Collagen & Protein Powder I’m Loving Right Now

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I recently mentioned on social media that I was adding collagen to my coffee every morning in order to get collagen into my diet more often. Quickly people asked me what collagen I was using and why. So I thought I would throw all that information into a blog post for you and let you know what I’ve been using lately and the benefits I’ve been seeing! Here’s the thing – I’ve known for quite a while that I’ve needed to get more collagen in my diet, mostly because all my smart friends were doing it. And they told me all the benefits of collagen but the only things I really heard were that it grows your hair and nails, and helps with cellulite and tightening the elasticity of the skin. One of my girlfriends who is 10 years older than me and is super hippy always pushed me to add it into my diet, and she rarely pushes any of her hippy beliefs, so I finally did it. I sure as hell want longer hair, nails, and less wrinkles, so why not?! And it’s been super easy to add in!

But first, let’s just chat about some of the benefits of collagen because it’s pretty rad!

  • It enhances your skin by restoring the skin’s moisture, improving the elasticity, tone and vibrance  and therefore reducing wrinkles!
  • It reduces cellulite and prevents stretch marks!
  • It helps your hair and nails grow, naturally!
  • It supports healthy teeth and gums!
  • It balances your hormones!
  • It supports bone and joint health by preventing bone loss and relieving joint pain!
  • It helps improve and repair muscle tissue and helps with inflammation and recovery!
  • It aids digestion and can help repair leaky gut!
  • It improves sleep quality!
  • And a bunch of other sh*t that surpasses my understanding of the body

So it obviously does a ton of cool stuff! And it’s easy to add into drinks or shakes and is often unflavored so you don’t even notice it! What I’ve been doing recently is adding 1-2 tablespoons of it into my daily life, simply adding 1 tablespoon to my coffee (thank you to the reader who recommended that!) and 1 tablespoon to something else later on in the day! Every morning I wake up, I make my cup of coffee then add 1 tablespoon of collagen with my splash of heavy cream and some stevia extract and you can’t even tell it’s in your coffee!!

I’ve been using two different kinds of collagen lately and enjoy both of them so I usually switch between the two of them!

Vital Proteins is an awesome brand that has a bunch of different collagen products, but I seem to like this product the most. The only thing that I’ve noticed is that I taste more of a “beefy” flavor/aftertaste to it when I add it to anything. So I usually add this one to protein shake or anything that has a more intense flavor and will cover up this one.

Great Lakes is what I use in my coffee every day because it doesn’t seem to have any weird flavor or aftertaste for me. I think it tastes like nothing so it’s a great additive for coffee every morning!

Benefits I’ve seen so far from collagen – I think noticing benefits can sometimes be difficult. Honestly, I’ve been a lot less sore lately BUT I’ve also been doing less CrossFit and more boot camp style classes like Orange Theory, so I’m not sure if it has to do with that. My nails have DEFINITELY grown faster. But those are the only benefits I’ve seen so far after adding in collagen daily for over a month. Even though those are the only benefits I’ve seen, I think of collagen as a long-term thing, just like working out or eating healthy. I may not see the benefits right away, but I will long-term so I just stick with it.

PaleOMG: Collagen & Protein Powder I'm Loving Right Now

The other thing I get questions about all.the.time is protein powder. Here are my thoughts on protein powder:

  1. You can eat real food and get the same benefits without the sugar
  2. You’ll stay fuller longer if you’re eating real food compared to having a shake
  3. Shakes should be used for days that workouts are extremely intense – and not every day is super intense
  4. I do not believe in shakes being a meal replacement, and if it is, it shouldn’t be very often

These are simply MY beliefs. I used to train WAY harder when I competed in CrossFit. So when I look at my workouts now compared to what they used to be, I don’t see myself always needing a shake to help me recover right away so I can workout later in the day. What I’ve noticed is I almost get slightly addicted to them. It will be the only thing I think about in my workout. And that’s probably caused by the sugar. And then once I drink them, I’m hungry within 30 minutes of consuming it, which seems to defeat the purpose in my opinion. So for post workout – I just eat real food. I eat breakfast or lunch or dinner, or I just have a food-snack. But on days I feel like treating myself or if I did a workout that made me feel like I couldn’t function afterwards, I’ll have a shake. You can see a ton of my favorite shake recipes here!

Below are the two different whey protein powders I prefer to use:

Both of these protein powders are delicious, sweetened naturally, only have a few ingredients, are gluten free, and they don’t upset my stomach! I probably make a shake once or twice a week since I consider it a treat. And when I make those shakes, I add in frozen bananas, ground chia seed, flaxseed meal, and collagen – to make sure I’m getting the most bang for my buck!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below and I’ll answer them the best I can! Hope this helps you with figuring out your own diet and needs!


I may be compensated through my affiliate links in this post, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for your support with PaleOMG!

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


82 thoughts on “Collagen & Protein Powder I’m Loving Right Now”

  1. I cannot have any dairy. I have been using a vegan protein powder but wasn’t excited about all the ingredients. I recently found a bone broth protein powder by a company called Ancient Nutrition. I was wondering if you have any thoughts on this product in the Paleo world! Thank you!

    1. I can’t tolerate whey and swear by the Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth powder. It’s good for your gut, skin, muscles, joints, etc. It says Paleo friendly on the package 😉

      1. Just curious, when you say you cannot tolerate whey, is it due to a reaction you get from it or is it the taste? For me, I cannot stand the taste of whey. I’ve tried many protein shakes in the past trying to find one I could drink, but I can taste the whey in every one of them and for me, it’s just gross. Does anyone else agree about the Great Lakes Collagen having no taste? How about the texture, is there any? Thanks for any help and advice.

    2. Megan- try PureWOD protein powder. It’s made with beef isolate, therefore dairy free (and no, it does not taste like beef, at all).

    3. I just got the ancient nutrition vanilla bone broth protein and it’s SO GOOD! It tastes like golden oreos to me…I just mixed it with unsweetened almond milk. SO GOOD. I would 100% suggest it

    4. Dr Josh Axe makes that bone north protein and he’s amazing! He also is partnered with Jordan Reuben, previously with Garden of Life, which is the vegan protein I have used for over 3 years now. I’ve not found anything I like better and I add in collagen every morning. I won’t consume whey protein either and I’m not vegan. Hope this helps!

      1. try KOS plant base organic vegan, I just tried the vanilla and its a taste I need to get used to but the ingredients are super good so its worth it.

  2. I recently purchased the Vital Proteins Collagen and hadnt done anything with it yet so I got up and googled for an article this morning and the articles were meh. Then BOOM instagram notification from Paleomg and there appears and article that I was just searching for.

    Mind reader- Thank you

  3. I know you avoid eggs for acne reasons and use Acutane, but I recently started adding collagen to my coffee each morning as well and have noticed NO ACNE! I used to constantly have one or two around my chin area and haven’t had any in a while now (knock on wood!)! Like you said, it’s super easy to add collagen to your coffee in the morning and you don’t even notice it’s in there. I can’t believe all of the benefits from collagen!! I’ve been using Sports Research pure hydrolyzed collagen peptides. Thanks for posting about this!

  4. Hi Julie! Love love love your blog and recipes. I’m super interested in the benefits of collagen for reducing cellulite but your kick ass body looks like it doesn’t have an ounce of cellulite on it. My question is you noticed your nail growth but not cellulite reduction, is that because you don’t have any? Do any of the friends you mentioned have any experience with that? Thx!!!

  5. I’ve been using Vital Proteins collagen for about a month as well. I feel as if my hair is a lot more shiny, but that could just be wishful thinking! Other than that, I haven’t seen any noticeable results, but will keep it up because I think in the long term, as I get older and my skin ages, the extra collagen will be an added benefit!

  6. When I read the line “my friend is 10 years old and super hippy,” I thought you meant she had a big butt!! LOL It wasn’t until the next line that I figured it out! I guess because I have a JLo ass!! What heavy cream and liquid stevia do you use? Also a question about bone broth, is it a sub for stock and you can just drink it as a broth as well?
    Also, I have been doing your workouts on Saturdays and they are kicking my ass! Thank you for all you do and share!

  7. Why do you split up your two table spoons of Collagen? I add two Tbls in my coffee in the morning. I’m wondering if, like with protein, there is only so much your body can use at one time, so the rest may be excreted and of no benefit. Is that why you split it up? I’ve never thought about it before, but your post made me wonder. Maybe I should split and consume at two different times. Thanks!

    1. I add two tbsp to my coffee every morning as well. I use Great Lakes and the recommended disage is 2 rounded tbsp twice a day.

  8. Any recommendations on non-dairy protein powders? I have a pretty gnarly dairy intolerance, and am having a hard time finding a decent protein powder that doesn’t taste awful!

    1. I use hemp protein powder. I personally use the original flavor from Nutiva, but Manitoba Harvest makes a great high quality hemp protein powder in chocolate and vanilla flavors that are supposed to be really delicious. Hemp protein also has a fabulous amino acid profile, and doesn’t make me feel bloated like whey/dairy-based protein powders.

  9. Thanks Juli. I’m 35 and have been drinking bone broth (similar thing) everyday for a while now and can really notice the improvement in my skin. I’ve also been giving it to my kids since they started eating solids to help build their immunity. Amazing stuff!

  10. Hey Juli! Thanks to inspiration from yourblog I have been making an effort to treat my skin/nails better!

    Two quick questions:

    Is there a reason to rotate between the two types of collagen?
    How long would you say a container lasts if you do two tablespoons a day?


    1. no, no reason. i just like to switch it up since i have both. and it depends what container you’re talking about, but both have the nutritional information on them so that will help you figure out the math!!

  11. I’ve been adding a tablespoon of collagen to my coffee each morning and have noticed my nails are growing faster and are much stronger than before. Also my hair is growing in thicker in some areas where it was thinning a bit. It really works!

    Also, I don’t like replacing meals with whey protein shakes too much either, but they’re great in a pinch. I think it’s more satisfying to chew my food, but everyone is different I guess. 🙂

  12. Sorry to get super personal, have you noticed any change in your cycle? I had to stop taking collagen because it was really delaying my periods, when I stopped everything went back to normal. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Kelly. Your comments helped me.

      I am also having the same issue. My cycles are normal. After taking Vital proteins for 3 weeks , my cycle stopped. I am going to stop to take this powder and will see that my cycle will be back normal.

  13. Love, love, love Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides! I have been using it for about 6 months now (2 tbsp in my morning coffee- which I drink black and barely taste it….if anything it adds a rich, earthy flavor) I can’t tell you how many people stop me and ask me about my skin care regimen, because my skin hasn’t looked this good since I was a kid! I suffered from adult acne from the age of 19 on, was on Accutane at age 31 with some good results, but my acne started coming back (not as bad, but it was there) a few years ago. Not anymore! I’m 38 and my patients (I’m a nurse) never believe me that I’m old enough to have teenagers….they say that I look like I’m 25 ???? This stuff is gold.

  14. Curious: Why use a whey protein powder when you can just use the collagen peptides? 2 scoops has 18 grams of protein, without all the other crap that the protein powders have. I’ve been using it daily for about 6 weeks, either in coffee or a smoothie and love it. I think my skin looks better, and my joints definitely feel better. It took about a month for me to start noticing. Just FYI.

    1. i just like it. that protein powder doesn’t have a ton of crap in it and i add it to MAYBE one shake per week, so i just like to use it and love that brand!

  15. Vital proteins does kind of have a beefy taste, haha! I only bought it because Diane Sanfillipo recommended it, and I liked that it is 100% soluble. That’s the one I put in my coffee. Maybe I’ll go for the Great Lakes one next.

  16. Juli Vital Proteins has the Marine Collagen which has zero taste- I add to coffee and to water…. and I don’t eat beef which is why I went that route this time with the collagen. Just sayin it is another option for you ( not that you need it) but hey- it’s social media after all..

    1. i totally have the marine collagen but have been too scared to try it lol! didn’t want to ruin my coffee with a fishy taste! i’ll definitely try it out now!

  17. I have been using Natural Force brand collagen peptides for almost a year now and I love it, Great for my joints and my skin, hair and nails look great. I like that it has 10g of protein per scoop so I add one scoop to my Keto coffee in the morning for a little protein before working out. Thank you Juli for all your great posts, recipes, blogs, workouts, stories, etc. You inspire me every day.

  18. Danelle, from my personal use of collagen and gelatin, I think collagen mixes better in liquids than gelatin. Gelatin, probably depending on the brand or type, may make the liquids too think and “jelly” like. Probably depends on what you’re blending it with. I wouldn’t put gelatin in my Keto coffee as it would be too thick and “jelly” like for me to drink.

  19. I have been using the Vital Collagen powder for a year now. I love it, I noticed a change in my skin in the first month, I am thankful I have pretty good skin to start, but I really liked that it helped give life back to my skin. I am not someone who is embracing aging so I happy to see the collagen actually helping my skin.

    I also noticed it helps me recover from muscle and joint pain faster. Hair and Nails grow faster stronger…. I waiting for it to work its magic on cellulite still… maybe one day.

  20. I’ve been using the Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate regularly since Mark Sisson recommended it about three or four years ago. Goes into my coffee and goes into my smoothies.

    I’m 56 — for a few more days 🙁 –and have been menopausal for six years so I wanted extra collagen (can’t hurt) but it was mainly for the extra protein. My naturopath was really encouraging me to ditch the packaged protein powders and try for whole foods for my protein content.

    I’ve had miserable nails all my life and while they’re still not great they’re better. Hair – I’ve never had any complaints and with it being grey, seems fine. I wear my hair in a bob from short to longish and get a cut maybe four times a year. Cellulite? Maybe, but I like to think it’s been regular workouts for the past 35 years that have had a hand in it too. Better recoveries? Maybe. A hot coffee with collagen after a workout or run or row is certainly a pleasant experience.

    Now to the topic of packaged protein powders. I love Arbonne’s chocolate and vanilla to addictive proportions! It’s dairy-free, fat-free, gluten-free, sweetened with stevia, vegan and kosher, too! Lol. Tastes great on its own blended with ice. I feel this is the taste test most other protein powders fail and I tried dozens. Blech! Now I use it as a treat as the Great Lakes collagen and fruits and veggies, even eggs, yes in a smoothie, have taken its place.

  21. I’ve been reading your blog and others and keep hearing about the vital proteins collagen and also the kettle & fire bone broth. Just curious, in addition to the 2 T of collagen per day, do you also have bone broth….and have you ever heard if it’s possible to have too much collagen if you’re having both of these per day?? (I overthink everything) ????

    1. i don’t drink bone broth myself, i just add it to recipes that need broth. and i’ve never heard of having too much collagen. i have no clue about the science but i’m guessing your body just processes any extra amount it can’t absorb

  22. I’ve never tried collagen but I’d love to start. I drink iced coffee mostly. The website says you can add it to room temp liquids then add your cold liquid to that. But I’m wondering if you’ve tried it and if it mixes ok?

  23. I’ve been consuming the Great Lakes stuff for a while now, but for better hair and nails I find diatomaceous earth is doing the trick. I started taking it for other reasons (had a skin rash I wanted to go away, and it did), and after about 3-4 weeks of taking this stuff, I’ve noticed my nails are growing stronger. I cook and clean a lot (and I am accident prone), so my nails would get dry and brittle; but not lately!

  24. You have mentioned that you had a lot of stomach/digestive problems before you started eating paleo. Do you remember how long it took for your stomach to start feeling better after you changed your diet?

    1. it was pretty quick. i know a lot of people have issues while they are trying to heal their gut so they have some digestive stuff going on, but i don’t remember having that issue. as soon as i cut those foods out, my stomach aches went away and i became really regular. then as soon as i ate something i shouldn’t, i had stomach issues again for a few days

  25. I love using Vital Proteins collagen peptides! I have definitely seen a difference in my nails and hair once I started using this regularly. The collagen peptides do have an odd flavor to them but I have found that putting banana in my smoothies along with the collagen usually helps mask the flavor. Also, I love putting a scoop in my coffee and my almond milk creamer helps mask the flavor as well. 🙂

  26. Is the protein podwer really coconuty? I used to use the formulx protein powder but wanted to try something that had less ingredients and more natural ingredients.

  27. Thank you for these information on your article. I could say that drinking bone broth really helped me a lot. I haven’t had joint pains since then and surprisingly drinking it made me feel more energetic.

  28. Since you use both kinds, do you just use 2 tbsp of whatever one each day makes your serving size? Whether one and one, both of 1 kind, etc. I have BioOptimal powder but I tasted it in my coffee so I just ordered the Great Lakes one you linked to. Trying it today for the first time.

  29. Hello Juli, I have made your collagen coffee and it’s absolutely delicious! However, I would love to know if you use collagen in anything else? Also, I don’t usually drink just protein shakes, but I would love to know your oppinions on protein in smoothies (mine are typically filled with greens and some coconut milk). But they help when I’m busy in the morning getting my daughter and myself ready for school.

    1. Hi Samantha! We both put collagen in our coffee in the morning. Hope that helps! -Stacy, paleOMG assistant

  30. You said you add the collagen powder to your coffee. Do you think it would still give no added taste if I added it to hot tea?

  31. I’ve been mixing whey powder and gelatin (I just bought Great Lakes Collagen) together for an after workout boost. Is this good or bad? I have noticed my nails grow and are stronger with the gelatin. Is it harmful or not necessary to use both?

    1. someone told me once that you aren’t suppose to use protein powder and collagen together, but i’m not totally sure why! so i just use collagen by itself

    1. collagen peptides is simply collagen. and primal fuel is Whey Protein Isolate, Coconut Milk Powder, Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali), Natural Flavors, Inulin (from Chicory Root), Guar Gum, Stevia Leaf Extract

  32. Hi Juli! Not sure if you’ll see this since this post is older but curious if you have any updated thoughts on the best protein powders/supplements. Looking to start my morning with a smoothie to up my greens intake and want to add some sort of protein powder but it’s overwhelming and I’m not sure where to start! Thanks!

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