The Best Way to Take Collagen: Various Forms & Comparisons

collagen is very important.

It is the most abundant protein in our body and the main component of our connective tissue, many of our organs (including the heart, lungs, and digestive system), blood vessels, bones, and joints.

Reading: Best way to ingest collagen


Our body naturally produces collagen (see what collagen is?), but around the age of 25 or 30 (for reasons we still don’t understand), we all start to see a decline in collagen production. this starts that wonderful phase of life we ​​call the “aging process” (getting older!)

what will we do?

eat more collagen.

best way to ingest collagen: it should be eaten

The best way to take collagen is to eat it and ingest

Nom Nom Nom

Collagen must be ingested for our bodies to absorb and use to repair tendons, ligaments, joints, skin, hair, bones, digestive health (and more!) throughout your body. That is collagen’s superpower: connective tissue building.

no, you can’t rub collagen through a cream for your body to use [insert eye roll here]; more on that in the cheat section below. Furthermore, the injections are purely cosmetic and give the appearance of tighter, smoother skin.

If you’re ready to give your body collagen it can actually use, you only have 2 options here.

the best way to consume collagen: you have 2 options!

You only have two options to consume collagen:

  1. eat plenty of collagen-containing foods (eg, bone broth, organ meats, etc.)
  2. supplement with hydrolyzed collagen peptides (eg, powder, capsules, etc)

We always recommend getting your nutrition first from food and then from supplements. however, your options are limited here. Are you seeing why collagen supplements are all the rage? 🙂

Let’s explore these two ways to take collagen, starting with the foods our ancestors ate regularly and sadly rarely eat today.

option #1: whole foods

Collagen through Whole Foods

Do you hate supplements? it’s okay. you can still take collagen without taking collagen powder or swallowing capsules.

but, this option will require you to drink and eat foods that are abnormal to the (sad) standard American diet, or otherwise coined the “western diet”. Let’s face it, regularly drinking bone broth or cooking up a beef heart isn’t necessarily at the top of our list, especially on Taco Tuesday.

If you want to take collagen naturally, start by eating these collagen-rich foods. If you’re like many of us who fall short on our intake of natural collagen through food, supplementation is a logical (and easy) next step and can dramatically improve many everyday functions and help restore overall health. collagen can be taken at any age from the age of 2, and since they are so prevalent these days, now you can see why the collagen market is booming!

let’s dive into collagen supplements.

option #2: hydrolyzed collagen peptide supplements

Let’s frame this whole conversation by defining exactly what a collagen supplement is before we get into the various forms of collagen supplementation.

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The simple definition: A collagen supplement is a product (in various forms that we will explore below) manufactured to provide the body with additional collagen protein. this is how collagen peptides are made.

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Let’s first get into the various forms of collagen supplements you may have seen out there.

6 best forms of collagen supplements

Forms of Collagen Supplements

You have 6 forms to choose from.

Just like many other supplements, collagen comes in a variety of vehicles to transport into your body. You can dissolve, eat, and drink your way to more collagen.

These are the 6 most common forms of collagen supplements on the market today:

  1. powder
  2. pills
  3. liquid drinks
  4. shots
  5. bars
  6. gummies

note: we will continue to add to this list as new products are introduced

Let’s talk about each form, starting with the very popular (and what cb supplements offer), collagen powder.

1. collagen powder

Best Way to Take Collagen - Powder form

collagen powder is the king of collagen supplements.

Most brands of collagen supplements will offer a powder due to its versatility with liquids and food. you can also cook with it, take a look at our more than 50 recipes with collagen. if collagen powder went to high school, it would be voted “life of the party” or “most likely famous.”

The market is flooded with powdered collagen supplements and it can be hard to compare apples to apples. Fortunately, this resource will help you compare a dozen collagen powders and show you how cb supplements stack up against other brands.

2. collagen pills

Best Way to Take Collagen - Capsule form

Collagen pills are simply collagen powder in a capsule!

Before we get into pills, here’s an in-depth breakdown of collagen powder vs pills if you’re looking for a thorough comparison of these two popular forms of collagen supplements.

Yes, pills are much easier to carry if you’re on the go and taken quickly. but other than that, we don’t see much appeal over other forms of collagen supplementation. the biggest difference is the number of pills you would have to swallow daily to get 10 to 40 grams of collagen per day. they are slightly more expensive, per serving, than powders.

3. liquid collagen drinks

Collagen Water Dumping on Head

Are collagen drinks cool? Yes. Would you pour it on your face? Probably not.

Get my H2O and my collagen intake?

You can see why collagen-infused drinks are hitting the market. Usually served cold, ideal for on the go, and flavored with a combination of juice, fruit concentrate, tea extracts, and monk fruit extract.

since collagen drinks can come in all shapes and sizes, you’ll see a wide range of collagen per serving (we’ve found as little as 3g!) many collagen drinks come in 12oz bottles or cans and refrigerated such as collagen-infused lattes, fruit juices, and sparkling waters.

See our liquid vs. powder collagen comparison guide for more information.

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4. collagen shot drink

Meme Zoolander Collagen for Ants

Let’s stick to the liquids here and focus on the drinks.

We’re not talking about needles, we’re talking about those cute 2oz containers of collagen you can hit like back in those, um, college days. j/k. maybe.

Collagen injections are an interesting take on the world of collagen supplementation – it’s like the 5 hour energy drink, but without all the negative side effects. Oh, and did we mention that collagen is actually good for you?

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Just like the aforementioned energy drink, a collagen shot drink usually comes with a few extra ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, biotin, juices, oils, and sometimes caffeine for a little extra boost. They’re another great portable option that can be carried at any time of the day, since they fit in your pocket.

5. collagen bars

Best Way to Take Collagen - Collagen Bars

Collagen bars are becoming increasingly popular because we’re all familiar with the protein bar.

Nearly everyone has eaten a protein bar at one point in their lives. You know how this works and the benefits of protein bars are convenience and feeling full.

the difference with collagen bars is that their protein source is collagen protein instead of dairy proteins (whey, casein), plant-based proteins (soy, peas, brown rice), egg whites or nuts and seeds.

That said, there are a lot of terrible tasting collagen protein bars out there today. I tried many and got gagged on some dry and chalky ones. cb supplements currently focus on multi-collagen powders, but i would recommend bulletproof’s vanilla shortbread – it’s unbelievably delicious.

choose collagen bars if:

  • needs fullness fast. great for a hearty snack!
  • looking for some other ingredients (eg mct oil). i prefer this method to adding mct oil to my coffee or occasional smoothie.
  • want a little sweetness. many collagen bars will add 5g or less of sugar to make them tastier.

6. collagen gummies

Best Way to Take Collagen - Collagen Gummies

I mean, come on. gummies? who doesn’t like a jelly bean?

they look like candy. They don’t taste like caramel. but my heart races a little every time I hold one. maybe it’s because I ate too many bitter patch kids in the past? maybe.

Kids love collagen gummies (so we’ve heard), and remember, collagen has amazing benefits for kids too.

Other supplements (eg, vitamins) rule the jellybean market. but based on our research, a quality collagen gummy is a bit more difficult to find and purchase. until more are available, make your own – just google “collagen gummies recipe” and you’ll find something easy to make at home.

choose collagen gummies if:

  • have kids. show me a kid who doesn’t light up when he sees a gummy.
  • like candy. but, I don’t want to eat candies. although significantly less sweet, collagen gummies could fill that dose.
  • They’re fine with less collagen per serving. 10 gummies are needed to equal 1 scoop of collagen powder. get your floss ready!
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collagen tricks

If you’re looking for the best way to take collagen, stay away from misleading marketing and cosmetic products. your wallet will thank you.

Collagen Creams are Gimmicks

Don’t be fooled by cosmetics. It’ll cost you.

If you want to replenish your body’s collagen in the most effective way possible, avoid:

  1. collagen powder with added vitamin c. the body needs vitamin c (and many other enzymes) to make collagen. however, only 1 in 20 of us is deficient in vitamin c. a collagen powder with vitamin c does not improve the absorption of collagen powder. instead, it could backfire and lead to harmful oxidation.
  2. Topical collagen creams. Since collagen must be taken orally and ingested (as we explored earlier), collagen creams do not work. they are hype “your skin’s main job is to keep things out, you can’t rub collagen into your skin to increase your collagen,” explains dr. matthew knight, m.d.
  3. collagen injections. these are misleading if you think the injected collagen does more than temporarily improve your skin or plump your lips. injections do not stimulate collagen production, so we would not consider them a way to take collagen to get all of the vital benefits of collagen.

what is the best way to take collagen?

As a quick review, you have two ways to take collagen:

  1. whole foods
  2. collagen supplements (up to 6 forms to choose from)

Our recommendation here hasn’t been waived: We always recommend getting your nutrition from food first. then complement. therefore, our answer to the best way to take collagen is through whole foods.

I would rather someone drank bone broth every day than take our supplement.charlie, founder

Drink 8 to 12 ounces of bone broth a day, eat tripe, eat chicken with skin on, etc. if you want to increase your collagen, you must eat it. this is the best way to take collagen. real food, without going through any process, will always have more weight than any supplement.

which form of collagen supplement is best for you?

Collagen Powder

We may be partial to powders. Can you blame us?

If you choose to supplement, there’s technically no best way to take a collagen supplement. All forms listed above are terrific for supplementing your collagen.

This is about personal preference folks. the real question is, which form of collagen is best for you?

If your goal is to consume 10-40 grams of collagen protein per day, keep things interesting by using a few different ways throughout the day. Obviously we love collagen powder, here’s how to use collagen powder (16+ ideas!)

As more collagen supplements come on the market, you will have more options. but maybe that’s not a good thing? We hope this has been helpful and that you are motivated to experiment with all the various forms of collagen.

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