Difference Between Peptides and Protein

When it comes to the human cell, both protein and peptides are a major component that aid in carrying out the biological function of the cell. If we look at the structure of the two, they are quite similar. Both are made up of chains of amino acids. Proteins have a role in the shape of a cell and responding to signals from extracellular environment. Peptides play a role as far as regulating activities of other molecules.

How the two differ?

While both peptides and protein are formed from amino acids their structure and size differs. Peptides are much smaller in size. They are made up of a chain of 2 to 50 amino acids. Peptides are also are not as defined as protein structurally. Proteins start from a chain of 50 amino acid chain and are complex. They can form structures from secondary to quaternary, peptides do not.

The two also differ in term of function, this solely depends on the type of protein and peptide.

  • Peptide are shorter in size than proteins.
  • Peptides help form protein, several peptide can be linked together to form protein.
  • Protein have 3D structure while peptides do not.
  • Proteins are considered to be macromolecules whereas peptides are not.


While the two may differ, they both are similar in the sense that they are made by linked amino acids. Both also play a major role in the biology of the body as they are a major component in the cell. Science has been studying the impact of both on the human body. Protein has become a major building block in muscles. Many bodybuilders rely on high intake of protein to help them recover and build stronger muscles. In the same way, peptides are also gaining a lot of steam with body builders as they are known to speed up recovery and also aid in building stronger muscles. This is no surprise as they are also made up of amino acids.

So while they may differ, the two also have some functional similarities and play a vital role in the biological makeup of the body. You must remember that there are numerous different type of proteins and peptides which serve different functions. So to ensure you get the most out of either protein or peptides, you must know which one is best suited for the purpose you need.

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