Collagen's full-body benefits abound: We'll spare you the full rundown (we'll just send you here, if you'd like to browse), but research has shown collagen supplements can promote a youthful skin texture, support your gut health, balance joint health and comfort, and support muscle strength.* (Plus, protein source!)
Collagen's short-term "side effects," on the other hand, generate a decidedly shorter list; they're also harder to pinpoint, given how everyone's body may react to products in unique ways. But a common one consumers may run into is an unpleasant taste—although, we can easily fix that (and highlight the reasons some powders may taste a little off).
Below, find exactly how to make your collagen taste superb:
Find a powder with clean excipients.
Sometimes it’s not the collagen itself—it's the excipients. Excipients, in case you need a refresher, refer to the "other ingredients" section on the label: the nonactive players in your supplement. Some of these additives (binders, preservatives, synthetic colors or flavors, artificial sweeteners, et al.) can leave a bitter aftertaste—so it's important to do your research and find a powder that extracts its "others" from plant- and mineral-based sources, or features no "others" at all! (Our curated list of 16 best collagen supplements should get you started.)
Find one with high-quality sweeteners.
Let's home in on sweeteners a bit more. Artificial sweeteners, meant to candy-coat the taste, can leave behind a saccharine flavor as well. That's why we also recommend checking whether your collagen powder contains natural sweeteners (like organic monk fruit extract, organic coconut sugar) instead of the artificial stuff or sugar alcohols.
Opt for a flavored powder.
Some people just don't prefer the taste of unflavored collagen blends—plain and simple. If that's the case, you can always opt for a powder that calls on high-quality plant-based flavors (high-quality is the key, otherwise you may run into the same excessively sweet dilemma as above).
For example, mbg's beauty & gut collagen+ in chocolate uses organic cocoa, the beans roasted and ground to retain their highest nutritional value. You can even blend the powder with a milk of your choice to create the fudgiest, skin-supporting chocolate milk (a go-to tip mbg beauty director Alexandra Engler revealed on an episode of Clean Beauty School)—the flavor is that decadent.*
Mix it into a smoothie, coffee, or baking recipe.
Still, some people wish to mask the collagen flavor entirely, to which we say: You can totally add collagen to your beverages and meals in a variety of inconspicuous ways.
A simple (and fan-favorite) method is to dissolve the powder into your coffee—all you'll taste is your brew. You can also add a scoop of powder to your smoothies (here's a tropical-inspired treat to try) or fold it into a variety of baking recipes. That's the beauty of collagen supplements—there are countless ways to incorporate the powder into your routine. If you need even more inspiration, these seven easy and tasty ideas have you covered.
Collagen peptides themselves are tasteless and odorless, but brands may include excipients, including sweeteners and flavors, that leave an overly sweet or bitter aftertaste—when people report that their collagen "tastes bad," that's typically what they're referring to. To fix the issue, we recommend investing in a collagen powder that contains clean excipients, natural sweeteners, and high-quality flavors. And if you'd still like to sneak the collagen into your meals? There are a host of recipes you can try.
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.