Best Collagen? Collagen Powder vs Liquid, Gummies, Pills

As part of our collagen mythbusting series, let’s look at the topic of the best collagen - powder versus other forms of collagen, including liquid, pills and gummies. Here we explore whether one is better, tastier, more effective or more cost-friendly than the other.  

1. ETHICS

We will begin with what should be one of the most important factors when selecting the right nutritional supplements for your wellbeing - brand ethics. 

You are relying on collagen to support and deliver health outcomes for you and, in some cases, perhaps members of your family and/or friends. Few things are more valuable in life than our health. As such, investing in a product that is designed, manufactured and marketed by a company with integrity is paramount. 

Edible Health is founded and run in the UK by British couple Corinna and Simon. The two turned to collagen many years ago in an effort to achieve their own better health outcomes. They were disenchanted by many of the brands on offer at the time, and saw an opportunity to create a genuinely premium-grade product steeped in strong principles. As a company, Edible Health commits to:

  • Helping our customers achieve optimum wellbeing through safe, responsible nutrition 
  • Empowering our customers to make educated decisions about their health and their health choices by providing transparent, honest and authentic product, industry and health information
  • Only using natural, pure and premium-grade ingredients to create a product of exceptional quality 
  • Sourcing high quality protein sources that are by-products of existing industries (so in other words, using cow hides and fish skins that would have otherwise gone to waste) 
  • Adhering to the very strictest of EU and Global Regulatory compliance, safety and industry standards 
  • Relying on evidence-based research whenever available 
  • Never compromising our integrity with misleading marketing, false claims, and/or inflated promises and gimmicks 

These principles influence all facets of the Edible Health business. They guide our every decision. 

As we always say - we are Real People who Really Care, offering Real Products that Really Work. We stand by our mantra - People Before Profits.

When it comes to ethics, what questions should you ask yourself when purchasing collagen? 

We hope some of these questions are helpful to you when determining the ethics behind any business you choose to support:

Company related 

  • Is there an About Us available on the company website and does it really explain who is behind the business, and what they stand for?  We have seen an example of one company that provides no background about the people behind it; no business address (only the address of their distributor); no information about where the ingredients are sourced; all we have found is commentary from others wondering why such scant information is available. Do you want to buy your health supplements from a company that appears unwilling to share any information about itself?  
  • Can the company provide evidence of their statements? For example, their approvals from independent bodies? This includes statements linking to science and EU/UK approval, Halal/Kosher/WADA certification, etc 
  • Does the company claim their collagen is “grass fed” suggesting 100% grass fed? If so, can they prove 100% grass fed as we don’t believe this is truly possible (see our FAQ).

Product related 

  • Is the pricing consistent and not always being manipulated with discounts and special offers? 
  • Are all the ingredients easily identifiable? Are there any names that sound unusual?
  • Are the labels clear and compliant detailing any possible allergens and not making any unauthorised health claims? 
  • Is the packaging user friendly? 
  • Has it been sealed airtight? 
  • Does it consider people with disabilities or impaired movement? Certain packaging can be hard to open or reseal, which could prove challenging for arthritic hands or those recovering from accident or injury - the very people collagen should be helping, not hindering.
  • Does the company say their collagen is made in the UK? If so, this is not true as there are no collagen manufacturers currently based in the UK. It may be packaged in the UK but it definitely won’t be sourced or manufactured from here. So, if they’re using misleading terminology about this, then how else might they be misleading you? 

Customer related 

  • Do the customer reviews appear legitimate upon closer inspection? 
  • Does the company provide contact details?
  • How responsive are they to customer questions?
  • Can you view responses to questions and, if so, does the company provide comprehensive answers that demonstrate compassion towards people?
  • Is the company actually located in the UK?

It is increasingly important that consumers - all of us - become aware of how products and brand stories are marketed to us because sadly, the industry is not without its opportunists; brands that just want to make sales and provide an inferior product in order to turn a profit. 

2. INGREDIENTS

Edible Health Collagen Powders

At the very core of Edible Health’s principles is a mandate to serve you, our customer, with products that will support your health and wellbeing. 

We believe the most effective and caring way to do this is through all-natural  ingredients. We pride ourselves on developing premium-quality, hydrolysed collagen supplements that are full of pure goodness, and completely devoid of any synthetics, sweeteners, artificial additives, and/or nasties in general.  This is of paramount importance to us professionally and personally, and is something that we will never compromise.

Edible Health works with a state-of-the-art manufacturer to create the best quality, fully accredited collagen available on the market. This comes at a cost, but we will never compromise quality for price. Cheap collagen is cheap for good reason, and we refuse to risk the health of our customers for the sake of a wider profit margin. 

Our bovine and marine collagen powders are made entirely from cow hide and fish skin respectively. This means when it comes to Edible Health, your daily dose comprises pure collagen, exclusively, with nothing else added. 

Aside from these pure collagen powders, we also offer a range of collagen blends, which deliver additional and specific benefits (for example, Anti-Ageing and Gut Health). Although these blends include other ingredients, these are only 100% natural, super nutrients, chosen specifically for their known health benefits and their synergy with collagen. They do not dissolve in water and are not tasteless like our plain powders but, rather than fixing this with additives, flavouring and sweeteners, we have left them pure to give you the most flexibility and versatility in taking them.  These blends contain zero nasty additives or anything chemical or artificial because we know that commercial additives are rarely natural or safe.

All of our collagens, whether pure or blends, are free from sugar, soy, gluten, dairy, lactose, steroids, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics, and are heavy metal and BSE safe. They are also Kosher, Halal and WADA certified and suitable for Keto, Paleo, Whole30 and fasting lifestyles.

collagen pills

What is the Best Collagen? Competitor Collagens Compared

Quite simply - the very nature of other forms of collagen, such as liquids, pills, capsules or gummies, requires additives. 

Look for ingredients such as water (often contaminated and/or unfiltered), preservatives, flavourings and sweeteners. When it comes to the latter, stevia is often touted as an all-natural, healthy alternative to sugar. However, there is conjecture regarding this, with some researchers believing there is not yet enough evidence-based research to provide a total understanding of how stevia might affect the body. Here at Edible Health, our understanding of commercially produced stevia is that it has to be bleached during the manufacturing process.  Bleach is not something we want anyone to put into their bodies and, in our opinion, bleach does not justify the claim that stevia is a natural sweetener (at least not when commercially produced and used).

3. VALUE FOR MONEY

Average Daily Serving

If we look at our pure hydrolysed collagen powders, the daily serving is 13,000mg (13 grams), of which 100% is collagen. Liquids and shots typically contain 5,000-8,000mg, and capsules are rarely more than 1,000mg. Gummies are often under 100mg - that’s 130 times less collagen per serving!

Average Daily Price

Based on our price per tub of £22.95 for the bovine and £32.95 for the marime, Edible Health collagen costs just 77p a day for our bovine powder, and £1.10 for our marine powder. 

In contrast, competitive collagen forms do not provide the equivalent amount of pure collagen per serving and, as such, cost substantially more when examined on a cost-per-serving basis. Upon examination, gummies can cost at least £28.15 to get the same serving size as our powder. Yes - you read that right - £28.15. See our table below and always do the maths!

How Long Does a Single Purchase Last?

A single purchase of our 400g tub will last 30 days, in contrast to a single purchase of liquid collagen sachets, which will typically only last 10-14 days. Although pills and gummies may last longer, they provide a significantly lower serving of pure collagen across the duration of use. For example, a bottle of capsules or gummies may last 60-90 days, but you would need 26 capsules or over 260 gummies to get the same amount of collagen that you would get from a 13,000mg serving of our powder, meaning that the bottle would only last two - four days for the same sized dose . On the basis that 13,000mg of powder is around two dessert spoons (depending on your spoon size of course!), then adding this to your morning smoothie would certainly be far easier and more palatable than swallowing 26 pills or chewing 260 gummies!!

best forms of collagen

4. ABSORPTION, ADDITIVES and EFFICACY

The ease with which the body absorbs food and fluid from the gut is referred to as bioavailability. 

Edible Health conducted considerable research into the world’s leading manufacturers of collagen. We ultimately selected the global leader within the food, health & nutrition, (bio)medical, and pharmaceutical sectors. Our research convinced us that their state-of-the-art production facility is one of very few globally that can deliver a product of superior quality. As a result, all our products are premium-grade, ultra fine powders designed to be quickly and easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Studies have shown the appearance of our collagen peptides in the bloodstream within 15-20 minutes of consumption. 

Many collagen brands will try and tell you that the molecular weight of collagen (how big the collagen molecules are) determines the rate of absorption. We also believed this.  However, due to the market leading research of our supplier, we now know this not to be true; molecular weight does not impact efficacy or speed of absorption. 

Similarly, some brands will claim that marine collagen is absorbed more quickly than other collagen sources (eg marine versus bovine). This, too, is simply untrue. Hydrolysed collagen is absorbed at the same rates, regardless of molecular weight and source of collagen. 

They may also try to tell you that liquid collagen is absorbed faster than powder. Now, we don’t know about you, but we don’t know anyone who ‘eats’ collagen powder. Our customers tend to add their collagen to tea, coffee, juices, smoothies and even plain water. If these aren’t liquids, we are not sure what are! So, don’t be fooled by misleading claims. Even if you add collagen to food, this does not change the rate of absorption. The speed at which the collagen protein is digested and absorbed in the small intestine is unaffected by food. 

Quality is Queen 

What’s more significant about absorption is the quality and quantity of what is absorbed. 

If the collagen is not manufactured to high enough standard, the protein molecules (called peptides) may not get broken down fully in the digestive tract and may therefore pass through unabsorbed. In addition, the collagen may contain various contaminants and possibly be unsafe due to the presence of chemicals, hormones, bacteria, BSE or heavy metals. Collagen from some parts of the world has been found to even contain traces of other animals in it (traces of dog and horse have been found in bovine collagen).

Finally, other forms of collagens are mixed with additives meaning that, alongside the collagen, you are also ingesting other chemicals including, as already mentioned, stevia and bleach. 

So, to summarise, our collagen powder may not be absorbed any faster than other forms, but:

(a) we will never lie about this to try and mislead you into buying from us

(b) our collagen will never be mixed with other nasties 

(c)  the quality of our collagen means you will always absorb what you ingest, giving you the highest efficacy from the safest product

All these factors play an important role in understanding what is genuinely the more effective form of collagen. We believe the answer is undoubtedly Edible Health’s powder form.

Please refer to the below table (which was researched in September 2020) for further comparative information on the best collagen available.

We welcome any questions you may have, and we hope this information is useful to you. 

The information we have provided herewith, and all linked materials, are not intended nor should they be construed as medical advice. Moreover, the information herewith should not be used as a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions and consult your General Practitioner for advice specific for you.