What is Collagen Protein Powder?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It’s the glue that holds it all together. Without collagen, we’d all be a bunch of puddles. As we age our bodies decide to decrease the manufacturing of collagen. Oof. Getting old is fun, right?
Collagen protein powder is a form of a collagen supplement that typically provides around 7g of collagen protein per scoop. Unless you’re regularly eating foods high in collagen, supplementing is a great way to counter your body’s decline of collagen! Consuming collagen powder is quick, easy, and safe.
Collagen powder is sourced from animals using skin, bone, joint material, and cartilage. If the collagen powder is a multi, those animal sources will be cows, chickens, fish, and eggshell membrane. If the collagen powder is single-sourced, it’ll either be cows (e.g. Bovine Collagen) or fish (e.g. Marine Collagen).
Collagen Powder: The Popular way to take Collagen
One of the most popular forms of collagen peptides is collagen powder. It’s easy to purchase online or from your local grocery or supplement store.
Collagen powder generally comes in a typical supplement container (like other protein powders) or a packet (think single-serve packets). A single scoop is generally a serving.
But, one of the main reasons collagen powder is popular is because of its numerous ways to consume it.
Eat it, drink it, mix it, blend it — collagen peptides can be consumed in various ways (jump to these 15 ways below).
Most brands (like us!) will offer an unflavored multi collagen powder option — meaning, you don’t have to worry about any odd smells, tastes, or textures when trying to consume this super-food in drinks and food. Be sure to drool over our 50+ collagen powder recipes for inspiration and practical tips. We’ll share some of these delicious recipes below.
When to take Collagen Powder
We often get asked:
When is the best time to take collagen powder?
Short answer: there’s no scientific evidence proving there’s an ideal time of the day. Whether it’s in your morning coffee, at Noon, 2:44 pm, or right before bed – it’s a wild guess until more research is discovered (unlike whey protein powder, where some studies claim that 30 minutes post-workout maximizes the controversial “anabolic window”).
Long(er) answer: collagen is protein. And just like any other protein source, there can be certain advantages (e.g. managing blood sugar, weight loss, etc.) to taking protein during specific times of the day as you plan meals, snacks, workouts, & intermittent fasts (see Does Collagen Break a Fast?)
Taking Collagen at Night
Sleep. Who doesn’t want better sleep? And does taking collagen at night have any merit? Maybe.
Collagen powder is loaded with amino acids – glycine in particular (our multi collagen protein comes with nearly 1,500 mg per scoop). Glycine enhances sleep. Does taking collagen powder at night help with sleep? Again, possibly. Just remember there’s no concrete evidence (yet) to fully support that taking collagen at night is maximizing collagen’s benefits. But, glycine is pretty awesome stuff and worthy of mentioning here.
Taking Collagen on an Empty Stomach
Since collagen powder is considered a supplement by the FDA, we do get this specific question:
Do I have to take collagen on an empty stomach?
The simple answer: No, your stomach doesn’t need to be empty to take collagen. After all, if collagen is food (and it almost is), then your stomach won’t technically be empty after you take it.
The medical answer (from an M.D.): Collagen powder in partly digested (that’s why hydrolyzed means). It’s broken down from a very long string of amino acids into short little snippets, some of which can be absorbed without any further breaking down.
Here’s more from our very own Dr. Cate:
Because collagen powder is partly digested, you don’t need to have your digestive enzymes ramped up to full capacity. However, some of the longer peptides still do need to be broken down further before your body will absorb them. I would think most people’s systems would be able to pull that off. If not, they might theoretically experience some kind of bloating, at worst. And if they do, then next time take it with something either acidic or salty to stimulate at least a little bit of activity from their digestive enzymes.Dr. Cate, M.D.
How to Mix Collagen Powder
Though collagen is a sticky protein (see What is Collagen?), collagen powder should dissolve fairly easily – just like any other protein powder.
You can mix collagen in a:
- shaker bottle
- mug/cup + spoon
- mug/cup + frother (hello collagen lattes!)
- broth/soup/hot water
- dough (breads, treats)
- and more!
Why does my collagen powder clump?
Let’s talk about clumping.
After dropping in a scoop to your hot or cold liquid, you might notice some slight clumps form from the collagen supplement. Why? Why does collagen powder clump?
Here’s the deal. Collagen is a “sticky” protein. The word collagen comes from the Greek word “kólla”, which literally means glue. Collagen holds our bodies together — it’s meant to be sticky! So before you curse out your collagen remember that collagen, in its natural not overly-processed state, is like glue.
But, we also get that chunky coffee, tea, or whatever beverage you choose to mix it in isn’t ideal (and kind of gross!) Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Pro Tips for mixing collagen (and getting rid of any clumps)
You really have 3 options for mixing collagen and de-clumping:
- Stir until gone (estimated wait time: 30-45 seconds, depending on the collagen brand)
- Smush the clump to side of your beverage container, then stir (estimated wait time: 20-30 seconds)
- Use a frother (estimated wait time: 5-10 seconds)
Let’s make this easy. For you coffee, tea, and hot chocolate connoisseurs, buy a frother (this one on Amazon is $18) and mix your collagen like a dream. We’re pretty sure you know how to use a frother, but just in case you’ve never seen this in action, this video is for you.
Using a frother to mix your collagen in your drink is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Add the collagen to bottom of mug (we found it easier to mix)
- Pour the hot drink over top of the collagen
- Froth for 5-10 seconds
Sip, enjoy, and be proud of your frothed collagen mustache. Hooray for no clumps!
15 simple ways you can take Collagen Powder effectively
Here’s how you can take collagen powder effectively. Below are the various ways you can mix/drink/eat/shake/bake this amazing super-food.
- Hot Chocolate/Cocoa
- Protein Shake
- Orange Juice
- Pasta & Rice Liquid
Add 1 scoop of collagen to a shaker bottle with 8-12 oz of cold water
Collagen in water? Absolutely. It’s by far the easiest way to take collagen powder. Drop in a scoop to a basic shaker bottle, shake for 10-15 seconds, and voilà. Collagen + water on demand.
Does collagen dissolve in water?
Collagen can be notorious for clumping as we explored above. However, a good collagen brand will ensure your collagen dissolves in cold water without clumping. Hot water clumping is less of a thing since collagen dissolves pretty easily in a hot liquid such as coffee, latte, tea, or hot chocolate (mmm).
Tip: Use flavored collagen when mixing collagen with cold water. An unflavored collagen will be, well, unflavored and pretty meh. But, if you use Chocolate, Vanilla, or Strawberry Lemonade collagen, your taste buds will gloriously shout “THANK YOU!”
Add 1 scoop of collagen to every cup of coffee
Can you put collagen in coffee?
If you’re using an unflavored collagen powder, you don’t taste anything (but the delicious coffee). It’s like cheating this is so easy. It dissolves after 10-15 seconds of stirring and doesn’t impact those amazing java aromas, flavors, or textures of your brew. If you want to take your collagen coffee game to the next level, try adding in chocolate collagen (hello Caffè mocha!) or vanilla collagen. For the record, our flavored collagen rocks.
Add 1 scoop of collagen to your latte (whatever flavor it is!)
This is the beautiful thing about unflavored and odorless collagen powder (like ours!) – it’s unnoticeable with any concocted latte! I mean, your body will know you’re taking collagen but your taste buds won’t!
Add 1 scoop of collagen to every cup of tea
Seeing a trend here? Hot liquids are a great vehicle to dissolve collagen protein powder.
Since global tea consumption is 3,000,000 tons a year – tea is a safe and reliable way for many people to take collagen powder.
Add 1 scoop of flavored collagen in cold milk + shaker bottle
Let’s switch away from hot liquids and go cold. And this idea may be the simplest and most delicious of them all.
Can you put collagen powder in milk? Absolutely! Collagen peptides can mix with any kind of milk including cow, almond, goat, oak, raw, coconut — if it’s a liquid, it’ll dissolve!
Here’s the best way to use collagen in milk. Simply pour 8-12 oz of cold milk into a shaker bottle, add a scoop of chocolate flavored collagen or vanilla flavored collagen powder, shake, and enjoy the healthiest chocolate or vanilla milk on the planet! You can either drink straight from the shaker (duh) or pour into a new glass.
Add 1-2 scoops of collagen to hot water and mix in a scoop of cocoa powder to make delicious (and healthy) hot chocolate!
Who says hot chocolate is just for the holidays?
After you mix everything, add in milk or half & half and sip till you smile from ear-to-ear.
See ALL our Collagen Drink Recipes
Add 1-2 scoops of collagen to your protein (any protein!) shake after your workout
I’m telling you baby, you always double down…Vince Vaughn’s character in Swingers
Can you mix collagen with protein powder? Absolutely!
Adding collagen powder to your whey protein shake after a hard workout might be the best gift you can give your body for recovery. That’s right, add two different scoops of two different protein sources to your post-workout shake! Just throw in a scoop, and shake away.
Collagen mixes well with any other protein powder such as whey, casein, plant-based protein (e.g. soy, pea, hemp) — they absolutely can be taken together (it’s the new PB&J).
Here are some simple combo ideas for adding collagen (both unflavored & flavored collagen) to your existing protein shake:
- Unflavored Collagen + Whey Protein
- Unflavored Collagen + Casein Protein
- Unflavored Collagen + Flavored Plant Protein
- Vanilla Collagen + Unflavored Plant Protein
You get the idea! If your other protein powder has a flavor (e.g. vanilla whey, chocolate casein), be sure to use an unflavored collagen powder so you’re not mixing flavors. However, I don’t think you be displeased by doubling up on a Chocolate Collagen + Chocolate Whey Protein. Mmm.
Add 1-3 scoops of collagen to any baking mix
Baking a great way to take collagen! (and did we mention, delicious??)
We’d recommend Simple Mills brand mix to make these collagen-infused baked goods:
- small cakes (cupcakes)
- big cakes (“HAPPY BIRTHDAY”)
- breads (check out our friend Katinka who makes a collagen chickpea bread!)
Just add scoops of collagen to the base mixture of all these dishes.
This is also a great way to get your kids consuming collagen! Yes, collagen is for kids, too. Ensure these treats are gluten-free (our multi collagen powder is gluten-free, so you’re covered) and low in total carbohydrate content.
See ALL our Collagen Dessert Recipes
Add 1 scoop of collagen to hot water and top off with Orange Juice, for the kids!
A great way to help you kids get stronger, healthier, and experience all the benefits of collagen! And don’t stop at OJ, most fruit juices work.
Just make sure you mix in unflavored and colorless collagen (like ours!)
Add 1-2 scoops of collagen to any smoothie
The easy and obvious way to take collagen peptides powder, but it’s still very effective! Use it as an alternative to your regular protein powder (e.g. whey)
CB Supplements’ all in one multi collagen is unflavored and mixes well with any combination of fruits, vegetables, and any other ingredients you may throw into your daily smoothie. Side note, this is another great way to get your kids eating collagen!
Collagen powder will add a creamy texture to any smoothie, so use that to your advantage when planning ingredients.
See ALL our Collagen Smoothie & Shake recipes
Add 1 scoop to your morning eggs
Yes, eggs contain collagen.
But, don’t be afraid to throw in a scoop while they’re still runny and being cooked in the pan. Collagen powder mixes nicely and you boost this already amazingly nutrient-dense food with even more nutrients.
Simple. Easy. Effective.
For something more refined, try this Collagen Quiche Recipe.
Add 1 scoop to your breakfast oatmeal
Let’s continue this breakfast theme.
If you take your oatmeal hot and creamy, this is a snap. Throw in a scoop of collagen powder while preparing and warming all your ingredients. Check out Kelly Collopy’s Creamy Collagen Oatmeal recipe, microwave style! As Kelly says:
It’s true, if ya eat good, you’ll feel good!
Bonus tip: Use our chocolate multi collagen to boost the deliciousness of your oatmeal!
Add 1 scoop to a bowl/cup of yogurt
Adding collagen powder to your yogurt requires a single utensil – a spoon. Add a scoop, stir for 30 seconds, and BOOM – collagen-infused yogurt for your morning or afternoon snack!
We’ve talked a lot using our unflavored multi collagen powder here, but yogurt + our flavored powder is an excellent combo to spruce up your plain yogurt.
Try our chocolate multi collagen protein powder with Stonyfield’s Plain Whole Milk Organic Greek Yogurt – it’s as delicious as it sounds!
Pasta or Rice Liquid
Add 1-2 scoops (or like 5!) of collagen to the liquid you cook pasta or rice
Cook rice and pasta dishes in bone broth (Kettle & Fire is the best) and add 3+ scoops of collagen to the liquid.
This transforms bland and somewhat un-nutritional foods (like rice and pasta) into a powerhouse of nutrition, full of essential amino acids and collagen protein.
Add 1-2 scoops into every bowl you serve (or throw a bunch of scoops into the pot as you make the soup!)
Remember, hot liquids gobble up collagen powder easily and quickly. The individuals eating the soup will thank you.
See ALL our Collagen Soup Recipes
What’s the BEST way to take Collagen Powder?
As you’ve discovered above, you have many options. 🙂
This “what is best?” debate is really specific and unique to each person. Once collagen gets inside your body, it’ll be handled the same way regardless if you’ve sipped on collagen coffee or crushed nibbled a collagen cookie.
So, this is simply personal preference — drink it or eat it, really.
Best Way to Drink Collagen Powder
I’m sold on consuming collagen via liquids, so what’s the best way to drink collagen powder?
So you’re a liquids kind of guy/gal – fair enough.
We’ve mentioned a handful of ways of drinking collagen above. If these options resonated most with you, then drinking your collagen might be the best option for you. Certainly put your collagen powder in:
- Smoothies & Shakes (Doesn’t get much easier than dropping in a scoop & blending!)
- Coffee/Tea/Latte (Use your morning coffee or afternoon tea as an opportunity for a scoop)
- Hot Chocolate/Cocoa
- Post-workout Shake
- Orange Juice (or, really any juice!)
Best Way to Eat Collagen Powder
Oh yeah. It’s the best part. It’s crunchy, it’s explosive, it’s where the muffin breaks free of the pan and sort of does its own thing. That’s a million dollar idea right there. Just sell the tops.Elaine, in “The Muffin Tops” Seinfeld episode
Maybe muffins are your thing, and that’s OK.
If you’re not into drinking your collagen powder, try these alternative ways to EAT your 2-3 scoops a day:
- Baked goods (Give in to your sweet tooth knowing you’re gaining something back with collagen!)
- Pasta/Rice (Boost those simple carbs with some nutrition)
Diversify how you take Collagen Powder
We’re hoping you’re coming to the conclusion that there isn’t really a “best” way to take collagen powder. You choose the vehicle (food, liquid) and the timing (morning, afternoon, night, etc.)
With that said, here’s the key: Diversity.
If you’re taking 2-3 scoops a day (which is what we recommend), then you’ll probably need a few different ways to ensure you’re hitting your awesome collagen powder quota — diversity will help you be consistent with your collagen consumption.
If you enjoy taking your collagen powder, you’ll probably continue to take it!Captain Obvious
Also, remember that you can cook with collagen without losing its nutritional value (don’t believe the craziness that collagen can’t be heated, that opinion goes against the laws of chemistry and physics!) So, you’re limited here by your culinary skills!
Can I add flavor to collagen powder?
You can take 3 approaches to add flavor to collagen powder:
- Buy flavored collagen powder (like our Chocolate, Vanilla, or Strawberry Lemonade). They’re delicious just with water, but can also be used in variety of hot & cold drinks.
- Use an unflavored aforementioned and add to real food/liquids. Note: You’re not really adding flavor to the collagen power, rather you’re adding tasteless collagen protein to foods with existing flavors. You know what we’re sayin’?
- Use a quality non-artificial sweetener – we’re big fans of SweetLeaf Stevia, Swerve, & monk fruit. We’ve found cacao a great sweetener too (hello healthy hot chocolate!)
I’m NOT sold on Collagen Powder – what other forms of collagen can I take?
If we haven’t convinced you that collagen powder is the bomb, then check out the other forms of collagen supplements. There are at least 5 other ways to take collagen (e.g. pills/capsules, bars).
Note: you’ll still need to ingest the collagen no matter what “delivery method” you choose!
Collagen Powder: Easy to take + big benefits
This is a winning formula.
The question here isn’t how do I take collagen powder? It’s, how do you not take collagen powder? It’s too easy.
As we’ve detailed here, collagen powder can go in pretty much everything (except soda, never ever in soda) and collagen’s benefits are undeniable.
We’d even love to see a microbrewery seriously attempt a Collagen Beer (though some have tried) – now THAT would be pretty awesome (and tasty).
Play around with collagen powder and experiment – collagen is versatile. Your health will thank you for it!