The Best Collagen Powders of 2023, According to a Dietitian

collagen powder


Collagen is a fundamental protein found throughout the body that helps form our connective tissue, as well as our skin, hair, nails, tendons, bone, and cartilage. Given that it's the most abundant protein in the body, there's no question that collagen plays a vital role in our health and well-being.

That’s why some people choose to supplement with the best collagen powders to boost their body's stores and internal production. Collagen serves as a key protein during recovery from exercise so it's especially important for athletes. And interestingly enough, as we age, our collagen production and stores decrease which results in a gradual reduction in bone mass and aging of the skin.

And although collagen powders are widely available, not all brands provide the right types and dose of collagen in their products. Therefore, when you’re perusing through the extensive selection of collagen powders on the market you may be left wondering which one to pick. Thankfully for you, we researched top-rated options with a little help from a registered dietitian to provide you with the best collagen powders of 2023.

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The Best Collagen Powder - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Collagen Powder - BUBS Naturals Collagen Protein Single-Serving Sticks

SPECS

  • Dose: 10g
  • Servings per container: 20
  • Active ingredients: Bovine hide collagen peptide
  • Type of collagen: I & III
  • Best for: Bones, joints, hair, skin, nails

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There are more collagen powders than ever to choose from, but they're certainly not all created equal when it comes to quality. BUBS Naturals' formula is simple and transparent, sourcing from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows in Southern Brazil and Uruguay (far away from the Amazon rainforest, they clarify), and meets the rigorous NSF-Certified Sport standards for quality, purity, and safety in addition to being keto diet and paleo diet approved. Collagen doesn't need to be fancy or complicated; it simply needs to be high quality, and that's why we've selected Bubs as our top pick for the best overall collagen powder.

Why go for single-serving "sticks" rather than the ubiquitous plastic jug? There are a number of compelling reasons. More precise dosing and no scoops, for one. Less plastic waste and microplastic exposure are another. And let's not forget convenience! These "sticks" can go in your gym bag, your purse or your backpack–really, wherever you need to grab one, dump it in your coffee or any other liquid, and go. But if you prefer bulk collagen, Bubs offers that as well, in both a resealable bag and a jug.

What We Like

  • Solid 10g dose, easy to double if needed
  • Can help promote healthy hair, nails, skin, bones, and joints
  • Produced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows
  • Paper packaging rather than plastic jugs

What We Don't Like

  • No collagen synthesis boosters like vitamin C
  • On the spendy side of collagen supplements

BUY: Bubs Naturals Collagen Protein Single-Serving Sticks

Best Collagen Powder for Athletes - Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Vital Protein Collagen Peptides

SPECS

  • Dose: 20g
  • Servings per container: About 14
  • Active ingredients: Bovine hide collagen peptide, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C
  • Type of collagen: I & III
  • Best for: Bones, joints, hair, skin, nails

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While there are endless collagen powders on the market, they're certainly not all created equal when it comes to quality. Vital Proteins, as a brand, has been around since 2013, making it one of the premier suppliers of collagen supplements around the world. Known for its wide range of high-quality collagen supplements, its original Collagen Peptides has become the gold standard when it comes to collagen supplements.

Packed with 20 grams of hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides per serving, this product provides more than enough to meet the science-backed dosing protocol of 5 to 15 grams. Each scoop provides 10 grams of collagen peptides, and while the serving size is two scoops, some people may only require one. Additionally, the supplement provides 80 mg of hyaluronic acid, a substance found in joint fluid that may help reduce symptoms of joint pain in athletes and active individuals. Vital Proteins’ formula also provides 90 milligrams of vitamin C, an important cofactor during collagen synthesis.

What We Like

  • Provides a substantial 20g of collagen peptides per 2-scoop serving
  • Can help promote healthy hair, nails, skin, bones and joints
  • Includes hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to further boost collagen synthesis
  • Also available in chocolate-flavored version
  • Produced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows

What We Don't Like

  • 20g dose may be too high for some
  • Some users report dissolvability issues in cold liquids

BUY: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Read Our Full Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Review

Best Budget Collagen Powder - Healthy Origins Collagen Peptides

Healthy Origins Collagen Peptides

SPECS

  • Dose: 10g
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Active ingredients: Hydrolyzed bovine collagen
  • Type of collagen: I & III
  • Best for: Joints, hair, skin, nails

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When it comes to purchasing dietary supplements, the cost can really add up over time. That's not to say that certain supplements aren't important, though some people are on a tight budget. Generally, collagen supplements are rather inexpensive compared to some other supplements, though even still some are quite costly. To find the best budget collagen supplement, we searched for a brand that provided a science-back dose—without any fancy ingredients—at an affordable price point. Healthy Origins Collagen Peptides emerged as the best option.

With a straightforward ingredient panel supplying just hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides, this product doesn't use any unnecessary fillers or fancy additives. It provides a 10 gram dose per serving making it perfect for a wide range of applications including bone and joint support or even hair, skin, and nail health.

What We Like

  • Cost effective at less than $0.50 per serving
  • Only 1 ingredient
  • Third-party tested
  • Produced from grass-fed cattle

What We Don't Like

  • Dose may be too low for some
  • Unflavored

BUY: Healthy Origins Collagen Peptides

Best Collagen Powder for Women - Physician's Choice Collagen Peptides Powder

Physician's Choice Collagen Peptides Powder

SPECS

  • Dose: 7g
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Active ingredients: Hydrolyzed bovine collagen and digestive enzymes
  • Type of collagen: I & III
  • Best for: Bones, joints, hair, skin, nails

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In general, most people reach their peak bone mass around the age of 30. From there, the collagen matrix that makes up our bones weakens ever so slightly each year, potentially putting you at an increased risk of fractures or osteoporosis. While most active people don't typically have to worry about this, some women in particular are at an increased risk of reduced bone mass, especially after menopause. Although exercise is one way to maintain bone mass, collagen supplements may also provide some bone-boosting benefits.

With seven grams of hydrolyzed bovine collagen per serving, Physician's Choice Collagen hits the sweet spot of the recommended five to 15 gram daily dose. Bovine collagen is mainly made up of type I and type III collagen, making it a great choice for improving the health of your bones, joints, hair, skin, nails, as well as promoting gut health and immunity. What makes this brand unique is that it also provides a digestive enzyme blend to help you better digest the collagen.

What We Like

  • Provides 7g of hydrolyzed bovine collagen per serving
  • Includes digestive enzyme blend to aid in digestion and absorption
  • Flavorless so it can be added to any beverage without impacting the taste
  • Produced from grass-fed cows

What We Don't Like

  • Only comes in an unflavored version
  • Contains only 1 source of collagen (bovine)

BUY: Physician's Choice Collagen Peptides Powder

Best Collagen Powder for Weight Loss - Obvi Collagenic Burn

Obvi Collagenic Burn

SPECS

  • Dose: 4 capsules
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Active ingredients: Hydrolyzed bovine collagen, bovine bone broth collagen, hydrolyzed fish collagen, chicken bone collagen, eggshell membrane collagen, green tea extract, caffeine anhydrous, cayenne pepper
  • Type of collagen: I, II, III, V, X
  • Best for: Hair, skin, nails, bones, joints

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Although weight loss is mostly influenced by your diet and exercise regimen, there are a number of supplements that show promise in helping you shed some pounds. During periods of dieting, there's actually some research to suggest that you may lose a bit of bone density. To help counteract this, some people may choose to take a collagen supplement. Our choice for the best collagen powder for weight loss provides the best of both worlds—collagen to help you maintain bone and skin health, as well as some ingredients to help enhance your weight loss.

Obvi Collagenic Burn supplies a strategic mix of collagen and stimulant ingredients to support connective tissue and skin health, while also potentially upping your calorie burn. The Multi Collagen Matrix includes five types of collagen to promote healthy skin, nails, and joints. Each serving also provides 400 milligrams of green tea extract and 120 milligrams of caffeine, two stimulants that have been shown to help burn fat. As an added bonus, this supplement also provides cayenne pepper and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)—two compounds which have some research to support their role in weight loss.

What We Like

  • Provides 5 types of collagen
  • Supplies thermogenic agents to help burn fat
  • Third-party tested
  • Produced in cGMP facility

What We Don't Like

  • Specific amounts of each type of collagen are undisclosed
  • Some users may be sensitive to the caffeine it contains

BUY: Obvi Collagenic Burn

Best Collagen Powder for Joints - Sports Research Collagen Powder Supplement

Sports Research Collagen Powder Supplement

SPECS

  • Dose: 11g
  • Servings per container: 41
  • Active ingredients: Hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides
  • Type of collagen: I & III
  • Best for: Joint health and function

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Collagen proteins serve as the building blocks of all of our bones and joints throughout the body. While they can be synthesized from many of the proteins that we eat, some research suggests supplementing with collagen powders can help support healthy joints. Our top pick for the best for joints category, Sport Research Collagen Powder, provides just the right dose of collagen without any unnecessary ingredients.

Supplying 11 grams of high quality hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides per serving, this product is a great choice for optimizing bone and joint health. In fact, bovine collagen is mainly made up of type I & III collagen, two types that are found abundantly in bones and joints. Plus, this product is also third-party tested to ensure safety for users. Lastly, this versatile collagen powder can be added to beverages and foods, making it a suitable choice for busy people looking to boost joint health.

What We Like

  • Transparent labeling
  • Affordable price point
  • Available in 2 flavors
  • Third-party tested
  • Comes in a variety of sizes

What We Don't Like

  • Only supplies one source of collagen
  • May clump when added to cold beverages

BUY: Sports Research Collagen Powder Supplement

Best Collagen Powder for Hair - Live Conscious Collagen Peptides Powder

Live Conscious Collagen Peptides Powder

SPECS

  • Dose: 11g
  • Servings per container: 41
  • Active ingredients: Bovine collagen protein
  • Type of collagen: I & III
  • Best for: Hair, skin, nails

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While collagen supplements are most often used for boosting bone, joint, and gut health, they can also serve a role in supporting healthy hair, skin, and nails. Hair in particular is made of keratin, a fibrous protein produced in part from collagen. Ensuring good protein intake is one way to support your luscious locks, though supplementing with collagen may also have some potential hair health benefits.

Live Conscious Collagen Peptides Powder supplies 11 grams of type I & III bovine collagen per serving making it ideal for those looking to improve their hair, skin, and nail health. This brand does away with unnecessary additives, providing you with a single ingredient, bovine collagen. It comes in an unflavored powder that can be added to beverages, foods, or simply mixed with water to get your daily dose of collagen.

What We Like

  • Available in two sizes
  • Economical price
  • Sourced from grass fed cattle
  • Provides satisfaction guarantee

What We Don't Like

  • Only comes in an unflavored version
  • Not third-party tested

BUY: Collagen Peptides Powder Hair, Skin, Nail, and Joint Support

Best Collagen Powder for Skin - Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Glow

Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Glow

SPECS

  • Dose: 18g
  • Servings per container: 14
  • Active ingredients: Bovine collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid, bacillus coagulans
  • Type of collagen: I & III
  • Best for: Skin

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By now you're probably well aware that collagen plays an important role in forming and maintaining our bones and joints, but you may have heard that it can be beneficial for skin health as well. If that’s the case, you've heard right because a select number of studies have shown that collagen supplementation may help support skin elasticity and hydration. Our top pick in the best for skin category supplies a science-backed dose of collagen peptides combined with hyaluronic acid, another compound that can help promote skin hydration.

Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Glow supplies a generous 15 grams of bovine collagen peptides and combines it with 120 milligrams of hyaluronic acid, a perfect blend for enhancing skin health. We also like that it includes 20 milligrams of probiotics to support gut health and immunity.

What We Like

  • Supplies 15g of bovine collagen per serving
  • Includes hyaluronic acid to promote skin hydration
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Available in 4 different flavors

What We Don't Like

  • On the expensive side compared to some other options
  • Shipping is extra unless you subscribe to recurring deliveries

BUY: Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Glow

Best Vegan Collagen Powder - Sunwarrior Collagen Building Protein Peptides Powder

Sunwarrior Collagen Peptides Powder with Biotin & Hyaluronic Acid

SPECS

  • Dose: 25g
  • Servings per container: 40
  • Active ingredients: Pea protein, brown rice protein, hyaluronic acid, biotin, and silica
  • Type of collagen: N/A
  • Best for: Boosting natural collagen production

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When it comes to vegan collagen supplements, the options are rather slim. This is due to the fact that the majority of collagen powders are made from animal sources as they are the most readily available and cost-effective. That being said, many supplement brands now offer what they classify as "collagen boosting" supplements that include a number of compounds that can naturally boost your body's own collagen production. While these may not perform quite as well as actual collagen powders, they are a promising option for those following a vegan diet who want to boost their body’s collagen production.

Sunwarrior Collagen Building Protein Peptides Powder supplies a comprehensive list of collagen boosting ingredients. The most notable ones include hyaluronic acid, biotin, and silica—all compounds that have been shown to help support collagen production in the body. Additionally, each serving provides 14 grams of protein sourced from peas and brown rice. This provides the build blocks needed for collagen synthesis throughout the body.

What We Like

  • Provides ingredients to naturally boost collagen production
  • Each serving packs 14g of plant-based protein
  • Available in 7 flavors
  • Comes in multiple container sizes

What We Don't Like

  • Rather expensive compared to traditional collagen powders
  • Does not actually contain any collagen peptides
  • Uses proprietary blend

BUY: Sunwarrior Collagen Peptides Powder with Biotin & Hyaluronic Acid

Best Marine Collagen Powder - Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen

Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen

SPECS

  • Dose: 2 tsp (5g)
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Active ingredients: Hydrolyzed cod collagen peptides
  • Type of collagen: Type I
  • Best for: skin, joints, ligaments, tendons, and bones

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The majority of high quality collagen powders on the market are sourced from bovine collagen due to its wide availability and cost effectiveness. For most people this isn't an issue, though some people prefer to steer clear of mammal-based foods. Many vegetarians, or pescatarians, avoid meat but are ok with eating fish, thus marine-based collagen powders certainly have a place in the market.

Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen is sourced from hydrolyzed cod fish collagen and supplies 4.2 grams of collagen peptides per 2 teaspoon serving. To further boost your collagen stores, they also include 45 milligrams of vitamin C, an important cofactor during collagen synthesis. This powder has a mild strawberry flavor and can easily be mixed into many foods and beverages without imparting any off putting taste.

What We Like

  • 100% marine-sourced collagen peptides
  • Includes vitamin C to support collagen production
  • Naturally flavored and sweetened
  • Hydrolyzed for quick digestion

What We Don't Like

  • Only available in 1 flavor
  • Dose may be too low for many users

BUY: Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen

Who Should Take Collagen?

Generally speaking, supplementing with collagen powder isn't always necessary if you eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of protein-rich foods. In fact, many foods such as bone broths and stews contain good amounts of collagen themselves. That said there are a few populations that may benefit from supplementing with collagen powder and a few that should steer clear of it.

Who Should Take It

  • Those who are susceptible to, or suffer from, bone and joint issues
  • People looking to improve their skin, hair, and nail health
  • Those with healing wounds or bone fractures
  • Athletes looking to optimize their connective tissue recovery following training

Who Shouldn't Take It

  • People with a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones, as collagen contains an amino acid that may trigger kidney stone formation
  • Vegans, as the majority of collagen powders are from animal sources
  • Individuals with Alpha-gal syndrome (red meat allergy) as many collagen powders are made from cows

Benefits of Taking Collagen

Considering that collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, there's no question that it's a super important compound. Although our body can make collagen from the other proteins that we consume, supplementing with it can be beneficial in certain cases. However, it's important to note that long-term research on collagen supplementation is rather limited, so you'll want to be cautious about lofty claims that some companies may make.

Here are the main benefits of collagen powder that have science to back them:

  • May help promote joint health
  • May help improve skin, nail, and hair health
  • Can help maintain bone mass
  • Can help support wound healing
  • May help promote muscle gains in certain populations

How to Choose the Best Collagen Powder for You


Dose

When shopping for a collagen powder, it's important to keep in mind the dose that each serving provides. Research suggests that 5-15 grams of collagen per day is enough to be effective for most people. Any less than this may not be quite enough and you may just be wasting your money. Look for a brand that supplies at least 5 grams of collagen peptides per serving for best results.

Active Ingredients

Most good collagen powders will only have a handful of ingredients. The number one ingredient should be some type of collagen peptides followed by any flavoring agents or other collagen-boosting compounds. In most cases, it's best to steer clear of proprietary blends to ensure you are getting the right dose. These blends hide the actual amounts of each ingredient therefore it's difficult to tell exactly how much you are getting.

Types of Collagen

There are five types of collagen commonly found throughout the body. These include:

  • Type I: The most common type of collagen makes up 90 percent of our body's collagen. It's found in our skin, bones, joints, cartilage, and teeth.
  • Type II: This is the major type of collagen found in cartilage, a connective tissue that protects the end of our long bones and helps form joints.
  • Type III: The second most common type of collagen found in our bodies, type III collagen is a major component of our skin and organs. It's often found in many of the same places where type I collagen is found.
  • Type V: This type of collagen is found in smaller amounts in the body and serves as a structural support to the other types of collagen, most commonly type II. It also helps form our skin and hair.
  • Type X: Type X collagen is another structural support compound helping to support other types of collagen to form our bones and joints. It also provides structure for our hair and may reduce hair breakage when supplemented.

In general, most supplements will contain types I and III as the other types are slightly harder to come by in supplement form and may be more expensive. Types I and III will suit most people's needs for general joint, gut, hair, skin, and nail health.

Sources

Collagen supplements found on the market will usually come from the following sources:

  • Bovine (cow): By far the most common source of collagen protein. Contains types I and III. Sourced from cow hides.
  • Chicken: Not as commonly used in supplements. Contains mainly type II collagen. Sourced from chicken cartilage.
  • Marine: Several brands offer a marine collagen option that is usually sourced from fish scales. Contains type I and III in a similar composition to bovine collagen.
  • Eggshell membrane: Commonly used in vegetarian collagen supplements. Contains type I, V, and X collagen.

Unfortunately at this time, vegan collagen supplements are not readily available due to their expensive production process. That said, there are many vegan collagen-boosting supplements that are meant to improve your body's own natural collagen production.

FAQs About Collagen Powders


Is it okay to take collagen every day?

Considering that collagen is an abundant nutrient found throughout the body, consuming it on a regular basis is quite safe and comes with almost no side effects. Many people choose to add collagen to their morning coffee each day to conveniently get their daily dosage. We recommend looking for products that are third-party tested as this adds an additional layer of safety and ensures the product is free of contaminants.

Is it best to take collagen in the morning or at night?

When it comes to which time of day to take collagen, there's really no definitive research to suggest that taking it in the morning or night is better. Therefore, choose a time that is most convenient for you to make it a part of your daily routine.

Can collagen affect your liver?

Although some people may be concerned about the impact of supplementing with collagen on liver health, there's no research to suggest that collagen powder can affect your liver. The only case in which supplementing with collagen may damage your liver is if it's contaminated with a harmful substance. That said, if you have preexisting liver issues, it's best to check with your doctor before supplementing to ensure it's safe.

How do I know if my collagen is good quality?

In order to find a high-quality collagen powder you'll want to select a reputable brand that uses third-party testing on their products. This helps to ensure the product doesn't contain any banned substances or potentially harmful ingredients. Additionally, look for collagen sourced from grass-fed cattle, pasture-raised animals, or wild-caught fish as these will tend to yield the best quality collagen powder. Last but not least, look for a hydrolyzed collagen powder. This means it's broken down further during processing for better absorption.

Does collagen tighten your skin?

Collagen powder itself will not necessarily tighten your skin though it can help boost collagen production in the body which in turn can improve skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles. In fact, many cosmetic products include collagen as a way to promote skin health and elasticity. Research shows that regularly supplementing with collagen can improve skin hydration, reduce wrinkles, and delay skin aging.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

About the Author

Daniel Preiato

Daniel Preiato is a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition and nutrition education. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and an avid strength athlete. He uses his background in clinical nutrition to dissect research and help individuals meet their health and fitness goals.

See More from Daniel

Daniel Preiato is a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition and nutrition education. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and an avid strength athlete. He uses his background in clinical nutrition to dissect research and help individuals meet their health and fitness goals.

See More from Daniel

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