The unique amino acid composition of collagen peptides

The body’s need for amino acids depends on our age, nutritional and health status. Expert panels recommend a protein intake between 1.2 and 2.0g/kg of body weight daily or higher for elderly adults1, and for physically active individuals need more protein than average: from 1.4 g/kg up to 2.0 g/kg of body weight daily.2 A higher protein intake can improve a sportsperson’s training capacity, while also supporting quicker recovery afterwards. Meeting higher protein intake requirements through a varied, regular diet is feasible, but research shows that supplements can be a big help. In addition to ensuring a sufficient protein intake, the choice of protein source also matters. 

Collagen peptides are characterized by their high levels of specific amino acids glycine (Gly), hydroxyproline (Hyp), proline (Pro) and alanine (Ala).

After intake, collagen peptides are quickly absorbed into the blood stream and are available as very small, unique peptides characterized by a Hyp-Pro containing sequence. These peptides act as important signal molecules to stimulate cells as well as building blocks supporting the connective tissues and musculo-skeletal health.

In the case of Peptan collagen peptide, in comparison to whey and soy protein it contains higher level of Gly, Hyp, Pro, Ala, this specific amino acid composition provides collagen peptides their unique bioactive properties not found with other protein sources. In below table we present an overview of the characterstics.

Amino acids
% of protein

Special characteristics3,4

Peptan® average value


protein conc.

Soy       protein   isolate


Alanine is a non-essential amino acid.

Alanine is the rate-limiting precursor for carnosine, responsible for acid-base homeostasis in skeletal muscle.

Alanine has a known ergogenic effect.





Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid.

Arginine is important for wound healing, to build body mass, and for vascular health. 




Glutamic acid

Glutamic acid is a conditionally essential amino acid.

Glutamic acid is the precursor for glutamine which is important for the health of the immune and the digestive system, as well as energy production.





Glycine is a conditionally essential amino acid.

Glycine allows the collagen helix to form its unique helical structure.

Glycine is anti-inflammatory, important for a healthy nervous system and cellular health and supports overall well-being. 





Proline is a conditionally essential amino acid and is the precursor for hydroxyproline.

Hydroxyproline is needed to produce collagen which is contained in all connective tissues and is key for the exceptional stability of the collagen protein.








Want to know more details about how Peptan’s unique amino acid profile can help you formulate your nutritional product? Our Expertise Center can help you out, contact us.



  1. Volpi, E., et al. 2013 Is the optimal level of protein intake for older adults greater than the recommended dietary allowance? J. Gerontol. 68:677–681. doi: 10.1093/gerona/gls229

  2. Campbell, B., et al. 2007. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4(1), 8.4-8

  3. Wienicke,  E., 2011, In: Performance Explosion in Sports – an anti-doping concept. Meyer&Meyer Fachverlag und Buchhandel GmbH, ISBN-10:1841263303