Liquid collagen supplements might be able to reduce some of the effects of aging on the body, but research is still ongoing. As with all supplements, there may be side effects.

Collagen is a protein found in the cells and tissues of all mammals. As the most common protein in the body, it has many roles, including wound healing and cellular communication.

Collagen is best known for its unique structural properties. It’s what makes your skin, hair, bones, and connective tissue firm but also flexible.

The body makes most of the collagen it needs, but over time it produces less and less. The loss of collagen is linked to many of the physical aspects of aging, such as wrinkles, reduced muscle mass, and brittle bones.

Let’s explore what we know about the risks and benefits of taking liquid collagen.

There are many types of collagen supplements, including gummies, capsules, and powders. It’s also available as a liquid that you can drink. Some common flavors include berry, orange, and pomegranate.

Most liquid collagen is extracted from the tissues of animals like cows, pigs, or fish. There are also vegan collagen supplements, which contain nutrients like vitamin C that support collagen synthesis rather than collagen itself. These supplements can also be purchased in liquid form.

Many liquid collagen products also contain other supplements to promote health, so it’s important to check the ingredient list before taking them. Some common additives include:

Unlike powdered collagen, liquid collagen can be consumed directly. Most products are flavored and don’t need to be mixed with other food or drinks.

Liquid collagen is usually hydrolyzed, which means that the collagen has been broken down into smaller peptide chains. According to the authors of a research from 2019, collagen peptides are more readily processed, absorbed, and distributed throughout the body than collagen in its natural form.

Collagen is the subject of numerous studies in fields ranging from skin to heart health. But most current studies focus on oral collagen or hydrolyzed collagen supplements, which can come in several forms. In other words, most of the research cited below isn’t specific to liquid collagen.

It isn’t clear at this time if taking collagen in liquid form has any unique benefits. The following are some potential benefits of oral collagen supplements in general.

Research suggests that collagen supplements may have a number of cosmetic benefits. In particular, they might help reduce skin-related signs of aging.

A 2021 review of 19 studies with 1,125 participants, most of whom identified as women, analyzed the collagen’s purported skin benefits. The authors found that taking a hydrolyzed collagen supplement daily for at least 3 months improved skin elasticity and hydration, and reduced wrinkles.

There is much less research in support of collagen supplements for stronger nails and hair. A small 2017 study found that collagen promoted nail growth and reduced nail breakage, but more research is needed to confirm this effect.

Collagen helps the arteries maintain their strength and flexibility. Decreased collagen might be associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis, a narrowing of the arteries that can precede a heart attack or stroke.

A 2023 review of 12 randomized controlled trials on collagen supplements for heart health found that hydrolyzed collagen supplements were linked to improvements in cardiovascular health markers, including blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Collagen supplements, including liquid collagen, might play a role in treating GERD, a chronic form of acid reflux, by strengthening the muscles that control the esophageal sphincter.

But as of 2023, research is very limited. A small 2022 study found that taking a daily collagen peptide supplement was linked to minor improvements in digestive symptoms in otherwise healthy female adults over an 8-week period.

People naturally lose muscle mass as they age, a process known as sarcopenia. While some studies suggest collagen supplements can improve muscle mass, the results are mixed.

For example, a 2021 study of 97 men between the ages of 30 and 60 featured a 12-week collagen supplement regimen combined with resistance training. The authors reported that the men showed increased muscle strength following the supplement and the training, compared with a placebo group that did the training.

Additional studies are needed to support this result.

Age-related loss of collagen might be linked to an increased risk of issues with the joints, such as osteoarthritis.

The authors of research from 2019 reported on the randomized controlled studies of collagen for osteoarthritis that have been conducted to date. They found that collagen treatments reduced joint stiffness but not joint pain.

More evidence is needed to clarify whether liquid or other forms of collagen can help with osteoarthritis.

Collagen is a key component of bone, and recent studies involving mice and rats suggest that collagen may play a role in boosting bone health and managing osteoporosis.

A 2018 study in humans showed similar promise. The authors analyzed the effects of a daily hydrolyzed collagen supplement on bone health in 102 females who had undergone menopause. They found that 5 grams (g) of powdered collagen taken daily for 1 year was linked to stronger bones.

Larger scale studies are needed to both confirm this benefit and determine whether it also applies to liquid collagen supplements. And while collagen may promote healthy bones, particularly in older adults, it shouldn’t replace proven treatments.

Teeth contain a lot of collagen. While collagen is already used in many dental applications, some emerging research suggests collagen’s anti-inflammatory properties may improve oral health.

A small 2022 clinical trial involved using collagen peptide supplements to help remove plaque linked to gum disease. The authors reported that collagen supplements might be useful when combined with standard treatments for gum disease.

More high quality studies are needed to understand the role that collagen supplements could play in promoting oral health.

There’s scant high quality research available on whether collagen supplements, including liquid collagen, can promote weight loss. Existing studies mostly focus on body composition.

The authors of a 2021 review cited three studies that showed increases in fat-free body mass linked to daily collagen supplements. But most had small sample sizes, and one only focused on males. In general, more robust research is needed to understand how collagen supplements affect body composition.

According to research from 2021, collagen is safe and carries a very low risk of side effects. The authors reported that even high doses of collagen were not likely to cause side effects. This likely applies to liquid collagen as well, especially considering collagen powders used in studies are typically mixed with liquid before consumption.

With that said, keep in mind that many collagen supplements contain other ingredients that could increase the risk of adverse effects.

Liquid collagen can be found in health stores and pharmacies. Many products are also available online.

It’s important to make sure you’re buying from a reputable source. Keep in mind that dietary supplements like liquid collagen are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the same way as medication. They aren’t tested for safety and effectiveness.

Supplements may also contain other active ingredients. It’s important to read the ingredient list carefully. Be sure to speak with a doctor or pharmacist before taking supplements.

There are no official recommendations when it comes to liquid collagen dosages. In general, follow the instructions on the product label since the concentration may vary from one product to the next.

The authors of a 2019 study found that daily doses of hydrolyzed collagen ranging from 2.5–15 g were linked to health benefits.

It’s possible to boost your body’s collagen stores by changing your diet. Try incorporating foods that contain the following nutrients:

  • Collagen: Collagen can be found in fish and meat products, such as bone broth, organ meats, and chicken or fish skin.
  • Gelatin: Collagen breaks down into gelatin, a protein that is often added to sweets like gummies, marshmallows, and puddings to give them their texture.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps your body produce collagen. It can be found in many fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, leafy greens, and tomatoes.

Here are some answers to some common questions.

Is drinking liquid collagen good for you?

Drinking liquid collagen may improve skin elasticity and texture. It may also boost joint, bone, and cardiovascular health. But more research is needed before the claim can be made definitively.

Is it OK to take liquid collagen every day?

It’s OK to take liquid collagen every day, provided you are taking an appropriate dose. In most studies on collagen, people take a daily dose.

Collagen is a structural protein found throughout the human body, but particularly in connective tissue. Its unique properties allow the bones, joints, and skin to maintain firmness and elasticity.

Collagen supplements are available over the counter and come in many forms, including liquid collagen. Most collagen drinks contain hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides, an easily digested form of the protein.