Top collagen supplements
Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the human body. It supports the health and development of everything from our hair and nails to our muscles and bones. Whether you’re looking for improved skin elasticity, to reduce joint pain or increase your gym results, a collagen supplement may be the answer.
Unfortunately, as with many health supplements, the sheer amount of choices and information out there can be confusing. This guide covers everything you need to know before choosing a collagen supplement.
If you aren’t interested in learning about the benefits and various types of collagen, you can simply jump right to checking out top recommendations, including Neocell Super Collagen Peptides. It’s available in flavored and unflavored options and contains a combination of type I and type III collagens.
What to know before you buy a collagen supplement
Benefits of collagen
Collagen plays many roles in the human body. When taken as a supplement, the benefits it provides are almost endless. Studies have shown it helps increase strength and muscle mass from exercise, may prevent the development or progression of arthritis, improve skin elasticity and decrease joint pain. Additional benefits include:
- Strengthening hair strands and preventing follicle damage
- Supporting proper metabolic functions
- Aiding digestion
- Increasing nail growth and strength
- Improving mood
- Boosting energy
- Reducing inflammation in the body
This list is by no means exhaustive. As more research is done, it’s becoming increasingly apparent there are few other supplements we can take that offer such a wide range of benefits for the body.
Types of collagen
If you spend any time looking at collagen supplements, one of the first things you may notice is the different numbers on the labels. There are 28 kinds of collagen, but types I, II and III are the most common in commercial supplements. Types I and III are believed to be best for cosmetic purposes like anti-aging, skin elasticity and hair and nail growth and strength. Type II is touted as being most beneficial for our gut, organs, bones, joints and connective tissue like cartilage. These three types make up 80-90% of the collagen in our bodies.
Nowadays, more companies are beginning to sell supplements that include types V and X as well. Type V is said to be good for eye health and the formation of cell surfaces, while type X is also for supporting bones and joints.
Some supplements only contain a single type of collagen, while others include a combination of types. In truth, there is much debate but few studies that compare the benefits of one type of collagen versus another for specific parts of the body. Many scientists believe it doesn’t matter what type you choose to take, and that they will all benefit you equally.
Forms of collagen
Collagen may be sold as hydrolyzed or collagen peptides. These are interchangeable terms, so you don’t have to worry that one kind or another is better absorbed by the body. Both are equally bioavailable.
What to look for in a quality collagen supplement
Source of collagen
The most common sources of collagen are bovine and marine. The former is made from the skin and bones of cattle, while the latter is made from skin, bones and scales of fish and shellfish. Other sources of collagen in supplements are egg shells and the skin and bones of poultry.
Scientists have recently learned that a form of collagen can be made by using genetically modified yeast and bacteria; however, whether or not it’s as beneficial as animal-based collagen is still unclear.
Powder or pill form of collagen
Collagen supplements are available in powder and pill forms. Most collagen powders are unflavored, which makes them easy to mix into nearly any type of beverage. However, it should be noted that unflavored doesn’t always mean no taste at all — some people claim they’re quite unpalatable. If you’re worried about this, choose a flavored option or opt for a pill instead.
Cost of collagen supplements
Collagen supplements range greatly in price depending on the source and the number of servings in the container, but you can expect to pay $15-$45 for most powders.
Collagen supplement FAQs
How long does it take to see benefits from taking a collagen supplement?
A. Everybody’s body is different and some may see some results in as little as 1 month. As a general rule of thumb, most people can expect to notice benefits within 3 months.
Do collagen supplements have side effects?
A. Most people don’t notice any side effects from taking a collagen supplement. However, some may experience mild digestive symptoms like bloating and discomfort. These usually resolve very quickly. People with shellfish allergies need to read the ingredient list of any collagen they’re considering and should generally avoid those from marine sources.
What’s the best collagen supplement to buy?
Top collagen supplement
What you need to know: Coming in a pill form, Collagen Love is easy to take without having to worry about an unpleasant taste.
What you’ll love: The inclusion of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C aid in its anti-aging properties.
What you should consider: The capsule encasement can interfere with absorption for some.
Top collagen powder supplement for the money
What you need to know: This combination of collagen types I and III dissolves quickly in liquid, is free of most common allergens and is keto and paleo certified.
What you’ll love: It comes in flavored and unflavored varieties, and many people see results from it quickly.
What you should consider: The smell can be unpleasant to some.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Physician’s Choice is a keto-friendly formula sourced from pasture-raised, hormone-free bovines.
What you’ll love: A digestive enzyme blend helps to maximize absorption.
What you should consider: Some report experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms while taking it.
Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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