With so many collagen supplements on grocery store shelves, how can you choose the best collagen powder for your goals?
In this guide, we’ll walk you through what collagen is, the benefits of collagen, and then break down some of the top brands out there.
Whether you’re looking for a powder, capsule, or chewable option, there is something out there for everyone.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It makes up the vast majority of your connective tissue and provides structure and function to your bones, skin, ligaments, and tendons.
As you age, your production of collagen naturally starts to decline. This can result in injury to your joints, bones, and is also the culprit for aging skin (loss of elasticity and wrinkles).
There are at least 16 types of collagen, but 80-90% of the collagen in your body consists of type I, II, or III[*].
Types of Collagen
- Type I: Type I collagen is the predominant form of collagen in your skin, tendons, bones, and pretty much anywhere in your body where there is an extracellular matrix (ECM). Its primary function is to bring strength to your tissues.
- Type II: Type II collagen is the main component of cartilage, allowing for flexibility and structure in your joints.
- Type III: Type 111 collagen is an important component of blood vessels, hollow organs, and skin, and brings flexibility to your tissues.
The majority of research on collagen falls into one of three categories; skin health, joint health, and gut health. Let’s dive a little deeper into each:
#1 Skin Health
Collagen, being an essential part of your extracellular matrix, is crucial for the health of your skin. Your extracellular matrix (ECM) acts like scaffolding for your skin. It holds the layers of your skin in place, keeping them elastic and firm. That’s why, as you age, your skin may appear less elastic and more wrinkled[*].
#2 Joint Health
Collagen is a crucial component of your cartilage, which allows for the flexibility and structure of your joints. Due to the natural aging process, or from overuse, the cartilage in your joints naturally breaks down over time. This can result in severe joint pain, injury, and can sometimes even call for surgery.
#3 Gut Health
While the claims around collagen supplementation and gut health still need more clinical research to back them up, there are promising clues that collagen may help strengthen and heal your gut lining.
Many people suffer from a condition known as “leaky gut,” where the lining of your gut becomes inflamed, allowing undigested food particles and toxins into your system.
Leaky gut has been linked to a number of other health conditions, including autoimmune disease, and digestive disorders like celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)[*].
Collagen plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of your gut lining, and changes in the ECM of your gut have been associated with the chronic inflammation that often leads to leaky gut.
Furthermore, research shows that people with inflammatory bowel disease present with lower levels of collagen in their blood[*]. This is definitely a case of correlation as opposed to causation, but certainly worth mentioning.
#1 Perfect Keto Collagen Protein
Perfect Keto Collagen Protein is made from bovine (the most well-studied source of collagen) that’s been grass-fed for the highest quality collagen.
This formula contains the recommended 10 grams of collagen per serving and is tailor-made for low-carb and keto dieters, including 5,000 mg of MCTs medium-chain triglycerides) for an added boost of sugar-free energy.
There are no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or additives added, proving a clean, keto-friendly collagen protein formula.
- Made from grass-fed bovine collagen (most well-studied source)
- Comes in four different flavors (chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, unflavored)
- Contains the recommended 10 grams of Type I collagen
- Includes 5,000mg MCTs
- No artificial sweeteners or additives
Hydrolyzed collagen powder 10,000mg
MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) 5,000mg
Vitamin A 50IU
Gum acacia, stevia extract
Perfect Keto Collagen Protein is a great choice for anyone that wants to focus on quality with their collagen supplements. The ingredients are clean, and the collagen comes from grass-fed cows for the highest quality product. This is also a fantastic option for anyone following a low-carb or keto diet, as all the ingredients are chosen specifically with blood sugar regulation in mind.
#2 Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate
Great Lakes Collagen is made with one ingredient only: Collagen. This collagen powder is nearly tasteless, colorless, and odorless, and it doesn’t congeal in water like some other collagen powders.
Great Lakes has been around for a long time and was one of the first companies to sell collagen in a powder format. The collagen comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows and is keto-certified and paleo-friendly.
- Made with one ingredient: Collagen
- Comes from bovine collagen (most well-studied)
- Collagen types I and III
- Comes from grass-fed cows
Bovine Collagen Hydrolysate
Great Lakes Collagen is best for people that are looking for a high-quality flavorless option. Particularly, if you’re looking for pure collagen with no added nutrients since the only ingredient they include is collagen.
#3 Physicians Choice Collagen Peptides
Physicians Choice Collagen Peptides is a collagen powder with the extra benefit of added enzymes. This formula is non-GMO and provides type I and type III collagen from grass-fed bovine. It contains DigeSEB digestive enzymes which are meant to increase the absorption and bioavailability of the collagen.
- Contains digestive enzymes for enhanced absorption
- Comes from bovine collagen (most well-studied)
- Grass-fed cows
- Type I and III collagen
Hydrolyzed collagen I and III 7000mg
DigeSEB Digestive enzyme blend 50mg
Physicians Choice Collagen Peptides is best for anyone that’s struggling with digestive issues. The added enzymes will enhance the availability of the collagen and assist your digestion in breaking them down for maximal absorption.
#4 Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Glow
Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Glow includes ingredients specifically chosen to promote healthy skin, hair, and nails like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and biotin. It also consists of a strain of probiotics, bifidobacterium longum, and comes in three different flavors: lavender lemon, tropical hibiscus, and strawberry lemon.
- Added probiotics
- Vitamin C for enhanced bioavailability
- Nutrients for hair, skin, and nails
- 10 grams of collagen per serving
Marine Collagen Peptides (from snapper scale)
Organic Agave Inulin
Organic Lemon Juice Powder
Organic Lavender (flower)
Organic Blueberry Powder (fruit) (for color)
Organic Beet Powder (root) (for color)
Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Glow is best for people that want to supplement with collagen to support their hair, skin, and nail health. Also, if you’re interested in getting an extra dose of probiotics with your collagen.
#5 Health Logics BioCell Collagen
Health Logics BioCell Collagen is made with type II collagen along with chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid for enhanced joint support. They also add vitamin C to this formula to support collagen synthesis and have had it clinically tested for bioavailability.
- Added vitamin C to support collagen synthesis
- Added joint support ingredients: chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid
- Clinically tested collagen
- Does not contain gluten, GMOs, soy, shellfish, egg, milk, peanuts, or sugar
- BioCell collagen (Proprietary Chicken Sternal Cartilage Extract) 1000mg
- Hydrolyzed collagen type II 600mg
- Chondroitin sulfate 200mg
- Hyaluronic acid 100mg
- Other ingredients: gelatin, organic rice hull concentrate, cellulose
Health Logics BioCell Collagen is best for anyone looking to support joint health. With a focus on type II collagen, along with chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid, this supplement is tailor-made for those struggling with joint-related health issues.
#6 Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens
Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens contains five different types of collagen, along with sources of vitamin C to enhance the bioavailability. They also add tryptophan (the one missing amino acid in collagen) to make their formula a complete protein.
- Added tryptophan for a complete protein
- Includes grass-fed pasture-raised bovine collagen
- Silica from organic horsetail
- Natural sources of vitamin C to promote collagen synthesis
- Includes types I, II, III, V, X collagen
- Hydrolyzed grass-fed bovine collagen peptides
- Bovine bone broth hydrolyzed protein
- Chicken bone broth collagen concentrate
- Clean marine wild-caught hydrolyzed fish collagen peptides
- Eggshell membrane collagen
- Acerola cherry
- Camu camu
- Silica from organic horsetail
- Zinc gluconate
- Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6)
Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens is best for people that want to get a complete protein source from their collagen, along with a diverse array of types of collagen. Since type V and type X are less studied, it’s hard to say how well they work in the body. However, if you would like to diversify your collagen sources, this is the formula for you.
#7 Havasu Nutrition Collagen Gummies
Havasu Nutrition Collagen Gummies contain type I and type III collagen in a gummy format if you’re looking for a way to get your collagen fix that doesn’t include powder or pills. They’re made in a pectin-base with a fruit flavor, and have added nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and minerals to support skin, hair, and nail health.
- Gummy format
- Includes collagen type I and II
- Pectin-based for better absorption
- Added biotin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium
- Vitamin C 80mg
- Vitamin E 14mg
- Biotin 3000mcg
- Zinc 5mg
- Selenium 55mcg
- Hydrolyzed collagen types I and III
Other ingredients: Tapioca syrup, sugar, pectin, purified water, citric acid, natural flavor, tapioca starch, natural color from vegetable juice, sodium citrate, sunflower oil, carnauba wax.
Havasu Nutrition Collagen Gummies are best for people that don’t want to mess with powders or take pills. It offers a tasty option for people that are not on a low-carb or keto diet. However, if you are doing keto, you may want to opt for a low-sugar alternative.
#8 Bulksupplements Hydrolyzed Collagen (Fish) Powder
Bulksupplements Hydrolyzed Collagen (Fish) Powder, as the name suggests, allows you to get your collagen fix in bulk.
This particular formula is made with marine collagen from fish skin and contains no other ingredients. It’s also free of common allergens like soy, dairy, yeast, and gluten. Each serving is only 2.5 grams (approximately 1 ½ tbsp), so you may want to up your serving size on this one to reach the recommended 10 grams.
- Bulk option
- Lab-tested for quality
- Free of sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, and additives
- Hydrolyzed collagen (fish) 2500mg
Bulksupplements Hydrolyzed Collagen (Fish) Powder is best for anyone that doesn’t eat meat but is open to fish (pescatarian). It’s also a great company to go with if you’re looking to purchase collagen in bulk.
#9 Reserveage Nutrition Collagen Booster
Reserveage Nutrition Collagen Booster is tailor-made to support skin health. In addition to the clinically studied Biocell Collagen®, this formula includes ingredients like hyaluronic acid, Pro-Longevity Factors®, and resveratrol, to bring radiance to your skin and improve hydration.
- Antioxidant support
- Additional nutrients like hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate
- Clinically studied Biocell Collagen®
- Free of corn, soy, wheat, yeast, lactose, citrus, milk, egg or fish products, sugar, salt, starch, artificial coloring, flavoring, or preservatives.
- Organic French Red Grape & Vine (vitis vinifera) and wild natural Japanese Knotwood (polygonum cuspidatum) standardized to contain a minimum of 50% (100mg) of the Trans-resveratrol isomer 200mg
- Pro-Longevity Factors Proprietary Blend
- Organic French Grape & Vine (full spectrum polyphenol profile), Muscadine USDA Certified Organic Red Grape & Seed (Grape Pomace) 200mg
- BioCell Collagen II 1000mg
- Hydrolyzed Collagen type II 600mg
- Chondroitin Sulfate 200mg
- Hyaluronic Acid 100mg
- Vegetable cellulose (capsule), rice bran, silica.
Reserveage Nutrition Collagen Booster is best for people that are looking specifically to improve skin health. The antioxidants and nutrients added to this formula aim to improve the radiance of your skin while enhancing hydration.
#10 You Theory Collagen Capsules
You Theory Collagen Capsules offer an easy way to get your collagen in if you’re not interested in taking a powder. These caps provide 6 grams of collagen per serving, which is under the 10 grams per serving that most clinical trials recommend. However, if you’re on a budget, the price tag of only $15.99 may draw you in. They add vitamin C to enhance absorption, and with 48 servings per container, you should be good on collagen for a while.
- Added vitamin C for enhanced absorption
- Capsule format
- Vitamin C 90mg
- Hydrolyzed collagen 6,000mg
- Free of dairy, soy, and gluten
Other ingredients: magnesium stearate
You Theory Collagen Capsules are best for people that don’t want to mess with powders and are a great option if you’re on a budget or don’t want to invest too deeply in your collagen source just yet.
The search for the best collagen powder can quickly become a rabbit hole. With so many brands offering so many options, picking out the collagen protein powder you add to your morning smoothie can become a chore in itself.
A few things that are crucial to keep in mind when looking for a collagen supplementation include:
- Dose: Ultimately, you want to get at least 10 grams of collagen per serving, as this is the most well-studied dose.
- Quality: The highest quality collagen comes from grass-fed bovine.
- Ingredients: Make sure that your collagen supplement doesn’t come with a bunch of unwanted additives and artificial flavors or sweeteners.
With this checklist in mind, you can explore the world of collagen protein for yourself as you find the product that best suits your specific needs.