What Is Plant-Based Collagen Protein Powder?

what is plant based collagen protein powder

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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?"

As always, we recomment you check with your healthcare provide before starting a new supplement.

Let's get started...

Definition of Collagen Protein

collagen fibrils

First, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body--it appears in your hair, skin, and nails. It also appears in 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.) 

Actually, human beings start  life with a lot of collagen with baby soft skin and a full, lush head of hair. 

Starting in your early 30s, and every year after that, your body will less and less new collagen (and hyaluronic acid)...especially, when you reach and go beyond menopause.

On top of that, throughout your life, you likely have 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, less sagging 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!

However, now you know why collagen has exploded on the anti-aging, skincare, health and wellness scenes as the 'fountain of youth'.

We have also reviewed the best vegan collagen-boosting supplements, so check that article too.

How Collagen Protein Is Created

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

First, the building blocks of the collagen protein molecule start with the amino acids glycine, proline, alanine and hydroxyproline.

Second, once these amino acids are combined, vitamin C, and minerals zinc and copper, are required to synthesize and connect everything 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.

You can also help your body create new collagen protein by eating healthy foods that are high in these amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

Enter plant-based collagen protein powder supplements.

Instead of ingesting collagen protein and amino acids from animals, these supplements work hard to boost the collagen-creation process in your body to improve your collagen supply.

What are Collagen Peptides?

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

The skins, hides and scales from animals are soaked and processed to extract the collagen.

To make the collagen more bioavailable, a hydrolyzation process is then applied.

The hydrolyzation process uses water to break 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 to produce new collagen through a plant-based collagen protein powder.

Plant-based collagen protein is designed to provide the required 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 animal-type 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 actual animal collagen protein. 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 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 during 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


Collagen is the most abundant protein in humans and animals--it holds the body together like glue and scaffolding. As your body loses the ability to create as much collagen, the results include wrinkly skin, thin hair, weak nails and bones, cranky gut and smaller muscles.

You can help create and retain existing collagen by eating well and taking an animal-derived collagen supplement.

However, vegan and vegetarians won't want to take these supplements.

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

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

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 no artificial ingredients.