Liquid vs Powder Collagen: Here’s How to Know Which Is Best for You

Health and beauty enthusiasts around the world have gone a little crazy for collagen. Last year, market research valued the global collagen market at a whopping 9.1 billion USD, and forecasted it to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 10% for the next seven years!

The excitement surrounding collagen is well-deserved. As the body’s most abundant protein, collagen’s fiber-like structure does the critical job of helping to make connective tissue. It’s the major component of bone, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and skin.

Yet, starting in our mid-20s, our bodies make less of it – and as we grow older and collagen in our bodies degrades, we experience the telltale signs of aging, including wrinkles, sagging skin, brittle nails and hair, aching joints, digestive issues, and more.

Supplementing with collagen peptides (also called hydrolyzed collagen – the most easily absorbed form) may offer a way to roll back, ever so slightly, some of the unwanted effects of aging, helping to support skin hydration and elasticity, healthy joints, and digestive health, to name a few benefits.

But what is the best way to supplement with collagen?

Here’s what you need to know about collagen types and the benefits of the two most popular supplemental forms: liquid and powder.

Collagen Types

Whether you choose a liquid or powder collagen supplement, you’ll want to pay attention to what types of collagen are being offered – as well as the source to ensure you get the anti-aging benefits you’re looking for.

Research has identified about 28 types of collagen. The following 5 are the most prevalent in the human body.

Type I – Accounts for 90% of the body’s collagen stores and is found abundantly just below the surface of the skin in the dermis, as well as in bones, hair, nails, tendons, and the lining of the digestive system.

Type II – Present in cartilage, giving it strength and elasticity, which provides joint support.

Type III – The second most abundant collagen in the body. Present in skin, gut, muscles, uterus, and blood vessels.

Type V – Present in the cornea of the eyes, some layers of skin, hair, and tissue of the placenta.

Type X – Present in joint cartilage and bones.

Collagen supplements are sourced from cartilage, skin, and bones from animal and marine sources. The most common are the following:

  • Marine collagen from skin, bones, and scales of fish; rich in collagen types I and II
  • Bovine collagen from cows; rich in collagen types I and III
  • Porcine collagen from pigs; rich in collagen types I and III
  • Eggshell collagen from chickens; rich in collagen type V
  • Chicken collagen from chickens; rich in type X

There are no vegan collagens, but some vegan collagen formulas provide ingredients that support your body’s synthesis of collagen. Scientists are working on a viable vegan collagen from bacterial and fungal sources.

Liquid vs Powder Collagen: What to Choose?

Liquid vs Powder Collagen 2There’s very little research that clearly indicates whether liquid collagen is superior to powder collagen or vice versa; both have been used in studies that show anti-aging benefits. That said, there are some differences that may make one or the other your preference.

Let’s start with liquid collagen.

Liquid collagen is offered as either a collagen water or a liquid supplement. Collagen water is basically what it sounds like – water with collagen blended into it. It may also contain other ingredients, like flavorings such as juice, fruit essences, or sweeteners.

Sometimes additional nutrients are added, such as vitamin C, biotin, copper, silica, and hyaluronic acid – which help to build or support collagen in the body. Electrolytes may be added too, which may help with post-workout recovery.

Here’s what’s great about collagen waters:

  • Supremely convenient. No measuring or mixing. Just grab and go!
  • Refreshing post-workout and offer some protein to build and repair muscle.
  • Offer additional benefits when they have added nutrients.
  • Digest and absorb into the bloodstream faster than collagen powder.
  • Often better for people with digestive problems.
  • Tasteless (unless flavored) and blend easily into smoothies, coffee, and yogurt without the chalkiness sometimes experienced with powders.

Liquid collagen supplements have all the benefits of collagen waters, but they’re not in a ready-to-drink format. You can also easily increase your dosage of collagen with a liquid supplement, whereas a collagen water has only a fixed amount.

Here’s what’s great about powdered collagen:

  • Offers greater value than liquid collagen. Instead of buying a more expensive one-use product, you pay much less per serving and, as mentioned, you get a higher concentration of collagen peptides. Collagen water and liquid collage typically offer 4 to 10 grams of collagen per serving. Powder collagen offers 10 to 20 grams per serving!
  • Dissolves easily in water, tea, coffee, or in a blended smoothie; you can get the benefit of the fast absorption once liquefied.
  • Can offer multiple types of collagen thus providing multiple benefits, whereas collagen water usually offers just a couple of types.
  • Contains fewer preservatives to maintain freshness than liquid collagen.
  • Has fewer unwanted flavor additives (such as sweeteners) than liquid collagen.
  • Isn’t single-use and therefore is better for the environment!

Bottom Line

When you boil it all down, here’s the main difference: Liquid collagen appears to be more about convenience at the expense of collagen concentration; collagen powder is less convenient but offers a greater concentration of collagen per serving. For a deeper dive into the common myths and facts about collagen supplements discussed with Dr. Nicole Avena, click here.

Use one or the other or try them both and use them consistently over a 12-week period. If your body is lacking collagen, you’ll likely experience a difference in the way you look and feel!

At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.

Kim Henderson
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
I B Jenkins

What a great clarification on the types!!! I have been looking for an answer. Thanks!!!


Also, For people suffering from gut problems, collagen supplements may cause digestive issues that can lead to discomfort and inflammation.