How I Use Collagen and How They Differ

This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins and contains affiliate links.

If you’re active anywhere in the social media world, you’ve probably heard of Vital Proteins. As a Chicago resident,  I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the Chicago-based company on several occasions and watch them grow exponentially in a short period of time.

What started off as a small number of products has grown into more than fifteen. If you’re anything like me, you may have questions about the differences between them. As new products started popping up, I wasn’t sure quite how they differed from one another. This post aims to address that in one place.

Here are the products I use the most, what they are, and the best way to use them.

How I use collagen in my day and how each type differs in how it's sourced and what it does.

First off, a little about collagen. It’s a basic building block of bones, joints, hair, skin, and nails. I like to use it as a source of protein because my stomach doesn’t react well to whey protein. I use a mix of collagen and plant-based protein in my smoothies. It’s more versatile for me than plant-based protein powders because depending on the type I use, it’s flavorless and I can add it into things like my tea if I’m short on protein for the day.

If you want a more scientific exploration of the claims and benefits of collagen, definitely read Katie’s post on it.

Collagen Peptides (blue)

  • made from: grass fed, pasture raised bovine hide
  • how to use: hot OR cold liquids

If you’re new to collagen, this is where you should start. The powder can be mixed into anything and is virtually tasteless. Throw it into smoothies, tea/coffee, and even water. There is also a vanilla + coconut water flavor.

Marine Collagen (turquoise)

  • made from: scales of non-GMO verified wild snapper
  • hot to use: hot OR cold liquids

The marine collagen is a pescatarian alternative to collagen peptides for those people who don’t eat beef products but still eat fish.

Beef Gelatin (green)

  • made from: grass fed, pasture raised bovine hide
  • how to use: hot liquids only, becomes gelatinous as it cools

The beef gelatin has the same benefits as the collagen peptides, but will only dissolve in hot liquids. As it cools, it become gelatinous and may not be the best addition to your tea (I’ve never done this obviously 🙂 ).

It’s great for thickening soups or sauces, making marshmallows, or protein gummies if you’re feeling like playing around in the kitchen.

Bone Broth Collagen

  • made from: grass fed, pasture raised bones
  • how to use: hot OR cold liquids

One of their newest products, the bone broth collagen is made from bones and not the hides. I throw it into smoothies and it’s great for adding into more savory things like soups or chili. I’ve mixed it in warm water for more of a broth-type drink, but the other formulations are my preferred choice for going this route.

There is a beef and a chicken option available.

Beef Liver

  • made from: grass fed, pasture raised bovine liver
  • how to use: 4 capsules daily

I’ve been taking this every day for a couple months now. The difference between this and the collagen is that it contains a number of micronutrients that aid in collagen synthesis. Liver is the most concentrated source of Vitamin A and also contains Vitamin B12 which is important for energy. I like to think of it as more of a multivitamin than a protein source like the other products.

These are the main products I use, but as I mentioned, there are several more options to choose from. I covered the previous ones because the following contain them as the base + a few added ingredients (aside from the whey).

You can buy them on their site or from Amazon as many people I know do. If you use any or have any questions, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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7 Comments

    • June 4, 2017 / 6:35 am

      Hi Megan! I actually just commented this down at the bottom before seeing your comment, but perhaps you know the answer! I currently use Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate (I love it) and am looking for a more vegetarian-friendly alternative that still gives me the benefits of the beef collagen. Do you know of anything? Does it even exist? Any advice would be swell. 🙂

      – Kaitlyn
      Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass recently posted…Life Lately 6/3My Profile

  1. May 29, 2017 / 12:08 pm

    The science in Katie’s post just made me so freaking happy!
    I’ve been trying to increase my daily protein intake and being able to add collagen or gelatin to my morning coffee has helped. I also really like the Whey + Collagen since learning whey protein is beneficial to active females.
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Let’s PlayMy Profile

  2. June 4, 2017 / 6:33 am

    I started using Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate for a few months now. I just mix a tablespoon into my iced coffee and boom. I was skeptical in the beginning, but now I swear by this stuff and use it daily. I’ve heard of Vital Proteins and have been eyeing the marine collagen, but I’m wondering if there’s a product similar to collagen and its benefits but vegan. I’m slowly transitioning to a plant-based diet and would eventually like to say goodbye to the beef collagen.

    Any recommendations?

  3. June 8, 2017 / 6:50 pm

    I’ve been taking the Collagen Peptitdes for a while now and I swear, my skin, hair are so much better. Thanks for the overview. I might have to try some of the other products.
    San recently posted…Happy Global Running Day My Profile

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