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Wonderful things can happen when you stop treating “protein” as some generic catch-all term, as these collagen brands like Primal Kitchen and Ancient Nutrition are proving.
The roughly 10,000 proteins found in the human body have many, many functions, from producing enzymes, hemoglobin, and more, but collagen is one of the most foundational proteins in the body—literally.
As the single most abundant protein in the body, collagen is referred to as a structural protein, providing the literal framework for skin, bone, muscles, tendons, and cartilaginous tissue.
Alright, point made—collagen is important. But where can you find a collagen supplement you can trust? We’ve already done the sleuthing and sampling for you; following is our team’s selection of the 5 best collagen powders out there.
Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein
Featuring marine- and bovine-derived collagen from an unprecedented 10 sources as well as vitamin C for efficient absorption, Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein goes the hardest we’ve ever seen collagen-wise.
Where most other collagen powder supplements will provide a couple forms of collagen at the most, Ancient Nutrition has fortified this supplement with a whopping 10 types—and 20 total grams—of collagen per every two scoops.
Also of note in the formulation is the savvy inclusion of vitamin C, which is a key cofactor in the enzymatic breakdown of collagen in the body, and probiotics to aid digestion.
In order to provide this much collagen, Ancient Nutrition created a multi-collagen complex deriving the protein from bovine hide, fermented eggshell membranes, chicken bone broth, and fish.
In other words, if any collagen supplement is going to deliver results, Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein is it.
Best for: Maintaining healthy skin, connective tissue, etc. Great for those picky on flavor.
We’ve got a lot to say about Primal Kitchen’s clean, highly nutritious sauces, dressings, and other condiments—and indeed we said it in our Primal Kitchen Review—but their collagen products rank especially high among our team for a few reasons.
Second, the use of coconut milk powder and organic fair-trade cocoa powder makes a huge difference in flavor, especially if you’ve been around the block or two with artificially sweetened protein powders or other supplements. We mention this in more detail, along with other observations, in our Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel Review.
And though the bovine collagen used in Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel is less sustainable than marine collagen, it is less likely to cause or exacerbate intestinal issues.
Finally, the ingredient list is characteristically clean, featuring konjac root gum and monk fruit as a natural thickener and sweetener, respectively.
Most Versatile: Garden of Life Multi-Sourced Collagen With Turmeric
Strong formulation enhances joint and digestive health
Though they didn’t quite make it to ten, this supplement provides three types of grass-fed, pasture-raised, and undenatured (type II) collagen with the addition of a probiotic—1.5 billion CFU of lactobacillus plantarum.
The collagen blend sources the protein from bovine hide and chicken cartilage.
In addition, the turmeric blend features an organic, fermented turmeric root extract standardized to a 95% curcuminoid concentration, which is the active ingredient in turmeric shown to help with joint health and general mobility.
Finally, the use of organic black pepper fruit in this collagen powder bolsters the probiotics in safeguarding and optimizing healthy digestion.
Though Ancient Nutrition certainly dove deeper into the collagen itself, Garden of Life covered a broader spread of potential health benefits with the unique additions of the turmeric and black pepper fruit.
Best for: This one’s easy—keto folks looking for clean collagen.
As the only keto brand we know of to actually conduct in-house testing on the glucose response elicited by their products, we trust Perfect Keto to formulate truly keto-friendly products.
Such was the case with their Keto Collagen powder, made with grass-fed collagen and enhanced with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
For all but the uber-hardcore keto crowd (0 carbs, really?), the piddly 2 grams of carbs per serving is sure to sneak under the wire.
We appreciate that no artificial sweeteners were used, and impressively, Perfect Keto snuck real cocoa powder in without pushing the limit too far on carbs. This, of course, refers to the only of their seven flavors that matters—the only flavor that ever matters: chocolate.
The MCT oils provide 3.5 grams of fat, and the hydrolyzed, bovine-sourced collagen comes in at 10 grams per serving.
Definitely the best keto collagen powder in our book, Perfect Keto keeps it clean while offering seven flavors—we’re here for it.
Best Collagen On a Budget: Hi-Health Collagen Peptides
Some will see the lack of flavored options as a downside, but the upside if you’re not interested in a flavored supplement is that this is the most minimalistic ingredient list you can get for a collagen powder: collagen peptides. End of list.
In other words, this product delivers just about every “free” statement possible, including gluten, allergens (bovine collagen, not marine), sugar, etc. If you’re privy to the benefits of bovine collagen and how it supports skin, hair, and other tissues, there isn’t much else to say: this is just straight-up collagen for the no-nonsense supplementer.
Best Collagen Powder FAQ
What is the best collagen powder to buy?
Even within this short list, it’s hard for us to pick a definitive “winner” because of the wealth of high-quality collagen supplements out there and the unique needs of each person. If we had to pick one from what we currently know, it would be Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein.
Since each person is different, it’s near impossible to answer which collagen is the best. We consider Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein to be at the top of the market right now, but with dozens of very close competitors.
Which collagen is best for wrinkles?
While we can’t declare a specific product as being the best for wrinkles, marine collagen has shown its efficacy over bovine collagen for this purpose, as it contains a high density of Type 1 (90%) and Type III (10%) collagen, both of which support skin.
Can collagen reverse sagging skin?
As confirmed by this study from King Khalid University in Saudi Arabia and many other findings, yes, collagen can reverse sagging skin and wrinkles to an extent by improving moisture content, elasticity, and several other markers of skin health.
Can you reverse aging with collagen?
Collagen can reverse the appearance of aging—namely, wrinkles and sagging skin—to an extent.
How long does it take to see results when taking collagen?
Sources vary slightly, but most studies assessing the benefits of collagen cite a lead time of at least 8-10 weeks of consistent use before results are noticeable.
Points to consider when shopping for collagen powder: the number of collagen types, concentration of collagen per serving, marine vs bovine sourcing, vitamin C content for absorption, and probiotics for digestion.
As always, collagen supplements can perform their best when paired with a balanced diet—again, vitamin C is a big deal here—adequate sleep, and a consistent exercise routine.
Food is for physical wellness, and pharmaceutical products are for mental health conditions—that’s where most of us land when it comes to nutrition psychiatry.
Nutrition is understandably not priority one in the chaotic moments immediately following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), but as soon as the patient is stable, nutrition therapy shares center stage with other key tenets of TBI rehabilitation.
Normally, we’re content to bounce around new and/or controversial theories on nutritional concepts all day, but every so often, we have the luxury of seeing in black and white.
This may seem like a fun-killing exercise at first, but we’re not interested in coddling or pandering to our readers, so let’s get the harsh reality out of the way: most of us haven’t earned the right to binge on vacation.