HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT FROM COLLAGEN PEPTIDES
By Molly Apel
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy
You’ll find lots of collagen peptide products (aka collagen protein) popping up in the aisles of your local grocery store. While it’s great to have lots of options, how do you choose the best one? The first thing is to do is read the label.
Does it come from a brand you trust? How much collagen does it actually contain? Is it grass-fed? Is it made with complementary ingredients that give you more benefits, or is it made with added sugar?
Read on to get the full story on how to choose the purest, highest-quality and most bioavailable collagen peptide supplement.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF COLLAGEN PEPTIDES?
First, let’s get a refresher on why you need a collagen supplement.
Think of your body like a house. Your house is in a constant state of needing repairs, and your cells are the construction workers that come in to fix it. But they need supplies.
Your body turns collagen protein into building blocks called amino acids. These building blocks give your cells the material they need to fix your house, strengthen the foundation and patch the shingles. The more supplies you have, the more repairs your cells can make.
Collagen is an abundant protein in the human body. It makes up your connective tissue, bones, skin, blood vessels, ligaments, tendons—you get the picture. That means collagen peptide supplements give your cells supplies they can use to repair and strengthen tissues throughout your entire body.
You might be wondering, do collagen peptide supplements work? The bottom line is, yes. Studies show that collagen peptides provide the building blocks for hydrated skin, stronger bones and flexible joints. Collagen may even reduce wrinkles and the appearance of skin aging. It’s kind of a big deal.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE BEST COLLAGEN PEPTIDES?
Not a lot of people know this: To maximize the health benefits of collagen peptide supplements, you want to keep the following points in mind: The label should state that it’s hydrolyzed, grass-fed collagen (we’ll explain why below), and the brand should have high standards for quality supplements.
IS IT SOURCED FROM GRASS-FED COWS?
First, check the label for the words “grass-fed.” Here’s why. Collagen protein is commonly sourced from cows. Grass-fed cows are better for your health because these cows spend most of their time grazing in fields, not eating corn or soy. When you use grass-fed collagen peptides, you get a product without added hormones or GMOs.
Bulletproof Collagen Protein comes from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows. Our collagen peptide products don’t contain any hormones, antibiotics or GMOs. The collagen is pure, hydrolyzed bovine collagen.
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS?
Look for collagen peptide products that deliver 10-20g of hydrolyzed collagen per serving. Some products will contain added ingredients for flavor and extra benefits. Steer clear of added sugars, artificial colors and artificial flavors. Look for carefully selected ingredients and functional supplements that work as hard as you do.
Bulletproof Chocolate Collagen Protein gets its rich chocolate flavor and sweetness from ingredients like raw cacao powder, organic cocoa and erythritol. Bulletproof Collagen Protein Beauty Boost contains hyaluronic acid, keratin and biotin to support skin, nails and hair, plus vitamin C to support collagen production. And these collagen peptide products are deliciously sweet—with no added sugar.
HOW BIOAVAILABLE IS IT?
Collagen naturally occurs in foods like bone broth and chicken skin. But your body expends a lot of energy to break it down, and the amount of collagen you get out of your food can vary. To make collagen more readily available for your cells to use, collagen can be exposed to enzymes that gently break it into more bioavailable collagen peptides. This process is called hydrolysis, and it creates hydrolyzed collagen peptides.
Bulletproof Collagen Protein is hydrolyzed, which means your body can more easily put those collagen peptides to work. Hydrolysis also makes the powder dissolve easily in hot or cold liquids (so it’s as easy to drink in coffee or smoothies). The process is gentle enough that it preserves the nutrition of the collagen. Look for hydrolyzed collagen, collagen hydrolysate, or collagen peptides on the ingredient list.
IS IT FROM A COMPANY THAT PRIORITIZES QUALITY?
This question applies to any supplement, not just collagen: Get your products from companies you trust to produce gold-standard products. Bulletproof only partners with manufacturers that meet our high standards and prioritize quality at every step of the process. Not all companies care. We do. This is true of everything from our coffee beans to our supplements.
WHY WOULDN’T I JUST DRINK BONE BROTH?
While we’ve covered a lot, this is a smart question that needs an answer. We’re encouraged to try to fulfill our nutrition needs with healthy food, and bone broth is a good source of collagen. While that’s true, it’s hard to know the exact amount of collagen you’re getting in collagen-rich foods like bone broth and tendons. A lot depends on how it’s prepared and how much you eat.
Collagen peptides are different. You can see how much collagen you’re getting per serving just by looking on the label. That makes it easy to know that you’re getting your daily dose of collagen, whether you’re blending a scoop into Prebiotic Bulletproof Coffee or whipping up a Blueberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl.
Read next: 14 Collagen Peptide Recipes to Make Your Skin Glow