Welcome to “McDaniel’s Bite-Sized Reviews”

It’s a weekly series we’re calling “McDaniel’s Bite-Sized Reviews!” Each Thursday, we’ll share a popular food, drink or supplement one of our MNT Registered Dietitians tried, reviewed and rated. With the growing number products on the grocery store shelves, figuring out which items are getting you the most nutritional bang for your buck can feel overwhelming? Our hope is that we can make grocery shopping at least 0.5% easier!

FYI – these posts aren’t sponsored. They are opinions of unpaid tastebuds.

Check Out Our Past Reviews:

Product: Sports Research Collagen Peptides

Collagen Peptide container, front of the package

What is it?

Collagen is the primary protein found in your body’s connective tissues. While there are 29 different types of collagen, collagen type’s I and III are typically used in supplements. Type 1 and III proteins are located in bones, ligaments, tendons and skin. The majority of research on collagen has focused on its potential for improving joint health, skin, hair and nail integrity.

Why Did We Try?

After turning 41, I’ve been inspired to experiment with foods and supplements that could potentially turn back the biological clock.  Collagen supplementation has good evidence to support some areas of aging that I often think about:

  • Aching knees from marathon training and a stiff left hip from holding babies
  • Skin elasticity – aka less wrinkles
  • Thicker hair for my thin locks

Collagen Peptides Food Label

collagen powder food label showing all amino acids

Label Details to Note: 

GMP: As a supplement versus food, I sought out this brand for its GMP (good manufacturing practice) certification. This certification ensures the product is consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards.

Hydrolyzed: Hydrolyzed collagen are better absorbed by the body.

Grass Fed: One potential concern with collagen supplements is the contamination with heavy metals and toxins, from animal bone. Sports Research reported that their collagen peptides are compliant with US regulations. They are tested for heavy metals (via ICP-MS for arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury), pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Sports Research collagen peptides are made with bovine hides, not bones.

Where to Find & Cost

In the MidWest, you can find this product at Whole Foods, GNC, Wal-Mart and online at Amazon and Sports Research for $30.00 (16 oz. container). You can also purchase 20 individual serving packets for $30.00.


Product Comparison:

  • Sports Research (16 oz container at $30.00): 41 scoops, $0.73 per scoop, 40 calories, 10 grams protein, 60 mg sodium, and 11 grams of collagen peptides.
  • Vital Proteins (20 oz container at $43.00): 56 scoops, $0.77 per scoop, 35 calories, 9 grams protein, 55 mg sodium, and 10 grams of collagen peptides.

At $0.73 per serving, Sports Research Collagen Peptides, is an easy way to incorporate an additional 10 grams of collagen protein.

Worth the Bite? Our 5 Star Rating

Taste: 5/5 stars

The unflavored has no taste, which is exactly what I’m seeking. I was concerned it would change the taste and feel of my black coffee, but there was zero alteration.

Results: 3/5

I’ve been taking collagen for 90 days, and here’s what I’ve noticed: My hair is thicker, growing faster, and has more shine. As for skin elasticity, I can’t say I’ve noticed a significant change. To be fair, I’ve been spending more time in the sun. Collagen powder doesn’t have the ability to undo sun exposure!  I haven’t noticed any improvements in knee pain or hip stiffness. However, most studies assessing collagen supplementation were conducted over a longer time trial. So, lets say…the verdict is still out on this.

Nutrient Density: 4.5/5

For a mere 40 calories, you get 10 grams of collagen protein. The product lost 0.5 points for its 60 mg of sodium.

In comparison to another popular product, Vital Proteins, nutrient content is similar. Vital Proteins has a serving size of 20 grams (2 scoops), while the serving size of Sports Research is 11.07 grams (1 scoop). Naturally, when comparing these nutrition facts labels, Vital Proteins appears to have more calories, protein, and collagen peptides. But, when comparing scoop-to-scoop there is little difference.

Value: 5/5

Our 5 star rating is based on a 10-15 gram serving (what has typically been used in research) in comparison to similar products. While you can find collagen in a stock or bone both, (1 cup of bone broth = 6 g collagen-rich protein), I prefer the powder. It’s an easier daily deliverable.

Overall Rating: 3.8/5 Stars

How I Took a Bite: Stirred into black coffee.

picture of black coffee

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.