eyes, stomach, and lungs are made up of protein. Veins and arteries, your skin, fingernails, your hair, bones, intestines, and stomach lining are also all built from protein! In fact, it’s a building block of every single cell.
The Difference Between a Complete Protein and Collagen
A complete protein is made of at least the 9 essential amino acids, so called because you must obtain them from your diet. Your body cannot synthesize them on its own. Protein is found in all manner of foods, however, we most often think of foods derived from animals, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy when we think of dietary protein. These, like my Paleo Protein, are complete proteins. Most plant-derived proteins, including nuts and seeds, are incomplete.
Collagen is a completely different type of protein. It is not complete, meaning, it does not have all nine essential amino acids. Instead, it is comprised of nonessential amino acids that many of us are lacking including glycine, proline, alanine, and hydroxyproline. Why is it Important to Supplement with a Complete Protein?
Protein is critical in order to sustain human life. You need the amino acids in complete proteins to help build and repair every single structure in your body. Your body is constantly breaking down and rebuilding all manner of structures and systems. This requires a great deal of dietary protein every day in order to be done correctly and efficiently.
Furthermore, lean muscle is made entirely of complete protein. Lean muscle improves metabolism, helps burn body fat, and regulates body temperature. It keeps you strong and healthy.
Eating protein is essential for rebuilding structures from your cells on up, as well as creating lean muscle. Grass-fed, pasture-raised meats or wild caught fish are excellent choices for complete proteins. However, since not everyone has access to these sources, especially on an everyday basis, a high-quality complete protein supplement can fill in the gaps and help deliver the essential amino acids your body needs.
Why is a Collagen Supplement so Important?
Collagen is the most important and abundant structural protein in your body. Your body can make collagen, but it is an intense process, and you need a lot of it! Think of collagen as the “glue” that holds your body together. Your skin, hair, nails, gut barrier, bones, connective tissue, cartilage, and joints all depend on ample collagen to be healthy, strong, and flexible. Plus, collagen assists in weight management and bone health, protects your heart, and optimizes liver function.
Even under the most ideal nutritional conditions, collagen production rapidly declines after the age of 40. This results in wrinkles, thinning bones, weaker joints, thinning hair, and negatively impacts other aspects of our health and vitality. Furthermore, most of us don’t get enough collagen from our diets. Unless you’ve got an 8-quart crock pot simmering bone broth from grass-fed, antibiotic-free cow bones all day, every day, then you are very likely in need of a high-quality collagen supplement!
Why I Recommend Both Paleo Protein AND Collagen Protein
Now we’re clear that complete protein and collagen are very different, each having a very different function in your body. That’s why, if you want to support healthy weight loss, lean muscle mass, hair, skin, nails, and strong bones, as well as gut health, joint health, DNA synthesis, enzyme production, and more (yes, it’s that important!) I recommend adding both into your daily routine.
How to Choose a High-Quality Complete Protein
There are many different types of protein supplements on the market, many of them low quality, processed with solvents and harmful chemicals, or made with ingredients that can be inflammatory to your digestive tract.
Often the source of the protein in these powders is from genetically modified soybeans, or whey protein processed from milk using acidic solvents, such as hexane. When the protein is derived from animals, it’s often coming from conventionally raised animals that were given antibiotics, hormones, and GMO corn.
When looking for a high-quality complete protein supplement to fuel your body and promote well being, check the labels to ensure the product is:
- Sourced from grass-fed, GMO-, hormone-, and antibiotic-free animals
- Free of inflammatory ingredients (gluten, dairy, whey, corn, soy, grains, legumes)
- Lacking sugar or artificial sweeteners
- Without colors, additives, preservatives, dyes, or other toxic ingredients
When I was first looking for a protein powder that met all of the criteria above, I found there just wasn’t anything I felt comfortable using. In fact, I actually had to give up protein smoothies altogether for a number of years! My husband Xavier and I would come home from the gym and he would enjoy his whey protein smoothie while I made a green smoothie (which was still delicious, but didn’t fill the same need.)
After years of missing my protein smoothie, I decided to formulate my own powder that would be free of all inflammatory ingredients, sourced from clean protein, and approved for myself and all of you.
The Myers Way® Paleo Protein is gluten, dairy, and sugar-free, and sourced from non-GMO, hormone- and antibiotic-free, grass-fed beef (don’t worry, you would never know it from the delicious taste!). You also won’t find any other The Myer’s Way® ‘no-no’s’ including grains, soy, eggs, milk, corn, or legumes. It’s perfect for everyone, especially those following an autoimmune protocol or simply avoiding inflammatory foods!
My Paleo Protein also contains a full 21 grams of complete protein per serving, tastes fantastic, and is incredibly easy to add to your daily routine as a morning shake or smoothie. It’s fast, easy, convenient, and fabulous for you. Kids absolutely love it too! And when you purchase it, you’ll receive a FREE recipes eBook with loaded with my favorite smoothie recipes!
What to Look for in a Collagen Protein
With the rise in popularity of Paleo, “ancestral”, and “caveman” diets, collagen has also seen a spike in popularity, and the market has been flooded with collagen pills, powders, and even liquids and fortified drinks.
While it’s great that more and more people are taking advantage of the gut-repairing and skin-, hair-, and nail-boosting benefits of collagen, the downside is that many of these products are very low in the amino acids that give collagen its health benefits.
Many of these collagen products are anything but “natural.” They are highly processed, and too often denatured by high heat and other processing methods, destroying the delicate peptides that should be included.
They also often come from factory-farmed cattle raised in MO feedlots. These animals are given excessive and constant doses of antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones for fattening, and arsenic-based drugs to promote muscle growth.
When looking for a collagen supplement, be sure to look for a product that is:
- Sourced from grass-fed animals, free of GMOs, antibiotics, and hormones
- Processed at low heat
- Without inflammatory ingredients (gluten, dairy, corn, soy, grains, legumes)
- Free of binders, fillers, and other unnecessary ingredients
Because I enjoy collagen at least once a day, either in my morning smoothie or an evening cup of tea, I wanted to be absolutely certain it is clean, high-quality, and rich in the peptides that provide all of collagen’s amazing health benefits.
That’s why, like with my protein powder, I decided to source and formulate my own!
The Myers Way® Collagen Protein comes from grass-fed cows that are never given hormones or GMO feed. It is pure Type I & III collagen. These types of collagen are the most abundant in the body and provide all the great benefits to your gut health, intestinal barrier, skin, bones, hair, nails, and connective tissue.
It is fantastic for those concerned with leaky gut because it’s full of amino acids and collagen peptides that help maintain and promote optimal gut lining health. The cells lining your intestinal tract absolutely love this collagen and use it to promote tissue repair and a healthy intestinal barrier. Supporting the gut lining is absolutely paramount for those concerned with autoimmunity, healthy thyroid function, and a balanced immune and inflammatory response.
The Myers Way® Collagen Protein is tasteless and mixes easily into any hot or cold beverage. You can add it to your favorite soup or even mix it in baked goods. I even stirred it into my daughter’s baby food! And when you purchase it from my store, you will receive a FREE recipe eBook with smoothies, hot drinks, and sweet treats so you can give your meals a collagen boost!