Dad tips liquid collagen into his daughter's bowl with a grin, while telling her the best way to take collagen

The Best Way To Take Collagen Explained

With so many different collagen supplements on the market, and so many touted benefits, you may be wondering the best way to take collagen. Is there the best form of collagen to take? Does it lose effectiveness if you put it in coffee? Are there any side effects to worry about?

Today we will answer all those questions and more so you learn the best way to take collagen effectively. We will examine the different types of collagen, what form of collagen is best, when to take collagen, how much to take, and how to find the best supplement for your needs. 

Before we get into the best way to take collagen to reap all its amazing benefits for your body, let’s briefly discuss the different types of collagen you can take. 

Types of collagen

What is collagen? It’s the most abundant protein in your body, and its job is to provide structure, strength, and flexibility to your connective tissues. 

There are an estimated 28 types of collagen in your body, but when it comes to supplements, you will usually find Type I, Type II, and Type III collagen.

What do those mean?

Type I collagen makes up 90% of your body’s collagen. That’s why it’s so popular in supplements – your body needs a lot of it! Type I collagen is found in your skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. 

Type II collagen is found in your cartilage and provides cushion for your joints. Studies show that Type II collagen can successfully reduce arthritis symptoms in your joints. 

Type III collagen is found in your skin and organs. It is most often used for gut health and muscle building.

To be honest, when figuring out the best way to take collagen, the type is a lot less important than the form. That’s because, as long as you have a high-quality supplement, your body can break down and reform the collagen protein into the type of collagen it currently needs!

Even if you have a Type I or Type III collagen supplement, you can still receive joint support if you take it as a daily supplement.

So what is the best way to take collagen? Let’s take a look at the different forms collagen comes in and how effective they are. 

Forms of collagen you can take

Here are some of the forms of collagen you can find in stores:

Topical collagen

If you walk into a beauty department, you will most likely see collagen products. While collagen certainly has lots of benefits for your skin, is topical collagen really the best way to take collagen?

The answer is: NO.

There is no current research showing that topical collagen is effective for collagen synthesis. While the product might hydrate your skin, the collagen molecules are too large to truly penetrate through the layers of your skin. 

If you want to see the best results from your collagen product, the best way to take collagen is to ingest it. 

Collagen in food

So, if it’s better to ingest your collagen, is the best way to take collagen through your food?

Probably not.

While it’s great to increase your collagen intake through your diet, you are going to run into a similar issue to topical collagen. 

Collagen protein in its whole form is difficult to digest. While you will still receive some benefits from eating collagen-rich foods, a lot of the collagen will be passed through your digestive tract before your body can absorb it. 

So it’s great to get collagen from your diet, but that isn’t the best way to take collagen. 

If you want to get more collagen from food, it’s a good idea to eat more:

  • Bone broth
  • Skin-on chicken
  • Organs
  • Sardines
  • Gummy candies that contain gelatin

You can also eat more collagen boosters, which can naturally boost your body’s collagen production. Some collagen boosters include:

  • Fruits high in vitamin C
  • Aloe vera
  • Berries
  • Garlic
  • Beans
  • Bell peppers

Now that we’ve determined that neither topical collagen nor collagen from food is the best way to take collagen, let’s take a look at collagen supplements.

There are generally three forms you can get collagen supplements in: pills, powder, and liquid collagen. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

Collagen pills

You can find many collagen pills on the shelves these days, and they can be in tablet or capsule form. 

Pros: tasteless, convenient, portable

The biggest benefit of taking collagen in pill form is convenience. Pills generally don’t have any flavor, and you can pop them back at any time with a swig of water. 

Cons: poor absorption, small serving size

Many collagen pills contain hardly any collagen. If you want to get your daily dose, you may be popping back 6+ horse pills a day! In addition, the coating on pills makes them harder for your body to absorb than collagen powder or liquid collagen. 

As such, we don’t think pills are the best way to take collagen, but if they work best for you, then go for it!

Collagen powder

As long as it is hydrolyzed, collagen powder is easy to absorb (we’ll explain more on this later). Collagen powder is a favorite of many, but there are pros and cons to this form of collagen. 

Pros: easily absorbed, can be mixed with other foods

A hydrolyzed collagen powder will be easy for your body to digest and absorb. It can also be mixed into coffee, smoothies, protein shakes, or yogurt.

Cons: less convenient

Collagen powder needs to be mixed with something in order to ingest it. This can be a hassle for some people. It can also be difficult to mix the powder thoroughly, and if you end up with clumps on the side of your glass or shaker, it can be difficult to get the proper dose. 

Liquid collagen 

The last form of collagen we will discuss is liquid collagen. Liquid collagen can be pre-made into drinks, or come on its own.

Pros: convenient, easily absorbed

Hydrolyzed liquid collagen is incredibly easy for your body to absorb. You can buy it in a big ready-to-drink bottle, or get single-serve packets that are easy to throw in your pocket, purse, or gym bag and take on the go. 

You don’t need to mix liquid collagen with anything to enjoy it, so we think it's the best way to take collagen for many people.  

Cons: none

There really aren’t any cons with liquid collagen! Just make sure you’re getting your supplement from a reputable source.

The very best way to take collagen

As we discussed above, collagen in its whole form is difficult for your body to digest and absorb. That’s why the best way to take collagen is with a hydrolyzed collagen supplement. 

Hydrolyzed collagen is collagen protein that has been broken down into tiny pieces through the process of hydrolysis. This chemical process makes the supplement much easier to digest. 

The very best way to take collagen is with a powder or liquid collagen supplement that has been hydrolyzed. Better yet, you can look for a product that is nano-hydrolyzed, which means it has gone through the process of hydrolysis multiple times.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between collagen peptides vs hydrolyzed collagen, there isn’t one! Collagen peptides and hydrolyzed collagen are the exact same thing, so if you see either phrase on your label the product should be more bioavailable. 

ProT Gold hydrolyzed collagen protein is nano-hydrolyzed and proven to achieve complete absorption in just 15 minutes or less. With both powder and liquid options to choose between, you can find the collagen supplement that works best for you. 

FAQs about collagen supplementation

Now that you have a good idea of the best way to take collagen based on type and form, let’s answer some of the most common questions about collagen supplementation – how much to take, when to take it, and how long it takes to work, and how to find a high-quality product. 

How much collagen should you take?

If you’re wondering: “How much collagen should I take each day?" There is no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on the supplement you are taking, your specific goals, your body weight, and many other factors. 

If you are just looking to improve your skin, then a simple 5 to 8 grams up to three times daily should suffice.

But if you are hoping to boost muscle mass, improve joint health, or speed wound healing, you should shoot for between 10 to 15 grams of collagen up to three times a day. 

Make sure to read the label on your supplement to learn the best way to take collagen from that company. You can also check with your doctor to make sure the dosage is right for you.

The good news is, it’s safe to take collagen over the recommended dose – you just won’t see any additional benefits. That’s because your body can only digest so much protein at once. 

Since you can’t digest large amounts of protein, you might experience some digestive discomfort if you ignore the recommended dose of collagen. 

When is the best time to take collagen?

Collagen is effective no matter what time of day you take it. So the best time to take collagen is whenever it’s most convenient for you!

Some people like to take it mixed in with their coffee first thing in the morning. Others prefer it in their post-workout protein shake. And many people like to take it right before bed. Just find a time that works into your routine reliably. 

What is the best way to take collagen powder?

The best way to take collagen powder is mixed into a protein shake, glass of water, or cup of coffee. As we mentioned, you can do this at any time of day. The key is ensuring you have a supplement that dissolves fully and is easy to digest. 

You will need to mix up your collagen powder very well to ensure you are getting the proper dosage. If clumps get stuck to the sides or bottom of your glass, you won’t be reaping all the benefits of your supplement. 

Is it safe to take collagen daily?

When taken in the recommended doses, it is safe to take collagen protein as a daily supplement. So if you’re looking for a safe and effective way to improve your health, consider taking a collagen supplement every day.

That being said, make sure to do some research into the company you are getting your product from, and read the label carefully. It’s important to know how to read nutrition labels and supplement labels because collagen supplements generally aren’t regulated by the FDA.

This means there could be additives in your supplement that would make it unsafe, or at the very least unhealthy, as a daily supplement. As long as your collagen supplement comes from a reputable company with good consumer reviews, it should be safe to take daily. 

What is the ideal age to start taking collagen?

Adults of all ages can benefit from collagen. Your natural production of collagen starts to dwindle more each year once you hit your mid-20s.

Often, people begin to take collagen in their mid-20s to improve the look of their skin or hair.

As people get into their 40s and older, they may begin taking daily collagen supplements to help with aching joints, reduce wrinkles, and to help with hair loss.

As collagen is relatively inexpensive and has numerous potential benefits, you should consider taking it as soon as you can. That means the best time to take collagen is now!

Should you take collagen on an empty stomach?

Should you take collagen on an empty stomach? That depends on how your body responds to collagen supplements. 

Some people find that they experience better results if they take their collagen supplement on an empty stomach, with the rationale that your body can focus solely on digesting and absorbing it. 

Others find that the best way to take collagen is with food, as it prevents them from getting an upset stomach. Of course, if you are getting an upset stomach from your collagen supplement, it could be a sign that it is time to change brands. 

A high-quality, hydrolyzed collagen supplement has been formulated for easy digestion - so it’s best to seek one of these out if you have a sensitive stomach. 

Can I take collagen with vitamin C?

Can you take collagen with vitamin C? Absolutely. In fact, the best way to take collagen may be with vitamin C. That’s because vitamin C is necessary for collagen synthesis

So, whether it’s day or night, with food or without food, taking vitamin C and collagen together will easily provide your body with all it needs to utilize your collagen protein.