I Tried Drinking Collagen Water for a Week—And Here’s What Happened
Collagen supplements in the form of powders, tinctures, bone broth and more are all the rage right now (and have been for the last few years). While the research around it is still a relatively small body of work, claims about ingestible collagen peptides range from fewer wrinkles and less dryness on skin, relief from joint pain, thicker and stronger hair and nails, and improved digestion. It’s been touted as reparative for internal damage caused by autoimmune conditions, and has been shown to boost aging skin in mice, from the inside out. But if you take collagen daily, how much of a difference do you notice? I tried it to find out—and here’s what happened.
My Problem: Digestive Symptoms Caused by Autoimmune Disease, Thinning Hair and Dry Skin
My two autoimmune diseases went undiagnosed for more than 10 years, and in turn, my digestive tract is sensitive and in perpetual need of repair and support. I’ve had Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth, candida, yeast infections and bowel issues, all of which can be tied back to my autoimmune conditions. On top of that, I’ve dealt with my hair thinning and falling out, and excessively dry skin, especially as I get older.
My Solution: Collagen Water from Vital Proteins
Full disclosure: I’ve taken collagen peptide supplements on and off for the last two years, thanks to recommendations from my thyroid specialist MD and an herbalist/acupuncturist I’ve worked with before. I usually take it in the form of a powder, blended into my coffee in the morning.
For this experiment though, I decided to test the new Collagen Water from Vital Proteins. The appeal is that it’s completely grab-and-go, whereas the powder has to be mixed into something (though it can be mixed into pancakes or oatmeal or pretty much any drink you sip on the daily—it’s colorless and flavorless). Plus, the waters have only fruit juice for sweeteners, making them even more appealing, as I generally avoid processed sugars. Each water contains 10 grams of collagen, which is the amount I had been taking before.
The Results: A Really Drinkable Way to Get Your Collagen
It’s no surprise that these fruit-juice-enhanced collagen waters were delicious to sip on. The flavors, ranging from Original (just a hint of lemon) to Blackberry Mint and Strawberry Lemon, were really refreshing and a nice change from my afternoons of sipping plain sparkling water. I also noticed that they made me feel fuller than a glass of water, which I think speaks to the protein in each water’s collagen additive. I usually drank them with some veggies and hummus or some plantain chips as an afternoon snack, and found that they helped keep me fuller until dinner.
I also found that they maintained the skin glow and digestive relief that I’d experienced by taking collagen peptide powders (I stopped taking those for the week I tried the collagen waters, to avoid overlap). I had no recurrence of my usual symptoms while enjoying these bevs daily, which to me is a big win.
Another benefit: I’m abstaining from alcohol right now, due to health complications, and it was really nice to have something fun to reach for when friends wanted to go out for happy hour, or my husband was sipping on a gin and tonic on the deck. The collagen waters were a treat that I also felt were helping my health.
The only downside to me is the cost. Collagen supplements can be expensive to begin with, but the waters come in a $4.50 a bottle, more expensive than my former daily kombucha habit. So, for me, it didn’t feel sustainable to continue buying the collagen waters when I get more bang for my buck with the collagen powder (and you can often find those supplements on sale).
All in all, I’d definitely grab a collagen water from Vital Proteins again, if I was on the go or traveling in a different city where it’s harder to maintain my normal collagen-in-coffee routine (though the brand does a great job of crafting travel-friendly collagen packets too).
Interested in more ways to incorporate collagen into your daily routine? Check out our three collagen smoothie recipes for a quick, easy way to get a boost, from the inside out.