Collagen Powder vs. Collagen Shots: Which is Best for You?

 

Whatever your fitness goals are, understanding nutrition and the best supplements you can take is vital to supporting your progress over time. Interestingly, studies on collagen continue to emerge, highlighting its benefits for everyone from professional athletes through to weekend gym goers and health and wellness advocates.

But how can you know which is the best collagen supplement format for your goals? In this guide, the team at Kinetica will explain the primary differences between collagen shots and collagen powders, so you have the information to help you make the best decision for your training 

 

What is collagen?

Before we get into the details, let’s take a brief look at what collagen actually is.

Collagen is the most abundant protein that's made of several amino acids including glycine, proline, hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine. It’s found in our structural tissues, like cartilage, tendons, and even our bones! As we get older, our bodies produce less collagen, which can cause joint pain, reduced joint mobility and even impact skin through the appearance of ageing.

Interested in learning about collagen in more detail? Explore our article on What is Collagen and What Does it Do?

Collagen supplements typically contain collagen derived from a number of sources, for example - cows (bovine), pigs (porcine), or fish (marine). More recently, there are vegan alternatives being created too to provide an option for everyone. Depending on a series of factors, like your end goals, faith, allergy or dietary requirements, the choice of collagen you go for will be influenced as a result. For example, bovine collagen contains more of the collagen found in musculoskeletal tissues, which may have an influence on whether this is the right option for you

 

Which collagen is best for you?

So, with the multiple options available, let’s take a deep dive into two of the main formats of collagen supplements you can take. This will help you understand which one may best complement your performance goals, and overall lifestyle.

Collagen Powder

Powders are a popular format of dietary supplement because they’re stable and easy to transport. Collagen powder is no different. 

For some, collagen powder is the perfect way to incorporate more of this protein into their diet. Below, we’ve picked out some of the main advantages to using a collagen powder over other options.

Versatility

The first advantage of buying collagen powder is that it’s incredibly versatile in how you choose to take it. Unlike premixed forms, you have the freedom to decide whether you prefer to mix your collagen powder into water, a smoothie or juice.

For some, this freedom is perfect as they’re not set into one way of taking their supplement. However, you need to be aware that mixing your own drinks does take more time and preparation. So, you need to make sure you have the space in your routine to get into a regular habit of adding collagen to a drink during the day.

Collagen Powder Joint* & Muscle** Support Complex - 350g - Kinetica Sports

Fun fact: collagen powder is one of the few protein supplements that doesn’t degrade or lose effectiveness when it’s heated, so you could even incorporate your powder into baking healthy treats and snacks. Coming up with your own ways to incorporate collagen powder into your training routine is a great way to be more creative with your supplements and ensure you actually take them.

High bioavailability

Bioavailability is one of the key topics when it comes to talking about supplements, especially collagen. This refers to how well the body can digest and use a substance; with high bioavailability ensuring that you’re getting the maximum benefit from your supplement.

But what does bioavailability have to do with your collagen powder?

Hydrolysed collagen powders are made of peptides, which are smaller molecules that are more digestible and manageable for the body. Considering the majority of nutrients are absorbed through the small intestines, lighter molecules often have an easier job of passing across our intestinal linings into the bloodstream – and from there to necessary places in the body. So, collagen powders and bioavailability go hand in hand to help you get the optimum effects from your supplements.

In fact, a research paper from 2023 suggests that hydrolysed collagen peptides may have an easier job of reaching joint tissues and providing chondroprotective properties1. Whilst more research is required on the subject of collagen absorption, the study did show that current research ‘suggests a clear link between collagen chemical structure and mechanism of action.’

Our collagen powder

Developed in partnership with renowned sports nutritionist Daniel Davey, we’ve made sure our collagen powder is designed with you in mind. Whether you’re a serious athlete, a more casual exerciser, or simply want to look after your joint health, our collagen powder could provide the extra support you need.

Collagen Powder Joint* & Muscle** Support Complex - 350g - Kinetica Sports

Buy now – Collagen Powder Joint* & Muscle** Support Complex

 

Our collagen powder contains 5g of high quality, FORTIGEL® hydrolysed collagen per serving. Whilst this may seem like a small dose, the premium bioavailability means your body can make maximum use of every gram. 

In fact, a 2021 study explored the benefits of collagen peptide supplementation at this dose. Using a sample of young people with exercise-related knee pain, the study found that 5g of collagen peptides still achieved a ‘statistically significant reduction of activity-related joint pain in young adults suffering with knee joint discomfort’2.

At Kinetica Sports, our Collagen Joint* and Muscle** Support Complex is specially formulated to make the most of every single ingredient. So, alongside 5g of premium bovine collagen, we’ve included some additional ingredients to optimise our formula. These include:

  • Vitamin C: this assists with the production of collagen in the body especially when paired with exercise or training days3.
  • Vitamin D: vitamin D provides essential support for our skeletal system.
  • Hyaluronic acid: hyaluronic acid supports joint health, and may reduce joint pain4.
  • Glucosamine sulphate: glucosamine has also been linked to positive joint health.

Plus, as sports supplements go, we know that collagen can have quite a strong taste  – which is why our collagen powder comes in a sweet berry flavour for a refreshing way to incorporate collagen into your diet.


Collagen Shots

Alternatively, you may prefer to take collagen shots as this format of collagen supplement may suit your personal routine better.

Convenience

Collagen shots are arguably the most convenient way to include an extra supplement into your diet. You simply need to grab a shot and drink it at a time that suits you. This could be first thing in the morning, before a training session, or even when you’re travelling between events (although for best results, take it on training or exercise days).

The small size means you can easily keep some collagen shots in your training bag for whenever you need one.

Note: if you’re worried about creating more product waste, never fear. Our packaging is fully recyclable to minimise the environmental impact of single-use collagen shots.

Serving size

Another key advantage to collagen shots is that they have a high amount of collagen per serving size. This is incredibly beneficial for athletes with high training loads, or those undergoing recovery and rehabilitation from injury, as a higher dose of collagen can help to support their return to play and performance.

Further, according to a systematic review published in 2021, collagen supplementation is beneficial in ‘improving joint functionality and reducing joint pain’, and that collagen synthesis rates were improved with 15g per day of additional collagen6

High bioavailability

Bioavailability, as we mentioned above, is absolutely vital for ensuring your body can get the maximum benefit from your supplements. As collagen shots also use hydrolysed peptides, this is an efficient way to introduce additional collagen into your diet.

Our collagen shots

Whether you’re in the peak of your in-season training and events schedule, or recovering in the off-season, our collagen shots are one of the best supplements for athletes. Containing 20g of high-quality bovine collagen, our collagen shots are ideal to support healthy joint function and recovery after long training sessions, competition or match days.

But that’s not all. At Kinetica, every single ingredient within our supplements is designed to serve a beneficial purpose and support your health.

For example, we’ve included 50mg of vitamin C to support collagen synthesis. Vitamin C may also have beneficial effects for increasing collagen synthesis in tendinopathy recovery7, but more research is required to expand on this topic.

Another key part of our collagen shots is the 250mg of turmeric, which adds much more than a welcome heat upon consumption. Turmeric has a big presence in holistic medicine due to its anti-inflammatory properties. This is due to the high levels of curcumin, the bioactive natural polyphenol (compound) responsible for reducing inflammation8.

Last, but certainly not least amongst this list of excellent ingredients, are the duo of glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine and chondroitin work together to support joint health9,10.

Collagen Shot with Turmeric - Orange & Mango 12-pack - Kinetica Sports


Buy now – Collagen Shot with Turmeric - Orange & Mango

 

Another aspect of collagen you need to understand is that it tends to have a strong taste. But, at Kinetica, we’ve worked hard on our orange and mango formula to help make the flavour profile more enjoyable.

Our Collagen with Turmeric was also awarded Best Sports Nutrition Product 2023 at the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Awards (ESSNA). We’re incredibly proud of this achievement, and it goes to show that our collagen shots are ranked right up there with the best supplements for athletes.

Collagen supplements: the bottom line

So what are the main takeaways from this article? Obviously, the first one is that collagen – regardless of form – can potentially help to support you on your exercise or rehab journey. Collagen peptides can promote recovery and decrease joint pain to help you cope with your training load11.

Similar to how it is for most supplements, the key to effectiveness is linked to the quality of the product – but also the consistency in which it is used. You know at Kinetica we have ticked off the former part of that checklist. So choosing the best collagen supplement for you comes down to finding the option that fits into your day the easiest. Ask yourself ‘what allows you to be most consistent?’ as that answer will direct you towards the right option for you.

If you’d like some more guidance, why not check out our Practical Guide to Choosing Collagen Products.

Kinetica Sports: you know why, we know how

At Kinetica Sports, our aim is to assist you wherever possible and support your fitness ambitions. You’re the one who knows what drives you; we’re sitting in the passenger seat cheering you on via premium sports nutrition supplements.

But to do that, you need to trust that you’re getting the most from your supplements – and that there’s nothing in the mix to disrupt your training. We understand this, which is why the products in our range are rigorously tested to comply with the strict World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations so you can train and compete with confidence.


Read more: What is Bovine Collagen and its Benefits?


References

1. Martínez-Puig, D., et al, 2023, ‘Collagen Supplementation for Joint Health: The Link between Composition and Scientific Knowledge’, in Nutrients, 15(6):1332. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36986062/

2. Zdzieblik, D., et al, 2021, ‘The Influence of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides on Knee Joint Discomfort in Young Physically Active Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial’, in Nutrients, 13(2):523. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33562729/

3. Lis, D.M., & Baar, K., 2019, ‘Effects of Different Vitamin C-Enriched Collagen Derivatives on Collagen Synthesis’, in Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab., 29(5):526-531. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30859848/

4. Wang, S.J., Wang Y.H., & Huang, L.C., 2021, ‘The effect of oral low molecular weight liquid hyaluronic acid combination with glucosamine and chondroitin on knee osteoarthritis patients with mild knee pain: An 8-week randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial’, in Medicine (Baltimore), 100(5):e24252. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33592868/

5. Clifford, T., et al, 2019, ‘The effects of collagen peptides on muscle damage, inflammation and bone turnover following exercise: a randomised, controlled trial’, in Amino Acids, 51(4):691-704. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30783776/

6. Khatri, M., et al, 2021, ‘The effects of collagen peptide supplementation on body composition, collagen synthesis, and recovery from joint injury and exercise: a systematic review’, in Amino Acids, 53(10):1493-1506. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34491424/

7. Noriega-González, D.C., et al, 2022, ‘Effect of Vitamin C on Tendinopathy Recovery: A Scoping Review’, in Nutrients., 14(13):2663. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35807843/

8. Ferguson, J.J.A., Abbott, K.A., & Garg, M.L., 2021, ‘Anti-inflammatory effects of oral supplementation with curcumin: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials’, in Nutr Rev., 79(9):1043-1066. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34378053/

9. Veronese, N., et al, 2020, ‘Glucosamine sulphate: an umbrella review of health outcomes’, in Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis., 12:1759720X20975927. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33488785/

10. Bishnoi, M., et al, 2016, ‘Chondroitin sulphate: a focus on osteoarthritis’, in Glycoconj J., 33(5):693-705. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27194526/

11. Kviatkovsky, S.A., Hickner, R.C., & Ormsbee, M.J., 2022, ‘Collagen peptide supplementation for pain and function: is it effective?’, in Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care., 25(6):401-406. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36044324/

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