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Hydrolyzed Collagen Vs. Collagen Peptides

Hydrolyzed collagen vs. collagen peptides is a common terminology encountered when learning about collagen. Scientists have discovered so much about collagen, but there’s still a lot we don’t know. For example, the functions of all 28 types of collagens. Since knowledge is power, let’s level up by exploring hydrolyzed collagen vs. collagen peptides.

There’s no significant difference between hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides. Both terms describe the final, absorbable collagen breakdown product, which is collagen peptides. Collagen peptides are aptly named after the final product derived from collagen hydrolysis: ‘peptides.’ In contrast, hydrolyzed collagen comes from the process by which collagen peptides are made, which is ‘hydrolyzation.’

Pitting hydrolyzed collagen vs. collagen peptides can be confusing to anyone. Keep reading to understand what each phrase means.

What is Hydrolyzed Collagen?

Hydrolyzed collagen is the end product of complete collagen hydrolysis: breaking chemical bonds using water and enzymes. Partial hydrolysis of collagen produces gelatin. Collagen in its native form is a triple-helix structure comprising thousands of amino acids packed into three strands.

Regular digestion can’t break down this helical structure, and it can’t cross the intestinal walls. In contrast, your digestive system readily absorbs hydrolyzed collagen because it is collagen in its most basic form. The final product’s average molecular weight depends on the degree of hydrolysis.

Most collagen supplements come in the hydrolyzed format and often contain type I collagen. Bones, fish scales, and hides are the primary sources. Uses of hydrolyzed collagen vary, including maintaining healthier skin, hair, and nails.

You can also use hydrolyzed collagen supplements to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis, skin wrinkles, and inflammation.

What are Collagen Peptides?

Collagen peptides result from the complete breakdown of collagen by hydrolyzation. They are short amino acid chains that have been released from their chemical bonds in collagen fibers. Collagen peptides share the same chemical properties as hydrolyzed collagen and are similarly absorbed.

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These peptides are highly water-soluble, don’t form gels, and are bioavailable – readily used by the body. You can find collagen peptides as a functional ingredient in food, beverages, and dietary supplements. When used as supplements, collagen peptides are obtained from bovine, marine, or porcine sources and mainly comprise collagen I and III.

Collagen peptides contain eight out of nine essential amino acids, with very high glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline concentrations. These three amino acids help improve the health of your bones, skin, and joints. For example, collagen peptides in the bloodstream can stimulate skin fibroblasts to produce more hyaluronic acid, which hydrates the skin.

Hydrolyzed Collagen Vs. Collagen Peptides: Similarities

All collagen forms share some similarities, including hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides. The similarities between hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides are fascinating, and you can see them below:

Parent material

Both collagen peptides and hydrolyzed collagen come from the breakdown of collagen. By a chemical reaction involving water and enzymes, collagen is broken down into its components. For perspective, amino acids group to form peptides, peptides form polypeptides, and polypeptides comprise proteins.

Collagen is present in many body organs and tissues. The popular collagens (I, II, III, and IV) are also concentrated in different areas. For instance, type I is found in all connective tissue, while type IV is present in the eye lens, inner ear, and kidneys.


Since hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides share a parent material, they consist of the same elements. All amino acids found in hydrolyzed collagen are in collagen peptides and vice versa. Of course, both have high proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine levels.


Collagen provides structural support for tissues and organs like skin, bones, cartilage, muscles, etc. Once ingested, hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides are absorbed into the body and transported to different sites. They will repair damaged tissue and maintain healthy ones as required.

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Manufacturers use hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides in food, beverages, supplements, and cosmetic products. Athletes, sports enthusiasts, and bodybuilders can use these peptides to reduce their recovery time after strenuous training. People with osteoarthritis can also use collagen peptides to reduce pain, inflammation, and other symptoms.

A more common application of collagen supplements is in cosmetic products to aid and maintain skin, hair, and nail beauty. Several studies have shown that supplementing collagen when natural production declines may reduce wrinkling and improve skin hydration and elasticity.

If you’re taking collagen peptides for osteoarthritis, results might take 3-5 months and only with daily treatment. The oral ingestion of collagen supplements may be more effective than topical application through cosmetic products. This is because collagen doesn’t penetrate the skin deeply enough to effect long-lasting changes.

Differences Between Hydrolyzed Collagen and Collagen Peptides

There are no differences between hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides. You can use both phrases interchangeably, so comparing hydrolyzed collagen vs. collagen peptides is unnecessary. Both terms refer to the final product of collagen hydrolysis.

The words ‘hydrolyzed’ and ‘peptides’ simply refer to different parts of the same product. While peptides refer to the final product itself, hydrolyzed describes how the collagen peptides form. ‘Collagen peptides’ are more commonly used because peptides are the main bioactive components.

In fact, collagen hydrolysate is another name for collagen peptides, the primary collagen contribution to nutritional and skincare products. Knowing this, you’ll no longer be confused about these phrases. If you see either hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides on a product, remember that they’re the same thing.


Hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides are interchangeable phrases referring to collagen peptides. The peptides are the final product of complete collagen hydrolysis, and the digestive tract absorbs them quickly. Suppose you see either name on a supplement, beverage, or cosmetic product. In that case, you can rest assured that it’s the same collagen with the same functions.

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