Ferira’s verdict? “While I get the grab-and-go appeal, I would prefer my clients use a high-quality collagen powder formula,” she says. “That way, you get a more meaningful dose of collagen, fewer additives, and save the environment from more plastic or packaging waste, regardless of the form.” Plus, you can always create your own liquid collagen by incorporating the powder into your favorite beverage. “Give it a swirl or shake, and there you have it, collagen in water,” she adds.
Another point for powder? “Multi-ingredient collagen powders can incorporate other effective nutrients and phytonutrients to support collagen’s actions in the body and overall skin, nails, hair, gut, etc., from multiple angles (i.e., vitamins C and E, biotin, turmeric, sulforaphane, hyaluronic acid, etc.),”* Ferira tells us. “And these actives are not all able to be provided in a liquid/beverage in a homogenous or stable fashion.”
That’s not to say liquid collagen products are all bad. We’d recommend a drink with high-quality collagen peptides and a clean excipient profile over a powder with an iffy ingredient list. But if you’re weighing two stellar options? We suggest you go with the powder form for the potency advantage, fewer additives, and eco-friendly edge.
“Many liquid collagen brands tout the bioavailability of their product, claiming that the collagen is more efficiently absorbed and usable by the body,” adds Kujawski. “However, scientific studies in this arena are lacking to substantiate this claim.” In fact, collagen as a protein (aka peptide) compound is actually quite large (whether it comes in a liquid or powder form), so to enhance its bioavailability and absorption, your body has to break down the protein into smaller peptides and amino acids to absorb them in your gut.