Collagen powder: the king of collagen supplements.
Unflavored collagen powder is incredibly versatile, allowing you to easily mix in your morning coffee, afternoon smoothies, whey protein shake, tasty baked goods, and more! And flavored collagen powder is delicious — you can mix it with water, and boom, done. Easy to take, big health benefits!
It’s no wonder collagen powder is widely popular.
But, therein lies the problem, folks.
The Collagen Powder market is saturated
Walk the supplement aisle of your local grocery store, or do an Amazon search, and you’ll notice more and more brands offering collagen powder. I’d guess there are hundreds to choose from today. Hundreds!
The market is flooded with options and it can be confusing when trying to choose a brand. Are all these collagen powders the same? Does it really matter what you choose? You already know these answers, but we’re here to help clear things up. 🙂
When looking for a collagen powder, there are several factors you should consider to ensure you’re getting both quality and value. Here are 9 things to look for.
9 key things to look for in a collagen powder
Though it may seem daunting to evaluate a collagen powder in nine different ways, your health will thank you down the road if you put in the due diligence now. We are all creatures of habit, and once you start investing in a supplement it can be challenging to change (unless you’ve had a horrible experience). Put in the research now, and then set your collagen powder supplementation on autopilot with peace and confidence!
Here are 9 things to evaluate in a collagen powder:
- Ingredients & Sourcing
- GMP Manufacturing
- Third-party Certification (aka safest)
- Types of Collagen
- Price & Value
- Added Ingredients
- Brand Reputation
Also, to address the elephant in the room, yes we offer multi collagen powder supplements. In fact, it’s the only kind of supplement we offer — we think most supplements suck. To be frank. After you understand what to look for in a collagen powder, compare us to other brands with this guide below.
OK, onto the first thing to look for: quality ingredients and sourcing.
1. Ingredients & Sourcing
If a collagen powder doesn’t get this part right — all other subsequent criteria on this list simply don’t matter. Quality ingredients first and foremost!
Collagen powders can be derived from various sources, including bovine (cow), marine (fish), or poultry (chicken) — or all, such as a multi collagen. Consider your dietary preferences and potential allergies, though rare, when selecting a collagen powder.
Ensure these key ingredients are on the label:
- Grass-fed Beef
- Wild Caught Fish
- Cage Free Chickens
- Free of Artificial Sweeteners (especially their flavors)
- Bonus: Dairy-free/Lactose-free, Soy-free, Paleo-friendly
2. GMP Manufacturing
Where is the collagen powder made? In what kind of facility? How does that facility control quality? These are all excellent questions to ask.
The critical element to look for on the label is “GMP”, which stands for “Good Manufacturing Practice”. It typically comes in the form of a logo or emblem. Since there’s no standardization of design for GMP designation, this will be slightly different per collagen powder brand.
When a collagen powder is manufactured in a certified GMP facility, this means the product relied heavily on regulations and guidelines set forth by regulatory authorities, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A GMP facility will test the collagen for heavy metals, proper ingredients, contaminants, bacteria, mold, and much more.
3. Third-party Certification
There’s no better way to ensure you’re taking the cleanest and safest collagen powder than to buy one with third-party certification. There is no gray here. Either a collagen supplement has gone through rigorous testing with a legit industry-leading third-party certification organization, or it has not.
Why is third-party certification important?
In short, here’s why third-party certification matters:
- The Government places responsibility on the manufacturer to ensure quality & accuracy — why choosing GMP (#2 above) is critical!
- Supplement companies get away with using solvents, toxic ingredients, and banned substances. Unless tested for heavy metals, they may be present.
- Supplement companies can use wildly inaccurate labels.
Safest Collagen Powder
If you’re looking for the safest collagen powder, look for third-party certification. This will ensure the collagen powder is:
- Free of solvents, toxic ingredients, banned substances
- No unsafe levels of contaminants, heavy metals
- ACCURATE with its label (7g of collagen = 7 g of collagen!)
- Guaranteed that the brand used a GMP facility for manufacturing
- Annual or semi-annual quality audits of GMP facility
We believe in NSF Certified for Sport (frequently referred to as the “Gold Standard”). For those who want the safest and cleanest multi collagen powder, it provides the assurances and confirms efficacy.
You know those Roman Numerals on the label? Pay attention, they’re critical.
Collagen supplements can include one to five types of collagen, including I, III, III, V, & X. Types I and III are the most common, found in popular single-source collagen powders such as bovine or marine. All 5 types are found in a multi-source collagen.
Each collagen type does something different and awesome in the body. For example, Type I collagen is beneficial for hair, skin, and nails. Type II is essential for joint and cartilage health.
The number of collagen types should be a key criterion in your decision-making process. We believe everyone at any age can take collagen and should maximize their supplementation with every scoop — it’s the reason why we’ve invested in multi collagen powder.
5. Price & Value
Containers of collagen powder can range from $10 to $70, or more! That’s a big range, especially if you’re going through a container a month — which will happen if you follow our 1 scoop of collagen powder per 50 lbs recommendation.
As an example, containers of our multi collagen powders average (factoring in our 2 lines and subscription discounts) $48 per container and have 58 scoops. Each scoop offers 7g of collagen protein. Here’s the quick math:
- $0.82 per scoop for 7g of collagen protein
Collagen containers, and servings per container, come in all various sizes. Simply buying the cheapest is not an accurate gauge of collagen per serving. Certification, as we explored above, also adds to your cost in addition to the other items listed in this article.
6. Added Ingredients
Can you add “stuff” to a collagen powder? Absolutely. Collagen powder is no different than other protein powders in that brands will add vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamin C
- and much more!
The question you need to ask yourself is:
Are added ingredients necessary when buying collagen powder?
We believe vitamin C can react with collagen’s amino acids to reduce their effectiveness, and is not necessary to add to collagen powder (it’s a myth that added C to collagen helps with absorption). We also believe the more you add to collagen, the more things could go wrong during manufacturing, while it sits on a shelf, and possibly when consuming.
Why mess with a good, no, great thing? There are a few other collagen powder brands that feel the same. Look long and hard at added ingredients!
We all love variety, the spice of life! Though routine and consistency in taking collagen powder are great, having options some days with flavors and portability is nice.
Having an unflavored collagen powder should be a staple to a brand’s product line, but also they should give you options with flavors — without sacrificing quality ingredients. If you can get a variety of collagen powders from the same brand, it makes your life a lot easier with customer support and will probably save you money on shipping and subscriptions.
Of course, there are more ways to take collagen than just powders. The best way to take collagen depends a lot on personal preference (e.g. pills, drinks, bars, gummies, etc.). Though, collagen powder and pills are the most popular.
A few tips when evaluating variety
- Stay away from artificial flavors and strange ingredients
- Choose a collagen powder that offers collagen in individual travel single packets — perfect on the go or when traveling
Nobody likes clumps in their coffee and collagen. Eww.
However, since collagen is a protein and becomes sticky when it interacts with water, clumping can be an issue with some collagen powders based on their manufacturing processes such as temperature, drying methods, or additives.
Remember that just because a certain collagen powder is faster to dissolve does not necessarily mean it’s better quality. Dissolvability should not trump quality ingredients, certifications, and brand reputation! If this really worries you, simply get a frother and fuggedaboutit!
9. Brand Reputation
I don’t care what you’re selling, customer service better be top-notch or you’ll lose customers. A brand selling collagen powder gets no exceptions — demand excellence! Here’s how to evaluate a collagen powder’s reputation.
What to inspect
- Return policy. If you hate the product, what can be done? Do they offer a money-back guarantee?
- Reviews. 5 stars are great, but you’ll learn the most with 4-star or 3-star reviews. Ensure most of the reviews are “verified” purchasers.
- Shipping Policy. Most supplement companies will offer free shipping over a certain order amount.
- Response speed to comments/questions. From their website, social media, etc.
- They have a strong WHY. Our founder, Charlie, has an incredible collagen testimonial that was fueled by the health complications of his daughter.
- An M.D. and/or Nutritionist support. For example, Dr. Cate, M.D. supports our collagen.
- The “X” factor. For example, you’ll get a handwritten note with every CB Supplements order thanking you — seriously.
When looking for a collagen powder, be curious and methodical. Don’t choose supplements on flashy marketing or wild promises.
Unfortunately, there are many supplement companies that are only profit-driven and will cut corners to jump into the flourishing collagen market. However, empower yourself with these 9 elements and put them to the test before buying.
Your health, and your wallet, will thank you!