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Last Updated: Apr 2024

Top 10 Best Collagen Supplements of 2024
Support a young look and feel

Compare the best collagen supplements below to care for your body and help maintain a young and healthy appearance.

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Frequently Asked Questions
How long are collagen supplements usually taken?+-

Scientific studies have shown that collagen supplementation produces noticeable results after eight weeks, so most people take it daily for several weeks or months at a time. Many continue to take collagen supplements indefinitely to maintain their benefits. Expect to take collagen for at least five months if you’re doing so to maintain bone health.

What happens when you stop taking collagen supplements?+-

You likely won’t see a loss in their effects if you neglect to take your collagen supplements for a few days. Various studies have shown that even after 4 weeks, over 75% of people were still experiencing the benefits associated with supplementation. Beyond this, you should expect to see a gradual return to your body’s natural collagen levels.

What are collagen supplements made from?+-

Collagen supplements are most commonly derived from the amino acids found in the skin, muscles, and bones of animals like water buffalo, bison, yaks, and cows. Chicken bones and fish scales can also be used as sources of collagen supplements.

When is the best time to take collagen supplements?+-

It’s best to take your collagen supplements first thing in the morning. This is when your stomach is most empty, and this state can aid optimal digestion. However, if you buy your collagen in a hydrolyzed form, which can be easily digested, you don't have to worry about the time of day you take it.

Is there a vegan source of collagen?+-

Collagen cannot currently be obtained from plants. Due to the nature of the supplement, it can only come from animal sources. However, vegan collagen boosters can help support your body’s mechanism of producing its own collagen.

We find the 10 best options, so you can make informed decisions on tons of products and services.

Collagen Supplements Benefits

Collagen has become a hot topic in the health space due to its crucial role in helping maintain our overall health and well-being.

The human body’s ability to produce collagen fades with age, and other factors, like poor diet, can also slow the body’s production of this protein. Reduced collagen levels can result in brittle nails, fragile hair, saggy skin, and wrinkles. It’s no wonder that taking supplements have become popular to support the body's collagen levels.

It’s easy to assume that collagen is mainly a beauty supplement—however, it also contributes to joint and digestive function. Type II collagen helps joint integrity, preserving the cartilage that cushions and supports your joints.    

Type III collagen supports the body’s organs and digestive system, meaning supplements containing this ingredient can support healthy digestion. While there are many potential benefits to taking collagen supplements, it's a good idea to consult a healthcare professional to ensure it's safe for you.

Who Shouldn’t Take Collagen Supplements?

Collagen peptide supplements can only be derived from animals, so they’re not suitable if you’re on a vegan or vegetarian diet. No plant-based variations are available yet, but you can try “collagen boosters”—collagen-free supplements that help support the body’s natural synthesis of this protein.

You can take collagen if you have an egg, fish, or shellfish allergy. However, read the label carefully to ensure that your selected brand hasn’t sourced its peptides from allergens you’re sensitive to. Collagen may also be inappropriate if you follow a kosher or halal diet.

Types of Collagen Supplements

There are 28 types of collagen—each performing its own function within the human body. The most common varieties in supplements are types I, II, and III, with many products containing a combination of these. 

Type I collagen makes up our skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. It usually comes from bovine sources but could also come from fish. Type II is present in cartilage and is essential for our joints. Typically, this type of collagen is found in chicken. Finally, type III collagen, which comes from bovine sources, is present in our muscles and blood vessels and is vital for healing. 

Collagen supplements come in various forms, including liquids and bars, but capsules and powders are the most common. Both are equally effective, as the pills are essentially collagen powder in a digestible capsule.

Powders are the most popular as they are more convenient, providing more collagen per serving. For example, a typical capsule contains 0.5 grams of collagen, whereas a scoop of collagen powder contains 10 grams. You would need to take 20 pills to get the same amount of collagen as one scoop of powder.

Collagen powder is also more flexible as manufacturers can include extra synergistic ingredients such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, or probiotics. These compounds help with the absorption of collagen and can also support gut health.

What to Look for When Buying Collagen Supplements

Collagen Types

There are many different collagen types. When you’re looking to buy supplements, ensure you know how each type will affect your body. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Type I: Supports healthy skin, hair and nails, and aids bone and joint health.
  • Type II: Supports joint health and maintains joint comfort and healthy inflammatory response.
  • Type III: Supports healthy digestion and skin.

You’ll see many scientific terms used to describe collagen supplements, but there are two main ones to note—denatured and undenatured.

Hydrolyzed collagen, collagen peptides, collagen powder, and collagen hydrolysate are all just different names for denatured collagen. This form of the protein has been broken down into smaller, easier-to-digest molecules through a process called enzymatic hydrolysis.

Undenatured collagen has not gone through this process and can take longer for the body to break down and absorb. Studies have shown that undenatured type II collagen (UC-II) is particularly effective at supporting joint health.

Absorption and Digestion

Since hydrolyzed and denatured collagen is more easily absorbed, it tends to be a better choice than its counterpart. Digestability can be a particularly important feature if you have tummy issues with certain supplements, especially those that are protein-based, or if you take multiple supplements at a time.

Ingredients

Ideally, as with any dietary supplement, there should be as few artificial ingredients, additives, and fillers as possible. After all, if you’re paying for collagen, you should be getting collagen. The exception is ingredients that deliver additional benefits, such as vitamin C or hyaluronic acid, which can aid collagen absorption.

Collagen supplements may also contain antioxidants, minerals, or probiotics, making them multi-purpose products. 

Sustainability

Look for collagen from humanely raised and grass-fed cattle, free-range chickens, and wild-caught fish if animal welfare and sustainability are important to you. Consider taking an organic collagen supplement if you’re concerned about consuming chemicals. 

Side Effects of Collagen Supplements

Some people may experience mild stomach discomfort or inconsistent bowel movements when taking collagen supplements for the first time.

Allergic reactions could occur in people with undiagnosed hypersensitivities. They could result in a rash, anaphylaxis, or liver abnormalities. It’s important to note that these kinds of side effects are extremely rare.

How To Take Collagen Supplements

Collagen’s effectiveness doesn’t appear to depend on the time of day you take it. Consider how you’ll be incorporating collagen into your routine. It may make sense to get your collagen in capsule form if you already take several other supplements in this way. 

However, collagen powders can be more versatile in their use than pills. Flavored powders allow you to make a hydrating drink from your supplement. Look for a brand that offers some of your favorite beverage flavors—or try something different, like pink lemonade or fruit punch. 

Unflavored collagen powder might be worth considering if an 8-12 ounce collagen cocktail doesn't fit your routine. It can be blended into coffee, smoothies, protein shakes, or even food, making supplementation seamless since it's added to items you already consume.

How Long Does it Take for Collagen Supplements to Work?

The amount of time it takes for you to see results from taking collagen supplements depends on multiple factors.

First and foremost, everyone’s body works differently depending on age, stress, diet, and so on. Lifestyle choices can affect your body’s metabolism and the way it processes collagen supplementation.

Secondly, consider the form of collagen supplements (powder, capsule, etc.), the types of collagen (Types I, II, III, V, and X), and the sources from which the collagen is extracted (bovine, chicken, eggshell, marine). Each of these factors can impact the rate of absorption and how quickly you see results.

Some collagen supplement suppliers claim results can be seen within 2-4 months, and many offer a money-back guarantee for that period of time or longer.

Are Collagen Supplements Safe?

Collagen supplements can be safe for healthy individuals when taken as directed. However, as the FDA does not regulate supplements, you should consider the following points when researching your purchase.

There’s a rare possibility of some containing potentially harmful ingredients that are not on the label, such as toxins or heavy metals. They could even contain banned substances, which would spell serious trouble for athletes subject to drug testing. 

Choosing a collagen supplement that has been third-party tested is a good idea. This is a process where supplements are analyzed in a lab that has no affiliation with the supplement company. The lab objectively tests and verifies that the supplement’s contents are safe and consistent with what is shown on its label. 

In the sports nutrition world, dietitians particularly value Informed Choice, NSF for Sport, and Labdoor as the most respected companies verifying supplements through independent labs. Third-party testing is optional and adds to manufacturing costs, so companies that undertake this get extra points for integrity. While browsing collagen products, check the labels for these companies' logos. 

Visit labs’ websites to see a list of collagen products that are third-party tested. Regardless of what you decide, talk to your doctor before taking collagen or any other supplement if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, suffering from a chronic disease, or taking prescription medications.

Can You Take Too Much Collagen?

It is possible to take too much collagen. However, there doesn’t seem to be a clear and quantified threshold of how much you can take before it becomes unsafe. Some people have reported side effects like headache, dizziness, indigestion, diarrhea, and insomnia when taking more than the manufacturer’s recommended serving.

It's important to understand that how much you need to take and how often may depend on the type of collagen supplement you buy. Read the labels carefully. If you’re unsure what dose is appropriate, discuss this with your physician.

How Much Do Collagen Supplements Cost?

Generally, capsule forms are the most affordable at less than $1 per serving. Powder forms are slightly more expensive, especially if they come from organic sources or contain additional ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Liquid collagen supplements are the most costly—they can cost up to $5 per serving.

There’s a wide range of prices for collagen supplements, depending on the form you buy, the size of the container, the ingredients it contains, and the type of collagen it includes. 

There are other ways to integrate collagen into your routine, with foods high in collagen, like bone broth. However, supplements are still likely to be the more cost-effective solution. Bone broth is also less versatile than powder and may be tedious to prepare. 

Our Methodology: How We Rated the Best Collagen Supplements

We thoroughly evaluated the best collagen supplements of 2024, using our expertise to provide you with a complete guide. This simplifies the complexities of these products and empowers you to make informed decisions about your health. We rated the best collagen supplements based on the following criteria:

  • Cost per serving
  • Dietary restrictions and preferences
  • Flavored or unflavored
  • Health benefits
  • Collagen type
  • Collagen source
  • Collagen form
  • Quality of ingredients

A Few Final Points on Taking Collagen

Collagen has the potential to offer a range of physical and aesthetic benefits to the body. Exercise enthusiasts and athletes may consider taking collagen supplements to help maintain their bone and joint integrity. For those interested in beauty and cosmetics, collagen may also support dermatological health.

When considering collagen supplements, choose the right kind based on what you hope to achieve. Additionally, select the form and flavor (or lack thereof) that will encourage you to take the supplement consistently.

Finally, if it fits your budget, hydrolyzed collagen supplements offer better absorption and are easier for your body to digest. 

Consult with your physician about safety and dosage if you have any concerns about starting supplementation.

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