Last week, I shared with you that collagen is an essential part of our connective tissue and that it can be supported by a healthy diet. I also mentioned that not all collagen or collagen peptide products will effectively support your connective tissue health. Before we go into specific collagen varieties from foods and supplements, let’s make sure we understand the fundamental differences between collagen and collagen peptides.
The main difference between collagen and collagen peptides is the size of their molecules. Collagen molecules are larger, which is why your body may have difficulty absorbing and using them.
Collagen peptides (broken down collagen) are made for better absorption and simultaneously contribute to better bioavailability. They can be well absorbed by your body because they are water- soluble, and, unlike other proteins, have a very simple peptide structure that is easy for the body to work with. They are “broken down” with an enzymatic treatment, and can therefore be absorbed more quickly and extensively than undenatured collagen. 
When collagen goes through hydrolysis (breakdown through water), it becomes much more bioavailable, and is more easily absorbed by your body in the small intestine by the enterocytes (as free amino-acids or di- or tri-peptides). Please see the below image.
Fast digestion and rapid absorption can only enhance your connective tissue regeneration.
Before I share with you how you can utilize collagen peptides in your diet, you need to understand that not all collagen peptides are the same.
Both collagen and collagen peptides are produced, as expected, from collagen-rich ingredients, mostly skin and bones from cattle, pigs, and there are some made from fish as well.
Yet, since fish contain relatively little collagen, fish-based collagen products are quite expensive, and on top of that, usually do not contain effective dosing per serving, or Vitamin C, which is essential for collagen synthesis (more on that below).
Not only that but after personally meeting Dr Cox from The Brain Chemistry Labs, I am very careful in selecting my sources of fish. There are as many potential risks, if not more, coming from fish when compared to grass-fed cattle. Therefore, regardless of which source of collagen you decide to consume, make sure it is tested by a 3rd party testing lab (more on that below).
You probably remember from my previous blog (part #1) that there are different types of collagen that occur in your body. This means that there are special cells in the body which are responsible for collagen formation:
Therefore, as an intelligent consumer you need to ask this question, is the supplement I am buying optimized to support the connective tissue I am interested in?
On top of that, there some additional questions you should raise.
And like that was not enough to pay attention to already, there is more you should keep in mind.
You may already have heard that the antioxidant, vitamin C plays a crucial role in collagen formation. One of the most important stabilizing components of collagen protein is the amino acid, hydroxyproline. If there is insufficient vitamin C available in your body, that amino acid cannot be incorporated adequately.
So, going back to what else you need to pay attention to as a smart consumer, check if your collagen product delivers the daily recommended dose of vitamin C.
Most importantly, it would be very beneficial if the product was tested by a 3rd party company. Meaning the ingredients that are on the label are actually the same amounts in the products themselves, plus they are FREE of banned substances and will not put your health and performance in jeopardy.
Lastly, it is always a bonus (in my professional opinion, a must) that the source of collagen you use, has had clinical studies performed that resonates with your age, physical activity level, and purpose of using the product.
Let’s move on to how you can utilize collagen peptides in your diet and bring your connective tissue to life.
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Just like collagen peptides, gelatin is made of collagen. The main difference is the length of amino acid chains. Gelatin consists of long amino acids, which are slowly absorbed by your body. And gelatin is not truly manufactured for its physiological benefits, but for providing texture to foods.
As you probably already know, in combination with water, gelatin forms a gel which is very much desired in all kinds of jello products. On the other hand, collagen peptides fully dissolve in water and do not form a gel. That is why gelatin is an excellent and natural food ingredient, while collagen peptides are more ideal as nutritional supplements.
Even though collagen peptides are pure proteins, easily to digest, safe and allergen free, you should always consider including other sources of protein to create balance in your diet. Especially those, which are filled with essential amino acids, as they are involved in collagen production.
Turkey for example, is one of many good sources of lean protein. It contains essential amino acidic, lysine which supports collagen production. Fish as mentioned above is one of main sources of collagen peptide production, so as long as it comes from clean waters, eat fish as much as you can. Especially those high in omega-3's.
If you are a vegetarian, there are definitely non-animal sources available from which you can obtain lysine, such as tofu or cashews.
Knowing how many people become diary intolerant, or are concern about cholesterol levels, animal fat or hormones consumption, I wanted to share some data on where you can obtain different essential amino acids from plant-based products.
Protein from plant sources are often lacking in methionine, lysine, and/or leucine. From Gorissen et al 2018, see 2 tables below for complete list of all amino acids in many protein types.
In Figure 1, see various dietary protein sources.
In Figure 2, view essential amino acid % of total protein of dietary protein sources.
I hope through reading these recent two blogs, you have realized that one collagen peptide may not be equal to another collagen peptide. Yet, once you check if it contains vitamin C and additional qualities that I elaborated on above, you can definitely realize it can support your connective tissue and overall health.
Your body, though, truly needs and deserves a varied diet filled with additional vitamins and minerals which can also support collagen production.
When you start comparing all the above data, you will realize that most proteins do not contain glycine. And it is extremely important amino acid. It supports our brain function, memory capacity, and has a positive effect on sleep quality. On top of all that, it plays a role in the formation of serotonin, which brightens our mood 
A diet rich in glycine is beneficial in many respects. And as you can see from this post, a life supported with collagen peptides can be only a healthier and more pliable life.