Types of collagen
Nina-Buday/Shutterstock There are three types of collagen: type I collagen comprises 90 percent of skin, hair, nails, organs, bone, ligaments, making it the best for skin and beauty, type II collagen is associated with cartilage; while type III collagen applies to fibrous protein in bone, cartilage, dentin, tendon, and other connective tissues.
Sources of collagen
reeskyline/Shutterstock You can get collagen in many forms: Collagen pills contain up to one gram of collagen per pill and can combine various strains of collagen along with vitamin C, which helps your body produce more collagen. There is also collagen powder and liquid, which are great for individuals who don’t want to take pills or have trouble swallowing them. Limited research exits on these, however. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, there are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly collagen supplements now available that can contain a mix of amino acids, wheat extracts, and vitamins instead of animal byproducts. You can also get dietary sources of collagen from fish, cow, pig, and chicken.
What to avoid in a collagen supplement
Fecundap-stock/Shutterstock While the inclusion of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are great for maximizing the benefits of a collagen supplement, there are some ingredients you should avoid, CoQ10, glucosamine, and arginine, among them. While beneficial on their own, they offer low value to collagen supplements, and only add cost of your supplement. You should also be sure to avoid collagen supplements with fillers such as maltodextrin, flavors or sugars, oils, and artificial ingredients. There are various other unnecessary ingredients you may not need, like branched-chain amino acids, which may aid in recovery from muscle trauma, but will not help raise overall body collagen.