Senior woman running at a park to increase collagen for joints

The Best Collagen for Joints in 2024 & Why It Works

You may have heard that collagen is one of the most effective natural supplements for joint pain. Depending on the cause of your joint pain, your doctor might even prescribe collagen for joint pain management. 

Joint pain arises for many reasons far beyond aging. People of all ages need effective and convenient ways to manage their joint pain, and a collagen supplement can provide you with just that. 

If you have joint pain and want to address the root cause of your symptoms, then look for the best collagen for joints. 

Managing joint pain requires a culmination of a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, natural supplements, and potentially other medical interventions. While collagen on its own won’t cut it, it can certainly go a long way towards managing your joint pain.

But what makes the best collagen for joints so effective? Let’s take a look at some of the amazing benefits of the best collagen for joints. 

Why is collagen good for managing joint pain?

Collagen protein molecules are the building blocks of your body’s connective tissues, and that includes your joint structure. Protein is essential for healthy joint function, and that’s no surprise since 65-80% of the human body is made up of collagen protein 

Joints, in particular, can only function well with enough cartilage. The cartilage covering your joints is made of up to 90% collagen, making this protein a cornerstone of joint health. That’s why using a supplement like collagen for ligaments and joints then makes sense.

As we age, this cartilage wears down and gets damaged more easily – and it’s slower to heal. Why is cartilage slow to heal? Because the body naturally produces less collagen to repair these joints.  

Joint pain can arise at any age, and for most of us, getting ahead of it should be a priority. With modern science, collagen for joints has become more and more understood, and it is widely accepted that collagen can improve tissue regeneration, repair, and strength. 

Collagen is composed of amino acids, so it is optimal for joint support. When you supplement collagen for joint repair, you are providing your body with the amino acids it needs to construct new collagen protein molecules. 

The best collagen for joints 

Collagen is found in animal products many people eat daily, but collagen in its whole form is not readily bioavailable or digestible. 

There are 5 main types of collagen in the body, each with a different job. When you are looking at the best collagen for joints, you need something that your body can easily digest, break down, and then synthesize new collagen molecules from. 

So, what is the best collagen for joints? 

While collagen is generally a great food for healthy joints, a collagen supplement is only as effective as its absorption rate and your body’s ability to process collagen molecules. The ability to absorb and process collagen largely depends on the collagen brand’s dalton size. 

The “Dalton” is a unit of mass used to measure the size of collagen molecules. While this is not a blanket statement, many collagen supplements use collagen in its whole form. This sounds like it would be a good thing, but in reality, when collagen molecules are consumed in the whole form, they are very difficult for your body to digest.  

Whole collagen molecules found in many collagen supplements are 300,000 daltons in size – which means they are far too large to digest easily. Your stomach pores are the size of 4,000 daltons, so anything larger than that won’t be fully absorbed. 

Hydrolyzed collagen 

Hydrolyzed collagen, on the other hand, has a molecular weight of around 10,000 daltons because it has gone through the chemical process of hydrolysis. 

While hydrolysis does break down the collagen molecules into smaller, more digestible molecules, they are still larger than your stomach pores. 

Your stomach pores really are only large enough to allow molecules up to 4,000 daltons to pass. That’s why we recommend a nano-hydrolyzed collagen, like ProT Powder, that is around 2,000 daltons. The best collagen for joints is going to be nano-hydrolyzed collagen of some kind. 

Since the molecular weight of the collagen protein is smaller than your stomach pores, it is exceptionally easy for your body to process and absorb, making it far more effective. 

If you are looking for a complete protein supplement, then you need to know that collagen is not naturally a complete protein. A complete protein contains all nine of the essential amino acids, and while collagen does contain 19 amino acids, only eight of those are essential. 

ProT Powder and ProT Gold liquid collagen are both fortified with the missing essential amino acid, tryptophan, making them complete protein supplements. 

There are a variety of medical benefits of collagen, and using the best collagen for joint pain can help your body in numerous other ways. 

The best collagen for joints needs to be completely digested quickly – that’s why ProT Gold also added a pre-digested fruit enzyme to the collagen to help the supplement be digested within 15 minutes of consumption.

Powder vs. liquid collagen 

One of the biggest advantages of powder collagen is its versatility. You can easily fit your powder collagen supplement into your daily life and diet by mixing it into drinks, smoothies, yogurt, baked goods, and more. 

Most collagen powders, other than ProT Powder, are going to have collagen molecules in the whole form, which is essentially the same rate of absorption as eating it from bone broth, fish, or eggs. 

With the ProT Gold single-serving liquid pouches, you don’t need to worry about diluting the supplement or adding any water. You can simply massage the packet, open the top, and take the supplement as it is. 

Other natural supplements that help with joint pain

Collagen is not the only natural supplement that is good for joint pain. In fact, taking even the best collagen for joints alone can only do so much. It is advised to work closely with your doctor to get to the root cause of your joint pain so you can start treating more than just the symptoms. 

Consider doing medical nutrition therapy in order to narrow in on the best joint pain management practices for you.  

As you work with a nutritional expert, you will learn that while natural supplements are helpful in managing joint pain, the food you eat and the activities you do also play a role in pain levels. 

Other natural supplements that help with joint pain:  

  • Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory due to the fact that it contains curcumin.
  • Glucosamine is a natural component in cartilage and can help prevent cartilage breakdown.
  • Chondroitin is another building block of cartilage that may prevent breakdown. Glucosamine and chondroitin are often combined in joint supplements.
  • Omega-3s found in algae, flax, and fish contain docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids that have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Boswellia is most often used to treat pain related to arthritis due to anti-inflammatory chemicals it contains.
  • Harpagophytum, also known as Devil’s Claw, contains the chemical harpagoside which is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Not only should you consider the foods to include in your diet, but also consider the foods to eat in limited quantities. Processed foods and foods high in sugars all can increase inflammation. Fried food from fast food restaurants and most junk food would fit into this category. 

When you eat these types of foods, especially on a regular basis, you make it harder for your body to regulate the amount of inflammation around the joints. Inflamed joints are usually the primary cause of joint pain, even when it comes to things like arthritis.

Other foods that can lead to inflammation in your body include gluten and dairy.  

Eating a well-balanced diet doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eliminate all of those inflammatory foods, but it does mean that they should not be eaten in excess. Listen to your body after you eat and notice if there are foods that trigger more inflammation than others.  

Then, start building a whole-food, plant-based diet filled with leafy greens, whole grains, vegetables, and healthy proteins like legumes. 

Plant proteins in the whole form are more easily digestible than animal proteins, and certain plant proteins like soy and hemp are also complete proteins. 

Combined with a complete protein supplement like ProT Powder or ProT Gold liquid collagen, a diet filled with whole foods is ideal. 

Finding the best collagen supplements for joints

Looking for relief from joint pain can feel overwhelming and frustrating. Joint pain impacts every part of your life—from daily function to hobbies and everything in between. When you decide to try a supplement, you want to be sure that it’ll help. 

Finding the best collagen for joints is all in how bioavailable it is. 

Make sure the collagen is bioavailable by checking for the words hydrolyzed, nano-hydrolyzed, or collagen peptides. Then, you’ll want to check for whether it’s a complete protein and look for any information on how digestible it is. 

Finally, make sure it’s available for your daily lifestyle. This is where you decide whether you prefer powdered or liquid collagen and what flavors you like best. 

Joint health is a multi-layered problem, and you’ll want to work with your healthcare team on it. They’ll help you create a plan for exercise and explore other treatments. As you move towards your health goals, a good hydrolyzed collagen protein will support and reinforce your body’s natural healing. 

FAQs about the best collagen for joints

Here are answers to common questions about the best collagen for joints:

Can collagen reverse joint pain? 

The short answer is no; collagen cannot fully reverse joint pain. However, that doesn’t mean that collagen can’t help ease the pain! 

A recent study used placebos to investigate the effect of collagen supplementation on osteoarthritis – the most common cause of age-related joint pain. They found a significant improvement in stiffness and pain when patients received the collagen supplement instead of the placebo.  

Relief for knee pain, on the other hand, might be something you look for even if you don’t have osteoarthritis. That’s why another study examined collagen’s effects on knee pain in younger, active adults. They also found that collagen supplementation helped reduce pain significantly.

Can collagen help with tendonitis? 

Joint pain doesn’t cause ligament pain or vice versa. Different forms of arthritis and tendonitis – or ligament pain and inflammation – often occur side-by-side, though. So if the best collagen for joints can ease pain, is there hope in relief from collagen for ligaments, too?


One study found that a combination of exercise and collagen peptides accelerated recovery in athletes struggling with Achilles Tendinopathy

So now that you see there is a clear benefit of collagen for your joints – both for your ligaments and your cartilage – what type of collagen is the best collagen for joints?

Is type 2 collagen best for joints?

Type 2 collagen is native to your joints, so is it also the best collagen for joints? Yes and no. Like any food, your body breaks down collagen supplements. This means that even if you take type 2 collagen, your body can rearrange it, adding or subtracting molecules so it can effectively repair itself. 

That being said, the best collagen supplements for joints will typically be complete proteins. This means they have all of the essential amino acids needed to make any type of collagen. 

Naturally occurring type 2 collagen sources – like chicken bones – are usually not complete proteins by the time you consume them. 

The best collagen for joints is fortified to include all essential amino acids will be best since they allow your body to do what it does naturally: Absorb nutrients, disassemble them, and put them back together to fit your body’s needs.

What is the best collagen for arthritis pain?

Arthritis can be difficult to live with, but it’s important to remember that even the best collagen for joints isn’t a magic bullet that will reverse all your symptoms. That being said, collagen can be part of the best diet for arthritis and a key part of management. 

When shopping for the best collagen for joints, look for a hydrolyzed collagen supplement to ensure the amino acids are as readily available as possible. This may also say “collagen peptides” on the label.

When it comes to taking collagen for arthritis pain management, consistency is key. Your body will heal in its own time. Your job is to make sure that it has all the proteins and nutrients it needs.