Collagen is an important building block that makes up a significant portion of your bodily tissues, including your bones, muscles, bones, tendons, and cartilage.
This protein also plays an essential role in skin, hair, and nail health. You make less collagen over time, but factors like smoking, drinking, stress, lack of sleep, and inactivity can also impact collagen production.
Supplementing with collagen can help protect your body’s supply and if you have a collagen deficiency, it’s especially important to take a daily supplement. But what kind of collagen supplement should you choose? What’s the difference between liquid collagen vs powder? Below, we outline how these two collagen forms differ — along with the pros and cons of each.
Differences Between Liquid & Powder Collagen
Liquid or powder collagen, which should you choose? There’s still research to be done on the differences between liquid and powder collagen supplements, but here’s what we know about how liquid vs powder collagen differ:
There’s not usually a major difference in how much collagen liquid vs powder formulas contain. But your body may interact differently with powder vs liquid forms of collagen. Powder (e.g., the kind you might find in collagen capsules) goes through the mouth, stomach, and small intestine. You digest powder collagen, and the liver, your body’s detoxification organ, filters out some of that collagen, meaning you don’t get as much. Liquid, on the other hand, goes right to the bloodstream, giving you immediate access to the active ingredient.
Powder-form collagen is more likely to contain animal-derived collagen than liquid collagen, which typically contains marine collagen. If you’re looking for a plant-based source, Collagen Protect® is a vegan collagen powder made with 3 plant-based ingredients to help protect and preserve your natural collagen level.
Because liquid collagen drink products need to be shelf-stable, they typically contain stabilizers and preservatives. A powder collagen product is more shelf stable and usually contains fewer additives and ingredients like fillers.
Convenience and sustainability
Liquid collagen products are usually available in a ready-to-drink, prepared format that doesn’t require any mixing. But powdered formulas are great for bringing along while you travel. Just pop them into your carry-on and mix them with water. Additionally, because powdered collagen products typically come in small recyclable packets, they produce less plastic waste overall than liquid collagen products. Since liquid products require additional manufacturing steps, it may be more difficult to trace the origins of ingredients compared to powder.
Bang for your buck
Because powder comes in a shelf-stable formula, you’re more likely to get more for your money compared with liquid formulas.
Comparing the Benefits
Before diving into the unique benefits of powder collagen vs liquid collagen, let’s break down the overall benefits of collagen for men and women.
- Bone health and joint support. Some research shows that collagen supplementation may help slow bone loss by supporting the bone remineralization process. Collagen may also have a beneficial effect on cartilage loss — cartilage contains over 50% collagen.
- Skin health. A significant portion of your skin is made up of collagen — about 75%. Over time, collagen in the skin begins to decline, causing skin to lose its elasticity and bounce, leading to wrinkling and fine lines. Taking in collagen may help reduce the look of wrinkles by improving the skin’s moisture content and suppleness.
- Nail health. There’s also evidence that collagen supplementation may help with nail health, according to one study.
- Gut health. Evidence suggests there may be a link between collagen and gut health, though more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanism.
Benefits of Liquid Collagen
Because this type of collagen supplement comes in liquid form, it’s hydrating, which has added benefits. Staying well-hydrated can help improve the moisture content in your skin, hair, and nails, preventing dryness and damage.
Some people may also find a liquid collagen supplement easier to consume since they’re in a ready-to-drink format. Collagen in liquid form is also easier for your body to absorb, with less product loss from digestion.
Benefits of Collagen Powder
Powder also has its pros. It’s cost-effective, shelf-stable, and usually contains fewer fillers and additives, making it closer to a pure collagen source than a liquid collagen drink.
Remember when we talked about how your body doesn’t have complete access to powder collagen because you digest it instead of absorbing it? Well, powder isn’t just offered in collagen pills and collagen capsules. You can also find collagen protein powder that can be easily mixed into water or other liquids. This helps boost your body’s ability to access the collagen in that powder.
Powdered collagen supplements are easy to mix into drinks and foods, like coffee, smoothies, or baked goods. For more ideas on how to incorporate power collagen into your routine, read our guide on how to use collagen powder.
Some powder options also contain additional health-promoting ingredients that help build and support your natural collagen stores, like Hyaluronic Acid.
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Which is Right For You?
The right kind of collagen supplement depends on your needs. Do you like the idea of hydrating while taking in collagen? Don’t love the texture of powder mixed with liquid? A liquid option may be right for you.
If you like the idea of a versatile collagen supplement that you can mix with your fave coffee drink or fruit smoothie, a powder product is likely the right choice for you. And while your body may be able to more easily absorb liquid collagen, you can easily turn cost-effective powder collagen into a drinkable form.
Collagen Protect® is a vegan collagen supplement formulated with 3 vegan ingredients to help protect and preserve your natural collagen.* High molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid is clinically shown to support collagen synthesis and reduce the appearance of fine lines.* Silver Ear Mushroom supports your skin barrier and promotes deep skin hydration.* Tocos contains essential fatty and amino acids to help protect collagen and prevent visible signs of aging.* With this supplement, you will be able to get your daily Collagen intake in a single serving.
- Abrahams M, et al. (2022). Effect of a daily collagen peptide supplement on digestive symptoms in healthy women: 2-phase mixed methods study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9198822/
- Bolke L, et al. (2019). A collagen supplement improves skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density: Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, blind study. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/10/2494
- Choi FD, et al. (2019). Oral collagen supplementation: A systematic review of dermatological applications. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30681787/
- Fanara GB, et al. (2016). Collagen supplementation as a complementary therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: A systematic review. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-9823.2016.14145
- Hexsel D, et al. (2017). Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.12393
- Wang H. (2021). A review of the effects of collagen treatment in clinical studies. https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4360/13/22/3868