The Difference Between Collagen & Paleo Protein
July 1st, 2020
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 pure 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.1 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 blood vessel networks), your skin, fingernails, 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 which you can only obtain from your diet. Your body cannot synthesize them on its own.2 Protein is found in all manner of foods! 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 proteins such as legumes, 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.3
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. Your protein intake can determine how well your body gains muscle mass to keep 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 amounts of collagen to stay healthy, strong, and flexible. Plus, collagen can assist in weight management and support bone and heart health.4,5
Collagen production rapidly declines after the age of 40. This results in wrinkles, thinning bones, weaker joints, and thinning hair. It negatively impacts many 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 24/7, then you are very likely in need of a high-quality collagen supplement!
Now we’re clear that complete protein and collagen are very different, each having a very different function in your body. 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. Some of them are low quality, processed with solvents and harmful chemicals, or include ingredients that can trigger an inflammatory response in your body.
Often the source of the protein in these powders is 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.
Additionally, there are proteins geared towards those who follow plant-based diets. These can be made using genetically modified soybeans, or other plant-based proteins that don’t offer the full range of benefits that you’re looking for in a pure protein supplement.
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 including gluten, dairy, whey, corn, soy, grains, legumes
- Free of sugar or artificial sweeteners
- Free of colors, additives, preservatives, dyes, processed foods 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 shake while I made a green smoothie without any beneficial, muscle-repairing protein.
After years of keeping protein powder out of my meal plans, I decided to formulate my own pure paleo protein. It would be free of inflammatory ingredients, free of any GMO, 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. And it tastes delicious! You also won’t find any other ‘no-no’s’ such as grains, soy, eggs, milk, corn, or legumes either. It’s perfect for those following the autoimmune protocol, a high-protein Paleo diet, or avoiding inflammatory foods.
My Paleo Protein contains a full 21 grams of complete protein per serving, and is easy to add to your daily routine as shake or smoothie. On top of offering an unflavored version of this protein powder, there are also four delicious-tasting variations: Vanilla Bean, Double Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Mocha. Kids absolutely love it too! And no matter which flavor your purchase, you receive a FREE recipes eBook loaded with fantastic smoothie recipes!
How to Choose A High-Quality Collagen Protein
With the rise in popularity of Paleo diets, collagen has also seen a spike in popularity. The market has been flooded with collagen pills, collagen powders, and even collagen liquids and fortified drinks.
It’s fantastic to see that people are taking advantage of the gut-repairing benefits, and the hair, skin and nail support from collagen. The downside is that many of these products are actually very low in the amino acids which give collagen all of its health benefits.
On top of the low nutrient quality, many of these collagen products are anything but “natural.” They are highly processed, and oftentimes denatured by high heat and other processing methods, which destroys the delicate collagen peptides.
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
- Free of inflammatory ingredients including gluten, dairy, corn, soy, grains, legumes
- Free of binders, fillers, and other unnecessary ingredients
I enjoy collagen at least once a day, either in my morning smoothie or an evening cup of tea. So I want 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, as with my protein powder, I decided to source and formulate my own collagen protein!
The Myers Way® Collagen Protein comes from grass-fed cows that are never given hormones or GMO feed. It is pure Type I and III collagen. These types of collagen are the most abundant in the body and support your gut, intestinal barrier, skin, bones, hair, nails, and connective tissue.
It is a fantastic option for those concerned with leaky gut because it’s full of the amino acids and collagen peptides your gut uses to promote optimal tissue repair and a healthy gut lining. Supporting your gut is absolutely paramount in reversing autoimmunity, assisting in healthy thyroid function, and supporting your immune system.
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 into baked goods. I also offer a chicken flavored Collagen Bone Broth Protein, and my new Cookie Dough Collagen Protein Bars. These are all fantastic ways to give your body the nutrients it needs for optimal health.