Collagen peptides are growing in popularity amongst smoothie-makers and nutrition advocates. It’s known to help hair, skin, and nails, as well as reduce joint pain. Like most supplements, there are a variety of manufacturers to choose from… so I wanted to help you decide.
This comparison took me considerably longer than other product reviews because I felt that it required a slightly different methodology. The effect of collagen peptides, as well as their comparisons, couldn’t be adequately assessed with sample doses over a short window of time. So I dedicated 6 months to the comparison of three notable collagen peptide brands.
I consumed one brand at a time, daily for six weeks. I then took 2 weeks off to see if I could notice anything in that brand’s absence. I also paid close to attention to changes in my hair, skin, nails, joints, and tendons during these on/off periods. Taste wise, none of the brands have flavor, so there’s no need to compare that aspect.
Here are the results after six months of testing:
Serving size: “About 2 rounded Tbsp” (12g)
I started with this since it appears to have been on the market the longest. With 90% protein, Great Lakes blended very well, quickly disappearing into my smoothie (thanks to VitaMix). I didn’t notice much for the first couple of weeks. No changes to skin, hair, or nails. Interestingly, I noticed a reduction in foot pain that had been bothering me all year each morning when I wake up. While using the supplement, the discomfort (which normally goes away on its own after a few minutes of walking/stretching), diminished from 6/10 to 2/10. Some days it wasn’t there at all. It took at least a month before I began noticing this regularly. During the two week break (not using the product), the daily morning discomfort creeped back up to 6/10 after about 10 days. At the time, I considered it a placebo effect.
Serving size: 1 scoop (11g)
The first thing I noted when opening this bottle was how much better the container is than Great Lakes (their design seemed a bit retro). Not that it matters, but it was more modern and updated. Easier to read and more eye-catching on a shelf. It dissolved very well, and didn’t alter the appearance or taste of my smoothies. That being said, I felt myself counting the days until I could either go back to Great Lakes, or try the next brand. It didn’t feel like anything was changing, and the litmus test (my morning foot pain), failed. Perhaps I got an expired bottle? I couldn’t find the protein bioavailability stat listed anywhere. Just spitballing here, but if it’s below 90%, that could be the factor that makes it less noticeable than the others.
Serving size: 1 scoop (11g)
This was far and away the fastest acting and most notable of the brands. It offers 97% protein, is tasteless, odorless, and dissolved perfectly. Within a few days of taking this, the pain at the bottom of my foot reduced to 1/10, or gone entirely. I can only speculate why the “Perfect” brand was so much more potent than the other two… It’s 100% pesticide and hormone free; made from Brazilian pasture raised cows, and has >90% bioavailability.
To be clear, I do not think this is a “cure” for foot pain. This just happened to be a regular pain/discomfort that I experience frequently enough to use as a measuring stick. I can say, however, that even after I finished the “Perfect” bottle, my morning foot pain was still, at worst, minimal.
#1: Perfect (The brand I will continue to order)
#2: Great Lakes
#3: Sports Reseach