The 9 Best Collagen Supplements, According to Dietitians

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Collagen is ingredient, but it can have real benefits. “Collagen is a structural protein known to support your skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments,” says Breanna Woods, MS, RD, a dietitian based in Indianapolis. “As we age, our body naturally produces less collagen. Research supports that taking a collagen supplement may improve joint mobility, skin integrity, and muscle strength (when combined with resistance training).” Plus, a study in Nutrition Journal found that collagen supplementation helped improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, too.

As far as the beauty industry is concerned, though, you may be hearing more about collagen supplements for their skincare benefits—some research has shown that taking a collagen supplement can help improve skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density.

To get the scoop on the best collagen supplements out there, we asked nutrition experts for their top picks. Note, though, that you don’t need supplements if you’re getting collagen from food sources. “As always, the priority should be to get nutrition from food,” notes Woods. “Although collagen may have benefits, supplements are expensive and not totally necessary.”

Meet the Expert

  • Breanna Woods, MS, RD, a dietitian in Indianapolis.
  • Tamar Samuels, RD, NBC-HWC, is a registered dietitian and national board-certified health and wellness coach. She’s also the co-founder of Culina Health.
  • Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CFT, the Nutrition Twins and creators of The 21-Day Body Reboot in New York City.
  • Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD, a dietitian in Franklin, TN.
  • Kate Cline, RD, a functional medical nutrition practitioner in Dublin, OH.

What to Look For in a Collagen Supplement

Hydrolyzed collagen

Samuels recommends looking for supplements that are formulated with hydrolyzed collagen, which indicates that it’s easier to digest and is more quickly absorbed after ingestion.

“It’s also high in the amino acids glycine and proline which are essential for building new collagen in your muscles, bones, and gut,” she adds.

Grass-fed, pasture-raised, and antibiotic-free

When shopping for a collagen supplement, Samuels also stresses the importance of choosing a product that’s made from grass-fed, pasture-raised, and antibiotic-free animals to ensure you’re ingesting the healthiest collagen possible. “The collagen shouldn’t contain any additives or fillers,” she says. “Dietary products are not regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to be mindful of the source of your ingredients to avoid excessive exposure to antibiotics, pesticides, and other potentially harmful substances."

Third-party verification

Samuels also recommends looking for products with third-party verification to ensure that the product lives up to its claims and contains the ingredients it says it does. “These companies also ensure there aren’t any additional ingredients in the product that aren’t listed on the label,” she says. She suggests looking for verifications by the following credible groups: NSF International, UL, and US Pharmacopeia.

As with any supplement, check with your doctor before taking one, but if you get the thumbs up, here are the best collagen supplements out there.

Our Top Picks
Available in many flavors, this supplement is made from beef, chicken, fish, and eggshell membrane.
This budget-friendly powder makes a great addition to any post-workout shake.
This product contains special collagen called Verisol that is made specifically to target fibroblasts in the skin.
This product contains Type I and Type II collagen powder and is certified kosher and Whole30-approved.
Best for Pescatarians:
Indigo Marine Collagen Pure at Amazon
This marine collagen makes it possible for non-meat eaters to enjoy the benefits of collagen.
This powder comes in several tasty flavors like vanilla, chocolate coconut, and peanut butter.
This sugar-free product is made with hydrolyzed Type I and III bovine collagen.
These single-serve cups are reminiscent of K-cups for the Keurig.
The smooth, unflavored powder dissolves quickly in any liquid, from smoothies to drinks.

Best Overall: Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Peptides Protein Powder Pure

Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Peptides Protein Powder Pure
What we like
  • Gluten-free

  • Dairy-free

  • Nut-free

  • Contains probiotics

What we don't like
  • Not for vegetarians or pescatarians

Available in many flavors—unflavored, vanilla, chocolate, cold brew, strawberry lemonade, and cucumber lime—this supplement is made from beef, chicken, fish, and eggshell membrane. “It’s made with ingredients from non-GMO, grass-fed, and pasture-raised, cage-free, and cruelty-free sources,” says, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CFT, the Nutrition Twins and creators of The 21-Day Body Reboot in New York City. “Plus, it uses hydrolyzed bovine collagen, which is easier for your body to absorb.”

The product is formulated to help improve the appearance of crow’s feet, as well as help reduce knee stiffness.

Key Ingredients: Hydrolyzed bovine hide collagen peptides, fermented eggshell membrane collagen, chicken bone broth protein concentrate, bacillius coagulans, hydrolyzed fish collagen peptides | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 1 scoop (10 grams) | Certified: Approved by ConsumerLab

Best Drugstore: Orgain Keto Collagen Protein Powder

Orgain Keto Collagen Protein Powder
What we like
  • Gluten-free

  • No added sugars

  • Made without soy, dairy, or lactose

What we don't like
  • Nothing on website to explain 3rd party testing

“If I want something sweet, I am a fan of Orgain’s Keto Collagen Protein Powder,” says Kate Cline, RD, a functional medical nutrition practitioner in Dublin, OH. “It comes in vanilla and chocolate, and makes a nice enhancement to a post-workout protein shake.” The collagen contains MCT oil, as well as acacia, sea salt, and stevia. Per 20-gram scoop, you get 10 grams of fueling protein.

Key Ingredients: Collagen peptides and coconut medium-chain triglycerides | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 1 scoop (20 grams) | Certified: None

Best Value: Naturenetics Optimized Collagen

Naturenetics Optimized Collagen
What we like
  • Contains Verisol

  • Made in facility with allergy-control plan

What we don't like
  • Not for vegetarians or pescatarians

“I am obsessed with Naturenetics collagen,” says Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD, a dietitian in Franklin, TN. “It uses special collagen called Verisol that is made specifically to target fibroblasts in the skin. The brand is also extremely diligent about third-party testing and the purity of the products.”

Key Ingredients: Verisol | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 1 scoop (2.5 grams) | Certified: Manufactured in a GMP-certified, NSF-approved facility

Best for Skin: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder
What we like
  • Minimal ingredient list

  • No added sugars

  • Gluten-free

  • Dairy-free

  • Not for vegetarians or pescatarians

This product, another fan favorite of many registered dietitians, contains Type I and Type II collagen powder and is certified kosher and Whole30-approved. “This one is my favorite because it gives you not only 18 grams of protein but also vitamin C and hyaluronic acid—which both support collagen synthesis in the body,” says Woods. “Vital Proteins mixes well in pretty much anything and has little to no taste.”

Key Ingredients: Bovine hide collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C  | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 2 scoops (20 grams) | Certified: Kosher, whole30 approved, USDA certified, non-GMO, NSF certified cGMP facility, approved by ConsumerLab

Meet the Expert

  • Cynthia Barrett, PT, DPT, founder of Wellness Couture in New York City.
  • Lacy Ngo, MS, RDN, a dietitian in Rock Hill, SC.
  • Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN, author of 25 Anti-Aging Smoothies for Revitalizing, Glowing Skin.
  • Joan Salge Blake, EdD, RDN, a nutrition professor at Boston University and host of the podcast Spot On!

Best for Pescatarians: Indigo Marine Collagen Pure

Indigo Marine Collagen Pure
What we like
  • Suitable for pescatarians

  • Gluten-free

  • Kosher

What we don't like
  • Not for vegetarians

Here’s the perfect product for a pescatarian who doesn’t want to consume bovine collagen. “There are many different types of collagen on the market, however, there is a huge difference between bovine and marine collagen,” says Cynthia Barrett, PT, DPT, founder of Wellness Couture in New York City. “Indigo Marine Collagen is fished in the wild and processed in the United States to ensure strict quality controls. It also consists of smaller peptides or smaller protein molecules than bovine collagen sources, which means it’s more efficient in the body.” The product contains Types I, II, III, and IV of collagen.

Key Ingredients: Hydrolyzed fish collagen | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 1 scoop (10 grams) | Certified: Kosher

Best Taste: Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel

Primal Kitchen Collagen Peptides, Unflavored
What we like
  • Sugar-free

What we don't like
  • Not for vegetarians or pescatarians

“I like the Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel because it provides 10 grams of collagen peptides per serving while still containing minimal amounts of refined sugars,” says Lacy Ngo, MS, RDN, a dietitian in Rock Hill, SC. “This powder also comes in several tasty flavors like vanilla, chocolate coconut, and peanut butter. The matcha flavor provides the added benefits of antioxidants.” Per 16-gram scoop, you get 11 grams of protein from this powder that contains Types I and III collagen.

Key Ingredients: Bovine collagen peptides | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 1 scoop (16 grams) | Certified: Keto

Best Sugar-Free: Pink Stork Total Collagen Protein Powder Sticks

Pink Stork Total Collagen Protein Powder Sticks
What we like
  • Gluten-free

  • Organic

  • Travel-friendly

What we don't like
  • Not for vegetarians or pescatarians

“This product is made with hydrolyzed Type I and III bovine collagen,” says Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN, author of 25 Anti-Aging Smoothies for Revitalizing, Glowing Skin. “Hydrolyzed Type I collagen peptides are the most abundant type found in the body, Hydrolyzed collagen means that it is broken down into smaller peptides, making it more easily absorbed." One stick contains 10 grams of collagen.

Key Ingredients: Bovine hydrolyzed collagen | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 1 stick pack (10 grams) | Certified: USDA-organic

Best Travel-Friendly: LonoLife Grass Fed Beef Bone Broth Single Serve Cups

Lonolife beef bone broth
What we like
  • Portable

  • Gluten-free

  • Made from grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle

What we don't like
  • Not for vegetarians or pescatarians

Mix these single-serve cups with hot water for a savory snack—the product is made with beef bone broth, vegetables, herbs, spices, and seasonings. “If going for savory, my favorite is LonoLife single-serve packets, which most people find taste good enough to drink on their own,” says Cline.

Key Ingredients: Beef collagen | Age Range: All | Dosage: Single-serve cup (15 grams) | Certified: None

Best Unflavored: NutraCollagen Collagen Maximizer

NutraCollagen Collagen Maximizer
What we like
  • Sugar-free

  • Only one ingredient

What we don't like
  • Not for vegetarians or pescatarians

“NutraCollagen has more collagen peptides per serving than most of its competitors,” says Lakatos. “And unlike many collagen supplements, the brand manufactures all of its products in the United States, in its own Michigan facility—which means it can ensure quality. We like the smooth texture and consistency of NutraCollagen products, as they dissolve immediately with no clumping. So they’re super easy to add into drinks, smoothies, and other foods.”

Key Ingredients: Instantized bovine collagen peptides | Age Range: Adult 18+ | Dosage: 2 scoops (22 grams) | Certified: None

Final Verdict

There are many collagen supplements on the market right now, but our favorite is Ancient Nutrition's Multi Collagen Peptides Protein Powder Pure. Additionally, marine collagen products are available for people who do not want to consume bovine collagen—if that's you, opt for Indigo Marine Collagen Pure.

FAQ
  • What are the benefits of collagen supplements?

    “Emerging research using nutritional supplements containing hydrolyzed collagen is beginning to show additional anti-aging, collagen-boosting promise in the skin,” says Joan Salge Blake, EdD, RDN, a nutrition professor at Boston University and host of the podcast Spot On! Additionally, research using Verisol shows a decrease in the wrinkles that appear around your eyes.

  • Do collagen supplements expire?

    Yes. However, according to Woods, most collagen supplements have a pretty long shelf life. “Even after the expiration date, the dry nature of powders means they don't technically spoil or become unsafe to eat," she says. "However, the quality of the collagen will likely decrease, which may impact its effectiveness.”

  • How often should you take collagen supplements?

    Consistency is key for results,” says Woods, who recommends taking one serving per day. “A lot of people like mixing it in their coffee, smoothie, but you can add it to any beverage. You can also add it to oatmeal or baked goods. However, it's not necessary to take collagen with food.”

Why Trust Byrdie 

Byrdie contributor Amy Gorin, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist and has over a decade of experience in the nutrition industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She specializes in plant-based nutrition and is one of the most recognized nutrition experts in America. For this story, she interviewed nine additional nutrition experts to weigh in on their favorite collagen supplements.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any collagen supplements from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  2. Bolke L, Schlippe G, Gerß J, Voss W. A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind StudyNutrients. 2019;11(10):2494. doi:10.3390/nu11102494

  3. León-López A, Morales-Peñaloza A, Martínez-Juárez VM, Vargas-Torres A, Zeugolis DI, Aguirre-Álvarez G. Hydrolyzed Collagen-Sources and Applications. Molecules. 2019;24(22):4031. doi:10.3390/molecules24224031

  4. Proksch E, Schunck M, Zague V, Segger D, Degwert J, Oesser S. Oral Intake of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and Increases Dermal Matrix Synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-119. doi:10.1159/000355523

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