Here's Why You Can’t Find Vegan Collagen

Fit male cyclist practicing yoga on a mat to boost his flexibility and balance, while also pondering: "Is collagen vegan?"

If you are vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, or simply a veggie-curious athlete or fitness enthusiast, you must be aware of the current collagen craze. You may be wondering if vegan collagen exists. After all, veganizing everything from bullet coffee to MCT oil to protein shakes is something that’s on your radar.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as true vegan collagen. However, looking at the benefits of collagen, you may still want to consider giving it a shot. 

In this article, you will learn about what collagen is along with what the benefits of collagen are. You will learn why collagen is not vegan and how collagen-promoting vegan supplements differ from collagen supplements. And, finally, we’ll give you some vegan collagen alternatives and one of the best sources of collagen to support your health.

What Is Collagen?

First, let’s cover the basic reason why collagen is not vegan: It’s source. 

Collagen is sourced from animals because natural collagen is only found in the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin of animals.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It can be found in your bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin. Collagen provides structural support for your body and is one of the things responsible for skin elasticity.

Your body’s natural collagen production slows down by the time you’re in your late twenties. This, unfortunately, increases the risk of the breakdown of joints and can eventually lead to sagging skin and wrinkles.

Taking collagen in your diet has a variety of benefits from improving muscle mass and preventing bone loss, to relieving joint pain, improving skin, hair, and nails, promoting digestion, and supporting overall heart health.

Do I Need to Take Collagen Supplements?

The fact that your body reduces its natural production of collagen means this isn’t just a vegan issue. Vegetarians, pescatarians, flexitarians, and omnivores can all benefit from collagen protein support. 

In today’s world, people don’t eat all the nutrient-rich parts of animals, such as liver or bone broth, the way that they used to. Instead, most people are focusing on only or mostly muscle meat. Even if you enjoy bone broth or organ meats, chances are you are still not eating enough to boost your collagen levels through diet alone. 

To support your health, performance, and recovery, you may certainly benefit from a boost of collagen in your diet.

Is There Vegan Collagen?

No, collagen is not vegan, and there is no natural vegan collagen.

Collagen is made from animals. It is derived from connective animal tissues, including the bones, cartilage, and hides of cows, pigs, chicken, and fish.

Are There Vegan Collagen Alternatives?

If you are a strict ethical vegan, there are some vegan collagen alternatives out there for you. However, they are not the same as collagen and don’t have the same benefits. Rather, they are merely a supplement that promotes your body’s natural collagen production.

Some vegans may be happy to learn that scientists have discovered a way to make vegan collagen without animal products. Instead of sourcing collagen from animal ligaments and tissues, it can be made from genetically modified yeast and bacteria. Researchers discovered a way to genetically engineer high-quality collagen from a specific bacteria called P. pastoris. To make this vegan collagen, they add four human genes to the genetic microbe structure that code for collagen. Once it’s done, with the help of pepsin, a digestive enzyme, they are able to start producing building blocks of human collagen.

While this is certainly an exciting development for vegans, unfortunately, vegan collagen made from genetically modified bacteria is not yet available on the market and needs further research. Until then, vegan or not, you’ll only find collagen protein that is sourced from animals. And the answer to the “Is collagen vegan?” question, is a hard ‘no’.

Vegan Collagen Boosters

While vegan collagen is not an option at this point, there are vegan collagen boosters on the market. These boosters do not contain any collagen. Instead, they promote collagen production in your body with the help of a variety of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and plant extracts to stimulate your natural collagen production. While the ingredients of vegan collagen boosters may vary, they often include vitamin C, zinc, manganese, copper, silica, proline, glycine, lysine, and arginine from plant sources.

You may also boost your body’s collagen production with the help of some plant-based foods that are high in proline, glycine, lysine, the main amino acids in collagen. Some of the plant foods include soy products, kidney beans, black beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

These collagen boosters are vegan, yes. However, they don’t contain collagen protein.

They simply promote collagen production. It is not the same - and may not have the same benefits either. Vegan collagen boosters are a great option for strict vegans but others may consider taking an actual collagen supplement for its benefits.

Collagen Shots That Are More Than Just Collagen for Your Workouts

Frog Fuel Power is more than just a simple collagen supplement. It’s a complete protein and a viable source of easy to digest collagen, which is a perfect way to support your performance and recovery.

So what is the difference between complete and incomplete protein

Proteins are building blocks of your cells, organs, circulatory system, skin, hair, and bones. They are necessary for muscle recovery, strength improvement, performance, and proper healing from injuries. 

Proteins are made up of amino acids that make a variety of protein structures of your body. There are 20 amino acids, and nine of these are essential amino acids, which means that your body cannot make it on its own and you need to get it from food. The remaining 11 are non-essential amino acids that your body is able to produce. However, it is important that you still get them from food as well to avoid deficiencies.

An incomplete protein is a food protein source that has less than 9 of the needed essential amino acids. Most plant-based protein sources, including nuts, seeds, peas, or spinach are incomplete. 

A complete protein, on the other hand, contains ALL 9 essential amino acids. The most common sources of complete protein include meat and other animal products, as well as quinoa and soy. 

Frog Fuel collagen, typical collagen, and whey molecular weight comparison chart

Frog Fuel Power is a complete protein source. It has 15 grams of enzyme-hydrolyzed collagen protein that digest 4x faster than whey protein. Ingesting collagen protein has also been proven to have anti-aging effects and increase the rate of recovery after workouts and surgeries.

Our hydrolyzed collagen is pre-digested with a special fruit enzyme (enzyme hydrolyzed) to a molecular level of 2000 daltons. In human speak: it's significantly smaller than most, if not all, competitor protein molecules and therefore, easier to digest and absorb. In fact, it is specifically designed for absorption and maximum bioavailability at the cellular level. 

If you are looking for a high-quality collagen supplement to support your training, liquid collagen is the option we recommend. If you are ready to promote health, performance, and recovery with high-quality, medical-grade liquid protein shots created with rapidly absorbed protein and designed by Navy SEALs, check out our Frog Fuel liquid protein shots. Chances are, you will love the results so much that you will never go back to any other protein options.

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