Top Collagen Powders for Joints, According to a Dietitian

The top-rated collagen powders for joints, how to choose a product and who should try it for a complete buying guide!

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One of the safest and most effective joint supplements being used right now are collagen powders. Collagen powders can help your body form cartilage and keep your joints healthy (in addition to healthy ligaments and tendons). Since almost all of our connective tissues are made from collagen, it makes sense to supplement with these products.

Physical benefits of collagen supplementation include less pain, better mobility and even increased energy levels due to the ability to exercise and be more active. As we age, collagen supplementation can help our bodies move more freely because we’re not producing as much naturally. Even at a younger age, exercise recovery and joint health can be boosted with the use of collagen. We actually begin to produce less collagen in our 30s, and this will continue on the older that we get.

There are many healthy diets that can increase our intake of natural collagen through foods like bone broth and antioxidants, but supplementation can ensure we’re getting enough of what we need to feel good.

I want to look closely at the best collagen powders on the market for joint health. In this article I’ll discuss different brands, how much you should be taking and the benefits of collagen powders.

How Does Collagen Powder Help with Joint Health?

science of collagen for joint health

There are a lot of supplements that you can consider taking for optimal health, but how do you know what works and what doesn’t? Our body produces collagen naturally, and it’s the most prevalent protein in our body. It can be found in our skin, cartilage, tendons, teeth and bones. The older we get, the less collagen we produce. That’s where supplements come in. Our joints can function better when we use collagen powders, and we may be able to reduce the number of wrinkles that we develop as we age.

Can Reduce Osteoarthritis Related Knee Pain

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the U.S. There are approximately 31 million people in this country dealing with this condition, which breaks down cartilage in your joints. As the bones in your joints rub together, this leads to painful condition that can produce a great deal of swelling. Most people with osteoarthritis experience a decrease in the amount of activity they can accomplish each day.

Can Help with Lower Back Pain

Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at some point in their life, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Lower back pain can be a debilitating condition that prevents you from doing what you love. It can be difficult to stand for long periods of time, walk long distances or get a comfortable night of sleep. In our lower backs, our bones, tendons and muscles all contain collagen. Supplementing with collagen has the potential to reduce the prevalence of lower back pain.

Can Help Prevent Bone Loss

Bones are made up of 90 to 95 percent collagen. Having enough collagen in the body will help to keep our bones healthy and strong throughout our lifetime. When collagen levels decrease, this can lead to brittle and weak bones that are more susceptible to breaks.

Can Help Build Muscle Mass

Our muscle tissue relies on protein in the body, and collagen is a major component of this process. In addition to protein, collagen also contains glycine. This is an amino acid that can be found in creatine, and it gives you a boost of energy when you’re working out.

What to Look for in a Collagen Powder for Joint Health

choosing collagen powder for joint health benefits

There are hundreds of different collagen manufacturers on the market right now. So how do you decide which product is right for you? There are some factors I like to take into consideration when shopping for any supplement, including collagen. Not all products are going to be effective or safe. It’s important that you can tell when a brand is trying to make money without providing a superior product.

Reputable Brand

A reputable collagen brand will provide their clients and prospective clients with high quality ingredients, safety, affordability, transparency and customer support. If a brand isn’t reputable, you’ll soon figure out that they’re just trying to make some fast money while not caring about the community that they serve. Monitoring of their product, money back guarantees, and transparent information are all good signs that you’re considering purchasing collagen from a reputable brand.

Safety – Third Party Tested

When a product is third party tested, this means that a company has invested money into testing that proves the quality and transparency of their product. This research is done by someone that doesn’t have ties to that brand. A reputable company will publicly share the results of this research with their clientele.

Transparent Ingredients

A collagen supplement should provide a potent amount of collagen in a small serving of their product. The ingredients should come from reputable sources, and all of the ingredients should be listed on the company’s product and website. A brand that is transparent about their ingredients means that they stand behind the quality of what they’re selling. Having trouble figuring out what’s inside of a collagen product should make you wonder what they’re trying to hide.

Free of Additives

The more fillers, additives and artificial ingredients that are in a collagen product, the lower quality it is. You should purchase a product that is free of these unnecessary ingredients, so you can trust that you’re consuming something safe. Stay away from artificial sweeteners and colors that don’t add to the quality of the product, but rather decrease the reputability.

The 5 Best Collagen Powders for Joint Health (And reasons why they made our list)

top collagen powder for joint health benefits

We know it's not easy finding the right supplement, which is why we took the time to research and condense the information for you. This isn't another amazon's top product list. These collagen powders were hand selected and vetted from legit nutritional supplement brands – made in the United States. Some, you may have never heard of before, but once you click on our buttons to see their product page, you'll find an enormous amount of verified customer reviews with high ratings. Let's begin.

#1. 1st Phorm Collagen with Dermaval

1st phorm collagen with dermaval collagen powder for joints
Avg. Customer Rating:4.9/5 ⭐ (3,181 reviews)
Main Benefit:Stronger Bones & Joints
Price:$44.99

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If you’re not consuming enough protein, collagen stores will be used up in the body to try and repair your muscle as you’re physically active. Supplementing with collagen is beneficial, but you’ll want to make sure that you’re also consuming enough protein on a regular basis, so watch your diet! 1st Phorm Collagen with Dermaval has one of the highest protein contents around from a collagen supplement, and this product allows you to maximize the potential effectiveness of a collagen supplement thanks to multiple collagen sources. You’ll be able to improve your skin elasticity, increase bone strength, repair joints and build muscle with this product.

Dermaval is a phytonutrient included that helps to increase elastin in the body, so you can repair your joints while also keeping your skin healthy. I’m always looking for a way to turn back the hands of time!

Pros

  • Has a mild vanilla flavor that compliments anything you mix it into. Can be used in a smoothie or even a cup of coffee.
  • Helps improve your joint health while also improving elasticity of your skin, improving the health of your nails as well as hair.
  • Helps boost your exercise performance and shorten your recovery period.
  • Supports optimal bone health as you age.

Cons

  • When you stop the use of collagen, you may find that your original issues come back.
  • People with an autoimmune disorder may have an adverse reaction after taking collagen supplements.

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#2. Primal Harvest Collagen Powder

primal harvest collagen powder for joints
Avg. Customer Rating:4.9/5 ⭐ (375 reviews)
Main Benefit:Joint health
Price:$36.95

Primal Harvest Collagen Powder is a product that instantly mixes to provide you with a premium collagen supplement. It is made from grass-fed beef without the use of antibiotics or hormones. It also includes a vast profile of amino acids. The brand markets its product as being beneficial for joints, skin, bones and much more.

Primal Harvest Collagen Powder utilizes Solugel technology, which helps it to dissolve quickly in whatever you’re mixing it into. I like to throw a scoop of it into my morning smoothie, and it doesn’t cause any kind of grittiness or odd texture. Primal Harvest is also NSF-certified, which means that it contains only high-quality ingredients that are free of any contaminants.

Pros

  • Primal Harvest Collagen Powder is gluten free.
  • Each scoop contains 10 grams of hydrolyzed collagen without any unwanted additives.
  • Sourced from certified grass-fed and pasture-raised bovine.
  • Solugel technology provides a fast-blending product that can be added to anything, even a glass of plain water.

Cons

  • This is not a vegan collagen powder supplement.
  • One bag costs just under $30, which is a bit expensive for a collagen supplement. However, you should consider quality over cost.

#3. BUBS Naturals Collagen Protein

collagen powder for joints - bubs naturals
Avg. Customer Rating:4.8/5 ⭐ (678 reviews)
Main Benefit:Supports reconstruction of joints (cartilage / synovial fluids)
Price:$43.00

BUBS Natural Collagen Protein comes from a grass-fed and pasture-raised cattle source in Brazil with plenty of potency in each dose of the product to promote healing from the inside out. Sustainably sourced, BUBS helps your joint health by reducing inflammation and repairing damaged collagen and elasticity.

BUBS adheres to very strict quality standards at their own company, but they also require their farmers and manufacturers to do the same. They are very transparent about their products, which also includes an MCT oil. A shot of MCT oil along with a collagen supplement is something I often use for optimal gut health.

Pros

  • BUBS offers a number of discounts and coupons to make their product more affordable.
  • Ten percent of each sale is donated to charity.
  • BUBS is free of gluten, soy, nuts, and corn.

Cons

  • A single bag of Bubs Collagen Peptides costs $43 before any discounts.
  • BUBS recently issued a recall due to undeclared milk in their products. This was a big risk factor for people with allergies that were unaware of this addition.

#4. SHORE MAGIC Collagen Powder

collagen powder for joints - shore magic
Avg. Customer Rating:4.9/5 ⭐ (185 reviews)
Main Benefit:Helps strengthen joints
Price:$120

I like that the source of Shore Magic is different from a lot of other brands. They source their collagen from sustainably sourced wild fish skins. Their product comes in one month supply packages that boast the ability to help joint health, rebuild your muscles and improve your skin, hair and nails from the inside out.

Shore Magic Collagen is a very easy to absorb product that provides a high level of potency in each dose of product. Backed by science, Shore Magic is one of the healthier collagen brands that I’ve come across in regard to purity. It’s free of all additives, fillers, binders, preservatives and anything artificial.

Pros

  • Shore Magic Collagen can be purchased in individual pouches, making it easy to carry the product around and use it whenever you want.
  • The Starter Set from Shore Magic provides a product along with a frother and a mug for an excellent mix.
  • The Shore Magic Collagen subscription service can help you save money on monthly products. You receive a free frother with your first subscription order.
  • Contains collagen types I, II, III and IV.

Cons

  • One serving of collagen requires two scoops of product. Ten grams of collagen powder is a large serving.
  • Joint aches and inflammation may come back after discontinuing the product.

#5. Ancient Nutrition Collagen Powder

collagen powder for joints - ancient nutrition
Avg. Customer Rating:4.5/5 ⭐ (10,077 reviews)
Main Benefit:Reduces joint discomfort and knee stiffness
Price:$44.95

You can eat extremely healthy and still have gaps in your nutrition that affect your health and wellbeing. Ancient Nutrition is all about filling in those gaps with high quality supplements. Their Ancient Nutrition Collagen Powder is easy to digest and absorb, so you can target any joint issues that you’re having. They also sell various protein products, peptides, vitamins, minerals and more. I love that their products are based off of real ingredients that I can feel good about putting into my body.

If you’re new to the world of collagen powder, Ancient Nutrition makes it easy for you to select a product. Their collagen is made using superior ingredients that have been thoroughly studied and tested. You can experience less joint pain and stiffness in just a couple of days according to Ancient Nutrition. Over time and with regular use of their collagen, your skin, hair and nails will all look healthier as well.

Pros

  • Ancient Nutrition Collagen comes in a few different flavors and product types.
  • You can improve your joint health and knee stiffness in just one week of use.
  • Ten types of collagens from four different sources are included in this product.
  • Includes your daily dose of vitamin C, which aids in absorption.

Cons

  • Includes 2 billion CFU Bacillus coagulans at the time of manufacture, but that number may decrease over time.

Who Should Add Collagen to Their Diet?

joint pain try collagen powder

One third of your body is made up of collagen. This ‘glue’ holds all of your muscles, joints and bones together. By the time you are in your mid 30s to 40s, your body simply can’t produce as much collagen as it once did. This is when we start to see more joint issues, wrinkles in the skin and decreased bone density. Adding in a recommended amount of collagen to your diet will help to provide your body with the additional collagen it needs, while also boosting natural collagen production. It doesn’t take long to experience better mobility and less pain when you’ve started to take collagen powder daily.

Collagen powder supplements can also be beneficial to someone that is dealing with ongoing gastrointestinal issues. If you have irritable bowel disease or poor gut health that results in gas, bloating and bowel issues, then collage powders may be able to help alleviate some of your issues. Not to mention, we would all love to look younger and have healthier skin, hair and nails.

Side Effects That You Need to Know

side effects of collagen

All supplements have some degree of side effects that you should be aware of before starting a new regimen. Collagen production occurs naturally in the body, so this is something that we all need in order to feel our best. It’s also really important when you’re trying to recover from an injury or joint discomfort. Dietary supplements can help you restore low levels of collagen, but the following side effects are something you should watch out for.

High Levels of Calcium in the Body

The amount of calcium that builds up in your body from collagen supplementation is often determined by the source of the collagen. Marine-sourced collagen typically contains higher levels of calcium. If you have too much calcium in the body, this can lead to issues like constipation, nausea, vomiting, bone pain, fatigue and abnormal heart rhythms. A normal blood calcium level should be between 8.5 to 10.2 mg / dl. Anything above 10.2 mg / dl is considered to be hypercalcemia.

Hypersensitivity

A hypersensitivity response can occur after taking a collagen powder supplement. When the body abnormally reacts to food, drugs and supplements, allergic symptoms can present themselves. This is more common in children, but adults can also experience this immune reaction from a variety of substance exposures after taking collagen.

Undesirable Taste in the Mouth

Collagen products that are made using fish and other marine sources can leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth. You can often mask the flavor by adding your collagen to juice or a smoothie.

Conclusion

conclusion recommended collagen for joint health benefits

I see a great deal of benefit from taking collagen powders for joint health in addition to the other health benefits that they provide. Most people are unaware of how much collagen they’re producing in their body, but we do know that our production slows the older that we get. The products that I’ve talked about here are just some of the collagen supplements that you can take to improve your joint health. There are plenty of others out there that may be a better option. As always, pay close attention to the quality of the collagen, what the source is, how much you have to take per serving, the potency of the product and how much it’s going to cost you. After weighing the pros and cons of your options, you can make a decision that will positively impact your health.

Tips for Success from the RD

If you decide that you don’t want to take a collagen supplement or you’re going to forgo that option for now, there are some ways that you can naturally add collagen to your diet each day. These are some of the foods which will help to boost your collagen production.

Foods That Have High Levels of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is extremely important when it comes to collagen production in the body. You can add citrus, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers and leafy greens to your diet to increase your intake of vitamin C.

If you’re going to be making a smoothie each day, you can incorporate plenty of healthy fruit and vegetable ingredients that are high in vitamin C, into your combination. You can also add in a dose of collagen powder to further boost your collagen production.

Bone Broth

Much different than regular stock or broth, bone broth is made by simmering bones with water for long periods of time to get as much nutrition out of them as possible. Bone broth is chock full of collagen and amino acids in addition to other beneficial nutrients. You can buy it packaged, or you can make your own at home.

Protein Sources

There are a number of healthy protein sources that contain collagen and will boost your collagen production. This can include egg whites, fish and chicken. Working these protein sources into your diet can help with optimal health.

Photo of author

Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD

Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, earned her masters degree in Nutrition and Foods from the University of Georgia. She's a Registered Dietitian at Morrison Healthcare and has a strong passion in helping people improve their wellness!

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