Should You Be Taking a Collagen Supplement? If so, What's the Best Collagen to Buy?
Collagen supplements have become very popular, and for good reason. But what exactly is collagen? What are the benefits of taking an oral collagen supplement? And with so many options on the market, how do you know which one to buy?
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We dug into the research to provide you with answers, including the (science-backed) health benefits of taking a collagen supplement and what to look for in a supplement. With this data, we analyzed 20 of the top collagen products, read through their ingredients, certifications, and reviews (including our own) to compile a list of the Best Collagen Supplements to buy.
Let's start with, What is Collagen?
Collagen is the vital building block of our bodies, found in skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, muscles, and tendons. Unfortunately, as we age, our collagen production dramatically slows down.
According to New York Dermatologist Whitney Bowe, author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin: The Surprising Science of Looking and Feeling Radiant from the Inside Out, our body's collagen is like ropes of protein, "when we're young, the ropes remain tight, but as we age, the ends begin to fray."
We begin to lose about 1% of collagen per year in our mid-20s and lose as much as 30% during the first 5 years of menopause.
- Dr. Whitney Bowe
What are the Benefits of Taking a Collagen Supplement?
Improved skin elasticity and wrinkle depth
Improved skin hydration
Improved joint health
Increased bone strength
The Science Behind Collagen
According to a study conducted by the Collagen Research Institute in Germany, the results of their twenty-year research indicate "the inclusion of collagen peptides in the diet can lead to various improvements in health."
It showed an improvement in; skin elasticity, the recovery of lost cartilage tissue, reduced activity-related joint pain, strengthened tendons and ligaments, increased lean body mass, and increased bone density in postmenopausal women.
Joint Health and Bone Strength
Our bones are made up of collagen, and as we age and collagen production slows, it makes our bones weaker. Menopause leads to an increased risk for osteoporosis in women.
The National Library of Medicine has published several studies supporting collagen supplements improving joint health and bone strength.
One study found that taking collagen with a calcium supplement (rather than calcium alone) improves bone mineral density.
Another study concluded collagen to be an "attractive agent for long-term use" in the treatment of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
And another study found that athletes treated with collagen supplements saw improvement in joint pain.
As we age and collagen production significantly decreases, it leads to several common aesthetic skin concerns- including fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, and uneven skin texture.
A study conducted by the Department of Food Science and Biotechnology at the College of Life Science in Korea found collagen-peptide supplementation to be an effective remedy to improve hydration, elasticity, and wrinkles in human skin.
Another study published in the Journal of Medical Nutrition and Nutraceuticals states, "oral supplements consisting of hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, essential vitamins, and minerals leads to a significant improvement in wrinkle depth and a noticeable improvement in elasticity and hydration of the skin."
Finally, the National Library of Medicine published a study that found "ingestion of hydrolyzed collagen for 90 days is effective in reducing skin aging, as it reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity and hydration."
What is Hydrolyzed Collagen?
Hydrolyzation means that the collagen has been broken down into smaller components called Peptides, which are better absorbed in the gut and then delivered to skin and joints through the bloodstream.
How to Use Collagen?
Collagen powders easily dissolve in liquid and food, so you can add it to whatever you're drinking (coffee, juice, smoothies) or eating (yogurt, oatmeal, or add to baked goods)- get creative and start incorporating it into your life.
It is Not a Quick-fix
Just like anything that requires changes, collagen is not a 'quick fix.' Instead, consistency is the key- it can take up to three months for your body to start benefiting from a daily collagen supplement.
And like vitamins, skincare, or dietary changes- it's a lifestyle choice you have to stick with. If you don't use it regularly, you will not reap the benefits.
Finally, always ask your doctor before adding a new supplement.
But, with all the products on the market, the big question is... How do you know what to buy?
When choosing a collagen supplement, not all are created equal, so be careful and know what you are buying.
First, look for hydrolyzed collagen. As mentioned above, that is the key to better absorption and is easily soluble in food and beverages.
Type I is the most important, comprising over 90% of the collagen in the human body. And Type III supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.
Finally, be sure you are looking at the amount of collagen per serving.
We have rounded up the Best Collagen Supplements to buy.
All of the products listed below contain high-quality Type I and III grass-fed Bovine Collagen- except for the Marine Collagen, which has only Type I.
We have also listed the amount of collagen per serving, the number of servings, and the price.
Finally, we know how quick and convenient Amazon is but note that most manufacturers offer a discount (10%-15% off and free shipping) when you go to their website and subscribe to their email list. Tip: you can always unsubscribe from their list once you've received your products;).
Vital Proteins Original Collagen Peptides (unflavored)
The Vital Proteins is the OG of collagen and the leader of the pack, for good reason. Their Original Collagen Peptides is packed with a whopping 20g per serving- (but, it is important to note that VP serving is 2 scoops where most others serving is 1 scoop, hence why their collagen amount is higher). It also includes hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to further the body's natural collagen production and youthfulness. And according to the research, these ingredients, when added to collagen, increases the anti-aging benefits.
Paleo-friendly, gluten, and dairy-free, no added sugars, and has a Whole30 Approved accreditation.
20g of collagen per serving (2 scoop)
Live Conscious Collagen Peptides (unflavored)
Very highly rated- almost 30,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, Live Conscious Collagen Peptides is an excellent single-source collagen product. Though it doesn't contain any other vitamins and minerals that some of the other brands featured do, it does checks all the boxes as a high-quality collagen product; grass-fed bovine, complete amino acid profile, non-GMO, no additive or fillers, and comes with a 365 money-back guarantee.
Paleo and Keto-friendly.
11g of collagen per serving (1 scoop)
Live Conscious website promo code: 10% off with code SHARE 10
Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel
Primal Kitchen wins our award for Best-Tasting! Made with all clean ingredients and no refined sugar, dairy, whey, or soy. Coconut milk powder and monk fruit extract make this a delicious way to add collagen benefits to your lifestyle (tip: we Love adding the vanilla to our oatmeal!)
Flavors include: vanilla coconut, chocolate coconut, golden turmeric, and peanut butter.
Keto certified, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Contains coconut.
10g (1 scoop)
$39.99 (Primal Kitchen + 10% off with promo code THESHARINGCOLLECTIVE)
Bulletproof Complete Daily Energy Collagen Protein
Bulletproof is known for its wildly popular Bulletproof Coffee- which incorporates grass-fed butter and MCT oil with coffee. And now they have taken high-quality hydrolyzed collagen powder and amped it with a custom (caffeine-free) energy blend which contains ginseng, magnesium, and cordyceps mushroom (to support stamina, endurance, and energy production) as well as their signature MCT oil.
Available in Vanilla or Chocolate.
20g collagen (for 2 scoops)
Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein
Ancient Nutrition was developed by Dr. Josh Axe, a well-known doctor of natural medicine and the author of several books including, Keto Diet: Your 30 Day Plan. His products are created using Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Herbalism principles and marrying them with current research to provide supplements rooted in tradition - and supported by science.
This Multi Collagen Protein is one of Amazon's highest-rated products. It is a complete blend of multi- hydrolyzed collagen types I, II, III, V, and X. All sources (beef, chicken, fish, and eggshell membrane) are non-GMO, grass-fed, pasture-raised, and hormones free. Added bonus, it includes Vitamin C and Probiotics.
Available in: unflavored, vanilla, chocolate, cucumber lime, strawberry lemonade, and cold brew flavors.
10g of collagen (one scoop), 20g of collagen (two scoops)
20-40 servings per container
Evolution_18 Relaxing Collagen Peptides
This is one of our Personal Favorites and for good reason! Evolution_18 is Beauty from the Inside Out from the Beauty Queen herself, Bobbi Brown. Her new Relaxing Collagen Peptides is the best multi-purpose product for women.
We love Evolution_18 Relaxing Collagen for all the added vitamins and minerals, including; biotin (strengthens hair and nails), hyaluronic acid (improves skin), plus vitamin C, copper, and zinc. Also includes probiotics (for a healthy gut), coconut MCTs (to support the brain and heart and help with inflammation), and magnesium (a vital nutrient, especially for women, to calm the body and support sleep).
At only 50 calories per serving, blend it with your favorite nut milk (and ice) to make a creamy, delicious after-dinner treat that tastes like an indulgent milkshake.
This complete, multi-function beauty blend should be added to every women's evening routine.
Flavors include: relaxing vanilla, relaxing chocolate, orange creamsicle, and chocolate mint (a personal favorite). Gluten-free. Contains coconut.
2.5g of collagen (1 scoop)
$26 (subscribe to their list and get 15% off your order)
Collagen capsules are an easier and more convenient way to stay on track, especially when traveling. HUM wins for best capsules. A good source of both Type 1 and Type 3 grass-fed collagen, but also includes vitamin C (to boost immunity and help repair skin damage) and hyaluronic acid (to boost skin moisture and decreased the appearance of lines + wrinkles). Also noteworthy is the addition of chondroitin sulfate, a substance found in the cartilage of our joints that both aids in collagen production and plays a role in natural skin hydration.
6g of collagen per serving (3 capsule a day with food)
Natural Force Marine Collagen Peptides