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November 17, 2023

What is Hydrolysed Collagen?

3 mins read By Chloe de Lullington collagen

Here at Absolute Collagen, we talk a lot about hydrolysed collagen – but exactly what is hydrolysed collagen, and where does hydrolysed collagen come from? In this article, we demystify this term and dive into the hydrolysed collagen benefits for you.

Whether you’re a lifelong champion of collagen or you’ve just recently been introduced to it by your favourite beauty influencer, we appreciate that the slew of scientific and technical terms that get chucked around by collagen companies can be hard to digest.

Well, here at Team AC, you can rely on us to give it to you straight. We don’t throw buzzwords about - we just provide information that is no-nonsense, straight to the point and easily digestible – just like our lovely little product!

Today’s technical term that we want to decode for you is: hydrolysed collagen. In this article, we will talk through what hydrolysed collagen is and where hydrolysed collagen comes from, as well as the hydrolysed collagen benefits.

What is hydrolysed collagen?

While we’re itching to talk about the benefits of hydrolysed marine collagen, it’s important to first touch upon the science behind collagen for this particular topic. 

So, what is hydrolysed collagen exactly? Well, hydrolysed collagen (or ‘hydrolyzed collagen’ in the USA) refers to collagen that has been through the chemical process of hydrolysis. This involves breaking down, rupturing, or changing the chemical structure of collagen into peptides (i.e. their smaller parts) in a lab. This is necessary because, in their original form, collagen molecules are far too large to be absorbed effectively by our bodies.

Hydrolysed collagen can be created either by:

  1. Thermal treatments (heating), followed by the addition of enzymes OR
  2. Adding an acid to the collagen

At Absolute Collagen, our hydrolysed collagen peptides are created via first option, using heat and enzymes to hydrolyse our collagen. But whichever method is used, the result is a lower molecular weight for the collagen. Compared to a molecule with a high mass, hydrolysed collagen can easily be added to tablets or liquids

Most importantly, hydrolysis means the once large collagen molecule can now easily pass through the gut lining and be absorbed and distributed by the body.

Technically, most collagen supplements can be considered hydrolysed collagen to some degree or another. However, while some - like Absolute Collagen - are completely hydrolysed, others are only partially hydrolysed (we’ll touch more on this later).

To explain what hydrolysed collagen is simply, it is a more broken down form of collagen that can easily be dissolved in liquids, thus allowing our bodies to effectively absorb the collagen.

How does your body absorb hydrolysed collagen?

As mentioned in the ‘what is hydrolysed collagen?’ section, collagen molecules are far too big to be absorbed by the body in their natural form.

In comparison, hydrolysed collagen is much more bioavailable – this refers to the degree or rate at which a substance is absorbed into the body when ingested. This means hydrolysed collagen can be absorbed through the intestinal barrier and into the bloodstream, before finally being carried throughout the body.

However, not all hydrolysed collagen supplements are created equal. The Dalton weight (Da) of the collagen molecule is very important, here; the lower the Da, the easier it is for your body to absorb. This typically means the collagen has undergone extensive hydrolysation, resulting in you getting the most from the hydrolysed marine collagen. The Dalton weight of some hydrolysed collagen supplements is 5000 Da, whereas we at Absolute Collagen use the much more absorbable 2000 Da!

Where does hydrolysed collagen come from?

Before hydrolysed collagen goes through the hydrolysis process, it is typically extracted from bovine (cow), porcine (pig) or marine (fish) sources. Here at Absolute Collagen, we proudly use marine collagen.

Not only is hydrolysed marine collagen is free from risk of farmyard viruses, such as bird virus and foot-and-mouth disease, it’s also been shown to absorb into the bloodstream up to 1.5 times faster than collagen from other sources! This makes hydrolysed marine collagen the most efficient choice of collagen with the fastest-acting benefits.

As an aside, if you’re not a fan of fish but want to try out our hydrolysed marine collagen - don’t worry! We refine our hydrolysed collagen supplement to remove any unpleasant fishy odour or taste, while ensuring we don’t compromise on its nutritional value.

You can also try our smoothie recipes or our collagen breakfast ideas to see how you can implement hydrolysed collagen into your day more smoothly!

Hydrolysed collagen benefits

Now you understand what hydrolysed collagen is and where hydrolysed collagen comes from, we can get into our favourite subject: hydrolysed collagen benefits! And who better to tell you about the benefits of our hydrolysed collagen supplements than our very own Absoluters, who are always more than happy to share their success stories:

1. Hydrolysed collagen benefits for skin

Nothing quite beats a compliment about your skin, does it? A fresh-faced glow can make you look energised and youthful. As we get older, our natural levels of collagen decline significantly, and this degradation leads to wrinkles and decreased skin elasticity.

Well, in our recent clinical trial, 100% of participants experienced improvements in skin evenness and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after 12 weeks of taking our hydrolysed collagen. You can find out more about the benefits of collagen for your skin in our recent blog post. Plus, check out the reviews from some happy Absoluters below:

2. Hydrolysed collagen benefits for hair

It’s not just our skin that benefits from hydrolysed marine collagen. Collagen is also found in our hair, which becomes brittle and weak when our collagen levels drop, as naturally occurs with age. 

However, participants in our clinical trial reported that they enjoyed smoother, thicker, and glossier hair after taking our hydrolysed collagen. What’s more, 60% of participants said their hair was less prone to breakage after 12 weeks of hydrolysed collagen!

3. Hydrolysed collagen benefits for sports recovery

While working out can make you feel great, and offer an amazing boost to your mental wellbeing, the achy aftermath isn’t always so enjoyable. Well, our hydrolysed collagen contains 7.7g of protein* packed with the right amino acids to aid with sports recovery, supporting the growth and maintenance of muscle development.

*Protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. Each sachet of Absolute Collagen is high in and a source of protein. Enjoy a daily dose of Absolute Collagen as part of a balanced, healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Many of our Absoluters also take collagen after a workout, talking up their daily dose of hydrolysed collagen peptides - like the lovely Julie below:

How does hydrolysed collagen compare to other types of collagen?

Hydrolysed collagen vs soluble collagen

Soluble collagen and hydrolysed collagen are pretty much two sides of the same coin! Soluble, by definition, refers to a substance that can be dissolved – especially in water. Hydrolysed collagen is water-soluble, which makes it easy to incorporate into a lotion, tablet or drink (of the hot or cold variety). So, if you’re more of a tea drinker, good news - feel free to add Absolute Collagen to your brew!

Hydrolysed collagen vs collagen peptides

‘Hydrolysed collagen’ is essentially another name for ‘collagen peptides’. There is no difference between the two. As explained above, collagen in its original form is too big to be absorbed by the body. This means it needs to be broken down into smaller collagen parts (AKA hydrolysed collagen peptides). This is done via the hydrolysis process. The two names are used interchangeably and sometimes people even merge the two and call them ‘hydrolysed collagen peptides’ or ‘collagen hydrolysate’. We know, it can get a tad confusing - but rest assured, there's no difference!

Hydrolysed collagen vs gelatine

So, you may be wondering, what about gelatine? Gelatine is indeed another type of collagen. However, there is a distinct difference between gelatine and hydrolysed collagen. While they originate from the same source, gelatine has only gone through partial hydrolysis (you may remember from above that hydrolysed collagen goes through the full hydrolysis process), which is where its gel appearance comes from. 

Another difference is the properties of each when added to liquid; gelatine can act as a thickener when added to liquids, whereas hydrolysed collagen tends to dissolve. Crucially, the main difference is that gelatine doesn't deliver the same hydrolysed collagen benefits, which is why we stick to the highest quality hydrolysed collagen supplements.

How much hydrolysed collagen per day?

To see optimum results, we recommend that you take one hydrolysed collagen sachet each day. Each sachet contains 8000mg of ready-mixed hydrolysed collagen, which is the optimum collagen your body can consume in one day. 

Any more and your body simply won’t be able to process it, any less and you’re not getting the maximum possible benefit. Some hydrolysed collagen supplements recommend that you need more than 8000mg, however this may be due to the quality of the collagen being lower than Absolute Collagen's premium hydrolysed Type 1 collagen and having inferior absorption into the body. With Absolute Collagen, there’s no added frills or fillers, simply the right amount of all the good stuff. That’s just the way we like it!

Still have questions about our hydrolysed marine collagen supplements? Send them our way! We love to hear from you and will happily answer your queries – just get in touch with us today.

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