I’ve been taking Sports Research collagen powder daily now for a few months, so this is a good time to share my thoughts of it in this product review article.
I’ll also be going over its ingredients, Supplement Facts info, amino acid profile, as well as its purity certifications and product sourcing practices.
Science resources included
As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science and medical resources, clinical studies, & nutritional data used in this article.
We’ll get into Sports Research collagen’s product details in a bit.
First though, I want to provide a quick overview of Sports Research Inc., and then do a Cliff Notes version of Collagen Peptides 101 for anyone who’s not real familiar with what it is.
About Sports Research
The company behind the best-selling collagen peptides product on the market is worth getting to know and has an interesting story, so I thought I’d share it with you.
How Sports Research came to be
The founder Jeff Pedersen was a successful collegiate & high school athlete, and was drafted by a major league baseball team.
He first started working on what would become Sports Research’s first product in the 1970s.
While running his large athletic club, he tinkered with this product’s formula, testing it on himself & some club members. (1)
Once he got it right, he brought it to market and it’s been a successful hit ever since.
Sweet Sweat was their 1st product
It’s called Sweet Sweat, a thermogenic (heat-generating) workout enhancer cream you may have heard of, since it’s used by athletes & workout warriors all over the country.
Like their collagen peptides, Sweet Sweat is the #1 selling product in its category, Sports Nutrition Endurance & Energy Supplements, on Amazon.
Several other best-selling products too
Besides Sweet Sweat & their collagen powder, Sports Research has several other supplements that are well-liked by tens of thousands of people.
Here’s a list of a few of those:
4.9 ⭐ 12,000+ reviews
4.6 ⭐ 20,400+ reviews
4.8 ⭐ 6,400+ reviews
4.7 ⭐ 7,500+ reviews
4.8 ⭐ 8,600+ reviews
Company information regarding Sports Research Inc:
* They’re located in the Southern California coastal town of San Pedro, and are a member of the Chamber of Commerce. (2)
* Sports Research turned 40 in 2020, having been in business since 1980.
* It’s been accredited by the Better Business Bureau, where it enjoys an A+ rating. (3)
Collagen peptides 101
Here are a few fun facts about our collagen supplements and collagen peptides.
* Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. (4)
* One of collagen’s main roles is to hold the body together, “to provide strength & structure”. (5)
* The most popular collagen supplements on the market are made from the skins & bones of cattle; look for the word bovine.
* Other sources of collagen include other mammals and fish. (6)
What are collagen peptides?
A peptide is just the name for a group of amino acids chained together. (7)
Collagen’s primary amino acids are different than other proteins, like whey for example.
Not surprising really, since collagen’s three main amino acids — glycine, proline, & hydroxyproline — are the ones that the body uses for that structure we just talked about. (8)
What’s the difference between hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides?
Collagen that’s been hydrolyzed means that it has been broken down using water. (9)
And a collagen peptide is just a short string (or chain) of the amino acids that are found in collagen, like those three I mentioned above.
Peptides are used in these supplements because — since they’re smaller chains — they’re easier for the body to absorb than other proteins. (10)
How long does it take for collagen peptides to work?
After 8 weeks a dermatology research study noted a “significantly higher skin elasticity level”. (11)
After 24 weeks, a sports nutrition study using over a hundred athletes at Penn State University found “statistically significant changes” in the reduction of joint pain. (12)
Sports Research Collagen Peptides is listed as the #1 selling collagen supplement on Amazon.
And it’s very likely the top seller online period, judging from the number of reviews its received across the internet.
Buyer comments are overwhelmingly positive, and here’s a sampling of a few of them.
“In 35 days I have noticed a very big difference in the bags under my eyes. They seem to have “filled in”! My fingernails are super strong and growing much faster than using biotin. People I know are saying that my hair is growing so fast!” – AC
“This product cured my constant hunger and cravings 100%! From the first time I used it, I noticed a difference in my eating patterns and cravings. I’ve been taking this product for a few weeks and the effects have been transformational. ” – MD
“I am 47 now and for almost 2 decades I have been taking 800 – 8000 mg of ibuprofen daily just to be able to move. Less than 2 weeks after I started taking this once a day in my morning coffee…I realized I hadn’t taken a single ibuprofen in over a week…my overall health has drastically improved…” – CC
“After 45 days, I can tell you that this stuff is magic. My skin is soft, supple, and much firmer over my whole body. This product has improved the texture/hydration of my face skin, so when I use my harsh retinol gel, it doesn’t flake off. I also made it through an entire menstrual cycle without a breakout.” – JS
About my product ratings
The ⭐ rating you see below is calculated using all online reviews available at the time I wrote this article.
The % number you see is the percentage of 5- & 4-star reviews out of all online reviews.
To read more buyer comments, click on the pic or the product name down in the review.
4.7 ⭐ 92% – 30,000+ online reviews
Sports Research sells a few different collagen products, so here’s the one I’ve been taking that’s featured in this review:
Ingredients: there’s only 1
As you can see from the Supplement Facts label I provided below, this is a pure product containing only hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides.
- It’s a low-calorie source of protein
- The sodium you see is naturally-occurring
- That protein amount is standard for 100% collagen products
Amino acid profile
* A very similar profile exists for all pure bovine collagen powders.
* You can tell it’s collagen due to the high levels of collagen’s 3 main amino acids: hydroxyproline, proline, & glycine.
* And…you can tell it’s a collagen protein by its low levels of the 3 BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids): leucine, isoleucine, & valine.
You can see a direct comparison of collagen & whey’s amino acids here on heydayDo, in my article (unsurprisingly) called Collagen Protein vs. Whey.
Product sourcing info
Here’s where they get the cattle parts from.
I’ve got no beef (ouch 😜) with the New Zealand, Australia, EU, or Argentina meat industries.
It’s well-regulated in those regions, as much as any animal food product could be these days I suppose.
Brazil? Well, that’s another story…perhaps best left for another day.
If interested, give a quick Google on “Brazil Beef Industry Amazon rainforest destruction” or similar.
Certifications & other qualities
Keto & paleo-friendly
Keto-friendly & paleo-friendly are pretty self-explanatory.
Small organizations that represent those groups of dieters will supply a label to a company whose product falls under their respective criteria, if said company wants that feature to be known.
IGEN Non-GMO Tested
This is a certification issued by contract research organization Nutrasource.
It verifies that Sports Research Collagen Peptides has no genetically-modified markers in it. (13)
Informed Choice is an organization that provides independent testing to companies looking to insure that their products have not been tainted during the manufacturing process.
This is notable because many fitness supplements are mass-produced in facilities that put out all kinds of things, and some of the lower-quality production methods can lead to cross-contamination.
This is a certification verifying that Sports Research Collagen Peptides is free from any substances that are banned in competitive sport. (14)
This is a certification you don’t see on that marketing label above, but it is displayed on the can of collagen itself:
And I think it’s as or more important than any of the others I’ve mentioned.
cGMP stands for Current Good Manufacturing Practice, and this means Sports Research has been recognized by the FDA for following their regulations on maintaining good manufacturing practices. (15)
Check your collagen for purity
This isn’t a certification, but it’s worth mentioning.
Sports Research tests & records purity levels for their products on an ongoing basis, which is a high-quality move on their part for sure.
Another cool feature of this is that you can enter the lot number that’s printed on the bottom of your can here on Sports Research’s website and get your collagen’s testing results.
Here’s what the lot # looks like:
Taste, texture, smell
Our senses are all different from one another, so my opinion here doesn’t mean much.
I can tell you that I’m a sensitive guy <sniff> 😄, and I have sensitive senses too.
Given all that…
…to me, Sports Research collagen powder:
- has no distinctive* taste
- has no smell
- has zero grittiness
- mixes real easily in a shaker bottle
- mixes easy with a spoon too
- can mix in a small amount of liquid
- mixes quicker in warm/hot vs. cold drinks
* – I tested it in 6 oz. of water. It has a very faint taste that lets me know I’m not drinking plain water, but that’s about it.
I think it’s pretty easy to see why this is the #1 selling collagen protein powder on the market these days.
It’s a high-quality, certified nutritional supplement that’s very user-friendly.
And it’s priced less than most of the competition too.
Collagen Peptides Benefits
Thousands of people who take collagen on a daily basis are on record — many with photos — telling how they’ve experienced benefits of one kind or another.
Improvement in the quality of their hair &/or skin, reduction of pain in their joints, noticing fewer fine line wrinkles on their face — these seem to be the most common benefits mentioned.
Medical & nutrition science lags behind
At the same time, there are dermatologists & physicians who question whether collagen is effective (16).
My guess is that their skepticism is based at least partly on the fact that there hasn’t been a whole lot of independent research dedicated to collagen supplementation’s positive effects. (17)
Some of the collagen studies most quoted by online beauty/lifestyle blogs were funded by companies that make collagen supplements, and conflict of interest like that always raises an eyebrow or two.
But there’s good research results so far
So anyway — the unbiased collagen studies have clearly shown its effectiveness; it’s just that there aren’t a whole lot of them.
Still, the research results that do exist for collagen supplements so far are definitely encouraging.
Here are a few benefits that have been shown in individual research studies.
(My reference #s link to the relevant study.)
- Improved skin elasticity (18)
- Reduced athlete’s joint pain (19)
- Improved nail quality (20)
- Helped arthritis pain (21)
- Reduced skin wrinkles (22)
- Helped weight loss by providing extended feelings of fullness (23)
I hope that my review article on Sports Research Collagen Peptides powder is useful to you, and that the info on collagen peptides & their benefits is helpful too.
I wish you well on your fitness journey; let’s go.