T Nation

Collagen Hydrolysate & Bioavailability


Has anyone heard of collagen hydrolysate increasing bioavailability? A speed trainer i work with was showing me a casein hydrolysate supplment and the first ingredient on it was collagen hydrolysate. I asked him why it was in there and he told me it increased bioavailability. I did some research on pubmed and found nothing about collagen hydrolysate increasing bioavailability so i was curious if anyone else had heard of this.


I doubt the bioavailability claim, but people often speak imprecisely.

I have seen information that while collagen hydrolystate – aka gelatin – is itself of low biological value, a small amount of gelatin combined with meat results in a higher biological value than the same amount of meat protein alone.

The same might well be true of casein: I strongly suspect it is.

An interesting fact is that taking a small daily amount of gelatin per day, for example adding one packet of Knox Gelatine to one protein drink per day, yields a quite visible effect on the fingernails. They grow obviously thicker, and there will be a ridge denoting the approximate time when one started taking it, and if it’s discontinued, another ridge showing that time, as the nail reverts back to being thinner. Maybe not for all people, but it’s common.

That doesn’t prove that it does anything useful for any other part of the body but at least opens the possibility.


A small amount of gelatin combined with meat probably would result in a higher biological value than the same amount of meat protein alone. However I think that due to poor amino acid profile of gelatin, hydrolyzed casein would be a much more anabolic ingredient, so your friend would probably be better served with a a casein hydrolysate supplement with the first ingredient in it being casein hydrolysate. I hope that helps.



Oh, if the FIRST ingredient – I hadn’t noticed that aspect – was collagen hydrolysate, then it is a crap product.

My guess on the useful amount of gelatin is about 5 grams a day. I would not by any means trade quality protein for further gelatin beyond that.


Along these same lines, would downing one of those little tubs of pre-made jello PWO have a similar effect? Or is that stuff too processed to do anything?


Apparently it has about 2 grams of gelatin in it, so three servings per day might give comparable effect to one packet of Knox Gelatine.


thanks for the reply. Would the collagen hydrolysate contribute to the total protein content as well? so if theres 15 grams of protein per serving would the collagen hydrolysate go towards those 15 grams or is it just 15 grams of casein hydrolysate? thanks.


The product label would count it towards total protein.