The 8 Best Collagen Powders to Support Your Wellness Goals (2024)

If you're a fan of skincare, wellness supplements, or both, you've probably heard the buzz surrounding collagen powder, which promises both nutritional and beauty benefits. While research on the effects of taking collagen powder on the appearance of skin is lacking, it is a solid source of protein that's easily added to smoothies, coffee, and various recipes.

"Collagen is a protein naturally produced by your body that aids in the structure and integrity of connective tissues, bone, cartilage, and skin," registered dietitian Melissa Rifkin explains. "Nutritionally, collagen powder contains amino acids that serve these functions, and more, within the body." According to registered dietitian Sarah Gold, the average person makes enough collagen naturally to support these functions. However, she explains that consuming collagen powder may help some people meet their protein needs and potentially even "reduce skin wrinkles and support stronger hair and nails."

Which collagen powder is best for you? To help you make an informed decision, we conducted extensive research, consulting with experts, and putting nearly two dozen options to the test, evaluating each based on its flavor, texture, aftertaste, smell, and value. We landed on these top picks, including options that are plant-based, sustainably sourced, and formulated for athletes.

Our Top Picks

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What We Like

  • Pleasant lemon aroma and flavor

  • Dissolves well into hot and cold beverages

  • No unpleasant texture or aftertaste

What to Consider

  • Can cause mild stomach upset when adjusting to daily use

Key Ingredients: Bovine collagen peptides | Certified: Gluten and dairy-free, paleo and keto-friendly | Dosage: 4 tbsp | Size: 11 oz | Type: Bovine

Vital Proteins puts extra care into the sourcing of its bovine collagen peptides. The cattle used in making their products are not raised specifically for collagen peptides production—rather their byproducts that would usually be discarded are repurposed for it. We love this lemon flavor in particular because it’s neither too sweet nor too tart—it smells and tastes just like lemonade. When you put it into ice water, it creates a super refreshing lemonade-like beverage, and when you add it to hot water or tea, it adds a subtle, soothing lemon flavor. It dissolves really well in hot and cold liquids, and we didn’t notice any unpleasant texture or grit to it. We also appreciate that it’s a great option for many types of people with various dietary needs because it’s gluten and dairy-free, doesn’t contain sugar, and is paleo and keto-friendly.

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What We Like

  • Production facilities abide by strict GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) guidelines

  • Not strong taste or smell

  • Relatively affordable

  • Dissolves evenly in hot beverages in a matter of seconds

What to Consider

  • Could dissolve better in cold water

Key Ingredients: Bovine collagen peptides | Certified: Gluten-free, grass-fed, hormone-free, non-GMO | Dosage: 1 scoop | Size: 18 oz | Type: Bovine

Started by a group of runners and outdoor enthusiasts in Utah, Zhou creates carefully and sustainably sourced nutrition products for a variety of different purposes. This collagen powder powered by bovine peptides was created to support skin and hair health, digestion, and strong bones. It’s flavorless, non-GMO, gluten-free, and hormone-free, meaning that a wide range of customers with varying lifestyles, diets, and values can consume it. The company also ensures its production facilities abide by strict GMP guidelines and that the cattle used to create this product specifically are grass-fed and pasture-raised.

We enjoyed how well this flavorless powder dissolved into hot beverages—it took just a matter of seconds to dissolve completely and left behind no detectable flavor or smell. We did have a bit of a harder time dissolving it in cold water, and we noticed a minor smell and flavor when consumed this way, so we suggest mixing this formula with hot drinks, smoothies, or soups. But if you’re on the hunt for a flavorless collagen powder that’s sustainably sourced and relatively affordable, we definitely recommend this one.

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What We Like

  • Pescetarian-friendly

  • Dissolves fully and quickly in hot beverages

  • Neutral, almost undetectable flavor

What to Consider

  • Has a minor gelatin-like flavor and smell in cold water

  • Could dissolve a bit better in cold beverages

Key Ingredients: Marine collagen peptides derived from tilapia | Certified: Non-GMO, gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free | Dosage: 1 scoop | Size: 11.6 oz | Type: Marine collagen

If you maintain a pescatarian diet, this marine collagen powder could be a great choice for you. It sources collagen peptides from tilapia rather than from bovine, and despite being sourced from fish, we were really impressed and pleasantly surprised that it smells and tastes almost completely neutral. When mixed in with cold water, it’s a bit tricky to dissolve and it creates a very minor gelatin-like smell and flavor, but when mixed into tea, coffee, or other hot beverages, it’s totally flavorless. It dissolves completely in hot liquids within seconds, leaving behind no smells, taste, or aftertaste. We also appreciate that it’s certified non-GMO, fat-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free—making it a great choice for people with a wide range of dietary needs and preferences.

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What We Like

  • Contains multiple different forms of collagen peptides

  • Has fermented ingredients and probiotics to improve gut health

  • Dissolves easily and flavorless

What to Consider

  • Powder has an unpleasant smell

Key Ingredients: Collagen peptides, probiotics, vitamin C | Certified: Grass-fed, pasture-raised, non-GMO, nut-free, gluten-free | Dosage: 1 scoop | Size: 16 oz | Type: Multi

We had high expectations for this collagen powder considering its incredible ingredients and claims, and we’re happy to share that during our test, it did meet our expectations. The formula contains 10 different collagen peptides sourced from fermented eggshell membranes, bovine, chicken bone broth, and fish. Together, this blend of collagen peptides is said to support healthy skin, joints, and gut. Plus, we absolutely love that the powder contains the addition of probiotics to support digestion, as well as vitamin C for antioxidant properties—the powder truly contains a massive amount of good-for-you nutrients. It’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, non-GMO, and keto and paleo-friendly—meaning it doesn’t contain many common allergens and it’s a great option for people with a range of dietary preferences.

During our test, we found that while it had a minor chalky smell, it dissipated entirely in hot beverages. The powder dissolved really well in both hot and cold liquids, and it was totally flavorless.

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What We Like

  • Can improve mobility in those who are very active

  • Contains the addition of vitamin C

  • Flavorless in most beverages

What to Consider

  • Has a mild, nondescript flavor in cold water

  • Could dissolve better in both hot and cold liquids

Key Ingredients: Bovine hyde collagen peptides, vitamin C | Certified: Gluten-free, non-GMO | Dosage: 1 scoop | Size: 18 oz | Type: Bovine

Created to support cartilage, joint, tendon, and ligament health, this collagen powder features collagen peptides derived from bovine hyde. Although it’s not restricted to athletes, the brand markets it to those with active lifestyles, saying it can help improve flexibility and mobility and recommending that it be taken 30-60 minutes before working out. This formula also contains the addition of vitamin C, which is a great thing for anyone who is lacking vitamin C and antioxidants in their regular diets.

We really appreciated that it was completely flavorless in most beverages, though it had a very mild flavor when mixed with just cold water. It took a while to dissolve in both cold and hot liquids, ultimately leaving very small particles in the liquids, though we couldn’t detect them when drinking. However, if you’re going to be consuming collagen powder to support your fitness journey, perhaps you might want to mix it in with smoothies and therefore, the minor graininess won’t be detectable anyway.

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What We Like

  • Can be used in a variety of ways

  • Dissolves well

  • Creates a creaminess in drinks

  • Vanilla and coconut flavor

What to Consider

  • Flavor is slightly artificial-tasting

Key Ingredients: Bovine collagen peptides, coconut cream | Certified: Dairy-free, keto and paleo-friendly | Dosage: 1 scoop | Size: 14 oz | Type: Bovine

If you like to enjoy a lightly sweetened morning coffee or tea while also checking off your collagen intake for the day, we recommend trying out this collagen powder from Garden of Life. Made with bovine collagen peptides, coconut triglycerides, and natural vanilla flavoring, it provides nutritional benefits with a sweet flavor that combines vanilla with a hint of coconut. The sweet flavor makes a great addition to hot and cold beverages, but it’s also excellent for adding some sweetness and a boost of collagen to smoothies and baked goods.

We found that it dissolved well in hot and cold liquids (it left behind minor bits of the powder after mixing) and it added a nice amount of flavor—it was strong enough to fully taste it but not so strong that it was nauseating or off-putting. The flavor does taste just a bit artificial, but when mixed with a flavored beverage like tea or coffee, that component of it is barely noticeable.

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What We Like

  • Dissolves well in hot and cold liquids

  • No aftertaste

  • Free from many common allergens

What to Consider

  • Very faint, nondescript taste and smell

Key Ingredients: Bovine collagen peptides | Certified: Non-GMO, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, paleo and keto-friendly | Dosage: 2 scoops | Size: 20 oz | Type: Bovine

It’s no secret that supplements in powder form can be tricky to completely dissolve in liquids—especially cold liquids. So, if you’re someone that likes to take your collagen powder via a glass of cold water, you’re probably familiar with that unpleasant graininess that comes along with a poorly dissolved formula. This one, which is powered by bovine collagen peptides, dissolves beautifully in both hot and cold liquids, leaving behind no unappealing chunks or grains. It’s almost entirely flavorless and without a scent, and we really appreciate that it’s free from many common allergens, like soy, nuts, and gluten. Plus, it’s also an added bonus that it’s produced with the intention of having the lowest possible environmental impact. The bovine used to produce it are grass-fed, pasture-raised, and kept thousands of miles away from the Amazon rainforest.

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What We Like

  • Made with plant-based ingredients to promote collagen production

  • Works to treat signs of aging in the skin

  • Mild but pleasant taste

What to Consider

  • Texture is slightly thick

Key Ingredients: Rice bran, silver ear mushroom, hyaluronic acid | Certified: Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free | Dosage: 1 tbsp | Size: 4.5 oz | Type: Vegan

If you're vegan but want to add more collagen to your regimen for skin and hair health, you won't be able to take a standard bovine or marine collagen powder. Instead, try this pick from Moon Juice—which doesn't contain actual collagen, but has ingredients that boost the production of collagen like rice bran and hyaluronic acid. It also contains silver ear mushroom, an ingredient that is able to deeply hydrate the complexion while strengthening the skin barrier. Since it's a creamer, it can be added to coffee, tea, or smoothies, and it has a subtle flavor that still tastes great. It does have somewhat of a thicker texture though, so it's best to add to use a blender or a frother so that your beverage has a smooth consistency.

What to Look for in Collagen Powders

  • Type and collagen source: When buying collagen powder, pay attention to the type and source. Registered dietitian nutritionist Jonathan Valdez explains that there are three main types found in supplements: type I provides bone and skin health, type II supports joints and cartilage, and type III promotes healthy skin and muscle function. Collagen powder often comes from animal sources, like bovine, pork, or fish. "Bovine, most commonly used, contains type I and II, while fish is primarily type I," says Valdez. "However, fish is better absorbed." There are also vegan options made with marine collagen peptides, rice bran, and coconut milk powder.
  • Other ingredients: According to Rifkin and Valdez, collagen powder should ideally also contain vitamin C. "This nutrient aids in collagen synthesis within the body," Rifkin explains. Some are blended with biotin, which Valdez says supports "healthy skin and hair," as well as glucosamine to "help with bone health." However, Gold notes that if you’re ingesting a collagen powder that contains additional ingredients, such as probiotics, enzymes, and other vitamins and minerals, these ingredients can interact with medications or may not be ideal for certain populations. If you’re considering consuming a collagen powder packed with other ingredients, it’s wise to consult your doctor first.You'll also find collagen powder containing MCT (medium-chain triglycerides). Derived from coconut oil, the soluble fat is thought to give you an energy boost and improve athletic performance.
  • Third-party testing: Since the FDA doesn't regulate collagen powder, Valdez recommends that you make sure the supplements are third-party tested. If the product has a stamp of approval from organizations like Informed Choice, USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab.com, he says you can have peace of mind about the safety of the ingredients.

FAQ

  • What does collagen powder do?

    The reported benefits of consuming collagen powder are wide-ranging, including weight loss, glowing skin, healthy hair, and joint support. However, more research needs to be done to support anecdotal claims.

  • Does collagen powder work?

    "Collagen can improve skin elasticity, aid in wound healing, and lower inflammation," says Valdez. "But there isn't enough evidence to show it is superior to a balanced diet with adequate protein."

    According to Rifkin, collagen powder can be a great source of protein-building amino acids. "Because it aids in the structure of skin, it may possess some beauty benefits too," she adds, explaining that ingesting it could aid in "a more youthful look."

    Gold adds that there are many claims made about what collagen supplements may possess the power to do, but most of them aren’t substantiated. “The strongest claim is in supporting skin elasticity in older women, with some studies showing that just four to 12 weeks of daily collagen powder can reduce fine lines and wrinkles,” she says. “However, studies have been small and many are funded by the collagen supplement industry, which may introduce bias.”

    The jury's still out on whether collagen powder does everything it claims to do, but in the end, it probably won't hurt.

  • Who should take collagen powder?

    “Collagen powder may be a helpful way for some people to meet their protein needs,” Gold explains. “If you have trouble consuming adequate protein or have elevated protein needs, it may be an easy way to boost your intake.” She also has a theory on why collagen supplements are often marketed to older women. “Collagen production does decline with age, and sometimes protein intake can as well, so that may be why some research shows benefits in older women.”

    “There's also been some newer research that type II collagen may support joint health and reduce activity-related joint pain,” she adds. “It may be helpful for some active people or who haven't found relief with other methods.”

  • How is collagen powder made?

    Collagen supplements are made by extracting the collagen from the connective tissues of animals such as cows, fish, and chickens. Collagen peptides are the broken-down elements of the longer protein chain and are more bioavailable and absorbable by humans in this form.

  • What can you mix with collagen powder?

    Collagen powder can be blended into your daily smoothies, soups, and sauces or added to baked goods, dressings, and marinades. An unflavored collagen powder will be the most versatile in the kitchen.

Why Trust Byrdie

Christina Heiser is a beauty and wellness writer with bylines in Women's Health and Everyday Health. Her work regularly appears on websites, including NBC News and A Sweat Life.

Theresa Holland is a commerce writer and regular Byrdie contributor specializing in skincare, wellness, and workout essentials. She interviewed two registered dietitians for this story. With their expert insight in mind, she compiled the best collagen powders for every use and concern. You can find more of her articles on Travel + Leisure and People.

Alyssa Kaplan is an experienced writer in the beauty industry and product tester specializing in cosmetics. She received a bachelor’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she studied marketing and product development in the cosmetics industry as well as fashion business marketing. Alyssa has been a commerce writer at Byrdie since 2022, where she covers all things beauty.

They consulted the following experts to write this story:

  • Sarah Gold, MS, RDN, LDN, a registered dietitian at Sarah Gold Nutrition, LLC who specializes in intuitive eating for moms
  • Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, of Melissa Rifkin Nutrition, a registered dietitian specializing in nutritious eating and weight management
  • Jonathan Valdez, MBA, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and the owner of Genki Nutrition, which offers telehealth-based disease prevention and weight-management programs.
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