Whey, whole or collagen protein?

Learn the benefits and differences between 3 supplemental proteins: whey protein, casein + whey protein, and collagen. The first two are better suited for building muscle, the latter for building up the structures of the body.

We offer a wide variety of protein powder options, from whey protein, whole protein, and collagen protein. Each type of protein has different benefits and use cases. Let’s go over what distinguishes each one so that you can decide which one would be right for you.

Clean Goat Whey Protein Vanilla Bean

Whey Protein

Whey protein has been the most well-known protein powder for a number of years. It has always been popular for athletes, especially weightlifters. Our Clean Whey Protein is a concentrate (not an isolate). It provides 24 g protein per serving and is the highest amount of protein we offer in a serving.

Some other benefits include:

  • Being high in glutathione precursors. Glutathione is one of the bodies major antioxidants and helps in the detox pathways of the liver. It is made up of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine.
  • Quickly digested and water-soluble, meaning it dissolves easily. A quicker digestion means it gets to the muscles quicker to build them up after a workout.
  • 5.5 g Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) – known for building muscle
  • Easier to digest and less allergenic than cow whey protein.

Whey protein’s water solubility makes it the better protein if you plan to just mix it in water on the go. Some find it lighter on the stomach as well. Our Clean Whey Protein has the least amount of carbohydrates of all our proteins at 3 g total carbs per serving, so it would be a better fit for someone who is eating a keto diet. 

Whole Protein (Casein + Whey)

Our Clean Whole Protein contains the protein as it naturally occurs in the milk, 80% casein and 20% whey. Casein is a slower digesting protein and helps to preserve and protect the muscle you already have, while whey protein is faster digesting and helps in the creation of new muscle. Clean Whole Protein is best for smoothies, as the casein isn’t water soluble like the whey, so won’t fully dissolve and will separate out a bit in just liquid, which may require mixing between sips. 

Some other benefits include:

  • 20 g protein per serving / 4.4 g Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) – for building muscle
  • Since it is a slower digesting protein, it may be helpful for keeping you full longer. Athletes often use casein protein before bed for sustained amino acid release.
  • Casein from goat milk is A2. Most people who have a reaction to cow milk are reacting to the more inflammatory and reactive A1 casein that occurs in some breeds of cows. Goat milk is also easier to digest overall, as the protein molecules are smaller.


Collagen peptides has become more widely known and appreciated in the past several years and for good reason! While whey and casein are more about building up and retaining muscle, collagen is more about supporting the rest of your body’s structure. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is the glue that helps hold tissues together.

Americans generally consume a lot of muscle meats (chicken breast, hamburger) and not much meat stock/bone broth or various cuts of meat (oxtail, chicken wings) that are rich in collagen. While our body can make its own collagen with the appropriate co-factors (vitamin C, zinc and copper being some of the most notable), often stress and nutrient status aren’t ideal to keep up with the production needed. If these collagen rich foods aren’t included on a more regular basis, then collagen supplementation can be a great way to support your body while helping to reduce some of the burden on your body to make its own collagen.

Collagen is known for:

  • Helping to support hair, skin, nails, and joints.
  • Being rich in glycine, an amino acid lacking in muscle meat. Glycine has been studied to have many benefits from helping with sleep, athletic performance, calming the brain, supporting a healthy inflammation response, benefitting digestion, and more. Glycine is also one of the key amino acids in the body’s production of glutathione.
  • It is easy to dissolve and can be mixed easily in smoothies, coffee, hot chocolate, and even foods.

If you are looking for a tasty, guilt-free hot cocoa, you can even try our Clean Minerals with Collagen Peptides in a hot chocolate version! A Delicious way to get in your collagen peptides with a burst of minerals. Over 1000 mg of potassium per serving, as well as 240 mg calcium.

I hope this summary helps you to figure out which protein would be right for you. Note that you could take collagen alongside one of the other proteins for its overall support of the body’s structure. We have some athletes who will use whey protein in conjunction with their workouts and whole protein before bed to keep a steady stream of amino acids digesting and circulating, so there are different ways to use the various products. 


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