Is Liquid Collagen Better than Powder Collagen?

Table of contents

  1.  What is collagen?
  2. Most abundant types of collagen
    1. 2a. Type 11
    2. 2b. Type 11
    3. 2c. Type 111
  3. What are the potential benefits of collagen (1)
  4. Natural collagen
  5. How is collagen digested? 
  6. How much collagen should I take a day?
  7. Liquid collagen vs. Powder collagen
    1. Liquid collagen
    2. Powder collagen
  8. Research about liquid vs. powder collagen vs. placebo.
  9. Is liquid or powder collagen better?
  10. Tips for choosing a collagen


What is Collagen?

Collagen is an essential protein produced by the body. It is the main structural protein found in the skin, tendon, and bone. Collagen is found in bones, ligaments, tendons, skin, blood vessels and internal organs. It helps provide elasticity and strength. As you age, you begin to lose the collagen within your body, making it harder to make more.

At least 30% of the protein content in your body is made from collagen. Collagen is made up of four amino acids, proline, glycine, lysine, and hydroxyproline. They are the building blocks for protein. These amino acids group together to form a triple helix, and make up collagen. For this triple helix to form, you need enough vitamin C, zinc, copper, and manganese in your diet.

Protein is composed of 20 amino acids, 11 are produced by our bodies and the other 9 are essential, and 9 from food. Foods are considered a complete protein when it contains the 9 essential amino acids. Collagen is a protein and contains 19 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids, missing the essential amino tryptophan. By definition, collagen isn’t a complete protein. Despite not being a complete protein, their amino acids and bioactive peptides that are unique to collagen and help optimize your body’s collagenous tissues. Some supplements have fortified tryptophan into their collagen, but this requires heavy processing of fragile amino acids which could destroy them and generate toxins.

29 types of collagen have been identified within the human body, with three types making up the vast majority.

Most abundant types of collagen

Type I  Found in bones, ligaments, tendons, and skin for elasticity and strength. It makes up 90% of our body’s collagen.

Type II  This type is found in elastic cartilage, which provides joint support.

Type III  This type is found in muscles, arteries, and organs.

Most collagen supplements contain types I, II, and III, which account for most of the collagen found in your body. They have a digestible form of collagen called collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen.

What are the potential benefits of collagen (1)

  1. Skin Health
  2. Heart health
  3. Improve muscle mass
  4. Improve bone mass
  5. Wound Healing
  6. Dental Health
  7. Prevent Sarcopenia-muscle wasting
  8. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  9. Gastroesophageal Reflux
  10. Blood vessel health
  11. Osteoarthritis

Natural collagen

Certain foods, including bone broth, beef, fish, chicken, dairy, and eggs, either contain collagen or help your body produce it by providing essential amino acids and other nutrients needed.

Because your body can produce all of the collagen you need if you eat a balanced diet, supplements may not be necessary for everyone. Still, you may choose to do so to reap certain health benefits or help treat collagen deficiency or other conditions.

How is collagen digested? 

If you plan to take a collagen supplement, the body cannot be absorbed in its whole form, either in liquid or powder form. The body breaks down the triple helix that makes up collagen. It will be broken down into individual amino acids within the gastrointestinal tract before reaching the bloodstream. The body will then reassemble and form new proteins where it deems necessary.

These new proteins may not contain the same amino acids that were initially ingested in the collagen supplement, and it is unknown if these restructured proteins will target the area a supplement manufacturer is advertising. Therefore, it is undetermined now if the body will use a collagen supplement advertised to help certain health concerns. 

From a general health perspective, ensuring adequate protein within your diet is important. Your protein needs to increase slightly as you age to maintain lean body mass. Consuming foods that contain the primary amino acids that makeup collagen may help support skin, hair, nail, and joint health as you age.