Collagen: Liquid vs. Powder
Which format of collagen is best to take?
So you know about all the wonderful things collagen does and why you should be taking it.
There seems to be a bit of an ongoing debate between powder collagen and liquid. Which reigns supreme? Which is absorbed better and overall better for you?
We have taken a deep dive to answer those burning questions for you.
A bit about each of the most popular forms of collagen supplements
Powder is the common form of collagen supplements; in fact, it is how it exists before it is dissolved into liquids. Collagen powders easily dissolve in both food and drinks.
The collagen peptides, when extracted from the animal source, are made into a powder first. They are hydrolyzed for easier consumption and absorbability.
TIP: Always look for hydrolyzed collagen peptides when choosing a supplement.
Most studies look at usage with collagen powders, it is the form that has been most well studied and reviewed as well. From those studies, it’s been shown that collagen is effective... so we know powder is good in that way.
How to use: Dissolve into beverages or foods of choice, blend into smoothies, or use in baking.
Best for: Anyone that likes to mix collagen their way.
Pre-made collagen drinks contain dissolved powder plus potentially other ingredients to enhance the flavour. For this reason, liquid forms tend to have less collagen per serving than the powdered form...so to get the same amount as in powder you may need to consume more liquid.
Up until now, most liquid options were created from marine collagen. However, Organika has liquid forms of both marine and our award-winning Enhanced Collagen from bovine collagen.
How to use: Simply take the collagen drink as suggested. Depending on the product, it may be potent per serving (to be drank whole or taken by tablespoon).
Best for: Anyone that prefers the convenience of pre-made liquid
Collagen capsules contain powdered collagen, so they provide the same benefits as the powdered form of collagen. It’s really that simple.
How to use: Take as directed with water.
Best for: Those that prefer taking supplements by capsule vs. food or drink.
Your collagen questions answered
Which form is best absorbed, powder or liquid?
Any collagen supplements should be hydrolyzed. That means its large proteins have been broken down, to make them digestible and easy to absorb. It also makes collagen powder better able to dissolve into liquids. Since liquid collagen is powder dissolved into something – both are equally as absorbable.
Are there added ingredients in one form over another?
Liquid versions may have added ingredients, simply because they may include natural flavours to enhance the taste and create a desirable product you would want to consume directly.
There are multi-ingredient blends available now. That just means, for your convenience, there is collagen combined with other supplements you may need.
For example: Enhanced Collagen Sleep is pure hydrolyzed bovine collagen powder PLUS sleep supplements GABA and Melatonin. Blends are made for supplement taker conveniences.
Which form is most effective?
Taking collagen is effective as been studied. Both are effective, since both come from powdered supplements; powder is more potent.
There are many liquid only collagen brands that push the false claim of higher bioavailability or that liquid is more efficiently absorbed, however there isn’t scientific evidence to support that claim. Most collagen studies use powder to show its effectiveness. The bioavailability is in fact improved by the hydrolyzed process (liquid or powder) not what form is consumed.
How much collagen do I need from powder vs. liquid?
Powder has more collagen per serving than the liquid forms. For example, if you take 1 tablespoon of the powder it is approx. 5 grams of collagen vs 1 tablespoon of the liquid collagen being approx. 1.5 grams of collagen.
Therefore, you have to consume a lot more liquid to get the same amount of collagen from liquid. With powder you can use 1-2 scoops as directed, for liquid you would need to take the serving size X 2 or 3 times a day to get the same amount of collagen.
What do the experts say?
Many naturopaths agree – that while liquid supplements in general are absorbed faster, there is less collagen per serving, and collagen is not a quick fix medicine. You don’t need the super quick absorption (as you would a cough and cold syrup). Because of its potency and versatility, powder is great. If you prefer liquid, that is fine also. It is really a consumer’s choice.
We also asked nutritionists that pointed out that since both the liquid and the powder are from the same hydrolyzed collagen source, they are both bioavailable and absorb well in the body. The collagen for both the liquid and the powder will be absorbed in the gut, so when choosing one over the other they work/absorb the same way.
What really matters
The form of collagen you take is entirely up to your preference. Collagen powder can give you more collagen per serving than a liquid collagen shot, but sometimes grabbing pre-made collagen water is more convenient. The most important thing when looking for a collagen supplement is the source/type and quality of the collagen.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33742704/ de Miranda RB, Weimer P, Rossi RC. Effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin aging: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Dermatol. 2021 Dec;60(12):1449-1461.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31411379/ Jhawar N, Wang JV, Saedi N. Oral collagen supplementation for skin aging: A fad or the future? J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Apr;19(4):910-912.