May 2022
Jacqui Lewis - BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine

The Scoop on Collagen vs Whey Protein

protecting immune system health

If you've been reading about all the essential things you'll need after your Bariatric Surgery, you'll be very clear on how much of a role protein plays in your life for good health, curbing hunger, and losing weight keeping it off.

You would also know there's a lot of talk about different types of protein; some weird little guys called amino acids, and something or rather about complete or incomplete protein. It's at best confusing, and at worst, you'll be feeling lost, frustrated and on the verge of giving up altogether - which is not what we want anyone to do.

So… let's break it down into simple terms, explore what it's all about and then gain an insight into the differences and similarities, then simply lay out what it is you can do that will best suit your body now that surgery has moved a few things around a little :)


Is a strand of many amino acids joined together in a chain and is essential for normal cell structure and function. Protein is found in meats, fish, dairy, nuts, legumes and seeds and is a critical part of good health. It is essential for building and maintaining lean muscle and maintaining good metabolism

Amino Acids

Are the smaller units within a strand of protein. Each unit has a different name and a different "job". Amino acids build muscles, cause chemical reactions in the body, transport nutrients and prevent illness. Amino acid deficiency can decrease immunity, cause digestive problems, depression, fertility issues, lower mental alertness and fatigue.

Essential Amino Acids

The body needs 20 different amino acids to maintain good health and normal functioning. People must obtain nine essential amino acids through food. Good dietary sources include meat, eggs, tofu, soy, buckwheat, quinoa, and dairy.

Complete Protein

A food is considered a complete protein when it contains the nine essential amino acids that our body cannot produce on its own. This is important, and you'll see why I mention this soon. Now we have established the WHAT - we can talk about the WHERE and what it all means to you when choosing food and protein supplements for your new Bariatric Diet. 

Food is always king where possible - but fitting 80-100g of protein into a tiny pouch or sleeve can be tricky - so there is often a need for some additional protein powder from the RAFT of protein supplements.

Let's Talk
Collagen Supplementation Versus Whey

Because this is a question we get asked a lot. So going back to our list of "Whats."

Collagen Protein Powder 

Is an incomplete protein derived from the connective tissues of certain animals to make up a soluble powder. It is missing one essential amino acid (tryptophan), which renders it incomplete - which is fine; if you have eaten a range of other complete proteins. Collagen can "borrow" tryptophan to make itself complete. I'm keen to remind you that collagen powder is a supplement only and should not be heavily relied on for the bulk of your protein intake in one 24 hour window. I say this because the soluble collagen powder is like it was sent from heaven:

  • Versatile,
  • Tasteless,
  • Undetectable: can be added to coffee, drinks, food and water. DEAD EASY!

Meet Feel Good Tasteless Collagen Protein powder our fabulous friend to hair, skin and nails, our gut and connective tissues - which is lovely. 

But not the be-all and end-all for a Weight Loss Surgery patient who really needs to support muscle tissue from being wasted and keep the feeling of fullness between meals for as long as possible.

Feel Good - Tasteless Protein Collagen
Feel Good - Tasteless Protein Collagen
Feel Good - Tasteless Protein Collagen
Feel Good - Tasteless Protein Collagen

Whey Protein Powder  

Also known as Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) and Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC). Derived from cows' milk generally. This one is the Gold Standard (ticks all your boxes) once you've had WLS.

WPI is the creme del a creme - because its sustained release keeps you feeling satisfied for longer in between meals. It's generally a little more expensive than WPC for that reason.

Like our good friend here, BN Pure Pro - WPI is used by Australian Bariatric patients, like you, after Weight Loss Surgery.

Whey Protein Isolate benefits:

  • Complete protein,
  • Protect precious muscle mass,
  • Encourage muscle growth and repair,
  • Condition hair, skin and nails, 
  • Support immunity, 
  • Curb cravings and, best of all - keeps you FEELING FULL.

Here’s a quick, handy table that defines and compares collagen and whey protein powder!

CharacteristicsCollagen ProteinWhey Protein
DefinitionIt is the main and common structural protein in the body, including muscles, bones, tendons, the digestive system and the skin.It is a complex water-soluble protein.
SourceDerived from skins, animals’ cartilage and the bones.Derived from cow’s milk.
FunctionAmong the functions of collagen protein includes muscle development, boosting gut health, boosting quick recovery after exercise, joint and skin health and improvement of the resting metabolic rate.Health benefits associated with whey include muscle building, fat burning, increased metabolism and curbing hunger cravings.
Amino AcidsContains only eight out of the nine essential amino acids.Contains all nine essential amino acids.

Overall, you must meet your protein goals every day, whether you just had surgery or are a few or many years down the track. It helps to assist weight loss and is vital in preventing weight regain. Where you get your protein from will vary from day to day, and you may use both of these forms in your diet with complete confidence and safety.
It is essential to know the WHY, what you can expect from each, and how to balance what's convenient and what will get you heading towards your end goal safely and happily. 

Jacqui Lewis
BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine

Related Products

BN Pure Pro - WPI

Feel Good Tasteless Protein Collagen

Feel Good - Tasteless Protein Collagen
Feel Good - Tasteless Protein Collagen
Feel Good - Tasteless Protein Collagen

Protein Perfection Protein Water

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