Which is better: Liquid or powdered collagen?

Is Liquid Collagen Better Than Powdered?

What is Collagen and What Does It Do In Your Body?

You've heard about collagen if you've walked into a grocery store or health food store in the last few years. You may be wondering what all the fuss is about. It's worth your attention! Let's look at what collagen is and why liquid collagen is so much better.

Collagen is a vital protein found everywhere in the human body. It provides structure, strength, and elasticity to various tissues and organs, and is the most abundant protein in our bodies.  It comprises approximately 30% of all proteins of which we're made.

Often referred to as the "glue" that holds the body together, collagen peptides play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin, bones, lean muscle mass, tendons, and ligaments.

The human body consists of at least 28 different collagen types, each serving a specific purpose. Type I collagen, for instance, is present in tendons, skin, and bones, providing toughness and integrity. Type II collagen is mainly found in cartilage, ensuring flexibility and shock absorption in joints.

While there are many exotic collagen products on the market, here's a big secret: if you give your body Type 1 collagen, it will make all 27 other types on its own; your body just needs a good kickstart!

Health Direct | No need to kill the chicks - take Type 1 Collagen and your body will make all 27 other types of collagen on its own. Type II Collagen comes from the sternums of baby chickens.

One of the primary functions of collagen peptides is skin health. It forms a fibrous network that helps maintain skin elasticity and firmness, preventing the development of wrinkles and sagging. As we age, the production of collagen decreases, leading to visible signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of skin elasticity. Helping us to stay youthful looking is why collagen has become a popular ingredient in anti-aging skincare products.

Collagen is also essential for the parts you don't see; it helps build healthy bones and joints. It provides the structural framework that gives our bones their strength and resilience, preventing fractures and promoting proper bone growth. Similarly, collagen in joint cartilage acts as a cushion, reducing friction and allowing smooth movement. Without sufficient collagen, our achy joints can become weak, our cartilage deteriorates, and we become creaky and stiff.

Health Direct USA | Collagen is the glue that holds everything together

Collagen supplementation really burst onto the medical scene 40 years ago for wound healing and tissue repair. When the body suffers an injury, collagen is instrumental in the formation of scar tissue, aiding in the regeneration and replacement of damaged skin, muscles, and organs. It acts as a scaffolding for new cells to grow and rebuild the damaged area. Bed sores are one of the most challenging aspects of patient care in long-term stays. By creating an easily assimilated form of collagen, wound healing can be managed quickly and provide the relief patients desperately need. 

Collagen also plays a role in maintaining healthy hair, nails, and teeth. It provides the necessary strength and structure to these tissues, preventing hair breakage, brittle nails, and dental issues.

To make collagen, certain nutrients are crucial. Vitamin C, in particular, is essential for collagen synthesis. It is a cofactor in the enzymatic reactions needed to make collagen. A diet rich in protein, such as lean meats, fish, and dairy products, also supports collagen synthesis.

When you're shopping for a collagen supplement - whether your personal preference is liquid or powdered type of collagen - be sure to note how many grams of collagen peptides you're getting.  Many labels list milligrams to disguise the low protein content.  This is especially true in pre-made liquid collagen drinks that often supply just 1 or 2 grams of collagen. Collagen's natural flavor is difficult to mask, especially the marine collagens.

As we age, collagen production naturally declines; we lose about 1% more of our collagen each year. So, taking care of our collagen levels is not only essential for a youthful appearance, but also for overall health and well-being.

Liquid v. Powdered - What's the Best Form of Collagen

Deciding what kind of collagen to use can be a headache. There are exotic combinations, powdered, added other nutrients, flavors, and a myriad of claims about what each product can do for you. When Health Direct introduced collagen in stores and through direct sales over 27 years ago, it was a lone product on the shelf. Today there are entire sections in the store with a dizzying array of products to choose from - but does that mean they are better?

First, you need to understand that collagen is a big molecule.  The collagen you get from boiling a carcass for bone broth is like a giant wooly mammoth lumbering along in your digestive tract.  Your body has to do some heavy-duty digesting to break it down so it can be absorbed into your bloodstream and become food for your body. Your body has a time clock on digestion; it's moving things along at a steady pace. Consequently, not much collagen gets digested AND absorbed in the race against your digestive clock.

To address the absorption problem, companies began pre-digesting collagen.  This is a process called hydrolyzation. Most companies use acids to digest the products they get collagen from (bovine, porcine, fish skin, or jellyfish.) Health Direct uses a process that was patented for hospital use that breaks collagen down using natural fruit enzymes. But one pass at hydrolyzation still results in a big molecule.

Each pass at digesting down collagen is an expense to the company selling it.  Most companies stop at two times to keep their prices low. But this doesn't benefit you - the person looking to benefit from collagen.

Health Direct hydrolyzes their collagen three times so it's broken down into the smallest micropeptides available. Because they are so small, these predigested collagen protein peptides require almost no digestion.  They can go straight into your bloodstream when ingested.

And here's another collagen secret: REAL collagen does not taste good as-is, whether it's liquid or powdered. So, all the collagen you see on store shelves has to be made palatable. It's important to read labels to understand how each company overcomes the taste barrier.

So now let's look at the difference between liquid and powdered collagen.

Liquid collagen supplements offer a convenient way to boost collagen levels in the body. To be clear, a liquid collagen supplement does not mean powdered collagen dissolved into water - that's a marketer's slick trick.

Just take an ounce or two or actual liquid collagen directly or mix it into a glass of water or juice, and you're good to go. Liquid collagen is readily absorbed into the bloodstream, allowing for maximum bioavailability. This means that your body can quickly and efficiently utilize the collagen, resulting in potentially faster results. And, because the peptides are so small, they are considered bio-identical proteins.

Health Direct | Powdered collagen can be gritty and doesn't always dissolve.

On the other hand, powdered collagen supplements are often bulked up additional ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, offering added health benefits with an added price increase too. You may find an "unflavored" collagen, but you'll want to mask it with something like juice or a smoothie. Flavored collagens can be mixed with liquids, but be sure to drink them up fast. Collagen means glue for a reason, which becomes abundantly clear if you leave a dirty glass for long.

Regardless of the form you choose, the quality of the collagen supplement is paramount. Look for products derived from high-quality sources, such as grass-fed or wild-caught animals, to ensure maximum efficacy. (There is no vegan collagen at this time in the market.) Again, consider the processing methods used; excessive heat or chemicals can compromise the integrity of the collagen you're buying. 

Liquid Collagen - Ready To Go

We touched on this before, but liquid collagen's high absorption rate sets it apart from other collagen supplements. This is due to the fact that it is already in liquid form. When taken orally, it quickly enters the bloodstream and is readily available for the body to use. This efficient delivery system ensures maximum collagen intake and more pronounced benefits.

Further, the fundamental advantage of liquid supplements lies in their ability to bypass the lengthy digestion process that powdered forms undergo. When a supplement is in liquid form, it is pre-dissolved, eliminating the need for the body to break it down before nutrients can be released and absorbed. This accelerated process ensures that the body can access the nutrients almost instantaneously, providing an immediate boost to your overall health.

Liquid supplements can also easily enter the bloodstream directly from the mouth, thanks to their high bioavailability. Compared to powdered supplements that need to be broken down by stomach acid or enzymes before they can pass through the intestinal walls, liquid supplements enter the bloodstream faster and are rapidly distributed throughout the body. This increased bioavailability enhances the supplement's effectiveness, allowing the body to absorb and utilize a significantly larger amount of nutrients.

Additionally, the liquid form of supplements offers the advantage of enhanced nutrient stability. Solid supplements, particularly those in tablet or capsule forms, often require binders, fillers, or coatings to maintain their structural integrity. These additional additives may affect the overall absorption rate and efficiency. On the other hand, liquid supplements do not require such additives, providing a pure and unadulterated source of nutrients.

Health Direct USA | You can turn anything into a protein drink with a fully dissolved, ready to go liquid collagen shot with 10 GRAMS of protein peptides that are instantly absorbed into the bloodstream. Virtually no digestion needed.

And, of course, we cannot overlook the convenience and ease of use that liquid supplements offer. Unlike powders, which often need to be swallowed as capsules or mixed with lots of water or juice, liquid supplements can be consumed directly from the bottle or even made into a tasty mocktail. For people who have difficulty swallowing pills or those with a super fast-paced life, it's easy to get the benefits of collagen without any hassle.

It is worth mentioning that not all liquid supplements are created equal. The quality and formulation of the product play a significant role in its absorption rate, effectiveness, and noticeable benefits. 

The accelerated benefits you'll notice from liquid collagen are not limited to its skincare-from-the-inside-out visible results. It will strengthen hair and nails, rebuild and support joint health, improve joint flexibility, and reduce inflammation. Liquid collagen can also help alleviate joint pain, making it a popular choice among athletes and individuals with arthritis.

Hot tip: Get the most out of your regular liquid collagen by taking it before bed. When we sleep, our bodies go into rebuild and rejuvenate mode. When your body has the best possible building blocks to work with, it can efficiently do its work.

Collagen works because it's a source of essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and play a crucial role in various bodily functions. With its high concentration of amino acids, liquid collagen provides more of what your body needs.

Collagen Powder - Mixing Required

Taking powdered collagen requires extra effort before it is ready for consumption. Typically powdered needs to be mixed with water or another liquid before you can take them. You'll need to do this to optimize the flavor, texture, or consistency of the product.

I shared the secret of taking your collagen before bed, but typically powdered collagen needs a good 8 ounces of water.  If you do that before bedtime, you'll be up in the night to pee. That robs you of a good night's sleep which is a benefit of the glycine in collagen!

Powdered collagen can also get clumpy. We often assume those blobs of collagen will be fully dissolved in our bodies, allowing for maximum absorption and effectiveness. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Powdered collagen may not be fully dissolved, leading to lower absorption rates and potentially diminishing the desired outcomes...and wasting your money.

When collagen doesn't easily absorb into your bloodstream, it can lead to an imbalance of which amino acids you get and even an uneven distribution of the active substance in the body. Complete dissolution of powdered collagen in the body is not guaranteed, which can have consequences for its effectiveness.

The Best Collagen Is the One You'll Take

Whatever forms of collagen supplement you use, in our fast-paced, busy lives, I've found that convenience is key. We are always on the go, juggling various responsibilities and looking for ways to save time. This is where the ready-to-drink format is a big benefit. Whether we are rushing to catch a train, heading to the gym, or simply need a quick energy boost during the day, having a collagen protein shot that is ready to consume without any preparation is a game-changer.

For daytime use, the easy-to-take shot format has revolutionized the way we consume collagen - we can throw it in a briefcase or bag and be ready for a midday boost if needed. The ready-to-drink format locks in all the flavors and nutrients until they are ready to be consumed. This means that we can enjoy a delicious and satisfying shot without worrying about degradation, oxidation, or spoilage. Our climate-controlled nightstand makes a bedside nightcap just a simple sip and sleep.

Either way, whether you're using a shot or taking a daily dose from your home supply of liquid collagen, there's no precision needed, no funky smells, and no extensive clean-up with liquid collagen. For powdered collagen (especially grass-fed bovine collagen), it's a different, messy, and sometimes stinky story.

All of us, regardless of age or gender, want to age gracefully with great skin and healthy joints that allow us to continue to explore the world. Postmenopausal women especially want the added benefits of collagen's skin-firming components and its ability to keep a healthy, lustrous head of hair. None of us wants the wrinkles, sagging skin, and loss of elasticity that comes with declining levels of collagen. The benefits of collagen supplementation to your diet can help counteract these effects by replenishing the body's collagen levels, improving skin hydration, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Collagen deficiencies can also affect our joint health and bone mineral density. The cartilage, which acts as a cushion between bones, allowing smooth and pain-free movement wears and tears over time which leads to discomfort and reduced mobility. Collagen, as a key component of cartilage, helps to maintain joint flexibility and reduce inflammation. Restoring our natural collagen levels can assist in relieving joint pain, building stronger and more resilient joints, and supporting an active lifestyle.

When shopping for a collagen product, prioritize quality and purity. Opting for products that are sourced responsibly and undergo rigorous testing ensures its effectiveness and safety. Improperly hydrolyzed bone-derived collagen can retain high levels of chemical contamination. Some things, like lead naturally found in grass and soil, must be listed by law even if its a minuscule amount; but many contaminants are not required to be listed.  Three-times hydrolyzation cleans collagen well and removes the impurities and contaminants.

How Much Collagen Per Day Should You Take?

Oral supplementation has been shown in clinical studies to improve skin, joints and cartilage, slow the aging process, and even improve brain health.  Beyond being a dietary supplement, collagen is also a food. Its amino acids are the building blocks of protein that your body needs for fuel and rebuilding. In fact, one of the reasons to take your collagen at night is so that you don't waste those high value protein peptides on activities you body can do from any kind of protein.  The essential amino acids in liquid collagen like AminoSculpt are the ones your body craves for regrowth, rejuvenation, and rebuilding your skin, hair, bones, joints, and more.

When determining how much collagen to take a day, a 2018 study showed that a minimum of 5 grams a day taken for a year was linked to stronger bones. But determining what's right for you means assessing your lifestyle and current state of health.

Typically at least 10 grams a day, as found in AminoSculpt Liquid Collagen, is needed to maintain your collagen levels; but since we lose so much of our natural collagen over time, you may need to do a loading intensive to build up your collagen stores. Because collagen is essentially a predigested food, you can take quite a bit each day without concern.  Experiment to feel what makes you feel and look better.  Most people notice stronger nails within 14 days, better hair in 30 days, smoother skin within 60 days, and happier joints within 90 days.

Health Direct USA| 1 Tbsp of AminoMind is equivalent to 64 tbsp of the leading powdered collagen.

The new form of collagen called CollaBrain in AminoMind is a gamechanger. One tablespoon of AminoMind provides 30 to 50x more peptides than powder forms. In fact, one tablespoon of AminoMInd's new type of triple hydrolyzed collagen is equivalent to 64 tablespoons of powder! I can't imagine how many collagen pills/capsules that would be. Because of the added nutrients in AminoMind, you may notice feeling more clear-headed within just hours of taking your first dose, and the changes you would expect from collagen can come even faster.

Hold It Together As You Age

Collagen literally helps hold us together.  It's an important component of our fascia, our bones, our cartilage, and our connective tissues. Both powder collagen supplements and true liquid collagen offer huge health benefits, but liquid collagen delivers results with greater ease, greater absorption, and faster results.

AminoSculpt from Health Direct offer a superior form of triple hydrolyzed micropeptides in their liquid collagen that helped create the collagen industry. New AminoMind will be raising the bar with CollaBrain, the new, more powerful collagen dipeptides for brain health. And Health Direct ensures maximum absorption and the best value for your money with their liquid formulations.  As the old saying goes, you can pay for prevention now, or you can pay the doctor later...but I've found that paying the doctor later is much more expensive!


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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

Lisa Moretti is a Certified Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), the largest nutrition school in the world.  She was at the top of her cohort in 2015.  She's professionally been involved in the natural health and supplement world since 1981.