3D render of protein in the body.

How protein works

Let's dive into the nuts and bolts of protein, a critical nutrient that plays a foundational role in our body's structure and function.

Medical illustration of how amino acids turn into protein


The building material.

Picture protein as the building material for the body, similar to bricks in construction. It constitutes about 20% of our body mass, with water making up roughly 60%. The remainder is a mix of minerals and other elements, including the calcium that fortifies our bones.

Proteins are composed of smaller units called amino acids, often called the body's building blocks. These amino acids have a consistent structure, featuring an amino group and a carboxyl group, but each has its unique side chains that distinguish it from the others. Among the vast array of amino acids in nature, our bodies utilize 20 specific types for various biological processes.

Amino acids are categorized into two types: essential and non-essential. Non-essential amino acids are those that our bodies can produce internally, while essential amino acids must be obtained through our diet because our bodies cannot manufacture them.

Medical illustration of all the non-essential amino acids


What are the non-essential amino acids?

Non-essential amino acids include:

  • Alanine (synthesized from pyruvic acid)

  • Arginine (synthesized from glutamic acid)

  • Asparagine (synthesized from aspartic acid)

  • Aspartic Acid (synthesized from oxaloacetic acid)

  • Cysteine

  • Glutamic Acid (synthesized from oxoglutaric acid)

  • Glutamine (synthesized from glutamic acid)

  • Glycine (synthesized from serine and threonine)

  • Proline (synthesized from glutamic acid)

  • Serine (synthesized from glucose)

  • Tyrosine (s_ynthesized from phenylalanine_)

Medical illustration the essential amino acids


What are the essential amino acids?

Essential amino acids are:

  • Histidine

  • Isoleucine

  • Leucine

  • Lysine

  • Methionine

  • Phenylalanine

  • Threonine

  • Tryptophan

  • Valine

A split image of animal based proteins and plant based proteins


Animal protein vs. plant protein.

Proteins in our diet come from both animal sources, such as meat, milk, and eggs, and plant sources, including nuts, beans, and soybeans.

Animal proteins typically contain all the essential amino acids, making them complete proteins.

On the other hand, plant proteins may lack one or more of these amino acids but can be combined throughout the day to meet our essential amino acid needs.

This does not make animal protein better than plant protein. If you make the ethical choice to enjoy plant proteins, ensure you do not become deficient in the amino acids your protein sources may be lacking. Aside from protein alone, though, there are also additional vitamin, mineral, and collagen deficiencies that vegans and vegetarians need to keep tabs on.

Image of a woman adding protein powder to her cup.


How much protein do you need?

It's important to note that proteins play a more diverse role than just serving as an energy source like carbohydrates. They're integral to the growth, repair, and maintenance of body tissues. 

Adults need a minimum of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. For those leading an active lifestyle or looking to maintain muscle mass, the recommendation increases to about 0.80 grams per pound.

We at UMZU recommend hitting the upper end of that range.

Meeting your protein needs is quite manageable with a balanced diet. For example, a single can of tuna offers about 32 grams of protein, a glass of milk provides 8 grams, and a slice of bread adds another 2 or 3 grams.

For individuals focused on muscle development or maintenance, keeping track of protein intake alongside other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats) is beneficial for achieving their health and fitness goals.

A woman with braided hair and a blue workout outfit stretches in front of a tan background.

zuCOLLAGEN: The amino acids you need.

Image of zuCollagen protein powder


Why you should switch your protein supplement.

zuCOLLAGEN offers a unique advantage over whey and plant proteins by focusing on the body's broader nutritional needs beyond just muscle repair.

While whey protein provides all nine essential amino acids, these can be fully obtained through a regular diet, potentially leading to an imbalance in amino acid intake.†

Plant proteins often fall short in both essential and non-essential amino acids.

Collagen, however, delivers a rich supply of crucial non-essential amino acids not commonly found in muscle meats, which our diets heavily rely on.

This makes zuCOLLAGEN an essential supplement to address collagen deficiencies, supporting muscle growth and enhancing the health of hair, skin, nails, and digestion. †

Its formulation is easily absorbed, thanks to being hydrolyzed, and it's sourced from various animals, ensuring a comprehensive blend of amino acids.

By incorporating zuCOLLAGEN, you're not just supplementing your diet but enriching your body's overall wellness, filling the gaps left by conventional protein sources.

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Overall my joints are much healthier and stronger since using UMZU collagen protein. Also chocolate brownie flavor is delicious!!

Justin H.
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Overall I have received benefits and both my nails and skin. After using your product my nails got much thicker and stronger. My skin seems to have more hydration and more elasticity.

James K.
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I have been taking this for almost a year and will not start my day without it! My skin is glowing at 57 and I feel GREAT!

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Natural products you can trust

  • No Harmful Fillers

    No Harmful Fillers

  • Thermo-Approved


  • Natural Ingredients

    Natural Ingredients

  • cGMP Manufactured

    cGMP Manufactured

  • Research-Backed


  • Assembled in the USA

    Assembled in the USA

  • Lab Tested

    Lab Tested

Any questions we haven't answered? We're here to help.

Frequently asked questions about zuCOLLAGEN and important things to consider when using the product.

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