Here’s the deal: All collagen supplements that actually contain collagen come from animals. This includes bovine or marine and sometimes poultry (chicken). For bovine, it’s best to choose grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle. “You are consuming a part of the animal,” Amy Shapiro, M.S., R.D., CDN, previously told us. “Therefore, making sure that the animal was raised humanely and fed a grass-fed, wild diet is important. Grass-fed means the animal ate only grass and was allowed to feed as close to their natural state as possible.”
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the formula is clean and transparent. Less is more here: Skip artificial colors, flavors, gluten, GMOs, soy, and known allergens. If your collagen product has flavors, look for natural varieties (such as organic cocoa, organic vanilla). If there’s a sweetener, we recommend plant-based, clean sources like organic monk fruit extract or organic coconut sugar. Also keep an eye out for brands that are open and honest about their product. If they make any benefit claims, there should be science to support them. They should be open about where the ingredients come from, and they should explain the packaging it comes in (i.e., is it environmentally friendly?).