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Collagen Supplements: What are they, How are they made, 6 Best Forms

BY

Eric Sharp

June 13, 2020

Collagen supplements are everywhere. But, what are they exactly? What are they made from? What's the best form? From powders, to drinks, and easy-to-pop gummies (that kinda/sorta look like Sour Patch Kids). And creams?? Oh boy. Let's make this easy. We'll list out the various forms of collagen supplements available today and discuss what might be the BEST form for you to consider consuming. Your collagen intake will thank you.

IN THIS ARTICLE YOU WILL LEARN:

Collagen Supplements are…everywhere

Collagen Supplement aisle in Grocery Store

♫ Signs Signs, Everywhere a Sign ♫

You recall that classic 70’s song by Five Man Electrical Band.

Fast forward 50 years, it’s now:

♫ Supplement Supplement, Everywhere a Supplement ♫

Supplements are no doubt, overtaking grocery stores and online retailers. And they have a new poster child.

COLLAGEN.

Collagen Supplement Market is booming

The collagen supplement global market is rapidly growing, projected to reach nearly 7 billion by 2025. U.S. consumers continue to spend millions on products that have collagen as the main ingredient (growth chart below).

Collagen Supplements Growth in US
Source: NewHope.com

This is great news if you’re in the collagen business (like us), but bad news if you’re a consumer and looking to make sense of all the collagen supplement forms and make a smart decision for your body (and wallet).

But, let’s start at the beginning here.

What are Collagen Supplements?

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

The simple definition: A collagen supplement is a product (in various forms we’ll explore below) manufactured with the goal to provide the body with additional collagen protein.

Are all collagen supplements created equally? Of course you know my answer (and it’s “No”, if you didn’t). That’s why we created this shopping guide to help you find and evaluate the best collagen supplement.

Can a collagen supplement replace a whey protein supplement? Learn more: Collagen Protein vs Whey Protein (Anchorman style!)

Why take Collagen Supplements?

Why do we need additional collagen? Good question.

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

Collagen is produced naturally by our body (see What is Collagen?), but around the age of 25-30 (for reasons we don’t quite understand yet) we all start to see a decline in collagen production. This starts that wonderful phase of life we call the “aging process” (aka, gettin’ old y’all!)

We have 2 options to get more collagen into our body:

  1. Eat lots of foods that contain collagen (Bone Broth, Organ Meats, Meat on the Bone, Eggs) — we always recommend this first.
  2. Supplement (like with our premium grade Multi Collagen Protein).

If you’re like many of us that come up short with our natural collagen intake via foods, supplementation is the next logical (and easy) step and can drastically improve many everyday functions and help restore overall health. And since they’re so prevalent today, you now see why the collagen industry is booming!

What are Collagen Supplements made of?

(Brace yourself)

Collagen supplements are made by extracting the collagen from connective tissues of animals such as cows, fish, chickens, pigs — really any animal, even dinosaurs. Roar! We can even extract collagen from the membrane of egg shells.

Collagen products are hydrolyzed, meaning it’s broken down so the body can absorb it easier. That’s where the term collagen peptides comes from.

Collagen supplements need to be ingested for your body to absorb/use them. No, you can’t rub in collagen via a cream for your body to use [insert eyeroll here] — more on that in the gimmicks section below.

But, let’s first get into the various forms of collagen supplements that you may have seen out there.

6 Best Forms/Types of Collagen Supplements

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

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

  1. Powder
  2. Pills/Capsules
  3. Drinks
  4. Bars
  5. Shots
  6. Gummies

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

Let’s touch on each form, starting with the very popular (and what CB Supplements offers), collagen powder.

1. Collagen Powder

Form of Collagen: Powder

Collagen powder is the king of collagen supplements.

Most collagen supplement brands will offer a powder because of its versatility with liquids and foods. You can also cook with it! It’s like the cool kid in school, but he’s also genuinely kind and very handsome.

If you’re already sold on collagen powder, don’t miss our guide on How to Take Collagen Powder. Also, we’ve published 50+ collagen recipes using our unflavored multi collagen protein powder.

Collagen powder is also awesome because you can flavor it. If your mouth just started watering, check out our:

Collagen per serving: 1 scoop will provide ~7 grams of collagen protein

2. Collagen Pills/Capsules

Collagen Form: Pills/Capsules

Gosh, I can’t wait to pop a dozen pills today.

If you’re one of these people, then Collagen Pills or Capsules is a great way to get your collagen intake.

Yes, pills are much easier to travel with if you’re on-the-go and they’re quick to take. But, outside of that — we don’t see much appeal over other collagen supplements. You’d have to swallow a lot of frikin’ pills to get 15-20 grams of collagen a day.

Be on the lookout for another blog titled: Collagen Powder vs. Collagen Pills. This topic deserves its own attention, there’s much to discuss.

Collagen per serving: 3 collagen pills/capsules provide around 2g of collagen protein.

3. Collagen Drinks

Collagen Water Dumping on Head
Is collagen water cool? Yes. Would you pour it on your face? Probably not.

Get my H2O and my collagen intake?

You can see why collagen-infused beverages are hitting the market. Typically they’re served chilled, great for on-the-go, and flavored with a combo of juice, fruit concentrate, tea extracts, and monk fruit extract.

Collagen per serving: A collagen 12 oz drink will typically provide 10g of collagen protein.

4. Collagen Bars

Collagen Forms: Bars
Collagen Bars are becoming increasingly popular because we’re all used to the “protein bar” snack.

My first collagen protein bar was Bulletproof’s Vanilla Shortbread. I came to love their Lemon Cookie as well.

Nearly everyone has eaten a protein bar at one point in their lives, you know how this works and the benefits of bars (another convenient on-the-go protein snack). The difference with collagen bars is that their protein source is provided by, uh, collagen of course.

Collagen per serving: A collagen protein bar will typically provide 12g of collagen protein.

5. Collagen Shots

Meme Zoolander Collagen for Ants

Not shots as in needles.

Shots as in small containers of collagen.

Collagen Shots are an interesting take on the collagen supplement world — it’s like the 5-Hour Energy Drink, but without all the bad side effects. Oh, and did we mention collagen is actually good for you?

Just like the aforementioned energy drink, collagen shots typically come with a little caffeine. They’re yet another great portable option that can be taken really any time of the day. And they fit in your pocket.

Collagen per serving: A 2 oz collagen shot will typically provide 7g of collagen protein.

6. Collagen Gummies

Collagen Form: Gummy

I mean, come on. Gummies? Who doesn’t love a gummy?

They look like candy. They don’t quite taste like candy. But, my heart flutters a little every time I hold one. Maybe it’s because I ate too many sour patch kids back in the day? Maybe.

Collagen gummies are beloved by kids (so we’ve heard), and remember, collagen has awesome benefits for kids too.

Other supplements (e.g. vitamins) rule the gummy market. But, from our research, a quality collagen gummy is a little harder to find and purchase. Many top collagen brands don’t even offer gummies (yet). Until they’re more available, make your own! Try this collagen gummy recipe from Primal Kitchen.

Collagen Gimmicks

Don’t be fooled. It’ll cost you.

Collagen is food.

It comes from the skin, bones, and ligaments of animal sources such as beef, chicken, and/or fish. What do you do with food? Eat it. So ingesting collagen is by nature more effective.

So, any collagen supplement or product you can’t EAT will be flushing money down the toilet.

Do collagen creams work?

Let’s get right into this.

No, rubbing a collagen-infused cream on your skin doesn’t do anything. It might give the appearance of better feeling/looking skin; this is just the collagen sitting on top of your skin. It will wash off when you finally decide to shower that day or week.

Don’t believe me? Go ask Dr. Knight from Knight Dermatology in Orlando, Florida — a nationally recognized speaker and author and board certified dermatologist specializing in skin cancer, laser surgery, and cosmetic dermatology.

Your skin’s primary job is to keep stuff out — you can’t rub collagen on your skin to increase your collagen. You need to take it by mouth.Dr. Matthew Knight

Or, just watch him discuss the uselessness of collagen creams & moisturizers (starts at 1:12):

What’s the best form of Collagen Supplements?

Collagen Berry Smoothie Bowls Ingredients
We may be partial to Collagen Powder. It’s just too awesome to not use daily.

Is there a “best” way to take collagen supplements?

Participation Trophy
Congrats forms of collagen, you’re all winners!

Let’s start by simply addressing the fact that all collagen is awesome. The long list of collagen’s benefits can’t be ignored. If you’re not getting enough from food, than the more you can supplement, the better.

I guess that means everyone is getting a participation trophy?

Seriously though, we always recommend trying to get collagen out of food first. Try these collagen-rich foods before supplementation. We make this recommendation often (because it’s the right thing to do), so start there.

When it comes to deciding how exactly to take your collagen, I think you have to keep things interesting. Use collagen powder in your coffee, grab a collagen bar for a late morning snack, feed your kids collagen gummies, sip on collagen drinks from time-to-time for on-the-go.

As more collagen supplements hit the market, you’ll have more options. But, maybe that’s not a good thing?

We hope this has been helpful.

Collagen Cheers!

 

Have a thought? Let's discuss!

Do you love collagen as much as we do? Looking for collagen-specific recipes?

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Multi Collagen Protein Products

Premium Grade Multi Collagen Protein Powder

Collagen protein is a super-food that has delivered stunning health to our grandmothers and our caveman ancestors.

Made from the highest quality sources; grass-fed beef, wild-caught snapper and cage free chickens.

Our multi collagen is a powerful food that maintains digestive health, aides sleep, boosts the immune system, supports bones and joints, strengthens hair/skin/nails, and much more!

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Board-certified, 20+ year M.D., Biochemist. NY Times bestselling author of Fatburn Fix, Deep Nutrition, & Food Rules

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