Trend check: Is there vegan collagen?

18. January 2024 from Kea Blum
Trend check: Is there vegan collagen?

How vegan collagen alternatives work and how effective they really are

Collagen is one of the most important anti-ageing substances. It is a structural protein that supports the elasticity and firmness of the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles. There are many beauty drinks with collagen - including more and more products with "vegan collagen". We explain what's in the vegan collagen boosters and give tips on what to look out for when choosing plant-based collagen alternatives.

Trend: Vegan collagen - and what's behind it

Anyone looking for anti-ageing or better-ageing products for the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles will increasingly come across the term "vegan collagen". This term suggests that these are dietary supplements containing collagen - only without animal ingredients. However, this is not true. To understand this better, let's first explain what collagen is and what we need it for.

What is collagen?

Collagen is an important structural protein that our body produces itself. It provides support for joints, muscles and tendons and ensures that the skin and connective tissue remain elastic. From around the age of 25, however, the body's own collagen production decreases. The skin becomes flabbier, the first wrinkles appear and the connective tissue loses its firmness. The collagen content in the joints, muscles and tendons also decreases with age.

Dietary supplements containing collagen can help to delay this process. However, as collagen is of animal origin, these products are not suitable for vegans. 

How beauty drinks with vegan collagen alternatives work

People who want to promote inner beauty and health and at the same time value vegan products for ethical or sustainable reasons can turn to plant-based collagen alternatives. The vegan beauty drinks contain proteins or amino acids and selected vital substances that support the body's own collagen production and therefore promote inner beauty and health.

Vegan collagen alternative - 5 benefits of rice protein hydrolysate

Better ageing is a holistic approach to slowing down the external, physical and mental ageing process. This is where vegan combinations of vital substances with plant-based collagen alternatives come in. Many vegan collagen alternatives contain soya, pea or wheat proteins as a base. We explain why vegan beauty drinks with hydrolysed rice protein are the better alternatives.

  • 1st advantage: Hydrolysed rice protein has a similar composition1 to human collagen.
  • 2nd advantage: The splitting of the rice proteins (hydrolysis) into shorter peptide chains improves the absorption and utilisation of the proteins. (More on this in the box)
  • 3rd advantage: Hydrolysed rice protein is gluten-free and therefore also suitable for people with a gluten intolerance - unlike wheat protein, for example.
  • 4th advantage: Unlike other plant-based protein sources such as soya, rice protein is naturally hypoallergenic. Soya is one of the top 10 triggers2 for food allergies in adults. In addition, rice protein is broken down into smaller, less allergenic proteins through hydrolysis.
  • 5th advantage: Hydrolysed rice protein has a mild, neutral flavour compared to soya and pea protein.

Hydrolysed rice protein: what's behind it

Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 21 of these so-called proteinogenic amino acids. Peptide compounds link the amino acids to form chains. Chains with up to 100 amino acids are called peptides. Above 100 amino acids they are called proteins.

During the hydrolysis of the rice protein, the peptide bonds are broken down. In other words, the proteins are broken down into smaller peptides. We explain the advantages of this in the article.

Better ageing effects of rice protein hydrolisate

Hydrolysed rice protein has great potential as a better-ageing vital substance. The positive effects of hydrolysed rice protein that have been proven by studies include

  • Promotes the skin's renewal processes: Hydrolysed rice protein contains all the essential amino acids3 that are important for the body's own collagen production.
  • Antioxidant effect: Rice protein hydrolysate is rich in antioxidants4 that can scavenge free radicals. Free radicals favour skin damage.
  • Inhibition of hyaluronic acid degradation: Hyaluronic acid stores moisture in the skin and keeps it elastic. Hydrolysed rice protein has been proven to inhibit the breakdown of hyaluronic acid5.
  • Relief from age spots: Age spots occur when a particularly large amount of melatonin is deposited in certain areas of the skin. The enzyme tyrosinase is involved in this. Rice protein hydrolysate inhibits tyrosinase6.

High-quality vegan vital substance combinations also contain other vital substances that can contribute to more vitality, vital energy and radiant beauty. These include vegan glucosamine sulphate, hyaluronic acid and a range of vitamins and minerals.

Boost collagen production with vegan glucosamine sulphate

Another plant-based vital substance that stimulates collagen production is vegan glucosamine sulphate. It also promotes the production of hyaluronic acid and is an important component of synovial fluid and cartilage. Vegan glucosamine sulphate is therefore an ideal addition to hydrolysed rice protein in vegan beauty drinks.

Vegan glucosamine sulphate is produced through the fermentation of GMO-free maize. Special fungi convert the sugar (glucose) it contains into glucosamine. There are various glucosamine salts. Glucosamine sulphate is the most effective form, as human cartilage contains sulphates (sulphur compounds).


Collagen is the most important structural protein. It provides support for joints, muscles and tendons and promotes the elasticity of skin and connective tissue. This is why collagen is also found in so many beauty drinks. However, as conventional collagen comes from animal sources, these are not suitable for vegans.

For those who value vegan products for ethical or sustainable reasons, plant-based collagen alternatives are a good choice. An ideal plant-based collagen alternative is hydrolysed rice protein. It is hypoallergenic and has a similar amino acid composition to human collagen. The body can therefore utilise rice protein hydrolysate very well.

In addition to hydrolysed rice protein, there are other important vital substances that maintain attractiveness, vital energy and vitality. These include vegan glucosamine sulphate, for example, as well as various vitamins and minerals. High-quality food supplements with plant-based collagen alternatives have a balanced ratio of these vital substances.

5 advantages of rice protein as a vegan collagen alternative

  • 1 very similar composition1 to human collagen
  • 2 the breakdown (hydrolysis) improves protein absorption
  • 3 gluten-free (in contrast to wheat protein, for example)
  • 4 hypoallergenic (low allergenic), in contrast to e.g. soya
  • 5 mild, neutral flavour

Kea Blum

I am a freelance journalist and editor from Hamburg. By my side is my Australian Shepherd girl Maja and my husband. After my studies in ecotrophology and a PR and editorial traineeship, I started my own business. For more than four years, I have been looking after clients in the fields of nutrition and health. I still find it fascinating how much what we eat can affect our health. And I love to pass on this knowledge to others through my work.