Whether you’ve used a collagen supplement before or not, identifying the top collagen products on the market can help you get the most out of your investment.
Looking for the best collagen products often means wading through endless reviews and uncertain search results. We wanted to make your search process a little bit easier, so we’ve put together a list of what we deem the 5 top collagen products.
We’ve broken our top collagen product choices down by type of collagen protein: liquid collagen, powdered collagen, hydrolyzed collagen, collagen with caffeine, and vegan collagen.
All of these types of collagen have their pros and cons, and we will give you a few options within each category. As you identify your needs and goals for taking a collagen supplement you’ll be able to determine which of the top collagen products is right for you.
What to look for in the top collagen products
The first thing you need to identify when shopping for the best collagen products for you is what your specific intention is with taking a collagen supplement.
Are you trying to hit new personal bests in the gym? Is it for powerlifting or are you doing endurance training?
Are you looking for something to help with faster muscle recovery and post workout recovery?
Are you working on improving your overall health and wellness through your diet?
Start asking yourself why you want to start using a collagen supplement, or why you aren’t happy with your current collagen supplement.
Once you have the purpose behind the purchase, you can start to narrow in on the specifics of what you need. For instance, if you are training for endurance, you might benefit more from a collagen supplement that contains caffeine.
On the other hand, if you are someone that has a sensitive stomach, a hydrolyzed liquid collagen supplement might be the best choice for you.
Beyond your personal needs and goals, there are also a few specific things that you should look for when choosing collagen supplements:
- Transparent labeling and ingredients
- Evidence to back up health claims
- Absorption rate
- Convenience and flavor
- Verified customer reviews
The number one thing that helps us categorize the top collagen products is how transparent the collagen company is - and the ingredients that they use.
You want to buy from someone you can trust. It’s also important to keep in mind that supplements are not strictly regulated by the FDA in the same way pharmaceutical drugs or foods are.
While collagen is listed as “generally safe” by the FDA, it is important to do independent research beyond what the supplement company is saying.
So, first, look at the ingredients they list. Are there unnecessary additives or is there an excessive amount of sugar? If so, skip that one! You don't want to be consuming those things.
Second, evaluate the marketing and labeling. Do they have evidence in the form of scientific research or case studies to back up their claims? If not, then you should move on to a different company.
Beyond the ingredients list, look for collagen that has gone through the process of hydrolysis once or twice. This means that the protein molecules have been broken down into smaller, more absorbable sizes.
Better yet, look for a nano-hydrolyzed collagen for the best collagen absorption rate on the market.
Finally, always read through verified customer testimonials and reviews. These are going to be a reliable way to get a real life, and up-to-date review of how well the product worked for them. You’ll know right away from the reviews how that collagen product stacks up in the real world.
Keep in mind that what you choose as the top collagen products may differ from someone else because of your personal needs and preferences. That’s why we’ve listed some different types of collagen supplements, so you can find the top collagen products for your needs.
Complete comparison of 5 top collagen products
Here are our 5 picks for the top collagen products. Take your goals and preferences carefully into consideration when determining which of these top collagen products would be best for you.
1. The top liquid collagen product
There are so many ways we can consume collagen these days, and one way that has gained popularity is liquid collagen.
Liquid collagen makes for a very convenient supplement, as you do not need to mix it with anything to consume it.
Some liquid collagen supplements, like ProT Gold, come in a bottle with multiple servings. Supplements like Frog Fuel also have single serve pouches. These make it easy for you to toss a few pouches in your gym bag.
When looking at both ProT Gold and Frog Fuel, you may notice that they both use the same recipe. The major difference between these two is that ProT Gold is recognized as a medical food and is trusted by thousands of medical facilities to be used for medical nutrition therapy.
That means ProT Gold liquid collagen supplements are regulated by the FDA as a food, not a supplement, which instills far more trust in the brand for most customers. For both ProT Gold and Frog Fuel, there is an established client base that can be seen in the customer reviews.
Plus, they both are nano-hydrolyzed and contain digestive enzymes, which means they have a swift, 15 minute absorption rate.
Something that should be pointed out about both ProT Gold and Frog Fuel formulas is that they have an added amino acid that makes them both complete protein supplements. This is important because collagen lacks the amino acid, tryptophan.
If you look at the ingredient labels, you’ll also notice that there are no unnecessary ingredients or additives.
For all these reasons, we find ProT Gold and Frog Fuel to have the top collagen products for liquid collagen.
2. The top powdered collagen product
Powdered collagen is an exceptionally popular supplement largely because powdered collagens are easier to add to a variety of foods like smoothies, yoghurts, or even foods like pancakes.
Many people that use other types of powdered protein may often gravitate towards a powdered collagen because it is the type of protein they are used to using.
One of the most widely used protein powders is whey protein. When looking at collagen protein vs whey protein, you'll notice several differences, including the absorption rate.
The versatility of powdered collagen can draw a lot of people to powdered collagen, but be aware that not all powdered collagen is made in the same way. Meaning, not all powdered collagen has a very good absorption rate.
There are several companies that simply include the whole collagen molecule within the collagen powder. Not only does this make it hard for your body to break down and absorb properly, but it can also mean that you are not getting an even serving every time.
When the powdered collagen molecules are larger, they are also heavier, making it easy for them to settle to the bottom of the container. If you use powdered collagen, we recommend shaking it up every time you use it to redistribute the collagen molecules more evenly.
Keep in mind that this is not a foolproof way to get an even serving each time and it is harder to get a consistent serving when using powdered collagen that is not hydrolyzed.
Between the two, the major difference is that ProT Powder is nano-hydrolyzed whereas Vital Proteins is hydrolyzed. ProT Powder has even smaller collagen molecules because it has gone through hydrolysis twice, making it easier to absorb and digest.
3. The top hydrolyzed collagen product
As you may have picked up after reading this far, the top collagen products are hydrolyzed. In fact, the top collagen products should be nano-hydrolyzed.
Although we have discussed it several times in this article, let’s break down what it really means when collagen is hydrolyzed.
Hydrolyzed collagen is synonymous with collagen peptides. Either phrase means that the collagen has gone through the process of hydrolysis.
When collagen is in the whole form, it is around 300,000 daltons in size. Daltons are a unit of measure used to express the molecular weight of protein. To put that into perspective, your stomach pores can only fit protein with a molecular weight of around 4,000 daltons.
Hydrolyzed collagen is around 10,000 daltons, which is still far too large for you to easily digest. Nano-hydrolyzed collagen, on the other hand, is only 2,000 daltons, making it smaller than your stomach pores.
From that information alone, you can see why there are an extensive number of hydrolyzed collagen benefits in comparison to collagen in the whole form.
So, the best hydrolyzed collagen would really be a nano-hydrolyzed collagen like Frog Fuel. Frog Fuel collagen supplements are digested within 15 minutes of consumption versus other types of protein, like whey, that can take up to an hour to digest.
4. The top collagen with caffeine added
Not everyone needs to take a protein supplement that has caffeine.
Most of the time, taking a protein supplement that contains caffeine of any kind is only truly beneficial to endurance athletes, professional athletes, or those looking for a boost during long strength training sessions that involve a lot of repetitive sets.
You want a collagen supplement that doesn’t have too much caffeine and one that is easy for your body to process quickly so the caffeine isn’t hitting you at a different time than the collagen.
You also want a supplement that provides you with focused energy, not one that makes you feel jittery.
Look for a collagen supplement with caffeine that also has carbohydrates and is a complete protein. Those two additions are partly why our number one recommendation for the top collagen product with caffeine is Frog Fuel Ultra Energized.
5. The top vegan alternative to collagen
Since collagen is derived from animal proteins, there is no such thing as a true vegan collagen.
But those that follow an ethical vegan diet, or even a strict plant-based diet, can rest assured knowing that they can still get collagen boosting supplements.
Although natural collagen production may drop as we age, we can support our natural collagen synthesis by upping certain nutrients like antioxidants and amino acids in our diets.
Look for vegan collagen boosting supplements that use clean ingredients, and do not claim to contain any type of plant-based collagen, because it doesn’t exist.
Find the top collagen products for your body
Armed with this list of stellar collagen products and the knowledge of your own needs and goals, you are well on your way to finding the best collagen protein for your body.
Remember to always do your own research, look at ingredient labels and reviews, and reach for hydrolyzed or nano-hydrolyzed collagen products that can better help you achieve your goals.