In this article:
- Why is it necessary to supplement with collagen?
- Main quality prerequisites to consider when shopping for a collagen supplement
- Collagen pills: pros & cons
- Collagen powder: pros & cons
When choosing a supplement, some may say, “What difference does it make?” As long as we’re taking our supplements regularly, the form in which you take them doesn’t matter - right? Well, not exactly. Sometimes, taking a certain supplement can do more harm than good, if you aren’t extremely particular with your quality expectations.
In terms of what seems to be the endless pills vs. powder debate, we cannot precisely say that you’re making a huge mistake with either. However, if you want the best value for your money, and you’d like to witness those collagen supplement benefits ASAP, you should be very picky when it comes to your go-to collagen supplement.
But, how does one cherry-pick a supplement nowadays, when the market is overflooded with so many new products, and the selection seems to be endless? You’re gonna need a quality-check cheatsheet in order to avoid getting caught up in this chaos, and we’re here to provide you with all the needed guidelines. Read on!
Before adding any collagen product to your cart, we guess you’d like to learn more about its importance and potential benefits. Collagen, being the most abundant protein in humans, is crucial in numerous bodily functions, among which its structural role prevails. Being a structural protein, collagen is responsible for the health of joints, largely influencing mobility. According to Medical News Today, as we age, the sponge-like cartilage of the joints deteriorates, jeopardizing our ability to engage in activities and enjoy life to the fullest.
Whether you’re an athlete, an amateur, or you’d like to avoid or manage mobility issues or inflammation, all-natural collagen supplementation is highly recommended. Even when it comes to more serious health conditions, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, collagen hydrolysate has been found to help ease symptoms of these chronic issues. In fact, collagen has been found to have a significant anti-inflammatory effect, which makes it particularly important when it comes to recovery. What’s more, collagen has also been shown to improve bone density, in addition to supporting bone formation, a study on biological bone markers and hydrolyzed collagen finds.
You’ve probably been hearing and reading all about collagen as dermatologists and beauty gurus haven’t stopped raving about it for years now. Yes, collagen is predominant in skin health, appearance, and structure. As a matter of fact, collagen makes up 75-80% of the entire skin surface - hence its inevitable role in skin health. A study on the effects of nutritional supplements emphasizes the importance of hydrolyzed collagen supplement in skin elasticity, hydration, as well as the improvement of wrinkles. In addition, supplementing with collagen has been found to improve the overall state of skin, affecting the dermal matrix directly, a study by Proksch E. et al. suggests.
What’s more, collagen is a great choice for your pre- and post-workout nutrition, as it has shown to work well with resistance training. Namely, in this study, sarcopenic men who took 15g of collagen peptides supplement a day while training noticed a significant improvement in lean muscle growth, as well as strength.
Now that we’ve reminded you of collagen’s immense value, or shed some light on less-known benefits, we can move on to tips and tricks for finding the best collagen supplement for your needs - so start taking notes!
Before addressing the burning question regarding the most desirable form of collagen supplement, it is important to talk about quality control. Is this really your job? Well, not literally, since the products on trusted websites and stores have already passed this test. We’re talking about your personal quest for the best value for your money because supplements certainly do differ in some quality aspects.
You don’t want to settle for anything less than an all-natural, clean-sourced collagen supplement. Go for the products which have the source of the ingredients, as well as the list of the ingredients themselves, clearly displayed on the product's labelling. Also, a general rule of thumb to follow is that the more ingredients - the lower the quality! The ingredient list for premium collagen brands should be short and simple, with as few additives as possible. You want your body to receive the collagen in its purest form! Amandean all-natural Collagen Peptides, as well as Beef Gelatin, are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised South-American cows, while Marine Collagen comes from wild-caught cod from the North Atlantic.
In order to disguise the taste of the product, or make up for some of its downsides, certain companies tend to overload their supplements with different kinds of additives. With all the chemical processing present in the food industry today, you want to avoid additives in your supplementation as much as possible. Our products are fat-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and of course - non-GMO.
According to Molecular Cell Biology, there are at least 16 types of collagen, and each of them has a specific role in the human body. Although there are many different types, type I, II, and III are the prevalent kinds when it comes to collagen in the human body, accounting for about 80-90% of the total amount. Therefore, in order to grab the majority of benefits, you should opt for a non-GMO collagen supplements containing one or more of these dominant collagen types.
If you decide to go with the powdered version of collagen, you’ll have the option of mixing your collagen into your favorite beverages and treats, so it’s important that you pick a highly soluble formula. In addition, you don’t want the collagen supplement to alter the taste or the smell of your mix, so go with the unflavored & odorless formulas. Collagen peptides should not alter the texture of your drink or meal, while Beef Gelatin can be used as a fat-free, gluten-free thickener!
So, now that collagen has made it to the very top of your shopping list, let’s talk form. Are all collagen supplements made equal? Absolutely not. But in order for you to take all the facts into consideration and come to a fair decision, we will present both sides with all their pros and cons. What works for one person may not be the best choice for you, so this breakdown of each option should help you make up your mind.
When it comes to collagen pills, one of the biggest advantages of this type of supplementation seems to be the actual form. There is no measuring, you can take them anywhere you want, and all you need is a sip of water or liquid. You don’t have to worry about stirring or mixing them into your drink, so we could say supplementing with pills is a more convenient method.
However, when you’re taking a pill, you’re limited to its dosage which is predetermined. Therefore, depending on the dose of the capsule, you will probably need to take a few of them during the day in order to take in the quantity you're aiming for. This can be a bit of a hassle, especially for those of you who have trouble swallowing pills, as 40% of Americans do.
Also, the fact that you cannot mix pills into your drinks and meals may be perceived as a disadvantage for some. For instance, all-natural Grass-Fed Beef Gelatin is an easy-to-use thickening agent which is a healthy replacement for gluten-packed alternatives such as plain flour.
Another term you’ll hear quite a lot during a pill vs. powder debate is bioavailability. No, it isn’t just another big word - bioavailability should actually be on the top of your priority list when choosing a supplement. Bioavailability represents the rate of absorption of a certain nutrient, and whether a nutrient is able to reach the bloodstream or the cells that need it most without getting dissolved in the process of digestion. As far as collagen pills are concerned, it should be noted that pills have a delayed release due to a pill needing some time to dissolve, which means that they do not guarantee quick absorption.
Last but certainly not least - ingredients. When it comes to pills, the actual collagen capsule is usually made from gelatin, which is a plus when it comes to collagen supplements. However, pills often contain other ingredients, referred to as inactive ingredients. According to a study on inactive ingredients in pills, these components, such as gluten, lactose, and even chemical dyes, may cause digestive discomfort or allergic reaction in some individuals. The reason behind the addition of these potentially harmful ingredients in some pills may be prolonged shelf-life, improved taste, as well as absorption, etc.
When it comes to convenience, collagen powder may not be the best solution, as no one would even bother taking large containers with them everywhere they go. However, having convenience in mind, many brands, including Amandean have created collagen nutrition on-the-go - collagen powder stick packs that can literally fit in your pocket. Convenience achieved!
Moving on, some people may be discouraged by the fact that collagen powder requires mixing or stirring, as it’s meant to be dissolved rather than taken on its own. While this may be a problem for some people, others will be happy to learn that there are dozens of recipes with collagen powder, that can elevate your dishes and beverages adding a number of benefits. Possibilities are endless!
In case you’re among those 40% of Americans who have difficulty swallowing pills, collagen supplements in powder form represent a perfect solution. Struggling with swallowing a pill occasionally is one thing, but having to swallow 2-3 of them on a daily basis is a sacrifice you don’t have to endure. In addition, collagen powder gives you the freedom to determine your own doses, as opposed to being limited to the dose of the pill. Speaking of doses - 1 to 2 10g scoops a day is all you need!
One of the strongest assets of collagen powder is the form of the collagen itself. Hydrolyzed collagen powder is available in the form of collagen peptides, which are small protein chains, easily absorbed in the body. Collagen hydrolysate offers high bioavailability as peptides are already “prepared” for the body to use effectively. A study on determination of bioavailability concluded that collagen peptides offer high oral bioavailability, as they were absorbed directly from the intestine. What’s more, during the process of hydrolysis, collagen becomes absolutely soluble, as well as tasteless and odorless, which makes it easy to include collagen powder in different recipes. Most people don't even know it's there.
What is it that you’re looking for in your collagen supplement? What kind of supplement form will allow you to develop a healthy habit of consuming collagen daily? At the end of the day, it all comes down to your personal preferences and priorities - as long as quality comes first. Discover more clean-sourced quality supplements in our online store.