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Top 5 Best Collagen Powders: Reviews and Rankings

By Liam McAuliffe Updated on

In the ever-evolving realm of health and wellness, collagen powders have emerged as the “it” supplement, promising to rejuvenate skin, support joint health, strengthen hair and nails, and even improve sleep and memory. You’ve likely seen numerous brands of collagen supplements at your local market and even as an addition to coffee at your local cafe. With this growing array of options, choosing the right collagen powder can be confusing. Fear not! 

In this article, we offer a comprehensive guide to the best collagen powders available today, based on the quality and type of ingredients and our personal experiences as animal-based dieters who incorporate collagen into our daily routines. 

Table of Contents

What is Collagen Powder? 

Collagen powder is a dietary supplement that provides collagen protein in a powdered form. 

Collagen itself is mainly composed of three amino acids: glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, that form a “triple helix” structure. As the most abundant complex amino acid, collagen accounts for around 30% of all the protein in your body.

collagen molecules

Image source: David Goodsell

We need all this collagen to maintain the structure of our bodies. Collagen is a major building block of our teeth, bones, hair, skin, and nails, as well as the foundational component of connective tissues and tendons. Collagen, quite literally, holds our bodies together. 

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Why Do People Consume Collagen Powder? 

The body can make enough collagen to meet its needs from other amino acids that we get from food. Yet, as we age, our ability to produce collagen naturally declines. At the same time, the collagen already in our bodies becomes damaged and fragmented. A process that is exacerbated by eating sugary foods.

We can see the degradation of existing collagen in common signs of aging, such as sagging skin and wrinkles, and experience it as aching joints and more brittle bones.

People turn to collagen powders and supplements to help stem the tide of collagen loss and damage. However, the collagen from supplements does not directly replenish our depleted supply. Rather, collagen powders supply our bodies with a concentrated source of amino acid building blocks that our bodies then synthesize back into collagen. 

In addition to collagen powders, you can support the production of more collagen by consuming foods high in the foundational amino acids glycine and proline, such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

How is Collagen Powder Made? 

Collagen powder is most commonly made from either one or a combination of the skin, bones, and cartilage of cows, along with fish scales and egg shells. These raw materials are broken down into smaller, much more digestible amino acids in a process called hydrolysis.

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Benefits of Collagen Powder

Collagen supplements have been found to promote various health benefits including

  • Skin Health: Supplementing with collagen powder can improve skin elasticity and hydration, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
  • Bone Health: Collagen supplements may reduce the process of bone degeneration that results in osteoporosis.
  • Healthy Joints: Studies show that hydrolyzed collagen contains biologically active peptides–molecules that are usually buried in the larger protein structure of a food. In their free form in collagen powder, these peptides can reach joint tissues and protect cartilage from wear and tear, reducing stiffness and pain.
  • Strengthens hair and nails: Collagen is also a key component of hair and nails, and supplementing with collagen powder may help strengthen and promote their growth
  • Emotional Calming and Neuroprotection: Collagen powder provides more of the amino acid glycine than any other food. Glycine ​​has been shown to normalize levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which promotes relaxation, calmness, and improved mood. [3] The calming effects of glycine have been found to positively impact neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
  • Improves Sleep: Studies consistently show that glycine helps promote healthy sleep.
  • Gut Health: The glycine, proline, and glutamine that make up a significant proportion of the amino acids in collagen powder promote gut health by reducing inflammation and protecting the integrity of the intestinal lining against permeability. A study on healthy women found that 20 grams of collagen peptides per day reduced bloating and improved mild digestive issues.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of collagen powder is how easy it is to integrate into your daily dietary routine. To promote the above health benefits, all you need is a scoop of powder mixed into your daily beverage, soup, or even just a glass of water. 

That said, the most definitive research on the effectiveness of collagen powder is still emerging.

Top 10 Collagen Powders List

Now let’s turn to our list of best collagen powders based on the quality of their ingredients, along with their specific uses and potential benefits. 

1. Best Multi Collagen Powder: Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Peptide

Tub of ancient nutrition collagen powder

Ancient Nutrition multi collagen ranks as our overall best collagen powder on our best multi-collagen powder. 

Ancient Nutrition is known for their creative blends of high quality functional ingredients. This multi collagen powder is a prime example. 

  • Formulated with ten types of collagen from four whole food sources: beef, chicken, fish, and fermented eggshell membrane
  • Fermented eggshell collagen has been shown to reduce exercise-induced discomfort. The fermentation process makes it easier for your body to absorb the amino acids. 
  • Enhanced with 4B CFU* of probiotics per two scoops to support healthy gut flora and digestive function. 
  • Provides 200% of your RDV of vitamin C. 

2. Best Single Source Collagen Powder: Garden of Life

Tub of garden of life collagen peptides

Garden of Life grass fed collagen peptides are sustainably sourced from grass-fed cows. 

In our testing we found them to be tasteless, odorless, and to dissolves well in hot morning drinks and cold smoothies. 

Garden of Life is a high-quality supplement brand that has been around for decades, building a reputation based on whole food ingredients, traceability, and third-party certifications. We like the feeling of trust and quality we get from this brand. 

These collagen peptides also offer the added bonus of 1.5  billion CFU of probiotics per scoop. 

Because there are no plant products added to Garden of Life collagen, it is also our pick for carnivore diet enthusiasts. 

3. Best Collagen Powder for Skin and Nails: THORNE Collagen Plus – Collagen Peptides Powder with Nicotinamide Riboside

Thorne collagen powder

Thorne’s Collagen Plus is the luxury option on our list. 

Thorne combines the benefits of collagen with a supporting cast of clinically studied compounds and plant extracts. 

One of these compounds in Thorne collagen powder is called Nicotinamide riboside (NR). NR acts as precursor to NAD+ a compound that promotes cellular protection and repair while combatting signs of aging. 

Thorne also adds a patented polyphenol blend called MitoHeal, which is an extract of red and black currants. These compounds have been found to reduce visible signs of skin aging.

4. Best Budget Collagen Peptides

collagen powder jar

The 42.3-ounce jar Bulletproof Unflavored Collagen Peptides is the best budget option on our list. Most other brands only offer around 1lb tubs as their largest size. 

Bulletproof collagen peptides provide an abundance of type I and type III bovine collagen harvested from pasture-raised cows without added hormones. 

Bulletproof has built its identity on a concoction called bulletproof coffee, which includes collagen as a key ingredient. They’re also a research-based company that prides itself on a deep scientific understanding of the quality and function of all its ingredients. 

5. Best Marine Collagen Powder: Vital Proteins Marine Collagen

Jar of marine collagen powder

Vital Proteins Marine Collagen are made from the scales of fresh, non-GMO wild-caught cod. Their nutrition profile is very similar to that of a standard bovine. Their main appeal is to pescatarians. 

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