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Best Collagen Supplement UK – [Expert Guide & Review]

Collagen is one of the main building materials in the human body.  It helps to form skin, muscles and bones.  Lack of collagen not only impacts your appearance, it can also leave you vulnerable to injury and delay your recovery.

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What foods are rich in collagen?

As a rule of thumb, foods which are rich in protein are also rich in protein.  This is because collagen itself is a protein.  It is based on the amino acids Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline and Arginine.

It can, however, be challenging to get sufficient collagen through diet.  Firstly, the actual level of collagen in food depends largely on the quality of the food.  You can therefore be eating large quantities of protein-rich foods, but still not getting sufficient collagen.

Secondly, the body’s ability to convert food into collagen declines with age.  The decline actually starts in a person’s early twenties.  It may, however, only become noticeable once a person reaches their forties.  In women, the menopause can also lead to collagen levels dropping sharply.

What helps to boost your collagen level?

First of all, you should avoid foods and habits which reduce collagen production.  Processed foods are bad for many reasons.  One of them is that they often contain a lot of sugar.  This inhibits collagen production as do many chemicals often used in industrial food production.  Excessive sun exposure is also bad for collagen levels as is smoking.

Collagen production also depends on the presence of vitamin C, zinc and copper.  This means that eating foods rich in these vitamins and minerals can help to boost collagen production.  If this is still insufficient (or impractical), then it’s probably time to look at collagen supplements.

How are collagen supplements made?

Currently there are two main types of collagen supplements available on the UK market.  These are marine collagen supplements and bovine collagen supplements.  It is also possible to buy vegan collagen supplements.

Marine collagen versus bovine collagen

From a scientific perspective, marine collagen and bovine collagen are close to identical.  The only real difference is that marine collagen has a higher level of bioavailability.  This means that you see results faster. 

On the other hand, it’s impossible to oversee the behaviour of fish the way you can oversee the behaviour of cows.  Even if you farm fish and make sure that they only eat organic food, you cannot really control the quality of the water.  With wild fish, you cannot control anything.

It’s also worth noting that brands seem to vary widely in the information they give about the source of their collagen, particularly marine collagen.  In some cases this can be, frankly, because they have something to hide.  In others, however, it’s because a brand doesn’t think it matters to their customer base.  Do your own research and/or use a trusted source (like us).

Vegan collagen

True vegan collagen is synthesized from plant-based sources particularly genetically-modified yeast.  It is very difficult to buy these products from mainstream retailers. 

Most “vegan collagen” products are actually collagen boosters.  The idea is that you eat a diet rich in plant-based proteins and then use the boosters to improve your collagen intake.  While this is a work around, it can be a very effective one.  It’s certainly worth considering given the importance of collagen and the difficulty of getting it through diet even if you eat meat and fish.

When is the best time to take a collagen supplement?

Generally, you want to take collagen either in the morning or at night rather than in the middle of the day.  If you take it in the morning, it can help keep your feeling full until lunchtime.  If you take it at night, your body can process it during its downtime.  Either way, it’s usually best to take it with food as it can be a bit much for the body to process on its own.

How long does it take for collagen supplements to work?

As a rule of thumb, you should see some results in 4-6 weeks.  This is, however, only a very loose guideline.  Firstly, everyone is individual.  Secondly, different types of collagen can act at different speeds.  That doesn’t make them better (or worse), it just makes them different from each other. 

Thirdly, the quality of the collagen can make a significant difference both to how well it works and to how quickly it works.  This means that it really is important to know the source of your food and/or the quality of the brand behind your collagen supplement.

Best collagen supplement UK (non-powder)

Usually we’d aim to offer at least one each of tablets, capsules and liquids, plus any other good formats we can find.  For collagen, however, we couldn’t find any tablets at all.  Even the products which were described as tablets turned out to be capsules.  We’ve also split out collagen powders and vegan collagen into their own sections.

The Pretty Smart Food Co Marine Collagen Capsules

Powerful Marine Collagen Tablets

NB: for some strange reason, these are advertised as tablets but they are definitely capsules.

This marine collagen is from sustainably and ethically harvested wild fish caught in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  It’s combined with hyaluronic acid plus acaí, aloe vera, bamboo,  black pepper, blueberry, sea kelp and turmeric.  This makes it rich in vitamins and minerals (particularly vitamins C and E).

The capsules are a reasonable size and well shaped.  They slide down pretty easy.  With capsules you don’t really notice the taste of the contents.  That means even people who don’t like fish should be fine with them.

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Powerful Marine Collagen Tablets - Boosted with Hyaluronic Acid, Biotin & Blueberry...

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Last update was on: May 17, 2024 12:22 pm

Novomins Nutrition Collagen Gummies

This is marine collagen and we couldn’t find any information regarding the sustainability of the fish used.  Please note, however, that these gummies use bovine gelatin and also contain peas and sugar.  There’s 25mg of collagen per gummy and the recommended dose is two gummies per day.  Along with the collagen, you also get hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and biotin.

The flavour of these gummies is described as peach.  We’d describe it more as generic, sweet fruit but we did find it very pleasant.  The only flavour we noticed was the fruit, we didn’t pick up on any fish. 

We have to admit that we weren’t thrilled by the colour of the gummies or the general packaging.  At the end of the day, however, what matters is performance and these gummies deliver. 

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Last update was on: May 17, 2024 12:22 pm

Maxine Laceby Absolute Collagen Marine Liquid Collagen

Absolute Collagen Marine Liquid Collagen

This is marine collagen and we were unable to find any sustainability information.  There are no other animal ingredients but this product does use stevia.  It’s a natural sweetener, but it’s also a bit controversial so do your own research before you decide whether or not it’s for you.

The product comes ready-dosed in sachets.  Each sachet holds 10ml of liquid, which gives you 800mg of collagen plus vitamin C.  You can either down them straight from the wrapper or add the liquid to another liquid.  According to the manufacturer, this can be hot or cold.

We just downed it as was.  Maybe we’re super-sensitive but we caught a definite undertone of fish.  Most of the flavour, however, was definitely sweet lemon.  This may sound like an odd combination, but it was actually OK.

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Best collagen powder UK

Marine collagen powder is basically the same as regular marine collagen supplements.  The only real difference is that you have full control over the dose and how you consume it.  Most collagen powders in the UK, however, are made with bovine collagen rather than marine collagen.

Sports Research Pure Hydrolyzed Collagen 454g

Click Image to Open expanded View Collagen

This product is bovine collagen.  It comes from grass-fed cows, is certified GMO-free and is NOT listed as kosher or halal.  There is hardly any smell or taste and the product dissolves easily.

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£42.63 £50.01

Wellgard Gold Standard Bovine Collagen Peptides Powder 400g

Collagen Powder, Gold Standard Bovine Collagen

This product is bovine collagen.  There is no information on how the cows were fed.  It is NOT certified GMO-free but it IS certified as kosher and halal.  There is hardly any smell or taste and the product dissolves easily.

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Best vegan collagen supplement UK

This is not a true vegan collagen product.  It’s a vegan collagen booster.  This is still a niche market and so there are very limited options.  We did, however, find one which we are happy to recommend.

WeightWorld Vegan Collagen Advanced

Vegan Collagen Advanced

This vegan collagen booster is based on hyaluronic acid and a range of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C.  The capsules are a bit larger than we’d like but they are a good shape.  If you take a decent gulp of water, you should be fine.  As with capsules in general, there’s no taste or smell.

In short

Collagen is essential for all sorts of processes, such as maintaining skin, muscles and bones.  Even when you are young, it can be difficult to get enough collagen through diet.  As you age, it becomes even more difficult.  This means that it can be very helpful to boost your collagen intake through the use of collagen supplements.

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