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Lately, I’ve been exploring collagen and other supplements to boost my nutritional health and beauty routine. There’s nothing new about supplements; many adults and children take vitamins or dietary supplements, including fish oil capsules, folic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids. While I’ve been taking a daily vitamin for years, I’ve now started experimenting with collagen.

What is collagen? It’s a structural protein rich in amino acids that the body uses to support skin, cartilage, bones, and connective tissue. Collagen accounts for 30% of the body’s protein and can also be found in your organs, blood vessels, and intestinal lining.

Even though collagen is a naturally occurring protein, your body produces less of it as you age, and existing collagen breaks down at a faster rate. Supplements can help improve skin elasticity and hydration and support natural collagen production. True collagen supplements are made from animal or fish proteins, so if you are vegetarian or vegan, effective collagen products may not be something to explore. However, if you are interested in the benefits of collagen, there are a few products to consider.

First, what are the benefits of collagen supplements? Things you can expect are youthful-looking skin, stronger nails, improved muscle mass, improved cardiovascular health, and better sleep. Of course, there are many factors when it comes to overall health. Collagen won’t be a quick fix but instead should be incorporated into an already healthy and balanced routine.

With all that in mind, a good all-around supplement is Hum Nutrition’s Collagen Love Skin Firming Supplement, which comes in capsule form to be taken three times a day with food. It’s formulated with grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine collagen, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and grape seed extract.

For healthy skin and better sleep, there is Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein in powder form. This is designed to be mixed with water, coffee, or added to a smoothie and contains ten unique types of collagen, as well as probiotics and vitamin C. In addition to better sleep and skin, this powder can also help with hair growth and digestive support.

If hair health is your primary concern, check out Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides Advanced with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C. This powder can be added to hot or cold liquids with the expected benefits of fuller hair, stronger nails, and healthy skin, bones, and joints.

Another powder product that I’ve found effective is Dose & Co’s Pure Collagen Peptides. Purported to be sustainably sourced, this product contains bovine collagen and is designed to quickly dissolve, which the scoop in my morning coffee can attest to. While I’ve not noticed a vast change in my hair, nails, or skin, I have seen subtle results and less deterioration.

In addition to powders, I’ve also experimented with liquid versions like Spoiled Child’s Extra Strength Liquid Collagen. This is more of a syrup than a drink, and you take it like medicine — so no mixing it with other beverages or swallowing big capsules. E27 combines collagen with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to promote smoother skin, strong joints and bones, and improved digestion, which I can attest to. The syrupy consistency makes it feel like a concentrated super-dose of collagen to start the day.

Powders and liquids may be too messy and fussy for some. If that’s the case for you, there’s Youtheory’s Collagen with Vitamin C tablets. The brand recommends taking six a day, so three in the morning and three at night, to give your hair, skin, and nails a boost.

Another tablet option is 8Greens’ Skin Supplement with Marine Collagen. This tablet you can drop into 8 ounces of water and features a fresh apple flavor along with four cups of broccoli’s worth of vitamin A and a whopping 25 stalks’ worth of vitamin C. This is a PETA-approved product, unlike the bovine-sourced collagens above.

In general, when shopping around for collagen supplements, be on the lookout for products with multiple types of collagen, mainly TYPE I, II, and III, for maximum benefits. Also, consider pricing. Many companies will offer a discount with subscription. Be sure to check cancellation and pausing policies.

Also, consider brands with third-party testing. Since the FDA does not regulate collagen supplements, ingredients that have been evaluated by a third party have more legitimate claims of effectiveness.

Lastly, in addition to supplements, bone broth is another great source of collagen. Bone broth contains additional amino acids and is a great tool for healing gut issues.