The best and worst-tasting collagen supplement drinks

We tried them so you don't have to

The best and worst-tasting collagen supplement drinks
The best and worst-tasting collagen supplement drinks
22 Jan 2018

The best and worst-tasting collagen supplement drinks

For centuries, people have labored to find, or to concoct, the elixir of youth. But for all the progress we’ve made in technology, cosmetology, and genetic engineering, the closest thing we can offer are bottled collagen drinks. While there’s little to no scientific evidence that orally administered collagen supplements actually work, testimonials, personal experience, and a bit of clever marketing have helped them become more popular than ever.

We tell ourselves there’s no harm trying. The question is, which one should we try? The benefits – anti-ageing, youthfulness, elasticity, radiance – all sound the same, while the products’ properties can come across as scientific mumbo-jumbo.

If you’re anything like us, you’re more likely to grab a box at random than try to decipher the jargon or differentiate the benefits. After trying loads of these over the years, we can say that based on personal experience, what separates one collagen drink from another is how it tastes. Some are so tarty, or so cloyingly sweet, that you might as well ask us to take cough syrup every day. Whereas others are almost good enough to make you forget that you’re essentially downing fruit-flavoured fish oil.

Conclusion: peptides mean nothing to us, but since flavours do, the best and most scientifically sound way to choose a collagen drink is by its taste. We’ve rounded up some of the most ubiquitous ones and spent the last couple of weeks downing them on a near-daily basis to help you make your decision. Sure, the process wasn’t always tasty, but our skin looks better than it's ever been. 

Astalift Pure Collagen Drink
Astalift Pure Collagen Drink
22 Jan 2018

Astalift Pure Collagen Drink

Flavour: Peach Yogurt

We chugged this one blindly, being unable to read Japanese, and being too eager to google it first. Only after looking up the product description in English did we see the flavour described as “peach yogurt”, which was pretty accurate considering how much it tasted like a bottle of room temperature Yakult. 

Tartiness: 2/5, a good choice for people who hate sour things.
Fruitiness: 1/5. It’s there, but it will only hit you after a couple of seconds on your tongue.
Texture: Slippery, not too thick.

Overall tastiness: 3/5. The drink went down easily, leaving only a slightly sour aftertaste. 

Astalift White Shield Drink
Astalift White Shield Drink
22 Jan 2018

Astalift White Shield Drink

Flavour: Peach and lemon

This was sour. So sour. Just thinking about it makes our jowls tremble. Did Fujifilm make this one from leftover photo development fluid? 

Tartiness: 5/5
Fruitiness: Since lemon is a fruit, technically 5/5, but all we could taste was sourness. The peach alleviated it a bit, but the flavours could have been more balanced.
Texture: The same slippery texture as the Pure Collagen Drink.

Overall tastiness: 2/5. If you don’t mind suffering a bit of hyperacidity for brighter, whiter skin, then this could be the collagen drink for you. 

Kinohimitsu UV-Bright
Kinohimitsu UV-Bright
22 Jan 2018

Kinohimitsu UV-Bright

Flavour: Grape

Kinohimitsu offers a number of collagen drinks, but we chose this one because Grape Seed Extract sounds a lot more appealing than Acerola Cherry (Kinohimitsu BB Drink 10’s) and Green Papaya (Kinohimitsu BustUp Drink 10’s). This one tasted distinctly grapey, but not in a medicinal way. We wouldn’t mind integrating collagen drinks into our diet if it meant getting to enjoy this every day.

Tartiness: 2/5 -- it's just sour enough to temper the sweetness. 
Fruitiness: 4/5. The grape extract did a good job disguising the usual “collagen drink” taste.
Texture: Smooth and easy to swallow.

Overall tastiness: 4/5. This wasn’t the most delicious item on our list, but it made a pretty good first impression. 

ORBIS Collagen The Beauty
ORBIS Collagen The Beauty
22 Jan 2018

ORBIS Collagen The Beauty

Flavour: Pomegranate and red grapes

ORBIS has two bottled collagen drinks: this one, which is for the younger crowd and for beginners, and one for seasoned customers (we’ll get to that later). This one was a little sour, and tasted more like grapes than pomegranate, but the tartness didn’t melt our faces off or anything.

Tartiness: 3/5. Sour, but not painfully so.
Fruitiness: 5/5. We could barely taste the “collagen-ness” beneath.
Texture: Smooth and light.

Overall tastiness: 4/5. Collagen drinks are a bit of an acquired taste, pleasantly tart, not-too-exciting-but-not-gross product would be a good choice for beginners. 

ORBIS Collagen 12,000
ORBIS Collagen 12,000
22 Jan 2018

ORBIS Collagen 12,000

Flavour: Tangy pineapple

If you’ve started developing wrinkles, are of a certain age, or are a long-time consumer of collagen drinks, you’ll want to check out ORBIS’ Collagen 12,000, which contains double the amount of micro collagen peptides that Collagen The Beauty has. Meaning that texture-wise, this drink is a lot thicker than its predecessor, and feels more like a syrup than a beverage.

Tartiness: 1/5. Despite the word “tangy” in its flavour description, the Collagen 12,000 was tremendously sweet.
Fruitiness: 5/5. It was like drinking the syrup in canned pineapples.
Texture: A little too thick for our tastes. Take slow sips if you try this one.

Overall tastiness: 3.5/5. 

Laneige Collagen Drink
Laneige Collagen Drink
22 Jan 2018

Laneige Collagen Drink

Flavour: Red orange and pomegranate

Laneige’s Collagen Drink tasted equally like fruits and fish oil, so we’d recommend mixing this with a fruit juice rather than drinking it straight up if you’re unaccustomed to collagen drinks. If you close your eyes and focus on the pomegranate, you can almost convince yourself that you’re slurping the remnants of an acai bowl.

Tartiness: 2/5, thanks to the red orange.
Fruitiness: 2.5/5. This one integrates well with other beverages. We actually really liked the pomegranate, once we’d left the drink on our tongues long enough to taste it, and thought it blended in seamlessly with our other breakfast juices.
Texture: A little syrupy, but not uncomfortably so.

Overall tastiness: 3/5.

FANCL Tense Up
FANCL Tense Up
22 Jan 2018

FANCL Tense Up

Flavour: Citrusy

FANCL Tense Up’s claim to fame is that it is sugar-free, and true enough, this was one of the milder drinks in our supply. While the orangey flavour was a little medicinal, we found that we could drink this one without feeling like we needed to wash it down afterward.

Tartiness: 1/5, a far cry from the sour orange juice we expected thanks to the packaging.
Fruitiness: 4/5. The relatively low collagen content (2,600 milligrams) made this taste more like a juice than anything.
Texture: Smooth

Overall tastiness: 3.5/5

New Moon Inner Radiance Collagen Drink
New Moon Inner Radiance Collagen Drink
22 Jan 2018

New Moon Inner Radiance Collagen Drink

Flavour: Tropical fruits

With 13,000 milligrams of collagen peptides, this one was of the more intense drinks that we tried, and alas, the “tropical fruits” additives did little to help the flavour, which tasted a lot like melted fruit Mentos. 

Tartiness: 1/5
Fruitiness: 2/5, as the drink tasted more artificial and “collagen-y” than anything.
Texture: Slightly on the thicker side

Overall tastiness: 1/5

ITOH Hanako Japan Crystal Collagen
ITOH Hanako Japan Crystal Collagen
22 Jan 2018

ITOH Hanako Japan Crystal Collagen

Flavour: Peach

At last, we’ve arrived at the MVP of tasty collagen drinks: ITOH’s Hanako Japan Crystal Collagen, an oft-overlooked collagen drink that tastes just like peach gummies. The sales assistant at the pharmacy practically had to shove this one into our hands, but we’ve learned our lesson: just because you don’t see it all over Instagram doesn’t mean you can’t give it a chance.

Tartiness: 2/5. This was JUST sour enough to keep the peach flavour from tasting too sugary.
Fruitiness: 5/5, essence of peach all the way.
Texture: Light and easy to swallow.

Overall tastiness: 5/5. We would legit drink this for fun even if it did nothing for our complexions. 

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