Where to buy collagen peptides? We’ve rounded up the best collagen peptides available online in 2021 below.
Best Collagen Peptides 2022
Best Collagen Peptides Overall: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder on Amazon
The grass-fed bovine collagen also includes vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to promote collagen absorption and promotion.
In addition to protein, your body also needs vitamin C to help it form collagen.
Best Post-Workout: Physician’s CHOICE Collagen Peptides Powder on Amazon
Ideal for post-workout drinks, it contains 14 essential amino acids and digestive enzymes to promote healthy skin and nails.
Best collagen peptides for skin and Best Keto: Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen
Collagen peptides aren’t just for muscle strength. Your skin uses collagen to retain elasticity and softness: for this purpose, we recommend Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen, thanks to its unusually wide variety of collagen sources which help support better absorption and bioavailability.
Best collagen peptides for joints: Essential Elements Collagen Peptides
Essential Elements provides types I and III collagen from grass-fed cows that’s independently tested for purity. Whether you’re striving to keep your joints strong, or trying to tamp down on joint inflammation, it’s a great pick.
Best collagen peptides for gut health: Live Conscious Collagen Peptides
Collagen peptides help with gut health by providing concentrated doses of amino acids—that’s why we recommend Live Conscious Collagen Peptides for gut health, with its highly bioavailable hydrolyzed form of collagen peptides, derived from pasture-raised and grass-fed cows.
A solid choice if you enjoy tropical flavors, the powder has 15 grams of marine-based collagen to support bones and joints.
Despite its sweet taste, the powder is sugar free and only 31 calories per serving.
How Does the Body Make Collagen?
All proteins are made up of tiny molecules called amino acids. When you eat protein, your body breaks it down into its individual amino acids. It then uses those amino acids, along with amino acids it can produce on its own, to make new proteins.
“Amino acids are like building blocks, and the body puts some of them together in a specific pattern to form collagen,” says Lauri Wright, PhD, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The three amino acids most prevalent in the formation of collagen are glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.
Although collagen is found naturally in animal foods, your body can still make it if you don’t eat meat, dairy, or eggs. “As long as you eat a variety of plant proteins—such as legumes, soy, and quinoa—you will get all the essential amino acids your body needs to build collagen,” Wright says.
In addition to protein, your body also needs vitamin C, zinc, and copper to help it form collagen. “Vitamin C is especially important to regulate the synthesis of collagen,” Wright says. Vitamin C is plentiful in citrus fruits, bell peppers, and broccoli. You can get copper and zinc from nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Does Eating More Collagen Build Your Collagen Reserves?
There’s no doubt that having ample collagen in your body is important. But the question remains as to whether taking supplements or eating foods that contain collagen translates directly to more collagen in your body. All protein you consume, collagen included, is processed by your body in the same way.
“Whether you ingest a collagen supplement or a steak, the body recognizes them as protein and breaks them down into amino acids in the digestive system,” says Maritza Perez, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at New York City’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and member of the Skin of Color Society board of directors. “There’s no guarantee that when you eat collagen, those amino acids will wind up in the skin [or ligaments] and produce collagen.”
“There is some evidence the body can absorb these and use them to rebuild tissue,” says Donald K. Layman, PhD, professor emeritus in the food science and human nutrition department at the University of Illinois in Urbana. “Collagen also contains unique levels of glycine, an amino acid that may stimulate growth hormone, improving collagen synthesis.”
Collagen is found in meat, poultry, fish, egg whites, and gelatin, as well as in stock or bone broth. The latter two are made from simmering animal bones for several hours, which leads to the collagen in the bones being released into the liquid.
But if you are concerned that you are not getting enough collagen from your diet, you could consider taking a collagen supplement.