I’ve been familiar with the benefits of collagen for quite some time, but collagen hydrolysate in particular is receiving a lot of raves lately, so I decided it was time to investigate. I decided to give it a go, but only if it was available from a grass fed source. After sufficient research I found two of the best sources. Read on for my full hydrolyzed collagen reviews to find out how I rate these powders.
What is Collagen Powder?
Collagen is the stuff naturally contained in bones, skin, and cartilage – in this case of grass fed beef. It contains 90 percent of a highly bio-available protein, which means it’s super easy to absorb. It’s a source of amino acids that regulate cell function, promote rapid cell growth and are needed by the body to build and repair the structure of connective tissue of bone, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, skin, hair, and nails.
It helps produce synovial fluid which lubricates your joints, regulates metabolism and promotes a healthy gut. All important stuff since the body’s natural ability to to repair and build new connective tissue lessens greatly after age 25 (I know, pretty crazy right?!).
Does it Make a Difference if It’s Hydrolysate?
Great Lakes makes two different types of gelatin, the hydrolysate that comes in the bright green canister and dissolves easily in liquid OR the regular gelatin in a orange canister that gels up or congeals in liquid. You want the green canister which will not congeal since it is hydrolyzed
Custom Collagen is also hydrolyzed. Hydrolyzed collagen or collagen hydrolysate is put in an enzyme bath to break down the gelatin’s ability to congeal which allows for quick assimilation and improved hydration to the connective tissue.
What Are The Benefits of Collagen Powder?
In my recipe post for bone broth I talk about how nourishing and healing it can be for the body. It provides a rich source of collagen, but if you’re not up for making it, these powders are the closest ready made version – a concentrated bone broth.
Benefits of taking hydrolyzed collagen powder include:
- Strong bones, ligaments, and tendons
- Joint lubrication
- Healthy hair, skin, and nails
- Faster post workout recovery
- Quicker healing of muscle, tendon, ligament, and bones after injury
- Metabolism regulation
- Inflammation defense
- Healthy digestion system and gut lining
- Thyroid nourishment
- Hormone support
- Better sleep
Personally, since starting collagen I have noticed a remarkable overall improvement in my joints, skin, appetite, digestive system, and most of all it has taken away the pain in my knee that has been nagging me for quite some time (I suspect my meniscus is damaged from years of sports and repetitive motion work). No more sharp pains, even after physical activity.
Having lots of experience with supplements and natural remedies, I’m aware that they usually take some time to show signs of improvement within the body so I was pleasantly surprised when my knee felt better after just the first week of using hydrolyzed collagen.
How Do You Use It?
It will dissolve in anything really. You can add it to water, cold or hot beverages, smoothies, soups, yogurt, hot cereals, etc. Although it is virtually tasteless, it can have a slightly funny odor (more so with Great Lakes), so I’ve discovered some of my favorite ways to drink it are in carrot juice, smoothies, and my teeccino-yum! (roasted dandelion and chicory root tea, in case you’ve never heard of it, it tastes like coffee without the caffeine or acid but that’s a whole other review lol)! I’ve also added it to guacamole, and my healthy dark chocolate pudding recipe with great success, you can’t taste it at all.
As far as how much to take, I recommended following the dose suggested on the container. Although Great Lakes serving size is 2 heaping tablespoons which they recommend to take twice daily for a total of 4 tablespoons all day, I use 1 Tbsp in the morning and 1 Tbsp in the evening and that works great for me.
That actually is the same amount Custom Collagen recommends only they give you a scoop and tell you to take 1 scoop daily, so I divide it up half for morning and half in evening, but if taking the entire scoop at once makes it easier to remember, go for it!
Even though it can actually be healing for your gut, I recommend introducing it into your diet slowly at first, starting with half the amount divided between morning and evening, just to make sure it doesn’t upset your stomach. You will see recommendations to take it on an empty stomach, but being a person with a semi-sensitive stomach I get the best results taking it with meals that contain healthy fats, or adding it to smoothies and foods.
How Do The Two Compare?
Both Great Lakes and Custom Collagen are similar in that they are both high quality water soluble hydrolyzed collagen powders. Both are sourced from pasture raised grass fed cows, are unflavored, and I’m happy to continue to include both in my daily wellness routine. With Custom Collagen you get a little more “bang for your buck” and it’s a bonus that it’s odor free. I hope this honest review was helpful and you’re ready to reap the benefits and nourishment of hydrolyzed collagen!