Vegan collagen supplements are supplements that contain collagen from a vegan source. Collagen is a form of protein that is a significant building block for bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Because of this, it is most often found in meat.
If you’re a vegan, this can be a problem. It is vital to ensure you’re getting enough collagen from plant sources, which may require a supplement. Luckily, there are many vegan collagen supplements available.
1. Garden of Life Organic Plant Collagen Builder
For an utterly plant-based collagen supplement, this is your best option. It helps support your body’s natural production of collagen with ingredients like silica.
It also contains polyphenols to support healthy skin and protect against UV damage. For these reasons, it is Bodynutrition’s #1 vegan collagen supplement.
2. Vegan Collagen Boosting Gummies by MaryRuth Organics
This supplement is designed to help your body make its own collagen. If you dislike pills, these gummies are the perfect alternative. They’re yummy and watermelon flavored.
They also contain quite a few other necessary ingredients, like vitamin A and vitamin C.
3. Sunwarrior Vegan Collagen Building Protein Peptides
Like many vegan collagen supplements, this one is designed to help your body build its own collagen, as opposed to getting it from an animal source. It is soy-free and gluten-free. Plus, it includes no added sugar.
This supplement is complete plant-based on comes in a powder form, which may be suitable for those who don’t like pills.
4. Plant-Based Collagen Powder by Vitauthority
This plant-based collagen drink helps your body make its own collagen, so you don’t have to get it from a plant source. It also eliminated free radicles using a healthy dose of antioxidants.
This supplement also includes the company’s ORAC blend, which helps optimize cellular metabolic activity.
5. Ora Organic Vegan Collagen
For those trying to be as clean as possible, this supplement is an excellent option. It is wholly non-GMO and sourced from USDA organic farms. It is also free from gluten, dairy, fillers, sugar, and artificial ingredients.
This blend is also quite yummy and can easily be added to nearly any smoothie.
6. Vegan Collagen Builder by Happy Healthy Hippie
The company that makes this supplement relies heavily on strict 3rd party quality testing to ensure that their products are safe and non-GMO. This supplement can help guard against free radicals and provides your body with everything it needs to produce collagen.
This formula is 100% vegan.
7. Amen Vegan Collagen Builder +
Because it is formulated to help your body build collagen from only plant sources, this supplement is entirely vegetarian and vegan. You may experience healthier skin, nails, hair, and joints when taking this supplement.
Plus, this supplement also included added Lutein, which can help support your vision.
8. Amazing Grass Vegan Collagen Booster
This supplement supports your body’s natural production of collagen. It also includes several other vitamins your body needs to thrive, like vitamin C and biotin.
This company only uses certified organic, non-GMO ingredients, so you can rest assured that they don’t contain any unnecessary chemicals.
9. PlantFusion Collagen Builder Plant-Based Peptides
This powder helps your body make collagen and functions as a protein powder. You can purchase it in a tub or as individually packaged single-servings.
There is no sugar added to this formula, and it is naturally flavored.
10. PlantFusion Strawberry Lemonade Collagen Beauty Powder
This formula is almost the same as the previous one we reviewed, except it is flavored. If you’re going to be drinking the powder by itself and not in something like a smoothie, this supplement might be the better option.
This company makes a few other flavors as well, including watermelon and peach-mango.
Who Should Buy a Vegan Collagen Supplement?
Collagen is an essential nutrient for your body. It accounts for about a third of all the protein your body uses and is the main building block for bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Furthermore, it is also found in other parts of the body, like your blood vessels, corneas, and teeth.
There are many types of collagen – 16 different types. However, there are only four major types that your body uses.
You can get collagen from the food you eat, but your body can also make collagen. If you are vegan, then you will be relying solely on your body to make all the collagen you need. The problem is, as you age, you produce less and lower-quality collagen. Because of this, you may need a collagen supplement to help support your body’s production of collagen.
Plus, many of these supplements are full of other ingredients that can help fight aging as well.
Even if you aren’t older, you may find a collagen-building supplement helpful. These supplements contain the nutrients your body needs to make collagen, which you may or may not be getting from your diet.
These supplements are very safe, so there is little reason not to take one. If you think your body needs help making collagen, we highly recommend taking a supplement to see if it helps.
How We Ranked
When reviewing each supplement, we first checked to ensure it was vegan. Surprisingly, many supplements would be labeled “vegan,” but after some digging, we discovered that they were sourced from cows – not very vegan at all.
All the supplements we included on our list are vegan.
Safety was also an important consideration. Many of the ingredients used in collagen supplements are very safe. You can’t take too much of them unless you really try.
However, we preferred supplements that were made in the USA or a similar country with strict safety standards. Even if a supplement isn’t listed as containing any dangerous ingredients, cross-contamination is possible in countries with lower quality standards. 3rd party testing was also a huge plus.
Some of the supplements listed above were specifically chosen because of their strict quality standards, like the Vegan Collagen Builder by Happy Healthy Hippie.
The ingredients each company used were also important. Some vitamins and minerals have been correctly shown to help with collagen production in clinical trials. Supplements that contain these ingredients are going to work the best.
Because of that, we strove only to choose supplements that used clinically-proven ingredients.
Vegan collagen supplements contain clinically-proven ingredients. Your body makes collagen primarily out of glycine and proline. However, this process also uses other nutrients. If you are low on any of these nutrients, you will not be able to make the collagen you need. Luckily, vegan collagen supplements include many of these scientifically-proven ingredients.
Vitamin C is found in almost all of these supplements we reviewed. Vitamin C is naturally found in things like citrus fruit and bell peppers, so most vegans get plenty without the use of a supplement. Proline is also a common ingredient in supplements since it is a little harder for vegans to get. It is mostly found in egg whites and dairy products, though you can find it in things like cabbage and mushrooms as well.
Glycine is one of the hardest ingredients for vegans to get from their diet. It is found mostly in animal skin and gelatin. But, some seeds, nuts, and beans contain it as well. Most supplements include a concentrated extract from some of these plants.
Copper is also used in the making of collagen (1). It is found in a few vegan sources, like sesame seeds and cashews, but most vegans will not consume enough. For this reason, a supplement is essential.
Vegan collagen supplements may help increase your muscle mass. Various scientific studies have shown that collagen can help improve your muscle mass and, therefore, your strength.
One particular study looked at active men. It found that those containing a collagen supplement while strength training gained more muscle mass than those who took a placebo (2).
Of course, collagen is likely not going to help you gain more muscle mass by itself, but it can help if you’re active. This may be particularly helpful for vegans, since you may be missing out on crucial collagen in your usual diet. Most people who eat meat get at least some collagen, but your body may be missing out on crucial nutrients to make collagen – since it requires eating some pretty niche foods.
Vegan collagen supplements may help with arthritis. If you have arthritis, a vegan collagen supplement may help alleviate your symptoms. There are no certain studies on this yet. But a few recent studies have pointed to this possibility.
One study done in 2017 on animals found that mice with post-traumatic osteoarthritis saw less disease progression when taking collagen. It appears collagen plays a protective role against the development of arthritis (3).
Some studies have also found a link between collagen and an improvement in joint-pain associated with exercise and rheumatoid arthritis (9, 10). However, more research is needed before a particular claim can be made.
Vegan collagen supplements may improve your skin elasticity. This is one of the most well-known benefits of a collagen supplement. Many studies have found that taking a collagen supplement has an anti-aging effect and can help improve the appearance of wrinkles (4, 5). This is the main reason many people take it.
One study found that women aged 35 and older experience reduced wrinkle depth by 27% and increased skin hydration by 28% after taking a collagen supplement for 12 weeks (6). A similar study found that 114 women taking a collagen supplement experienced reduced wrinkle volume by 20% after eight weeks (7).
Collagen can also be used topically to help with wrinkles, though you’ll likely enjoy its other positive effects if you take it internally.
Most research needs to be done to figure out precisely what supplements work the best, as well as other nutrients that might improve the effectiveness of collagen. However, this is a great start.
Vegan collagen supplements may improve your bone health. Bones are also made of mostly collagen. Some studies have shown that a collagen supplement may help protect users against osteoporosis, which is the result of the bones weakening and becoming brittle (11).
One of the only human studies done found that 131 postmenopausal women taking 5 grams of collagen for one year experienced a 3% increase in bone density (14).
This isn’t a significant benefit, so it may not be worth taking a collagen supplement for bone density by itself. However, it is a nice bonus on top of all the other benefits.
Vegan collagen supplements may help you lose weight. Some studies have pointed towards collagen being helpful in obese and overweight patients. The research on this has not been replicated and is still in development. The details of the benefits might change, or other studies could find no benefit at all.
However, one study did find that a meal of gelatin (which is mostly collagen) can help with the insulin and glucose levels in obese patients (15).
It is likely that this only really works in people who have reduced insulin or glucose levels. So, if your insulin resistance is excellent, adding collagen likely won’t help. But this is a nice benefit if you’re taking collagen for other reasons, like to help your joints or skin.
Vegan collagen supplements can cause allergic reactions. If you are allergic to the source of a collagen supplement, you can also have an allergic reaction to the supplement. If you have any allergies, it is essential to check the source of any supplement your purchase.
Reactions to vegan collagen supplements are a bit rarer than reactions to animal-based collagen supplements – just because of their sources. However, they are still possible.
Vegan collagen supplements may cause mild digestive problems. Some studies have reported minor digestive problems after participants had taken a collagen supplement. This is likely possible with all supplements, though (16).
If you experience digestive upset after taking a supplement, we recommend taking the supplement with food. Many supplements can cause a digestive upset on an empty stomach, but food tends to help.
Vegan collagen supplements can leave a bad taste in your mouth. The same study that reported the digestive issues also reported that some participants experienced a bad taste in their mouth shortly after taking a collagen supplement (16).
Again, it may help if you take the supplement after eating. These side effects are much more common when taken on an empty stomach.
Vegan collagen supplements often aren’t tested for safety. The FDA does not need to approve supplements. So, they are often not tested for safety. This is not true for all supplements, of course. Some companies decide to test their supplements for safety.
However, most collagen supplements are not tested for safety, so it is important to remember that other side effects are possible.
The dosage of collagen recommended depends on what you’re using the collagen for. In most cases, we recommend following the directions that come with the supplement you chose. Companies put a lot of research into their dosage suggestions, so following their instructions is often your best bet.
We can also look to collagen studies to discover what dosages work in a clinical setting. This changes based on what benefit the study is looking at.
For wrinkles and other skin problems, 2.5 grams of collagen is useful in several studies (17, 18). Joint pain requires a higher dosage – usually around 40 mg to 2 grams. Higher dosages tend to cause faster results (19, 20).
Research is limited on the amount of collagen needed for other benefits. One study looking at bone health found that 5 grams appeared to be effective (21). For muscle building, 15 grams taken shortly after exercise had some effect. However, it may be likely that any sort of protein would have a similar effect (22).
It is important to remember that all these studies are looking at pure collagen, not vegan collagen supplements aiming to increase your body’s production of collagen. There are no studies available for the correct dosage for these supplements, so we recommend following the company’s recommendation in these cases.
Can a vegan take a collagen supplement?
Collagen is only found in animal sources. It is the “glue” that holds together things like your skin and joints. Because of this, it is impossible to make a vegan supplement containing “ready-made” collagen. However, you can take a supplement containing all the ingredients your body needs to make collagen, which can all be found in plant sources.
Most supplements on the market calling themselves “vegan collagen supplements” don’t contain pure collagen. Instead, they have all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to make collagen.
How do vegans get collagen?
Collagen is a necessary nutrient. It is used in your skin, tendons, joints, and various other places throughout your body. In our diet, it is only found in meat and animal products, which is a problem for vegans.
Luckily, our bodies can make their own collagen when given the right ingredients. If you make sure you get enough of these nutrients, your body will produce the collagen you need. Some of these nutrients and vitamins are difficult to find and require eating somewhat niche foods. So, it is essential to do your research and eat the appropriate foods or take a supplement. You likely won’t get everything you need otherwise.
Are there any plant-based collagen supplements?
It depends on your definition. Pure, ready-made collagen only appears in animal products. However, your body can make collagen when you eat the right vitamins and minerals. Because of this, there are supplements out there that contain collagen-making ingredients sourced from plants. Your body will take these nutrients and make collagen with them.
Is there a vegan alternative to collagen?
Vegans will not get collagen from their diet because it is only found in animal products. However, our bodies can make their own collagen when we eat the right stuff. So, we recommend taking a supplement that aims to boost your collagen production.
Often, these supplements will contain everything your body needs to make collagen. Because all of these nutrients can be found in plants, it is possible to find vegan collagen-builder supplements.
Do vegans age faster without supplements?
It depends on their diet. Collagen is a crucial part of aging with grace. It affects everything from your skin elasticity to your joints. Those who eat meat and animal products will get extra collagen from their diet. However, this is not the case with vegans. There is not plant out there that contains collagen.
Still, our bodies can make collagen when provided with the right ingredients. If you are consuming enough nutrients used to make collagen, you will not age any faster than a meat-eater. But this can be difficult to do, so we recommend taking one of the collagen supplements mentioned in this article. These supplements will help your body make its own collagen.
What destroys the collagen in supplements?
One of the reasons so many people might be lacking in collagen is because a variety of factors can destroy it. UV light is the #1 destroyer of collagen. Direct UV light can harm the collagen in your skin, which means you’ll need to produce more to make up for it. This isn’t always possible, depending on your diet and how much collagen your supplement contains.
Free radicals can also destroy the collagen you’re absorbing from your supplement. Free radicals come from a variety of sources, including pollution and sun exposure – even more reason to wear that sunscreen. Antioxidants can fight free radicals. Luckily, most vegan collagen supplements also contain vitamin C, which is an antioxidant.
Smoking, dehydration, and sugar can also harm collagen. Dehydration results in un-moisturized skin, which in turn inhibits your skin’s ability to use the collagen you’ve absorbed from your supplements. Sugar can cause collagen glycation, making your skin lumpy.
Can collagen supplements make you gain weight?
Not typically. Some studies have found that collagen can help you lose weight. Collagen won’t make you lose weight by itself, but it can work well alongside a workout regime, especially if you’re lifting weights.
We found no evidence that collagen can make you gain weight.
Do collagen supplements work?
Vegan collagen supplements often contain all the ingredients your body needs to make collagen. Whether or not your body uses these ingredients to make collagen depends, however. In many cases, your body will use these amino acids to make collagen, especially if you need it. But these amino acids can also be used for other things.
This isn’t necessarily bad, but it is essential to remember that collagen you eat won’t necessarily end up as collagen in your connective tissues.
If you lack in collagen, though, your body will likely use it to repair your skin, joints, and other connective tissues. Your body can only absorb so much collagen at a time, though, so taking more than the recommended dosage isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Vegan collagen supplements do exist and are often designed to help your body create its own collagen. To do this, these supplements include ingredients like vitamin C and copper, which both have essential roles in the creation of collagen.
When taking these supplements, you may experience an increase in your skin health and elasticity. Some studies also point towards collagen playing a role in protecting against arthritis and joint injuries. It may even help you lose weight and increase your bone density.
For Bodynutrition’s #1 vegan collagen supplement, click here.