Jun 15, 2023
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13 Best Collagen Supplements for Men, Women, Weight Loss, and More

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Collagen has been a staple in my supplement routine for several years and has made a difference in how strong my hair and nails feel. I also believe it’s one of the reasons why I rarely experience significant joint pain, despite being in my late thirties and working out hard four to five days a week. Some collagen…
The post 13 Best Collagen Supplements for Men, Women, Weight Loss, and More appeared first on Breaking Muscle.

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Collagen has been a staple in my supplement routine for several years and has made a difference in how strong my hair and nails feel. I also believe it’s one of the reasons why I rarely experience significant joint pain, despite being in my late thirties and working out hard four to five days a week.

Some collagen brands I’ve tried are more effective than others. To save you from wasting as much money as I have on products that don’t work, I compiled a list of the best collagen supplements on the market today. I also included several options that our reviews staff has tested and enjoyed, so you don’t have to worry about accumulating a pantry full of items you’ll never use.

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider.

Our Top Picks for the Best Collagen Supplements

Best Collagen Peptides: Bulletproof Collagen Peptides


Bulletproof Collagen Peptides

  • Collagen source: Bovine
  • Form: Hydrolyzed powder
  • Number of servings: 12 to 60
  • Cost per serving: Starts at $1.28
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 20 grams
  • Protein per serving: 18 to 19 grams, depending on the flavor
  • Flavors: Chocolate, Unflavored, Vanilla
  • Third-party tested: Tested for the presence of heavy metals and other toxins


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Pros

  • Sustainably sourced from pasture-raised, hormone-free cows
  • Mixes well in hot or cold liquids
  • Made with collagen types I and III, the most common types of collagen in the body

Cons

  • Not tested for banned substances

Bulletproof Collagen Peptides are the best collagen peptides because they deliver 20 grams of collagen per serving, and they’re hydrolyzed to make digestion and absorption easier. They’re derived from grass-fed, hormone-free cows, which is a plus for those who prefer to buy sustainably-sourced products. They also contain types I and III collagen, the most abundant types of collagen in the body.

In addition to all that, we love how well this collagen dissolves. When our review staff poured hot coffee over it without stirring it, it dissolved completely and left no clumps behind.

Our review team also noted that the unflavored variety is truly unflavored, unlike other non-flavored collagen powders that can have an odd taste to them. If you like to mix your collagen powder with a high-quality protein powder, you won’t have to worry about Bulletproof’s unflavored collagen altering its taste.

If you prefer flavored collagen, you can opt for the chocolate or vanilla varieties. The flavored powders are higher in calories, though. The chocolate and vanilla collagens have 130 and 140 calories per serving, respectively, compared with 70 calories in the unflavored version. If you’re trying to watch your caloric intake, you may want to stick with the unflavored powder.

Best Collagen Supplement for Better Skin: HUM Nutrition Collagen Love


HUM Collagen Love

  • Collagen source: Bovine
  • Form: Capsules
  • Number of servings: 30
  • Cost per serving: $1.33
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 600 milligrams
  • Protein per serving: Not provided
  • Flavors: N/A
  • Third-party tested: Clean Label Project


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Pros

  • Also contains vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and grape seed and red wine extracts
  • No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives
  • Free from common allergens and suitable for a wide range of dietary restrictions

Cons

  • Provides a low amount of collagen per serving

In addition to collagen, HUM Nutrition Collagen Love contains vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, which can help prevent sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also has grape seed and red wine extracts to help improve the body’s ability to fight against free radicals, molecules that can damage cells and increase signs of aging. (1)

Another benefit of HUM Nutrition Collagen Love is that it’s available in capsule form. Those who prefer to take their collagen on the go won’t have to worry about powder making a mess in their travel bags. One serving is three capsules, which can be an issue for those with pill aversion, but the capsules aren’t too large. Most people shouldn’t have any problems swallowing them.

HUM Nutrition Collagen Love is also Clean Label Project-verified, so it undergoes a thorough testing process to ensure it’s free of heavy metals, contaminants, pesticides, and other potential toxins.

Each serving only provides 600 milligrams (0.6 grams) of collagen, much lower than the 10,000 to 20,000 milligrams (10 to 20 grams) you’ll find in other collagen supplements. Research shows that an effective daily dose of collagen is at least 2.5 grams, so if you want to maximize your collagen intake, consider another option on this list. (2)

RELATED: Best Whey Proteins for Packing on Muscle, Shredding Down, Meal Replacement, and More

Best Collagen Supplement for Women: Cira Collagen Peptides


Cira Nutrition Collagen Peptides

  • Collagen source: Bovine
  • Form: Hydrolyzed powder
  • Number of servings: 30
  • Cost per serving: $1.17
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 10 grams
  • Protein per serving: Nine grams
  • Flavors: Pina Colada, Strawberry Kiwi, Unflavored
  • Third-party tested: No


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Pros

  • Also contains digestive enzymes and AstraGin® to help with absorption
  • No added sugars or artificial sweeteners
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows

Cons

  • Pina Colada and Strawberry Kiwi flavors may be too sweet for some
  • Contains artificial flavors
  • Not as high in collagen as other brands

Collagen supplements are generally suitable for both men and women, but some are better for one gender over the other because they complement other products that address gender-specific concerns. For example, Cira Collagen Peptides are ideal for women because they can be combined with the brand’s other offerings, such as its No Filter – Complexion supplement. Together, these products can be used as part of a well-rounded supplement routine to support healthy skin, hair, and nails — all common concerns among women.

Cira Collagen Peptides contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D3, AstraGin® (a plant-based compound), and digestive enzymes to help ensure maximum absorption. They’re available in an unflavored variety or in Pina Colada or Strawberry Kiwi flavors, which taste great mixed with water or plain Greek yogurt. However, the flavored options may be too sweet for some since they contain stevia. They may also not taste good with other flavored supplements or beverages.

One container offers 30 servings but provides just 10 grams of collagen. Many other collagen brands provide 20 grams of collagen per serving but cost the same as Cira Collagen Peptides. Considering you have to double the dose to get the same amount of collagen you’d find in another brand, they aren’t the most cost-effective option.

Best Marine Collagen Supplement: Nordic Beauty Marine Collagen


Nordic Beauty Marine Collagen

  • Collagen source: Cod
  • Form: Hydrolyzed powder
  • Number of servings: 30
  • Cost per serving: $1.33
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 4.2 grams
  • Protein per serving: Four grams
  • Flavors: Strawberry
  • Third-party tested: No


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Pros

  • No added sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, gluten, or dairy
  • Also contains vitamin C
  • Non-GMO verified
  • Third-party test results available on the brand’s website

Cons

  • Doesn’t dissolve well
  • Lower amount of collagen per serving than other options

For those who don’t consume mammal-based products, Nordic Beauty Marine Collagen is an excellent marine collagen supplement sourced from wild-caught cod.

Marine collagen is beneficial because it has high amounts of glycine, which supports bone health, and proline, which helps to strengthen connective tissues and reduce joint pain. It’s also higher in types I and III collagen and may be easier to digest than bovine collagen.

Nordic Beauty Marine Collagen provides 4.2 grams of collagen per serving, lower than many other products on this list but still an effective dose. It also contains vitamin C to help improve skin elasticity and nutrient absorption. It’s only available in a strawberry flavor, which our review team noted was mild but not too sweet. However, there was a noticeable aftertaste, and it left stringy particles behind even after stirring.

That said, if you’re looking for a safe supplement, you’ll appreciate that Nordic Beauty’s marine collagen peptides are third-party tested. Nordic Naturals provides certificates of analysis for each product on its website, so you can see the test results for yourself.

Best Organic Collagen Supplement: Care/of Collagen


Care/of Collagen

  • Collagen source: Bovine
  • Form: Hydrolyzed powder
  • Number of servings: 15
  • Cost per serving: Starts at $1.60
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 10 grams
  • Protein per serving: Nine grams
  • Flavors: Unflavored, Vanilla Oat Creamer
  • Third-party tested: Certified C.L.E.A.N.


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Pros

  • No egg, fish, milk, peanut, sesame, shellfish, soy, or wheat products
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows
  • Non-GMO

Cons

  • Not available as a one-time purchase

While Care/of Collagen itself isn’t USDA-certified organic, it is Certified C.L.E.A.N. To receive this verification, the majority of a product’s ingredients must be organic, and all of them must be 100 percent non-GMO. Care/of Collagen is also third-party tested for label accuracy and purity.

With each serving, you get 10 grams of hydrolyzed collagen and nine grams of protein. You can choose an unflavored powder or the Vanilla Oat Creamer, which contains additional ingredients like coconut milk powder and vanilla powder to add flavor and creaminess to your coffee.

The only drawback is that you can’t buy Care/of’s collagen as a one-time purchase. All of the company’s products are available on a subscription basis. You can always place your order and then cancel the subscription until you have a chance to try it, but remembering to pause and unpause it can be a hassle.

RELATED: 11 Best Creatine Supplements For Building Muscle, Cutting, and More

Best Collagen Supplement for Hair Loss: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides


Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

  • Collagen source: Bovine
  • Form: Hydrolyzed powder
  • Number of servings: Seven to 28
  • Cost per serving: Starts at $1.68
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 20 grams
  • Protein per serving: 18 grams
  • Flavors: Chocolate, Lemon, Unflavored, Vanilla
  • Third-party tested: NSF Certified for Sport


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Pros

  • Made without gluten, dairy, or artificial sweeteners
  • Whole30-approved and paleo-friendly
  • Made with types I and III collagen, which are beneficial for hair health

Cons

  • Not as soluble as other options

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides was the first collagen supplement I ever took, and I still keep it in my rotation. I definitely notice that my nails are stronger when I take this collagen regularly, and even though I’m fortunate to not have issues with hair loss, I do receive compliments about how healthy my hair looks.

The positive effects it has on hair health are due to the fact that each serving offers 20 grams of types I and III collagen. Type I collagen, in particular, is rich in the amino acid proline. Proline aids in the production of a protein called keratin that helps strengthen hair. (3)

In my experience, Vital Proteins isn’t as soluble as other brands, but as long as you stir it well or use a frother or shaker bottle, you won’t notice any clumps in your beverage.

I prefer unflavored collagen because I like to mix it in coffee, protein shakes, oatmeal, and yogurt, and non-flavored powders are more versatile. However, I have tried Vital Proteins’ Chocolate Collagen Peptides supplement and enjoyed it, too. It gave my coffee a mocha flavor and enhanced the taste of the chocolate whey protein powder I used to mix it with. Neither the unflavored nor the flavored varieties contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners, so they are all ideal for those looking for a natural collagen supplement.

Best Collagen Powder Supplement: BUBS Collagen Peptides


BUBS Naturals Collagen Peptides Powder


$46.99 ($2.35 / Ounce)

  • Protein type: Collagen peptides
  • Number of servings: 14 to 28
  • Cost: $1.67 to $2.57 per serving
  • Calories per serving: 70
  • Protein per serving: 18 grams
  • Flavors: Unflavored
  • Third-party tested: NSF Certified for Sport


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06/15/2023 12:02 am GMT

Pros

  • No gluten, soy, nuts, corn, or GMOs
  • Sourced from farms that practice sustainable farming methods
  • Keto-friendly and Whole30 approved
  • Dissolves easily

Cons

  • More expensive than others

BUBS is one of my favorite bovine collagen powders because it has good solubility, doesn’t alter the taste of any beverages or foods I mix it in, and is one of the few I’ve taken that makes my hair and nails feel stronger. I also notice less joint discomfort when I take it, which allows me to keep up with my workouts.

My favorite thing about this collagen is that it doesn’t require any stirring when mixed in hot liquids. I just pour one or two scoops into my coffee, let it sit for a few seconds, and start drinking. It doesn’t clump or settle at the bottom.

BUBS isn’t the cheapest collagen supplement, but it is sustainably sourced and third-party tested, so you’re paying for quality. If you’re concerned about the cost, you can sign up for auto-deliveries to save 15 percent. And even though a serving is two scoops, you can use one scoop instead to make it last longer. You’ll still get 10 grams of collagen, which can be enough to notice improvements in your hair, nail, and skin health.

Best Collagen Supplement for Joints: Gnarly Collagen Pro


Gnarly Nutrition Collagen Pro

  • Collagen source: Bovine
  • Form: Hydrolyzed powder
  • Number of servings: 10 to 30
  • Cost per serving: Starts at $1.58
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 15 grams
  • Protein per serving: 14 grams
  • Flavors: Unflavored
  • Third-party tested: NSF Content Certified and NSF Certified for Sport


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Pros

  • Also contains vitamin C, zinc, and copper to help increase natural collagen production
  • Blends well in hot or cold liquids
  • Unflavored, so you can mix it with anything

Cons

  • Offers a lower dose of collagen than others

While many collagen supplements can help ease joint pain, Gnarly Collagen Pro is especially beneficial for joint health because it also contains vitamin C, zinc, and copper. These three nutrients can help increase collagen production, so not only do you get an external source of collagen, you improve your body’s ability to produce more collagen on its own. And since collagen can help protect the cartilage surrounding your joints, Gnarly Collagen Pro can be a solid choice for those suffering from joint pain.

You can take Collagen Pro any time of the day, but Gnarly recommends taking it before a workout to help kickstart collagen synthesis and make your joints more resilient during training. Since it’s unflavored, it’s easy to mix with any of the best pre-workouts. Our review staff also mixed it into coffee and an electrolyte drink and noted that it blended seamlessly both ways.

Gnarly Collagen Pro is sourced from 100 percent grass-fed cows, and each serving offers 15 grams of hydrolyzed collagen, slightly lower than others but still enough to be effective. It’s also NSF Content Certified and NSF Certified for Sport, so you can trust that the nutrition label is accurate and that the product isn’t contaminated with banned substances or toxic ingredients.

Best Collagen Supplement for Men: Momentous Collagen Shot


Momentous Collagen Shot

  • Collagen source: Bovine
  • Form: Liquid
  • Number of servings: 15
  • Cost per serving: $2.10
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 10 grams
  • Protein per serving: 10 grams
  • Flavors: Orange Mango
  • Third-party tested: Informed Sport and NSF Certified for Sport


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Pros

  • Doesn’t need to be mixed with anything
  • Less messy than powder
  • Includes vitamin C

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Higher in calories and carbohydrates than powdered collagen
  • Has a chalky aftertaste

As discussed, collagen supplements generally aren’t gender-specific. But for men with busy lifestyles who are trying to optimize every aspect of their fitness and nutrition regime, the Momentous Collagen Shots are a great way to stick with a collagen supplement routine while on the go. They come in individual packets, so you can easily throw one in your bag and take it during your commute without making a mess.

One shot provides 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of hydrolyzed bovine collagen. There are also 80 calories and five grams of carbohydrates per shot, and Momentous recommends taking two shots a day for the best results. This means you’d consume 160 calories and 10 grams of carbs from the collagen shots alone. If you meticulously track your caloric intake and macros, you may want to choose a powdered collagen supplement instead, which has 60 to 70 calories and zero grams of carbohydrates per serving.

When we tried the collagen shot, we noticed a chalky aftertaste and didn’t enjoy the gel-like texture. Downing it all at once rather than taking it little by little helped with both issues, though.

At around $2.10 per serving, it’s not the most budget-friendly collagen, but the price may be worth it if convenience is important to you.

Best Natural Collagen Supplement: Transparent Labs Collagen Hydrolysate


Transparent Labs Collagen Hydrolysate

  • Collagen source: Bovine
  • Form: Hydrolyzed powder
  • Number of servings: 30
  • Cost per serving: $1.17
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 11 grams
  • Protein per serving: 10 grams
  • Flavors: Milk Chocolate
  • Third-party tested: Yes, by independent labs


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Pros

  • Gluten-free and dairy-free
  • No grainy texture
  • Affordable
  • Transparent label

Cons

  • Has a watered-down chocolate flavor when mixed in water
  • No unflavored variety or other flavored options

Transparent Labs Collagen Hydrolysate is gluten-free, dairy-free, and contains no artificial preservatives, colorings, or sweeteners. The only ingredients are bovine collagen, cocoa powder, stevia, and natural flavors. Plus, it’s non-GMO, making it the best all-natural collagen you can find.

Based on our experience, it’s also the best dissolving collagen powder. After we stirred it into a glass of water, we didn’t see any clumps or particles. There was no grittiness, but we found the flavor to be weak and not very chocolatey. It tasted much better when we mixed it in oat milk, though.

This collagen powder is among the most affordable items on this list. Considering it’s third-party tested and has a fully transparent label, you get a lot of value out of it. I do wish it were available in other flavors or in a more versatile unflavored variety, but you’ll likely be hard-pressed to find collagen of similar quality at this price point.

Best Collagen Supplement for Weight Loss: Swolverine Collagen Protein


Swolverine Collagen Protein

  • Collagen source: Bovine
  • Form: Hydrolyzed powder
  • Number of servings: 30
  • Cost per serving: $1.23
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 10 grams
  • Protein per serving: Nine grams
  • Flavors: Unflavored
  • Third-party tested: Lief and Micro Quality Labs


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Pros

  • Certificates of analysis available on the website
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows
  • Made in the USA
  • No added sugars or artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Small amount of collagen per serving

When it comes to losing weight, most people know they have to reduce the number of calories they eat. However, some don’t realize that supplements can contribute to their daily caloric intake. Swolverine’s collagen protein has just 35 calories per serving, which is pretty negligible and won’t take up too much of your daily calorie budget.

Each serving offers nine grams of protein and 10 grams of grass-fed collagen. The collagen content is lower than other options, but the price is more attractive. You could take two servings a day instead of one if you wanted to increase your collagen intake, and even though you’d go through a tub more quickly, you still won’t break the bank every time you have to replace it.

Swolverine Collagen Protein is only available in an unflavored version, but you can mix it with anything — including baked goods or savory dishes — and not even realize it’s there. It also dissolves in hot liquids instantly, a plus for those who can’t be bothered to stir their coffee.

Best Vegan Collagen Supplement: HUM Nutrition Glow Sweet Glow™


HUM Glow Sweet Glow

  • Collagen source: N/A
  • Form: Gummy
  • Number of servings: 30
  • Cost per serving: $0.87
  • Amount of collagen per serving: N/A
  • Protein per serving: N/A
  • Flavors: Tangerine
  • Third-party tested: Certified C.L.E.A.N.


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Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • No animal by-products, gluten, GMOs, soy, nuts, artificial flavors, or artificial food dyes
  • Formulated by registered dietitians

Cons

  • Can have a gritty texture

Since collagen comes from animals such as cows, fish, or poultry, there aren’t many vegan-friendly collagen supplements available. However, there are supplements like HUM Nutrition’s Glow Sweet Glow™ that don’t contain animal products but support collagen production in the body. These tasty tangerine-flavored gummies contain vitamins C and E, which both help promote collagen synthesis and have some of the same benefits as collagen supplements, such as improved skin elasticity and hydration. (4)

Glow Sweet Glow™ gummies also have hyaluronic acid, which can help prevent saggy skin. They are suitable for those allergic to gluten, soy, or nuts. There are also no artificial sweeteners, but there are two grams of added sugar per serving from evaporated cane juice and tapioca syrup. However, this is such a small amount that it’s unlikely to cause significant issues if the rest of your daily sugar intake is low.

Best Multi-Collagen Supplement: Ancient Nutrition Collagen Powder Protein With Probiotics


Ancient Nutrition Collagen Powder Protein With Probiotics

  • Collagen source: Bovine, eggshell, marine, and poultry
  • Form: Hydrolyzed powder
  • Number of servings: 20 to 60
  • Cost per serving: Starts at $1.62
  • Amount of collagen per serving: 10 to 11.7 grams
  • Protein per serving: Nine grams
  • Flavors: Chocolate, Cold Brew, Cucumber Lime, Strawberry Lemonade, Unflavored, Vanilla, plus a Mixed Berry-flavored recovery formula
  • Third-party tested: Yes, by an ISO 17025-certified laboratory


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Pros

  • Made from four different collagen sources that are cage-free, pasture-raised, and cruelty-free
  • Contains 10 types of collagen
  • Various flavors and sizes to choose from
  • Includes probiotics to help improve gut health

Cons

  • Gritty texture
  • Doesn’t dissolve well

Most collagen supplements only include one collagen source (typically bovine) and type I and/or type III collagen. The Ancient Nutrition Multi-Collagen protein powder stands apart from the rest because it uses bovine, eggshell membranes, marine, and poultry collagen and contains 10 types of collagen. Having a variety of sources and types of collagen in one supplement can help ensure you get as many benefits as possible without having to take multiple collagen powders.

Each flavor of Ancient Nutrition’s collagen offers nine grams of protein per serving, but the amount of collagen varies from 10 to 11.7 grams. The flavored varieties are free of added sugars, artificial sweeteners, food dyes, and other unnecessary fillers. The unflavored version had an odd taste when we mixed it in water, but it was undetectable in flavored beverages. It also has a grainy texture and settles if you let your drink sit for a while, so you need to keep stirring it.

Ancient Nutrition’s Multi-Collagen contains two billion colony-forming units (CFUs, or the number of active microorganisms in a probiotic supplement) of probiotics and 100 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. These additions can aid digestion, help support gut health, and ensure maximum nutrient absorption.

Ancient Nutrition doesn’t disclose much about its third-party testing practices on its nutrition label, but I contacted the company’s support staff to ask if they could provide more information. They told me they use an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory that must follow stringent guidelines for manufacturing, packaging, and labeling their products. So, you can trust that this collagen supplement is made to high standards.

How We Chose the Best Collagen Supplements

We performed several hours of research and used our personal experience with various collagen supplements to come up with the 13 best options on the market. To cover a wide range of budgets and dietary needs, we included products with varying price points and ones that are derived from various animal sources. We even included a vegan option, which isn’t a true collagen supplement but supplies vitamins and minerals that can aid collagen production.

Because we know that people may want to take collagen for different reasons, we also offered options that can help address various concerns, such as skin hydration, hair and nail growth, and joint discomfort.

What Are the Benefits of Collagen?

As a dietary supplement, collagen has many health benefits. Many people are aware of how it can help with hair and nail growth and improve the appearance of their skin, but there are other benefits that make it a worthwhile supplement to consume regularly.

  • It may improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails. One of the main reasons people supplement with collagen is that they want stronger hair, skin, and nails. Studies show that collagen supplements can help increase skin elasticity and hydration and may even have anti-aging benefits. (5) Furthermore, collagen may help prevent damage to the hair follicles, stimulate hair growth, and reduce the frequency of broken nails. (6)(7)
  • It can help reduce joint pain. Another common reason for taking collagen supplements is to help ease joint discomfort. In fact, research shows that collagen supplementation can help ease joint discomfort associated with osteoarthritis. (8) This is because collagen is found in the ligaments and cartilage surrounding the joints, and supplementing with it can help supply the tissues with more collagen than they can make on their own.
  • It may improve bone health. Because collagen is also found in bones, supplementation can help increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk of fractures. This is especially important as you get older, as bone mass deteriorates with age. (9
  • It can help promote wound healing. Collagen dressings are often placed on large wounds to help reduce inflammation, encourage the body to repair damaged tissue, and support new tissue growth. (10) Taking a dietary collagen supplement can promote these same processes and thus help speed up wound healing. (11)

What To Look For When Buying a Collagen Supplement

When shopping for the best collagen supplement, you’ll need to consider more than just the collagen types used and the animal it comes from. The overall ingredient list, whether or not it’s third-party tested, what form it’s available in, and the structure of the collagen are also important to look at.

Collagen Type

There are 28 different types of collagen. Types I and III are the most abundant in the human body and most commonly found in collagen supplements. They can also offer the most benefits for the skin, hair, and nails. Type II collagen is also prevalent in the body but isn’t often used in supplements because it can inhibit the absorption of the other types. It’s best to look for a collagen supplement that primarily includes types I and III.

Collagen Source

Collagen comes from the bones, skin, and connective tissues of humans and animals. Most collagen supplements on the market come from cows or fish, though some are also derived from chickens.

Bovine, marine, and chicken collagen all have an excellent absorption rate, but marine collagen has the highest. It is also the most abundant in types I and III collagen. However, bovine, marine, and chicken collagen can all be effective, so which one you choose depends on your dietary preferences and any allergies you may have.

Regardless of which collagen source you choose, look for a supplement that’s derived from grass-fed or wild-caught animals. They’re less likely to develop diseases from being in close quarters with other animals, and, therefore, are not treated with antibiotics. There is conflicting research on the risks of consuming products from animals treated with antibiotics, but some studies show that avoiding antibiotics in your food and supplements can help prevent resistance to bacteria. (12)

Lack of Added Sugars, Fillers, and Artificial Ingredients

A long list of unnecessary junk ingredients can weaken the quality of your collagen supplement. When buying powdered collagen, look for one that only contains collagen and any other ingredients that can aid absorption, such as digestive enzymes. When shopping for flavored collagen, avoid ones that contain food dyes, artificial flavors, and fake sugars — since you’ll be taking the supplement regularly, it should be as natural as possible.

If you’re shopping for liquid collagen, look for one with little to no sugar, as this will help keep the calories and carbohydrate content low.

Hydrolyzed Collagen or Collagen Peptides

The terms hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides mean the same thing and refer to collagen that’s broken down into smaller particles to make them easier for the body to absorb. There isn’t any harm in taking non-hydrolyzed collagen, but hydrolyzed collagen can provide a more potent dose, and your body may be able to utilize it better.

Powder vs. Pills vs. Liquid

Collagen is available in powder, capsule, or liquid form. Powdered collagen is the most common, but it can be inconvenient because you have to measure it if you want precise doses. Plus, it’s messier to travel with. Collagen capsules and liquid collagen are more convenient because you don’t have to measure anything and can easily take them while on the go. However, they can also be more expensive. Which form of collagen you buy will depend on your budget and lifestyle.

Third-Party Testing

If you take a low-quality collagen supplement, there’s a chance you might consume ineffective doses of collagen or that the product will be contaminated with toxins. They may also contain substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list.

Looking for a third-party tested collagen supplement can help give you peace of mind that it contains effective doses of collagen and only includes the ingredients listed on the label.

Examples of third-party verification seals to look for include NSF Certified for Sport, Informed Choice, and Informed Sport.

What Is the Best Way to Take Collagen?

Collagen is a versatile supplement, and there are many ways you can take it. I like to blend mine into my post-workout protein shake on my workout days and add it to my morning coffee or mix it into my afternoon snack of Greek yogurt and fruit on my rest days. I’ve also had success mixing it with oatmeal and know people who add it to soups or sauces.

Most adults can safely take 2.5 to 15 grams of collagen per day. The recommended serving size each brand provides usually falls within this range, but some are higher. Vital Proteins, for example, recommends a daily dose of 20 grams of its powder. It’s best to follow the guidelines provided by whichever brand of collagen you buy if you’re not sure how much to take. It’s also worth speaking with a physician or registered dietitian to find the optimal dose for you.

The best time to take a collagen supplement depends on the individual. For example, as you saw above, I take mine at different times every day, depending on my workout schedule and what I want to mix it with. But if taking it at the exact same time every day helps you develop a consistent routine, you may want to choose one particular time and stick with that.

Final Thoughts

Taking care of our skin, bones, and joints is essential for helping us look our best and maintain mobility, especially as we get older and our bodies produce less collagen. Taking one or two scoops of collagen peptides powder every day can help the body replenish its collagen levels and prevent joint pain, weak bones, thinning hair, and signs of skin aging.

Whether you’re looking for flavored or unflavored collagen or prefer powder or pills, the list above has several products that can suit a wide range of needs. There are also pre-mixed liquid options that are great for travel or on-the-go lifestyles. It doesn’t matter which form you use or when you take it as long as you’re consistent — you’ll see much better results if you take it daily than if you only take it once every couple of weeks.

FAQs

What is the best collagen supplement?

Our top pick for the best collagen supplement is BUBS Collagen Peptides. This hydrolyzed collagen powder provides 20 grams of collagen per serving, dissolves seamlessly into hot liquids without stirring, and doesn’t change the taste of anything else you mix it with.

What is the most effective collagen to take?

The most effective collagen to take is hydrolyzed collagen, also called collagen peptides. Hydrolyzed collagen consists of smaller molecules that can be easier to digest and are more rapidly absorbed by the body. Beyond that, supplements made with type I and type III collagen are best because these types of collagen are the most abundant in the body.

What is the #1 collagen on the market?

Vital Proteins is one of the top collagen brands on the market because of its high collagen content (20 grams per serving) and because it’s third-party tested to ensure it’s free of banned substances. BUBS and Transparent Labs are two other high-quality collagen supplements on the market that also provide 20 grams of collagen per serving and are third-party tested.

What collagen does Jennifer Aniston recommend?

Jennifer Aniston uses Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, which are available in chocolate, lemon, or vanilla flavors and an unflavored variety. This collagen powder provides 20 grams of hydrolyzed collagen and 18 grams of protein per serving and is available in containers with seven to 28 servings.

Research

  1. Zhang H, Liu S, Li L, Liu S, Liu S, Mi J, Tian G. The impact of grape seed extract treatment on blood pressure changes: A meta-analysis of 16 randomized controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Aug;95(33):e4247. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000004247. PMID: 27537554; PMCID: PMC5370781.
  2. Paul C, Leser S, Oesser S. Significant Amounts of Functional Collagen Peptides Can Be Incorporated in the Diet While Maintaining Indispensable Amino Acid Balance. Nutrients. 2019 May 15;11(5):1079. doi: 10.3390/nu11051079. PMID: 31096622; PMCID: PMC6566836.
  3. Strnad P, Usachov V, Debes C, Gräter F, Parry DA, Omary MB. Unique amino acid signatures that are evolutionarily conserved distinguish simple-type, epidermal and hair keratins. J Cell Sci. 2011 Dec 15;124(Pt 24):4221-32. doi: 10.1242/jcs.089516. Epub 2012 Jan 3. PMID: 22215855; PMCID: PMC3258107
  4. Rattanawiwatpong P, Wanitphakdeedecha R, Bumrungpert A, Maiprasert M. Anti-aging and brightening effects of a topical treatment containing vitamin C, vitamin E, and raspberry leaf cell culture extract: A split-face, randomized controlled trial. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Mar;19(3):671-676. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13305. Epub 2020 Jan 24. PMID: 31975502; PMCID: PMC7027822.
  5. Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Jan 1;18(1):9-16. PMID: 30681787.
  6. Hwang SB, Park HJ, Lee BH. Hair-Growth-Promoting Effects of the Fish Collagen Peptide in Human Dermal Papilla Cells and C57BL/6 Mice Modulating Wnt/β-Catenin and BMP Signaling Pathways. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct 7;23(19):11904. doi: 10.3390/ijms231911904. PMID: 36233206; PMCID: PMC9569759.
  7. Hexsel D, Zague V, Schunck M, Siega C, Camozzato FO, Oesser S. Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017 Dec;16(4):520-526. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12393. Epub 2017 Aug 8. PMID: 28786550.
  8. Kviatkovsky SA, Hickner RC, Ormsbee MJ. Collagen peptide supplementation for pain and function: is it effective? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2022 Nov 1;25(6):401-406. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000870. Epub 2022 Aug 31. PMID: 36044324.
  9. König D, Oesser S, Scharla S, Zdzieblik D, Gollhofer A. Specific Collagen Peptides Improve Bone Mineral Density and Bone Markers in Postmenopausal Women-A Randomized Controlled Study. Nutrients. 2018 Jan 16;10(1):97. doi: 10.3390/nu10010097. PMID: 29337906; PMCID: PMC5793325.
  10. Mathew-Steiner SS, Roy S, Sen CK. Collagen in Wound Healing. Bioengineering (Basel). 2021 May 11;8(5):63. doi: 10.3390/bioengineering8050063. PMID: 34064689; PMCID: PMC8151502.
  11. Bagheri Miyab K, Alipoor E, Vaghardoost R, Saberi Isfeedvajani M, Yaseri M, Djafarian K, Hosseinzadeh-Attar MJ. The effect of a hydrolyzed collagen-based supplement on wound healing in patients with burn: A randomized double-blind pilot clinical trial. Burns. 2020 Feb;46(1):156-163. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2019.02.015. Epub 2019 Dec 16. PMID: 31859087.
  12. Tang KL, Caffrey NP, Nóbrega DB, Cork SC, Ronksley PE, Barkema HW, Polachek AJ, Ganshorn H, Sharma N, Kellner JD, Ghali WA. Restricting the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals and its associations with antibiotic resistance in food-producing animals and human beings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Planet Health. 2017 Nov;1(8):e316-e327. doi: 10.1016/S2542-5196(17)30141-9. Erratum in: Lancet Planet Health. 2017 Dec;1(9):e359. PMID: 29387833; PMCID: PMC5785333.

The post 13 Best Collagen Supplements for Men, Women, Weight Loss, and More appeared first on Breaking Muscle.

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