What Is Plant-Based Collagen Protein Powder?

what is plant based collagen protein powder

This post contains affiliate links which means we receive a small commission if you decide to make a purchase. Click here to learn more about our affiliate policy.

If you live more of a natural, 'plant-based' lifestyle, how can you harness the benefits of collagen? In this article, we will answer the question, "What is plant-based collagen protein powder?"

Let's get started...

Definition of Collagen Protein

collagen fibrils

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body--it appears in your skin, hair, nails, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, eyes and muscles.

It's known as a 'triple helix' protein which is long, strong and large. That's why many refer to collagen as the 'scaffolding' that holds bodies together.

(It's important to note that collagen is not only in humans but also in animals and fish.) 

You started out life with a lot of collagen. Hence, until your late 20s, you;re able to enjoy the glow of youth and vitality from head to toe.

As you approach 30, your body will start to not make as much collagen. And every year after that it produces less and less...especially, when you reach and go beyond menopause.

On top of that, throughout your life, you likely also engaged in activities that are collagen killers. For example, too much sun, stress, poor sleep, smoking and less-than-optimum eating habits.

The reduction of collagen in your body leads to conditions such as wrinkly and 'crepey' skin, painful joints, thin and flat hair, smaller muscles, weak arteries, troublesome gut, softer bones and weaker connective tissue.

How Collagen Benefits the Entire Body

The benefits of collagen, whether added through animal- or plant-based collagen supplements, are many.

We list them out below:

  • Plumper skin that softens deep wrinkles and fine lines
  • Firmer skin
  • New hair growth and/or stop hair loss
  • Harder nails
  • Happier gut
  • Tougher internal connective tissue
  • Stronger arteries
  • Larger muscles
  • Slower progress of arthritis
  • Sturdier bones

Obviously, if someone adds traditional or plant-based collagen boosting supplements to their daily routine, their body will not miraculously go back in time to when they were 20!

Needless to say, now you understand why collagen has exploded on the anti-aging, skincare, health and wellness scenes as the 'fountain of youth'.

How Collagen Protein Is Created

Without a doubt, the process to create collagen in your body is complex.

At a high level, we'll review how collagen is made.

It's important information to know as plant-based collagen boosts the collagen-creation process in your body

First, amino acids glycine, proline, alanine and hydroxyproline combine to start the creation of the collagen protein chain.

Second, once these amino acids are combined--vitamin C, and minerals zinc and copper--are required to synthesize and connect it all together.

As we mentioned, unhealthy eating habits, stress, poor-quality sleep, too much sun, too much sugar and smoking can all contribute to a premature breakdown of existing collagen.

Other than supplements, here is another way to boost collagen production in your body --eat foods that are high in these amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

What are Collagen Peptides?

In general, the vast majority of collagen peptide supplements available today are made from bovine or marine sources.

The skins, hides and scales from animals are soaked and processed to extract the collagen.
To make the collagen more bio available, a hydrolyzation process is then applied.

The hydrolyzation process breaks down the collagen protein into much smaller molecules called peptides. 

Obviously, if you follow a vegan eating plan, traditional collagen supplements won't be a good option for you.

Plant-Based Collagen: How Does It Work?

If you're vegan or vegetarian, or have a specific allergy, you won't want to use traditional animal-based collagen supplements.

Do you have any other options to keep the effects of aging at arm's length?  The answer is, Yes!

Today, you can help your body's collagen production through plant-based collagen protein powder.

Plant-based collagen protein is designed to provide the amino acids, minerals and vitamins our bodies use to create collagen.  

In fact, these plant-based supplements are often labeled as 'collagen boosters'.

Please note that plant-based collagen boosters do not include any actual collagen protein, since plants obviously don't have collagen.

Any protein included in a vegan collagen supplement would be derived from non-animal sources such as hemp, soy, pea and brown rice.

Finally, as with any supplement, it's important to look at labels carefully to determine what all the ingredients are.

After all, healthy eating habits can be sabotaged when supplements are full of artificial ingredients, sugar, etc.

Plant-based collagen boosting supplements do not contain any collagen. The supplements contain protein from plant sources and the necessary ingredients to help your body create new collagen.

The Future of Collagen

woman scientist plant based collagen

Although not widely or commercially available as of yet, researchers have created a collagen protein that mirrors the collagen protein in your body. 

Researchers discovered a method to create human-like collagen through genetically modified yeast and bacteria.

To start the the process, scientists took four human genes that help create collagen naturally and added in certain yeast (especially P. pastoris) and bacteria.

Then, they added in pepsin, which is an enzyme used in digestion. 

The results are collagen molecules that look exactly like the makeup of a human collagen protein.

The benefits of engineered collagen include the following:

  • Less expensive option for consumers and medical purposes
  • Less chance to trigger allergies
  • Lab-created collagen has more quality control
  • Medical uses such as sutures, skin and tissue growth, wound healing, drug delivery and tumor treatment

SUMMARY

Collagen is the most abundant protein in human and animals--it holds the body together like glue and scaffolding. 

As you lose the ability to create as much collagen, the effects of that include wrinkly skin, thin hair, weak nails and bones, cranky gut and smaller muscles.

You can help create and retain collagen by eating well and taking a collagen supplement.

Today, most collagen supplements are derived from animal sources--mostly bovine (cow) and marine (fish).

Clearly, there has been a growing interest of people to reduce or eliminate any animal or animal-byproducts in their food. As a result, vegan-ism has become popular.

In response, vegan, plant-based collagen boosting supplements have arrived on the scene.

Although these plant-based collagen supplements don't include any collagen proteins, they do contain the 'secret sauce' ingredients to help your body create new collagen.

Like with anything, check with your physician before you start a new supplement.

Finally, make sure you look carefully at plant-based collagen boosting supplement labels to make sure they are organic and natural as possible, low in sugar and artificial ingredients.