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What Is Bovine Collagen? (+Benefits, Forms, & Uses)

Written by Shelby Torrese

Reviewed by Liz Brown

Do you know what type of collagen supplement you’re taking? Chances are, it’s bovine collagen! Discover the unique benefits of beef collagen & how to use it for best results.

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This is why you need to be taking bovine collagen on a daily basis!

Everyone has an answer for why we should be taking collagen, particularly bovine collagen. The joint repairing benefits and anti-aging success stories are plastered across ads and labels everywhere! Yet, no one is really addressing the question, “what is bovine collagen?” Which, to me, is pretty important.

I personally am a stickler about knowing what I’m consuming. From crackers to collagen, I don’t buy a single thing without reading the ingredients list. Call me a nut job, but it matters! Too many people fall victim to buying seemingly healthy snacks and supplements without realizing they’re actually made of synthetic ingredients or full of artificial additives.

While purchasing collagen is relatively safe, since it should only contain the collagen itself along with any flavorings, I thought it would be beneficial to break down what beef collagen peptides are, and why they are so beneficial to overall collagen consumption. Plus, I let you in on my favorite go-to brand and why it outranks other collagen every single time.

collagen and gut health

What Is Bovine Collagen?

Bovine collagen, or beef collagen, is collagen sourced from beef cattle. The collagen-rich hide and surrounding parts are soaked and processed to extract the beneficial collagen peptides. This simple and relatively pure process is how we get to reap maximum collagen benefits in our own joints and bones, skin, and connective tissue. I also love to mention that collagen gets the sustainability stamp of approval! The collagen-rich parts of cattle often go unused, so by repurposing them into collagen peptide powders, we’re creating more sustainable practices for farmers.

What Types Of Collagen Come From Bovine Sources?

With so much hype around collagen types, I’m excited to share about the benefits found in bovine collagen types I and III. Studies show that oral intake of types I and III greatly increase our own production of these types of collagen, too! [1]

Type I Collagen

Type I collagen is known for supporting and repairing joints by increasing chondrocyte function, which is responsible for cartilage production and maintenance. Cartilage plays an important role of connecting bones in the body. What this tells us about Type I collagen is that it also has positive effects on inflammation, particularly in the joints, and plays a role in cartilage protection and as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body. [2]

Type III Collagen  

While Type III collagen is also associated with the production of cartilage and inflammation health, it is more closely associated with preventing the breakdown of cartilage and increasing our immune system response efficacy. [3]

Collagen Powder being poured into a cup

Bovine Collagen Benefits

1. Helps alleviate joint pain 

As mentioned above, collagen Type I is responsible for increasing chondrocyte function, which is responsible for producing and maintaining cartilage tissue. This helps alleviate joint pain by improving the production, and thanks to collagen Type III—the slowing of the degradation process. [3]

2. Decreases the physical signs of aging

Because so much of our aging is dependent on reduced exposure to both oxidative stress and inflammation, Type I and III collagen is important to our overall well-being when it comes to signs of aging. Think about your skin. When it’s inflamed, you may have puffy eyes or redness in your cheeks. For me, I always feel like I look decades older when my face is inflamed. With collagen support, our body can more easily combat inflammation throughout the entire body, and in turn, look younger! [4]

3. Improves bone density & bone health

It’s rare for me to think about the health of my bones. I, luckily, have never broken a bone (knock on wood),, and so it’s never occurred to me that bone health should be a concern. However, hearing my grandparents talk about how they can “feel pain in their bones” breaks my heart. So, a preventative approach to this, like collagen, is important. Now I understand why my mom always said it’s never too soon to start supplementing with collagen! Collagen helps to reinforce our bones by increasing bone density and minimizing the risk of premature breakdown.

Types Of Bovine Collagen Supplements 

There are two popular forms of bovine collagen: gelatin and hydrolyzed beef collagen peptides. 


To be honest, I only ever use gelatin when I want to make homemade gummies or marshmallows. 😂 Having heard that it has similar benefits to bovine collagen peptides, though, I recently tried to add it to my daily iced coffee. BIG mistake. Gelatin, unlike beef collagen, clumps up in little mounds when added to cold liquids and “blooms,” almost like yeast. [5] (No wonder it’s always prepped in warm water to make jello.) So while it may provide the same benefits as collagen, it certainly does not work well in cold or room temperature liquids the same way that hydrolyzed collagen does. [6] This is because their cellular profiles differ. Collagen peptides are made up of shorter amino acid chains, whereas gelatin is made up of multi-stranded polypeptides. This structural difference is what makes hydrolyzed collagen easy to digest, and gelatin somewhat more difficult.

Hydrolyzed beef collagen peptides 

Even though I tend to have a steady supply of gelatin sitting around (what can I say, I like marshmallows!), I much prefer hydrolyzed beef collagen for my go-to choice of collagen, primarily for the digestive benefits. “Hydrolyzed” means that the collagen has undergone the hydrolysis process, and will be easier to digest than non-hydrolyzed collagen supplements, like gelatin. Plus, it will more easily dissolve into both hot and cold beverages!

Hydrolysis is a process of breaking down proteins with a water-based chemical reaction, making them easier to digest. Studies have also shown that hydrolyzed protein produces slightly more effective and efficient results, as it has an antioxidative effect on the liver. [7] Oxidative stress can cause aging, weakened immune systems, high blood pressure, inflammatory conditions, and more. The antioxidant levels in beef collagen help to counter the effects of oxidative stress and can help keep the liver healthy when taken regularly. Oxidative stress is mainly caused by free radicals such as fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides, air pollutants, and even cell phones! So, getting enough antioxidants is crucial! [8]

Mentioned In This Post

SkinnyFit Unflavored Collagen

Look and feel younger with Super Youth Multi-Collagen Peptides! This versatile collagen powder includes 5 collagen types from 4 natural sources to restore youthfulness from the inside out.

Learn More

How To Use Bovine Collagen

Now that I’ve explained all the benefits of beef collagen peptides, you’re probably wondering where to get it. I personally do all of my shopping online. It’s so much more convenient, and actually, most of my favorite brands are only available online. I’m also known to choose one brand over another just because it’s on Amazon. Oh well! 🤷‍♀ 

For me, that special collagen brand is SkinnyFit. I love their Super Youth Multi-Collagen Peptides because it contains all five types of collagen our bodies need and crave to age beautifully. Yes, you might be surprised to find out that my favorite SkinnyFit collagen actually contains collagen other than bovine collagen. It also contains marine collagen peptides, eggshell membrane collagen, and chicken collagen peptides. This is because all the varying types of collagen found in different sources work together to provide maximum benefits (meaning, maximum results!). 

Because our bodies thrive on all types of collagen, it’s important that we supplement with all five. This can get quite costly, which is another reason why I love Super Youth. Not only is it super cost-effective in comparison to other collagen types, but it contains all five types in one formula, whereas similarly priced collagens only contain one or two, at best! 

The Bottom Line On Bovine Collagen

I hope this beef collagen lesson was helpful, and that it finally answered the hot question of “what is bovine collagen? Some of my favorite ways to take collagen are actually to disguise it in food and lattes so if you ever find yourself struggling to take your daily collagen supplement, check out this helpful blog on how to use collagen, along with the best collagen recipes! Hope you enjoy!

how to use collagen powder

About The Author

Shelby Torrese

Nutrition, Movement & Meditation Coach

Shelby Torrese is a wellness enthusiast (and matcha fanatic!) from Miami, FL. She attributes her love of movement to her mom, a personal trainer, and her love of food to her dad, a farmer. She studied creative writing in college while getting her yoga certification, and went on to pursue fitness and nutrition in grad school. Her go-to advice is, “Balance,” and she is a firm believer that the ocean can cure just about everything.

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • NASM Certified Nutrition Coach
  • M.S. in Human Performance


Reviewed By

Liz Brown

Fitness & Nutrition Expert (CPT., FNS.)

Liz is a health & wellness expert, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the fitness & nutrition industry. She emphasizes research and simplifies complex topics to help make healthy living simple and sustainable. When she isn't researching and writing, she's sharing delicious recipes, easy DIYs, and home decor tips on her blog and social media.

More from Liz, visit: Personal Blog, TikTok, Instagram


  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer(since 2012)
  • NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist (since 2014)
  • Credentialed Coach Practitioner, Coach Training Academy
  • B.A. Liberal Studies (Health & Nutrition Sciences)
  • A.A. Liberal Arts (STEM)

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