What is a Peptide? The Science and Benefits Behind Collagen Powders

It can be tough to know whether all the ingredients in a given supplement, like a collagen powder, are worth your while. After all, many supplements or even basic food products are packed with synthetic additives and chemicals that either do nothing to assist your health goals or, worse, can lead to side effects later down the road.

Some of the most common supplementary ingredients are peptides, especially collagen peptides. But what exactly are peptides, and what benefits do they bring? 

Let's look at what peptides are in detail and explore the science and benefits of collagen powders.

Peptides Explained

In a nutshell, peptides are one of the two fundamental or primary components of cells that help cells carry out certain biological processes. Peptides are the counterpart component to proteins, which help cells obtain and retain their shapes.

But unlike a protein, peptides are smaller and help to regulate the activities of nearby molecules.  Both peptides and proteins are composed of chains of amino acids, which are one of the three primary macromolecules.

Your body uses chains of peptides called polypeptides for several processes, including skin cell regeneration and maintenance, organ function, chemical signal transmitting, and more.

Is Collagen a Peptide?

Technically, no.

Collagen is a structural protein your body uses to hold various tissues together. It’s used to bind skin cells together, to ensure elasticity and cohesion for bone cells, to create and keep muscle cells together, and to form tendons and ligaments as well as cartilage.

But there are such things as collagen peptides: shorter than average chains of amino acids. These are extracted from native or normal collagen through a scientific process called enzymatic hydrolysis.

Today, you can find collagen peptides in a variety of health supplement products. Your body also naturally makes collagen peptides in conjunction with regular, full-length collagen molecules.

Of course, there are plenty of peptides other than those derived from collagen. Technically, any protein large enough can be distilled into a peptide form for supplementary purposes. Some of the most common peptides found in supplements include:

  • Creatine peptide, which is prioritized for its muscle-building effects.
  • Collagen peptides, which are great for nail, skin, and hair health.
  • Follistatin, a peptide that may be helpful for boosting muscle gain and assisting with weight loss.
  • Ipamorelin, a peptide that may be able to assist with fat burning and weight loss efforts.
  • BPC-157, a peptide that may assist with joint recovery and protection.

The Benefits Peptides Provide

Collagen peptides are bioactive molecules, meaning that they can quickly be absorbed into the bloodstream and impact the actions or efficacy of other cells throughout the body. For example, your body naturally uses collagen peptides to stimulate skin cells to create a molecule called hyaluronic acid. The skin cells then use the acid to maintain hydration throughout the day.

Another example involves tissue repair. Collagen peptides offer structural support for skin cells and help your body repair damaged tissue like skin, nails, and hair.

In supplements, collagen peptides are often prioritized due to their many benefits. For example, some studies show that collagen peptides can support joint recovery and protect cartilage from damage or degradation. Bodybuilders and athletes may also use collagen peptides in their supplements to reduce their recovery time and to assist with muscle growth and elasticity.

Collagen Powder Benefits

While collagen peptides are found in other supplementary products, they are a primary ingredient in collagen powder. Collagen powder is derived from both long-chain collagen molecules and short-chain collagen peptides and other supplementary elements like proteins and flavors.

Not sure whether collagen powder is right for you? In many cases, collagen powder may be able to provide your body with several major benefits, ranging from immune system support to muscle growth and more.

Boosted Muscle Growth

For starters, collagen powder can significantly impact muscle growth and exercise recovery. Remember, your muscle cells are held together with collagen; the more collagen your body has, the firmer your muscles will be. Furthermore, extra collagen can lower the likelihood of injuries during an athletic event or an exercise routine.

Your body uses collagen to protect ligaments and tendons and ensure joints are properly durable and lubricated. While our bodies naturally make plenty of collagen while they are young, they also start to produce less collagen after age 25 or so.

If you want to maintain your athletic performance and recover from your exercise routine more quickly, collagen powder could be a good supplement to your dietary regimen.

Improved Skin Barrier

Men and women can both suffer from skin dehydration, particularly if they live in a dry climate. Dry skin leads to flakiness, irritability, and even acne in certain individuals – as your skin dries, it may produce extra oil to compensate, clogging your pores and leading to the formation of pimples.

Collagen can assist with all these symptoms by boosting the skin barrier, a thin and hydrating layer that fights dehydration and potentially harmful germs. 

Reduces the Appearance of Aging

Collagen and short-chain collagen peptides are more often advertised as key ingredients for antiaging supplements and tonics, including toner, moisturizer, and even certain types of makeup.

Indeed, collagen can provide some anti-aging effects thanks to its benefits to skin cells. Your skin cells use collagen to retain their elasticity and durability as they get older. If your body doesn't make enough collagen, you may start to notice the signs of aging prematurely or more dramatically, including wrinkles, dark spots, and skin dehydration.

Because of these potential benefits, many people (men and women alike) wanting to stave off those signs of aging should look into collagen powder supplements.

Are Collagen Powders Worthwhile?

It depends on your supplement needs and health goals.

Collagen powders are relatively easy to add to your dietary regimen. Most of them can be mixed with water or milk or added to smoothies for fast and easy consumption. Furthermore, the majority of collagen powder supplements are flavored, so they are more palatable.

That being said, collagen powders aren’t quite as convenient as collagen gummies or tablets. These simplistic supplements can be taken alongside breakfast or another meal in an instant, so you don’t have to spend time mixing the supplement into a beverage to benefit from its ingredients.

It all boils down to how you like to take your supplements and how much collagen you want to add to your diet.


Overall, collagen peptides play a key role in the efficacy not only of collagen powders but also similar supplements, including muscle-building supplements, skin health supplements, and more. Collagen peptides are key amino acid chains your body uses for all sorts of important processes, including tissue regeneration and protection.

Now that you know what peptides benefit your health, try looking for them in the next supplement you purchase. For example, our Hair, Skin, & Nails Supplement contains both long-chain collagen and collagen peptides. Hope Health’s collagen supplement can promote strong and healthy skin, nails, and hair thanks to its simplistic yet effective ingredient collection.

Try it out today to resist the signs of aging and improve bodily health all around!



What Is the Difference Between a Peptide and a Protein? | Britannica.com

Hydrolyzed Collagen—Sources and Applications | NCBI

24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain | NCBI

Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications | NCBI