Do collagen supplements actually work?
Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: To receive the maximum benefits from collagen peptides, you need to know how to find a high-quality supplement. The best collagen supplements place rigorous standards on how (and where) they source, how they extract collagen and which ingredients they use (or rather, don't use).
Below, we explain how to find the best collagen supplement on the market, so you can make an educated buying decision.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body. Collagen is filled with beneficial amino acids (the building blocks of protein), with glycine, proline and hydroxyproline making up the bulk of collagen. You can find collagen in nearly every connective tissue, including ligaments, cartilage, bones, hair, skin and nails.
There are 28 different types of collagen found in your body, with type I, II, and III being the most common. Together, these three types of collagen are responsible for the health of your skin, hair, bones, teeth, tendons, ligaments and organs (types I), your cartilage (type II), and your muscles and blood vessels (type III).
Unfortunately, your natural collagen production declines as you age. In fact, some studies find that collagen production decreases as much as 68% throughout your lifetime.
Here's the bad news: Decreased collagen production leads to a decrease in skin elasticity (causing fine lines and wrinkles), dry, damaged hair, decreased bone density and stiff joints (due to a decrease in healthy cartilage).
Now, for the good news: Collagen supplements, like hydrolysed collagen peptides, can help make up for some of the collagen lost due to aging.
You just need to know what to look for.
How Do You Find a High-Quality Collagen Supplement?
The market is filled with collagen supplements, from face masks to skincare serums to capsules and powders. As with any other industry, there's a spectrum as to which products are high quality, and which are just clever marketing ploys.
When searching for the best collagen supplements on the market, keep the following standards in mind:
Collagen dietary supplements are extracted from the bones and connective tissues of animals. The healthier the animal, the higher quality the end product will be.
When purchasing collagen from cattle (bovine collagen), search for collagen from pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle. Grass-fed bovine collagen is of higher quality than bovine extracted from grain-fed animals.
When purchasing marine collagen peptides — collagen from fish — search for a product sourced from wild-caught fish. In some cases, farmed fish can contribute to pollution, habitat damage, parasites and other disease spreaders and other factors that negatively impact the environment. Fish feed can also be made from soy, which can be produced in ways that are harmful to the environment.
When searching for the best collagen supplement, search for a product with one ingredient: collagen. Avoid products with fillers, additives, preservatives or bulking agents, even if they seem harmless at first (for example — many products are fortified with vitamin C or B, which is often not necessary and lessens the purity of the product).
When purchasing marine collagen, the product should be made almost entirely (if not completely) of type I collagen. Type I collagen has been shown to improve skin hydration, reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, boost strong bones and reduce joint pain, helping your joints to absorb the shock of exercise and recover well after.
When purchasing bovine collagen, search for a product made with type I and type III collagen. Type III collagen is imperative to the health of muscles, skin and blood vessels. For this reason, collagen protein powder is often consumed within a post-exercise recovery drink, allowing your muscles to rebuild post-workout.
There are a number of ways to produce collagen products. Unfortunately, some methods could be harmful to your health.
When searching for the best collagen supplements, look for a product produced through hydrolysis (written as hydrolyzed collagen, hydrolysed collagen, collagen hydrolysate or collagen peptides on the label). Collagen products produced through other methods can be exposed to harmful heat, solvents or contaminants which can be harmful to your health.
Hydrolysed collagen carries a low molecular weight, has antioxidant properties (which can reduce free radicals in the body) and is typically more bioavailable (i.e., it's more easily absorbed) than other products. The high bioavailability encourages collagen synthesis to take place within your body, thereby delivering the health benefits of collagen. (But don’t take our word for it — just see what our customers have to say.)
Why Hunter & Gather Bovine and Marine Collagen Peptides Are the Best Collagen Supplements
When evaluating a collagen powder based on its ingredients, sourcing and production methods, Hunter & Gather products are arguably the best collagen supplements on the market.
Both Hunter & Gather Marine Collagen Peptides and Bovine Collagen Peptides contain just one ingredient, are sourced through sustainable, environmentally safe means and are produced through hydrolysis. In addition, both products are grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free (making them keto-friendly), free from toxins and microbes (lab-verified), and also non-GMO.
Both products are made through a natural enzymatic hydrolysis, increasing the bioavailability of each. In fact, 90% of these collagen peptides are absorbed within a few hours after taking (which is faster than bone broth or gelatin).
Lastly, both products are packaged in 100% plastic free, compostable and recyclable packaging, making them safe for the environment.
Hunter & Gather Bovine Collagen Peptides
Hunter & Gather Bovine Collagen Peptides are extracted from grass-fed cattle raised in France. As the European Union (EU) has rigorous standards regarding cattle production and husbandry, you can rest assured these cattle were never exposed to antibiotics, hormones or pesticides.
Hunter & Gather Bovine Collagen Peptides are made with type I and type III collagen, leading to improved skin, bone and joint health. Lastly, the peptides are allergen-free, making them an excellent choice for those with a fish allergy.
Hunter & Gather Marine Collagen Peptides
Hunter & Gather Marine Collagen Peptides are sourced from 100% wild-caught white fish. They contain just one ingredient — type 1 collagen — which can provide a number of anti-ageing benefits for your skin, support strong bones and even support the health of your corneas.
While slightly more expensive than bovine collagen, marine collagen is ideal to consume for pescatarians, or those that cannot consume cattle-based products. Like bovine collagen, they are keto and paleo-friendly, but are not safe to consume for those with a fish allergy.
Search Hunter & Gather for the Best Collagen Supplements
While collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, your own collagen production declines as you age.
Collagen supplementation can lead to significant improvements in your skin, hair, joint, muscle and bone health. However, before searching for any collagen booster supplement on Amazon, you should do your research.
The best collagen supplements will always contain just one ingredient, be extracted from healthy animals and be produced through hydrolysis. Hunter & Gather products are extracted from grass-fed cattle and wild-caught fish, are produced through natural enzymatic hydrolysis for faster absorption and contain just one ingredient. To see for yourself how regular collagen supplementation can help improve your overall health, try Hunter & Gather collagen peptides today.
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.