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September 8, 2021
Is Liquid Collagen Worth It? The 5 Key Differences between Liquid and Powder Collagen
More and more liquid collagen supplements are hitting the market. Which raises the question: Do I need to throw away my collagen powder and stock up on liquid collagen now?
Before we dive in, I want to make it crystal clear that I’m writing this article from a neutral perspective. To be completely honest with you, my initial intention for this article was to do in-depth research on liquid collagen to see if it was worth adding to our product line.
So what you’re getting is my thorough, honest analysis of liquid collagen. I look at the products (and scientific evidence) that exist to determine whether or not you’ll be seeing liquid collagen in NativePath’s future.
What Is Liquid Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein that’s found in all living things. It’s what gives structure to your skin, bones, tendons, organs, teeth, muscles, and blood vessels.
When it comes to humans, collagen makes up 33% of the protein in the body (1).
The reason why collagen supplements have become so popular is because the body’s collagen production takes a hit once you hit 30 years of age—and continues to decline by 1% each year.
This means that when you reach 50, your collagen levels have been slashed in half (2).
Low collagen levels look like saggy, crepe-like skin, “turkey” neck, achy joints, bone-on-bone pain, an irritated gut, and more.
Two thousand years ago, collagen levels were replenished by eating the skin, organs, and simmered-down bones of animals (the most common being cattle, horses, pigs, and rabbits).
However, now you can get your daily dose of collagen with an easy-to-take supplement, with the most popular being collagen powder.
Simply put a scoop in your coffee, water, tea, or smoothie, and voila, you’re good to go.
However, the new collagen supplement on the block comes in liquid form—as a pre-made drink (think individual shots, vials, or flavored beverages).
A Deeper Look into 5 Different Liquid Collagen Products
Let’s take a look at 5 different liquid collagen supplements and see what they have to offer...
1. Modere’s Liquid BioCell
Touting its “advanced liquid delivery system” (AKA bioavailability), Modere’s Liquid BioCell contains hydrolyzed Type 2 Collagen, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate (3).
The company states that this product’s main purpose is to improve joint mobility, promote healthy cartilage and connective tissue, and support joint lubrication.
But doesn’t collagen powder already do that?
When I look at their product description, I see is a lot of fluff about their patents, matrix technology, and “Bio-Optimized” manufacturing process.
Let’s take a look at their Supplement Facts label below. What stuck out to me was the following:
- The recommended serving size is 1 tablespoon, twice a day. This means that the consumer needs TWO bottles of Liquid BioCell per month, costing them a total of $140. That’s quite a collagen bill every month if you ask me.
- It only contains Type 2 Collagen. This is concerning due to the fact that Type 1 Collagen makes up 90% of the collagen found in the body (4).
- The collagen is sourced from “proprietary chicken sternal cartilage”. When I reached out to this company asking if their chickens were pasture-raised, they responded by saying that they were “humanely treated.” That doesn’t answer the question of whether they are, in fact, pasture-raised, but we can hope that they are.
2. Heivy’s Liquid Collagen Drinks
Each bottle contains anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 milligrams (mg) of marine collagen (i.e. collagen sourced from fish).
5,000 to 10,000 mg seems like a lot. That is until you put it into grams…
5,000 milligrams = 5 grams
10,000 milligrams = 10 grams
That doesn’t quite match our serving standard of 20 to 40 grams daily for collagen loading and 10 to 20 grams daily for collagen maintenance.
Oh, and if you’re frugal like me, you’ll want to know that you don’t get the most bang for your buck with this product either.
The cost of one box (10 bottles) is $42.99. That doesn’t seem (so) bad until you realize that the combined amount of collagen for all 10 bottles is only 50 grams.
Taking into account their recommendation of drinking one bottle per day, that’s a $128.97 collagen bill each month (and that’s not including tax). Ouch.
There’s one other concerning fact about this product…
Its ingredient label is nowhere to be found on the website.
A little odd if you ask me…
3. Aminorip’s Collagen Protein
Next up, this Collagen Protein by Aminorip.
This supplement raises one red flag for me—it doesn’t specify that their product comes from grass-fed bovine or ethically sourced animals.
In fact, it lists that it’s made in the USA, CGMP (certified good manufacturing practice), UL (Underwriters' Laboratories) Certified, and manufactured in an FDA-registered facility.
If they’re open about all of those things, why not state where your collagen is sourced?
4. The Beauty Chef’s Collagen Inner Beauty Boost
Looks can be deceiving.
This Collagen Inner Beauty Boost doesn’t actually contain any collagen.
Just a bunch of herbs and elixirs to enhance collagen production.
$50 just for a boost? No thanks.
5. Skinade’s 30 Day Course
At first glance, this product looks promising.
You’re telling me that in 30 days I can have healthy, even-toned, radiant skin?
Sign me up!
However, at a closer glance, you can see that each bottle contains just 7 grams of marine collagen.
This is unfortunate due to the fact that our body doesn’t absorb marine-based collagen as well as grass-fed bovine collagen.
In addition to that, “marine” collagen doesn’t exactly specify which marine animal it came from. Was it wild-caught cod? Bottom feeders? Algae?
We can’t be sure.
5 Key Differences between Liquid Collagen and Powder Collagen
Now that you have the low-down on 5 different liquid collagen products, let’s gain clarity on what the actual differences are between liquid and powder collagen...
1. Form of Collagen
The most obvious difference between liquid collagen and powder collagen is that liquid collagen comes in liquid form while powder collagen comes in powder form.
However, it should be noted that when powder collagen is added to a liquid (say coffee, water, or tea), it essentially turns into “liquid collagen” (mindblowing, right?).
So what is the actual difference between liquid and powder collagen?
2. Type of Collagen
Liquid collagen products boast about having Type 2 Collagen when in reality, it’s really only found in your cartilage.
The types of collagen that your body needs more of, you ask?
Type 1 and Type 3, hands-down.
Type 3 Collagen is the second most abundant type of collagen in your body. It can be found in your skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, synovial membrane (the fluid between cartilage and joints), and connective tissue (6, 5, 7).
Type 2 Collagen, on the other hand, is only present in your cartilage (5).
Yes, Type 2 is still beneficial to your body, but when consumed with Type 1 and Type 3, it actually makes the duo less effective—canceling them out. So it’s best to stick with just Type 1 and Type 3 Collagen.
3. Scientific Studies
Many of the studies we have today have looked into the use of collagen powder, and from those studies, we know that collagen powder is highly effective.
In one randomized study, collagen peptides showed a drastic improvement in postmenopausal women suffering from bone loss (i.e. osteoporosis).
With just 5 grams a day for 12 months, the participants saw a significant improvement in the bone mineral density of the spine and neck (8).
In another randomized study, 72 healthy women aged 35 and up were given either 2.5 grams of collagen peptides or a placebo for 12 weeks.
You could say they discovered the fountain of youth…
The results of the women taking the collagen supplement significantly improved skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density (9).
4. Serving Size
The serving size of powder collagen versus liquid collagen makes no comparison.
The average serving size for a single scoop of collagen powder ranges from 10 to 20 grams (because that’s the most effective dose of collagen).
However, the serving size for liquid collagen is anywhere from 4.3 to 7 grams.
So, in order to obtain the same results you would with collagen powder, you’d have to take 2 to 3 times the amount of liquid collagen. Which equates to 2 to 3 times the cost...
5. Cost of Collagen
Like I said above, the cost of liquid collagen, for whatever reason, is sky-high.
Considering that most collagen powders can be bought for $30—and the products listed above range from $42.99 to $160—raises a bright red flag.
My guess is that liquid collagen companies are pricing their product at a markup because the liquid collagen supply is so low—there aren’t many options. Yet.
Is Liquid Collagen Effective?
Because of the lack of scientific studies looking specifically at liquid collagen, we cannot be certain if it is more effective than powder collagen.
However, what we can be sure of are the studies looking at collagen powder. All of which point to its ability to improve skin hydration and elasticity (hello youthful glow!), reduce joint pain, protect against cartilage loss, strengthen bones, and more (9, 10, 11, 8).
Which Form of Collagen Is Most Effective?
Again, because of the lack of scientific evidence surrounding liquid collagen, I can’t give a definitive answer.
However, what I can say is that grass-fed collagen powder is highly available and biocompatible with the human body (meaning that it doesn’t produce toxic or immunological responses when consumed) (12, 13).
Whatsmore, one can experience transformational results with grass-fed collagen peptides at a fraction of the cost of liquid collagen.
Is Liquid Collagen Bad for You?
It’s not bad for you. It’s just not the best for you.
Because your body needs Type 1 and Type 3 Collagen—AKA the two most abundant types of collagen in your body.
Type 1 and 3 Collagen are necessary for (5):
- Firm, supple skin
- Sturdy bones and connective tissue
- Strong teeth
- Protecting your organs
- Maintaining a healthy blood flow in blood vessels
In addition to this, some liquid collagen supplements contain vitamins, minerals, and/or herbs. These may be safe in moderate amounts, however, those who consume them must be aware that it may negatively interact with their medications and/or underlying conditions.
To avoid these risks, double-check that your collagen supplement is third-party tested so that you can be 100% sure that it’s pure and safe for consumption.
As always, consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.
Is Liquid Collagen Worth It?
For your pocketbook: No.
For your health: It depends...
The majority of liquid collagen products out there only contain Type 2 Collagen.
This is odd since we know that 90% of your body’s collagen is Type 1 Collagen. So why would they choose to leave out such a pivotal type of collagen?
Type 2 Collagen is important, but it’s only found in your cartilage—making up 60 to 75% of its collagen (14).
In addition to that, Medical Advisor Heather Hanks makes a good point, stating that…
“When picking a collagen supplement, I would be more concerned about sourcing rather than texture. Collagen from pasture-raised, grass-fed bovine tends to be top-shelf because it contains types 1 and 3 collagen. I would also be worried that liquid collagen contains more preservatives or flavors to maintain its freshness, texture, and flavor.”
The Bottom Line
The debate between liquid collagen and powder collagen is here to stay.
I expect to see numerous companies coming out with their own version of liquid collagen, proclaiming it to be “better” and “more absorbable” than powder collagen.
However, you won’t be seeing it in NativePath’s future.
Like I said above...
When you put your collagen powder into water, what does it do?
Bingo! It turns to LIQUID.
Tell us in the comments below—Have you seen results with collagen powder? How has your life, health, and skin transformed?
Certified Health Coach and Head of Content at NativePath (aka I’m the gal responsible for ensuring that every blog we publish helps you live life a little more #onthepath).
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.