When you’re searching for the best collagen for joints, getting lost in the sea of options is all too easy. Should you use a powder or liquid supplement? What does it mean when you see “hydrolyzed” or “peptides” on a label? What about dosage?
When you’re looking for shoulder, hip, or knee joint pain relief, you need the best collagen product for joint health. In this article, we’ll be doing a deep dive into the best collagen for joints so you can make an informed decision about your supplement.
To start, we’ll cover how and why collagen can help relieve joint pain. From there, we’ll talk about which differences in collagen supplements can impact how effective they are and which ones come down to personal choice.
Before we get into the best collagen for joints, let’s begin with a quick refresher on why collagen impacts joints at all.
Is collagen worth taking for joint pain?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, accounting for about 30% of all the protein in your body. It’s often described as one of the “building blocks” of the human body since many of our body parts couldn’t function without it.
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. As we age, this cartilage wears down and gets damaged more easily – and it’s slower to heal.
Why is cartilage slow to heal? In the case of age-related joint pain, one reason is simply that as you get older, your body naturally produces less collagen to repair these joints. And since your body doesn’t produce the collagen on its own, taking one of the best collagen supplements for joints can help ease some joint pain.
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.
Knee joint pain relief, 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 is the best type of collagen for joints?
Which type of collagen is best for joints?
There are 5 main types of collagen in the body, each with a different job. When we’re looking at the best collagen for joints, it’s important to remember that your body will break down any collagen supplement into its most basic parts… or at least, it’ll do the best it can.
While collagen in general is a great food for healthy joints, a collagen supplement is only as effective as its absorption rate and your body’s ability to process the collagen molecules. The ability to absorb and process collagen largely depends on that 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.
The best collagen for joints will be “hydrolyzed” or broken down into smaller daltons, which we’ll talk more about in a moment.
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 might 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.
Collagen supplements that are 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 collagen 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.
What matters when choosing a collagen supplement?
The most important thing to check when looking for the best collagen for joints is how “bioavailable” it is. That is, how easily can your body absorb the collagen? Not to sound like a broken record, but hydrolyzation is key here.
Collagen peptides benefits have often been minimized in the beauty industry, but they do so much more. Collagen is a key part of what keeps our bodies healthy and strong, and the best collagen supplements for joints will benefit your whole body!
The way our bodies absorb and process supplements – and even food – isn’t fully understood. That’s why research into the best collagen for joints and general treatment for joint pain is still ongoing. From what we do know, though, here’s what makes a difference in your collagen supplement and what comes down to personal preference.
Hydrolyzed vs. non-hydrolyzed collagen
When it comes to the best collagen for joints, the number one factor is the absorption rate. If the supplement has an effective absorption rate and your body can fully process the nutrients and amino acids, it’s a good quality supplement for joint health.
ProT Gold goes one step further - it is a nano-hydrolyzed collagen supplement.
When collagen is nano-hydrolyzed, it means that the collagen molecules have gone through the process of hydrolysis more than once, making them even smaller and easier for your body to absorb.
Remember, your stomach pores are much smaller than the standard whole collagen molecule. By using a nano-hydrolyzed collagen supplement, the molecules will actually be capable of fitting through those stomach pores instead of simply passing by and going to waste.
You might wonder why our main focus in the best collagen for joints is how easy the supplement is to digest. It’s simple: If your body cannot process and break down the collagen molecules into amino acids, collagen supplements will be ineffective for joint support and repair.
When collagen is being digested fully in your body, it is broken down into all of the amino acids that make up that molecule. If it cannot be broken down completely, then it will never make it to your small intestine to start circulation in your bloodstream.
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
Powder protein supplements are everywhere, and it’s no surprise that the powder form of collagen is popular too. 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.
ProT Gold offers both powder and liquid collagen supplements, providing everything the best collagen for joints needs in convenient, single-serve pouches.
With the 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.
Just be sure you’re looking for a collagen supplement that is hydrolyzed or nano-hydrolyzed and fortified to be a complete protein. Otherwise, whether you choose powder or liquid collagen doesn't impact how effective it will be.
Flavored vs. unflavored collagen
This one really doesn’t impact the effectiveness of your collagen supplement at all!
Flavors are often added to help mask or alleviate unpleasant tastes or aftertastes. Some people might find that flavors like chocolate, vanilla, or orange creme make taking collagen more pleasant.
Others might prefer unflavored collagen that they can mix into soups or teas without impacting the flavor of the food. This is completely up to you!
You should never let a flavor be the sole reason you do or don’t choose a particular collagen supplement. You should also make sure the flavor isn’t created by lots of added sugars. If you’re taking a supplement with a lot of sugar, it can negate some of the health benefits!
The most important thing to look for is whether your collagen is hydrolyzed. After that, make sure that the collagen supplement is a complete protein. Flavor is a nice bonus, but you don’t want to pass up the best collagen for joints because it doesn’t happen to be your favorite flavor!
Finding the best collagen supplements for joints
Looking for relief from joint pain can feel overwhelming and frustrating. It’s a condition that impacts every part of your life – from daily function to hobbies and everything in-between. And 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 readily available it is. First, you want to 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. And as you’re moving towards your health goals, a good hydrolyzed collagen protein will support and reinforce your body’s natural healing.