Are you curious about the growing popularity of collagen supplements? If so, let’s embark on a journey to explore two of the most buzz-worthy collagen peptides out there: Vital Proteins vs Garden of Life.
I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that uses collagen peptides every day. Here I’ll compare and contrast these two top-notch brands and examine their ingredients, quality, taste, and effectiveness.
So let’s kick things off!
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First Things First: What is Collagen?
Did you know collagen is the most abundant protein in our bones, skin, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage? It’s what gives our skin its elasticity, and it helps to keep our joints and muscles strong and healthy.
You can think of collagen as the glue that holds everything together!
Types of Collagen
There are five types of collagen, each with its own unique superpowers, that work together to keep your body strong, flexible, and healthy.
Type I collagen. This is the most abundant type of collagen in your body, found in your skin, tendons, bones, and other connective tissues. It’s like the backbone (pun intended) of your body, providing strength and structure to your tissues.
Type II collagen. This type of collagen is mainly found in your cartilage, which acts as a cushion between your bones. It’s like the shock absorber of your body, preventing wear and tear on your joints.
Type III collagen. This collagen is often found alongside type I collagen in your skin, blood vessels, and other organs. It’s like the support system of your body, helping to maintain the shape and integrity of your tissues.
Type IV collagen. This type of collagen is mainly found in your basement membranes, which are thin, flexible sheets that separate your body’s tissues. It’s like the bodyguard, protecting your tissues from damage.
Type V collagen. This collagen is found in smaller amounts in various tissues throughout your body, including your hair, placenta, and the surface of your cells. It’s like the multi-tasker of your body, playing a role in many important functions.
Should You Consider Collagen Supplements?
You’ve heard all the buzz, and now you’re intrigued. But is collagen supplementation right for you? Let’s explore the pros and cons.
Did you know that collagen production starts to slow as early as our 20s? 😲 As you age, your body’s collagen production decreases, which can cause wrinkles, sagging skin, and joint pain.
This is where collagen supplements come in. Collagen supplements can help replenish your body’s collagen and help keep your skin and joints more youthful.
However, more research is needed to confirm the benefits of collagen supplementation, so it is not a slam-dunk!
Additionally, individual results may vary and it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
Benefits of Collagen Supplementation
Skin Health and Appearance
Collagen may improve skin elasticity and hydration, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
A key component of the connective tissue of your skin, collagen is crucial for skin elasticity, strength, and moisture (a.k.a. “plumpness”) (1).
Supplementing with collagen can help improve joint function and reduce joint pain (2).
Collagen is an important component of cartilage, which cushions your joints and allows them to move smoothly. Without enough collagen you may experience joint pain, stiffness, and even arthritis.
Collagen levels naturally decline as we get older, which contributes to bone loss because your bones are made primarily of collagen.
Digestion and Gut Health
Collagen is rich in the amino acids glycine and glutamine, which are essential for gut healing, it is believed that collagen may help build and repair the lining of our gastrointestinal tract.
However, more research is necessary to determine whether collagen supplementation can improve gut health.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that collagen supplements work best as part of a well-rounded diet. And it’s always best to speak to your doctor before starting any new supplement.
Are you wondering if collagen supplementation could be a helpful option for you?
It’s true that collagen supplements have become extremely popular for skin, joint, and bone health. However, there are some things to keep in mind before considering them for yourself.
Collagen supplements can be expensive, and there’s no guarantee they’ll work better than a healthy diet. A few dietary changes may be just as effective and less costly.
Some people experience digestive symptoms like bloating, constipation, or diarrhea when taking collagen supplements. If this happens to you, reducing your dose or taking it with food may alleviate the symptoms.
Choose a reputable brand to ensure that you’re getting a product that’s free from harmful contaminants.
Who is Most Likely to Benefit From Collagen Peptide Supplementation?
Some people are more likely to benefit than others. Are you one of them?
As women approach menopause, their bodies undergo numerous changes, including a decrease in collagen levels. This decrease in collagen can cause a number of symptoms, including saggy skin, achy joints, and a loss of bone mineral density.
Collagen supplementation may help counteract these symptoms by providing the body with the collagen it requires to support healthy skin, joints, and bones.
If you are in perimenopause or menopause, you may be experiencing digestive symptoms such as bloating or gassiness. While more research is needed to confirm this, collagen supplements may alleviate these symptoms by supporting gut health.
Who Should Not Take Collagen Peptide Supplements?
Individuals with histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome should proceed with caution. Most collagen is fermented, and the fermentation process can increase histamine levels.
Not everyone with these conditions will react to collagen however, so it’s important to start low and go slow if you decide to give collagen a try.
How to Choose a Collagen Peptide Powder
Type of collagen. Collagen comes in a variety of forms, with types I, II, and III being the most prevalent. Choose a supplement with the kind of collagen that best addresses your unique needs. Scroll up for more on types of collagen.
Source. Choose collagen sources from high-quality, pasture- or grass-fed animals, or from wild-caught fish. This reduces the likelihood that the product is contaminated with impurities and pesticides.
Quality. Opt for supplements certified by a third-party agency, such as the US Pharmacopeia (USP) or NSF International.
Purity. Look for a collagen supplement that is free from fillers, additives, and other unnecessary ingredients.
Bioavailability. Hydrolyzed collagen is easily absorbed and utilized by the body because it has been broken down into smaller, more digestible fragments.
Additional ingredients. Some collagen supplements may contain ingredients that provide additional benefits, such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, or minerals. Consider your specific needs to choose the right supplement for you.
Taste. Some collagen supplements are flavorless and odorless, while others may have a mild taste or smell.
Price. Collagen supplements can vary widely in price, so consider your budget when choosing a supplement. Keep in mind that higher-priced supplements are not necessarily of higher quality or more effective than lower-priced options.
Garden of Life Collagen Peptides
Looking for a high-quality collagen peptide supplement? Garden of Life has several options.
Grass Fed Collagen Peptides. Made from the hides of grass-fed cows, this contains type I and III collagen. It’s unflavored and dissolves easily in your coffee, tea, or smoothie. It’s also non-GMO, keto-certified, paleo-friendly, and gluten-free.
Wild Caught and Grass Fed Collagen Peptides. The grass-fed collagen comes from cows that are pasture-raised without antibiotics or hormones, and the marine collagen is sustainably sourced.
Grass Fed Collagen Beauty. Designed to support healthy hair, skin, and nails with type I and III collagen peptides and biotin. It comes in two flavors: Lavender Lemon and Strawberry Lemonade. It’s non-GMO, keto-certified, paleo-friendly, and gluten-free.
Grass Fed Collagen Turmeric. This powder combines type I and III collagen peptides with turmeric, ginger, and black pepper to support joints and mobility. It’s available in Apple Cinnamon flavor and is non-GMO, keto-certified, paleo-friendly, and gluten-free.
Garden of Life: A Comparison of Options
Garden of Life offers two types of collagen peptides: Grass Fed Collagen Peptides and Wild Caught & Grass Fed Collagen Peptides.
While both provide collagen to support skin, joint, and gut health, there are some significant differences between the two.
Garden of Life Grass Fed Collagen Peptides vs Garden of Life Wild Caught & Grass Fed Collagen Peptides: Key Differences
Type of Collagen
Pro-tip: Types I and III collagen are found primarily in the skin, hair, and nails, whereas type II collagen is found primarily in the joints. Thus, the Wild Caught & Grass Fed version may be better for those looking to improve their joint mobility and reduce pain.
Hyaluronic acid helps skin retain moisture and appear more plump and youthful (5).
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Vital Proteins also offers a variety of quality collagen peptide powders that all mix easily in warm or cold liquids.
Collagen Peptides. Vital Proteins’ original collagen powder is flavorless and mixes easily into beverages or recipes. It contains collagen types I and III, along with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, and thus is best for maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, and joints.
Flavored Collagen Peptides. Vital Proteins also offers a variety of flavors, including Vanilla, Chocolate, Lemon, Mixed Berry, and Dark Chocolate Blackberry. These flavored versions still contain type I and III collagen with added flavors.
Collagen Beauty Greens. This powder combines collagen peptides with organic greens, hyaluronic acid, and probiotics. It’s available in three flavors: Lavender Lemon, Strawberry Lemon, and Coconut Vanilla and contains type I and III collagen.
Marine Collagen. This powder is sourced from wild-caught, non-GMO cod fish and contains types I and III collagen like the original formula. It’s also unflavored and easy to mix into any beverage.
Pro-tip: Check the label of the flavored versions for added ingredients. For example, the mixed berry contains dried organic fruit juices whereas the chocolate flavor contains cocoa and stevia, a natural sweetener.
Garden of Life vs Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Type of collagen. All versions of Vital Proteins Collagen powder contain only types I and II collagen, whereas Garden of Life Wild Caught & Grass Fed Collagen Peptides contains types I, II, and III. Note that all other versions of the Garden of Life products contain only type I and III.
Quality. Both contain high-quality collagen peptides derived from grass-fed, pasture-raised, and/or wild caught animals. They are free of hormones, antibiotics, and other harmful substances found in conventionally raised animals.
Flavor. Both offer unflavored versions, making them simple to incorporate into foods and beverages without altering their taste.
Hydrolyzed. Both types of collagen are hydrolyzed, meaning they are broken down into smaller peptides that are more easily absorbed by the body.
Both brands offer a variety of products to serve your individual needs. However, there is one difference that stands out.
Garden of Life vs Vital Proteins: Which One is Better for You?
Overall, collagen supplements can be a great addition to your health and wellness routine, especially if you’re a woman over 40 who wants to support healthy skin, joints, and overall vitality.
Which brand and version depends on your personal needs. Consider your primary goal and choose the supplement that contains the type of collagen that best addresses your concerns (see the list of collagen types above).
For example, if your primary focus is joint pain, you may lean toward Garden of Life Wild Caught & Grass Fed Collagen Peptides, which is the only one that includes type II collagen.
Also consider added ingredients that may enhance the effects, like hyaluronic acid for skin hydration or probiotics for gut health.
Pro-tip: Using a milk frother or blender results in a smoother and creamier beverage.
However, my personal favorite (if I have to choose) is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. because of how easily it blends into my warm drink. But I honestly believe you can’t go wrong with either one!
Pam is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master’s of Public Health and a Certificate in Integrative and Functional Nutrition. Passionate about the science of health and nutrition, she loves to share her knowledge to help others live healthy, vibrant lives. When not working, Pam can be found hiking, traveling, and enjoying great-tasting, nutritious food.