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Whether in drugstores or online, collagen drinks are booming like never before. You’ve probably already heard a lot about these beauty drinks, for example that they are a so-called anti-aging miracle and work against annoying wrinkles. But you are probably still a little unsure about what collagen drinks are really all about and whether they really work as they are advertised.
With our big collagen drink test 2023 we want to help you find out as much as possible about collagen drinks. Here you will find everything you need to know about the different ingredients, the most important scientific findings and the effects of collagen drinks. Furthermore, we show you what you should consider when buying collagen drinks.
- 1 The most important facts
- 2 The Best Collagen Drink: Our Picks
- 3 Buying and evaluation criteria for collagen drinks
- 4 Guide: Frequently asked questions about collagen drinks answered in detail
- 4.1 What is a collagen drink and how does it work?
- 4.2 When and for whom is it useful to take collagen drinks?
- 4.3 When is it not advisable to take collagen drinks?
- 4.4 How much do collagen drinks cost?
- 4.5 What types of collagen drinks are there?
- 4.6 What side effects can collagen drinks cause?
- 4.7 What are the alternatives to collagen drinks?
The most important facts
- You can either buy collagen drinks as a powder and then prepare your own drink, or take pre-made ampoules containing the collagen drink as a shot. You can also add the powder to smoothies or juices, for example.
- Collagen drinks mainly consist of animal products from fish or cattle, as collagen is usually obtained from these. However, there are now also vegan alternatives that consist of other ingredients, whereby vitamins in particular are supposed to have an effect.
- For many people, collagen powder in particular often has a taste that takes some getting used to. If you don’t like the neutral but still noticeable taste of collagen, you can also use collagen powder in different flavours such as vanilla.
The Best Collagen Drink: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for collagen drinks
When buying collagen drinks, you can look at various aspects, such as:
By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don’t give your body anything it doesn’t need. Therefore, always look for high quality and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer’s certificates.
You have probably noticed that there are many different ingredients in collagen drinks, depending on the manufacturer. If you are unclear about the effect of some ingredients, you should definitely read up on them again and find out more about them.
By and large, most collagen drinks contain collagen hydrolysate repides, which are usually made from bovine bones, and elastin hydrolysate, which is obtained from fish.
In vegan drinks, the ingredients differ accordingly and are all plant-based, but this does not mean that they are necessarily worse or have different effects.
Depending on why you consume collagen drinks, you should also pay attention to their vitamin content. As with many dietary supplements, this is crucial. Most collagen drinks contain vitamin E and vitamin C, for example.
You should therefore generally prefer products with a higher vitamin content, but if you are already taking other vitamin preparations, you should make sure that you do not exceed the prescribed maximum daily dose and follow the recommended intake.
Especially pure, non-vegan collagen powder has a very peculiar or unusual taste for some people, even if it is actually tasteless.
Depending on how you take your collagen drink, you can also use flavoured products as an alternative.
You will soon see that there are many different flavours to choose from. However, it is important that you pay particular attention to the ingredients of these products and that the flavours are made from natural substances and are not artificially produced.
If you buy your product in a drugstore or specialist shop, you can generally be sure that the product has been tested beforehand. However, if you order your collagen drink on the internet, you should be a little more careful, as there is no uniform regulation of products here.
You should at least make sure that the collagen drinks are laboratory tested. This way you can avoid items with questionable ingredients that could harm your health ending up in your shopping basket.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about collagen drinks answered in detail
What is a collagen drink and how does it work?
The expected effect of collagen drinks is due to the following ingredients:
- Collagen hydrolysate Repide (collagen)
- Hyaluronic acid
- Elastin hydrolysate (elastin)
- various vitamins
It should be noted that the ingredients can differ depending on the product. Vegan collagen drinks, for example, differ from conventional collagen drinks due to their purely non-animal composition. Basically, however, these four ingredients are the main components of collagen drinks.
Wrinkles can be reduced
In principle, there are only a few scientific studies that deal with the exact effect of collagen, but it has already been found that collagen has a positive effect on the skin and can even reduce wrinkles.
In one study, women aged 45-65 took 2.5 grams of a specific collagen product once a day for eight weeks. After the eight weeks, it could be proven that the oral intake of collagen actually led to a reduction in the women’s skin wrinkles. (2)
Another study with women aged 35-55, who also took 2.5 grams or in some cases even 5.0 grams of a collagen preparation for 8 weeks, came to the conclusion that skin wrinkles were visibly reduced and skin elasticity improved significantly. (3)
Skin hydration can be improved
The hyaluronic acid usually contained in collagen drinks has been shown to improve skin hydration. Especially for dry skin, taking hyaluronic acid helps to moisturise your skin.
A clinical study was able to prove that the intake of hyaluron or hyaluronic acid could very well increase the degree of skin moisture and thus improve the treatment result of people with very dry skin. (4)
Collagen supports bones and joints
A very common and well-known joint disease is osteoarthritis. Due to a chronic change in the joint, a mostly very painful degradation of the cartilage is caused, which is associated with functional limitations.
A clinical study with pain patients with problems in the arm, hip or knee was able to show that collagen can indeed contribute to the relief of chronic joint pain such as osteoarthritis. (5)
However, it should be noted that collagen drinks are not a substitute for painkillers, so you should talk to your doctor before taking collagen drinks, especially if you have chronic pain.
Furthermore, scientific studies have shown that collagen contributes to healthy bones. It can also help with osteoporosis, i.e. loss of bone density, because the bones can be strengthened through the intake of collagen. (9, 10) Even though research on collagen is ongoing, the extent to which collagen drinks and their ingredients and dosage help to cure osteoporosis is not yet known.
Large pores can be refined
A current clinical study from 2020 has shown that collagen drinks can, under certain circumstances, refine skin that is prone to large pores and impurities. According to the study, impurities such as blackheads and pimples can be reduced by collagen drinks.
For this purpose, the participants took a 50ml collagen drink made from fish collagen every day for 8 weeks. The first visible results could already be seen after 4 weeks. Overall, 68% of the participants felt one or more improvements in their skin, including enlarged pores becoming smaller again.
When and for whom is it useful to take collagen drinks?
Furthermore, a study has shown that people with joint problems can also be helped by collagen. Thus, in certain cases, collagen drinks can also contribute to a short-term improvement of joint pain. They are therefore also suitable for people who want to relieve pain in the short term and are looking for alternatives to painkillers. (5)
Collagen drinks are suitable for people who want to improve their skin and want to try something new away from all the creams.
When is it not advisable to take collagen drinks?
For example, if you have a gluten intolerance, you should never consume products that are not gluten-free. The same applies to lactose intolerance and of course any other allergy or intolerance that you know about or are affected by. It’s best to discuss your intake with your doctor beforehand if you are affected by allergies.
How much do collagen drinks cost?
|Collagen drink as powder||18-45 euros|
|Collagen drink as a shot||23-80 euros|
In general, collagen drinks in ampoule form are much more expensive than collagen powder, but the ampoules often contain more ingredients, such as vitamins.
What types of collagen drinks are there?
|Collagen drink as powder||Here, the collagen has been processed in powder form.|
|Collagen drink as a shot||Here the collagen drink is already ready to drink.|
The type of collagen drink you finally decide on depends, of course, on what you prefer and how much time you want to invest in preparing it.
- Collagen drink as a powder: Here the ingredients are processed into a fine powder that can easily be mixed with water. You can also add the powder to your muesli or a smoothie.
- Collagen drink as a shot: Here the ingredients are processed into a liquid drink. Most collagen drinks come in small ampoules.
Collagen drinks in powder form can be combined with other dishes, but you have to prepare the drink first. Collagen drinks as a shot, on the other hand, are already prepared, but cannot be incorporated into other dishes.
What side effects can collagen drinks cause?
As you can see, collagen drinks are a relatively safe dietary supplement. However, side effects can occur in some cases, especially with other ingredients in the drink.
Basically, you should always read up on the ingredients so that you are informed about possible side effects, especially in case of a known allergy.
What are the alternatives to collagen drinks?
- Collagen capsules
- Collagen tablets
Basically, these two alternatives differ only slightly from each other. It can be said that tablets or capsules are usually somewhat higher dosed than collagen drinks. Collagen capsules or collagen tablets are a convenient solution, especially when you are on the go or travelling. In the end, however, you have to choose the product that suits you best.
Image source: imagepocket / 123rf
Zague V. A new view concerning the effects of collagen hydrolysate intake on skin properties. Arch Dermatol Res. 2008 Oct;300(9):479-83. doi: 10.1007/s00403-008-0888-4. Epub 2008 Sep 11. PMID: 18784933.
Proksch E, Schunck M, Zague V, Segger D, Degwert J, Oesser S. Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-9. doi: 10.1159/000355523. Epub 2013 Dec 24. PMID: 24401291.
Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(1):47-55. doi: 10.1159/000351376. Epub 2013 Aug 14. PMID: 23949208.
Kawada C, Yoshida T, Yoshida H, et al. Ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin. Nutr J. 2014;13:70. Published 2014 Jul 11. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-70
Liu X, Machado GC, Eyles JP, Ravi V, Hunter DJ. Dietary supplements for treating osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2018 Feb;52(3):167-175. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-097333. Epub 2017 Oct 10. PMID: 29018060.
Lin P, Alexander RA, Liang CH, Liu C, Lin YH, Lin YH, Chan LP, Kuan CM. Collagen formula with Djulis for improvement of skin hydration, brightness, texture, crow's feet, and collagen content: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Jan;20(1):188-194. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13500. Epub 2020 Jun 12. PMID: 32530124.
Marone PA, Lau FC, Gupta RC, Bagchi M, Bagchi D. Safety and toxicological evaluation of undenatured type II collagen. Toxicol Mech Methods. 2010 May;20(4):175-89. doi: 10.3109/15376511003646440. PMID: 20170336.
Absorption and Effectiveness of Orally Administered Low Molecular Weight Collagen Hydrolysate in Rats
Mari Watanabe-Kamiyama, Muneshige Shimizu, Shin Kamiyama, Yasuki Taguchi, Hideyuki Sone, Fumiki Morimatsu, Hitoshi Shirakawa, Yuji Furukawa, and Michio Komai
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Figueres Juher T, Basés Pérez E. REVISIÓN DE LOS EFECTOS BENEFICIOSOS DE LA INGESTA DE COLÁGENO HIDROLIZADO SOBRE LA SALUD OSTEOARTICULAR Y EL ENVEJECIMIENTO DÉRMICO [An overview of the beneficial effects of hydrolysed collagen intake on joint and bone health and on skin ageing]. Nutr Hosp. 2015 Jul 18;32 Suppl 1:62-6. Spanish. doi: 10.3305/nh.2015.32.sup1.9482. PMID: 26267777.
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