When it comes to deciding what the best way to take your collagen is, you have quite a few options to consider. You can take tablets, capsules, drinks... And did you know you can even get confectionery with collagen added, like gummy bears and chocolate bars? You can get a multitude of different sweet and savoury foods boosted with collagen. An ancient method of collagen consumption was taking bone broth, which has had an enormous comeback over the last few years. That's without even considering taking collagen in topical forms like creams, serums, gels, or even injecting collagen.
So, how do you know which is the best way to take collagen? It can seem like a minefield of products and information! To skip to the best, we'll leave the gimmicky confectionery, fortified foods and lotions for another time and simply look at some of the pros and cons of quality oral collagen peptide supplements. Comparing tablets, capsules and drinks, to find the most effective way to ingest collagen.
Collagen tablets, or collagen pills, as they are sometimes known, are solid round or oval supplements produced with binders and fillers to hold them together. These bulking agents are simply excipients and have no therapeutic value also some people can have sensitivity to certain excipients. Tablets are easy to take, but can be tough on the digestive tract.
Companies try to get high strengths of collagen into individual tablets, so that consumers can take fewer tablets. This can make them difficult to swallow, not only because they are hard, but in order to obtain a good strength of collagen in each tablet, they can be quite large in size. This can make tablets slow in moving through the oesophagus and can irritate the lining of the oesophagus.
Also, a heat process is used to bind the ingredients of tablets together. This exposure to the increase in temperature can destroy vitamins within the supplement, reducing the concentration of nutrients.
We often talk about 'bioavailability' (how well a supplement is absorbed within our body). Considering the various ways we can ingest collagen, tablets are slower to break down and be absorbed by the body.
So, a lot of cons against tablets! On the plus side there are some pros. Tablets are cheaper and some people prefer popping a pill rather than a drink, they are simple to take, no mixing drinks. Although you will need water to help swallow the large number tablets you'll need to take to match the same strength of one collagen drink.
Collagen capsules don't need the extra binders and fillers that tablets do, so you can avoid these unnecessary excipients. Collagen capsules also don't need to go through a heat process like tablets do to bind them, so their nutrient content is not compromised.
The shell of collagen capsules can be vegetable cellulose (hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose - HPMC), or gelatine. Both of these will cause less irritation within our digestive tract, they are more pliable and slide down the oesophagus easier.
Some people even break open capsules and sprinkle the powder into drinks and onto food. So they have the advantage of being versatile. But then again a large number of capsules need to be taken to be comparative in strength to one serving of a collagen drink.
Capsules are able to break down easier than tablets allowing better absorption.
Ready to take collagen liquids are available in collagen sachets with a gel consistency, mini bottles of collagen shots, and various other fortified drinks. These are quick and convenient to take on the go, without having to dilute with water and mix, or swallow a number of pills.
On the downside there is a lot more packaging waste, from either individual plastic sachets, plastic bottles, or individual glass bottles.
This extra packaging and manufacturing individual containers per serving creates a larger carbon footprint. It is also reflected in the price, with liquids being more expensive, not because you are getting a better product, but because of the extra packaging.
Also collagen suspended in a liquid is often flavoured to improve the taste. This can be with sugar alternatives and flavourings, always check for natural flavourings and watch out for preservatives.
Generally a liquid collagen is absorbed much better than tablets and capsules, this will however be dependent on the quality of the collagen.
Collagen powder is the base of all collagen supplements. It is the 'active' part of a collagen tablet, capsule, or premade drink of liquid collagen.
As a powder is the purest way you can ingest collagen, no fuss, no extra processing, additives, flavourings, binders, fillers, shell coatings…nothing, just powdered collagen.
It is important to check it's not just any collagen, ensure that the collagen you choose is pure hydrolysed collagen peptides.
It is versatile, you can add it to anything. Or you can keep it pure and simply mix it with water. If it is good quality collagen powder it will be odourless and tasteless.
The best time to take collagen is just before bed away from food because this is the optimum time for collagen to work naturally with your body when your body is resting and repairing.
Collagen powders can come in tubs, or pouches, usually having one month supply and a convenient scoop to measure dosage.
Powdered collagen is mixed with liquid to consume. Healtharena’s powdered collagen has the optimum bioavailability because of its low molecular weight.
Considering all of the pros and cons of various ways to take collagen, at Healtharena we don't do tablets. We believe collagen powder is the best way to take collagen.
It has also been scientifically proven that additional components can enhance the effectiveness of pure collagen. An important component is Vitamin C proven to contribute to collagen formation, also Hyaluronic Acid, which works well alongside collagen to help hydrate cells and tissues, and finally Green Tea a potent antioxidant. Together this combination gives optimum results.
We use reusable, re-sealable pots for our customers' first order and then offer Eco friendly refill pouches for further orders. This reduces costs and our carbon footprint. A win for everyone including the environment!