Comparing Vital Proteins vs. Ancient Nutrition supplements is fun because there’s no bad product. It can also feel challenging because–since they’re all good–narrowing it down to the right one for you can be overwhelming.
I’ve been a wellness and beauty writer for over a decade and obsessed with health and fitness for about 20 years, so maybe I can help shed some light on which product you should start with.
Before we get started, is there any type of collagen you think you’d dislike consuming due to potential food sensitivities, flavor, or dietary preferences? In most cases, you’ll choose between bovine (beef) collagen and marine (fish) collagen. However, some blends incorporate other types, like eggshell membrane collagen.
Next, decide what you want it for or any additional benefits you’d like to combine. Though collagen may improve your hair, skin, nails, and joint health, some are paired up with other ingredients to target beauty, energy levels, immunity, joint health, gut health, or fitness.
These are excellent companies with quality products, so you can’t go wrong with either one. There are a few differences that may make you choose one over the other. Still, it comes down to personal preference and ingredients that may be added to the collagen powder to enhance the collagen’s effect or offer a brand new perk. If I had to tell you which one to pick right now, I’d say Ancient Nutrition.
Vital Proteins vs Ancient Nutrition Supplements: The Main Differences
While you can boost your collagen intake with either brand, some differences may make you feel that one is better than the other for your needs. Here are some of the key differences:
- Vital Proteins focuses on collagen, whereas Ancient Nutrition offers a lot more–protein powders, greens powders, vitamins, minerals, adaptogens, herbs, essential oils, and probiotics.
- Vital Proteins has a couple of types of collagen (marine, bovine, and bone broth), whereas Ancient Nutrition’s collagen includes bovine, fermented eggshell membrane, chicken bone broth, and fish.
- Vital Proteins has liquid options, whereas Ancient Nutrition offers collagen capsules (both have gummies).
- Vital Proteins products feature one form of collagen at a time, whereas Ancient Nutrition has products that combine different types.
How They’re Similar
Even though there are some standout differences between Vital Proteins and Ancient Nutrition supplements, there are some similarities I’ve found, as well:
- They’re sticky. I feel that Vital Proteins collagen peptides and the Ancient Nutrition protein supplements with bone broth tend to be sticky.
- They mix with liquid so easily, that you barely know they’re there.
- You’ll probably taste the supplements a little, no matter what you combine them with unless you’re making a smoothie. I can taste collagen powder in my coffee, for example. It’s not strong, and it’s not bad, but I definitely notice it.
- Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are available for around $27.00 to $53.00, and Ancient Nutrition ranges from about $25.00 to $50.00+. Overall, the pricing is similar.
Key Features of Vital Proteins
There are a few outlier products, like sleep capsules and Feeling Zen, a capsule designed to help you relax with ashwagandha root extract and L-Theanine.
Vital Proteins is easy to get your hands on. Of course, you can order it online, but you can also pick it up on your next Target trip.
The ingredients lists are usually pretty short and straightforward. However, some products designed for specific purposes (like energy or beauty beyond what plain collagen offers) may have more than average.
There’s not as much variety in the types of collagen they offer compared to Ancient Nutrition. Still, Vital Proteins has branched out from the bovine collagen they started within their best-selling Collagen Peptides.
- They’ve niched down to make sure they do collagen products right.
- There are a few outliers that aren’t collagen.
- It’s easy to find in stores.
- The ingredients are usually pretty straightforward.
- You can get collagen with additional benefits and cut down on the number of products you need to buy and use.
Pros and Cons of Vital Proteins
I enjoy using Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides, but they’re not perfect.
- It mixes easily.
- The collagen powder has a smooth texture, even before it’s mixed with a liquid (it’s just part of the pleasant experience of opening the canister and scooping some out).
- It comes in fun flavors (especially the Beauty Collagen, though I didn’t enjoy the Lavender Lemon one as much as I thought I would). The unflavored one still has a mild taste that you may be able to detect in your coffee, tea, etc. Matcha collagen might be especially nice in your green tea.
- They offer products that do more than one thing while delivering the collagen you want. Some have ingredients for beauty, or energy, for example. You could treat it as your pre-workout. This could also mean you save money because you only have to buy one product, not two, plus it’ll cut a step from your morning routine if you double up.
- The packaging is usually colorful, eye-catching, and gives off a fun vibe.
- It looks less expensive than it is, at first glance. For example, that $27.00 price tag on Collagen Peptides only covers 14 servings.
- It’s sticky when it gets on your fingers as you’re scooping it out.
- There’s a little bit of a flavor, but I hesitated to even add this one because all collagen powder (at least the many brands I’ve tried) has a flavor, even if it’s “unflavored.”
Key Features of Ancient Nutrition
I can always count on Ancient Nutrition to have quality ingredients that serve a purpose. I enjoy going through their ingredients lists (nerd that I am) and considering why each thing was included.
There’s a lot of variety within this line, but I’m not worried that they spread themselves too thin and let quality suffer. I think they do a lot of things well. I’m not always the biggest fan of the flavor (I’m looking at you, Keto Protein), but I always want to love the products based on ingredients and benefits.
There’s a mix of collagen (and protein) options, too. You can get bovine, marine, or chicken bone broth. If you opt for the Multi Collagen Protein, you can get a blend of bovine collagen, fermented eggshell membrane collagen, chicken bone broth protein concentrate, and hydrolyzed fish collagen peptides.
You can get specialized blends focused on beauty, like Beauty Within and Beauty + Sleep, alongside the Gut Restore, Joint & Mobility, and Recovery options.
To summarize, you get:
- Quality ingredients
- Tons of variety in the types of collagen and protein types
- Blends that have different types of collagen in them instead of just one
- Specialized blends to help you with your goals as you’re getting your collagen in
Pros and Cons of Ancient Nutrition
Here’s what you might appreciate or dislike about Ancient Nutrition supplements:
- There is a lot of variety within the line, but they still manage to do it all well.
- You can always expect quality ingredients carefully researched and combined to maximize your health.
- You can get specialized collagen and protein mixes to help with an issue you’d like to address, like beauty, joint health, or gut health.
- The packaging is classy, so it will look good if you need to leave it out on the counter.
- Some of the products are bare-bones, like the Pure Bone Broth Collagen which just has chicken bone broth protein concentrate, beef broth, and turkey broth. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need or want.
- There are some exciting flavors (but I think Vital Proteins has them beat in this area).
- Some of the products seem expensive, especially when you factor in the number of servings you get.
- The flavor isn’t always the best and it can be challenging to cover it up in some cases.
In my years of using and reading about collagen and protein powders, I’ve noticed that they get mixed reviews overall (not just Vital Proteins and Ancient Nutrition). That means you probably still have some questions. Hopefully, I can answer some of them here.
Answer: No, but it’s also not “necessary” by any stretch of the imagination. It could be helpful in some circumstances (improvements in how your hair, skin, and nails look, joint health, etc.) Still, a protein powder or some other supplement for the issue you’re targeting could work just as well. It’s just a convenient supplement you can put in your morning coffee or smoothie that covers a lot of wellness bases at one time.
Answer: Yes. I’m personally a fan of it and notice improvements in my hair, skin, and nails when I use it. It’s also a top dietician pick.
Answer: She says her favorite one is Vital Proteins.
Answer: For most people, it’s not harmful. You should steer clear of collagen supplements if you’re at high risk of developing kidney stones.
Answer: It’s generally fine for more people to take daily, but breaks are recommended every few months. I have read that some people feel best when they take it every other day instead of every day, but just see how your body feels taking it daily, then cut back if necessary.
Answer: No collagen supplements are FDA approved, so though Vital Proteins isn’t, that doesn’t say anything negative about the brand.
Asnwer: If taken as directed, they’re unlikely to make a difference in your weight.
Tips for Choosing Between Vital Proteins and Ancient Nutrition
You could choose either one and reap the benefits, but here are a few things to ask yourself:
- Does it need to be easy to get locally? You can get Vital Proteins more readily. Ancient Nutrition is available on their site, Whole Foods, Amazon, and even Target’s website (not Target stores).
- How do you intend to use it? Will you be putting it in your coffee each morning, making a smoothie, or adding it to soups? Based on the products I’ve tried, Vital Proteins seems more versatile, but Ancient Nutrition has really great ingredients and can be a part of your everyday as well.
- Do you want other perks? Compare the brands’ offerings and see which product meets your specific needs the best.
- Are there certain ingredients you specifically want to try or prefer to stay away from? You’ll find more variety of proteins with Ancient Nutrition.
Alternatives to Try
You’ll probably be surprised by just how many collagen alternatives to Vital Proteins and Ancient Nutrition there actually are. Here are a few to research before you make your final decision:
The Forest Leaf Advanced Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides are a much less expensive option than some of the others out there. You can get 82 servings in a pack of two for under $50.00. This is bovine collagen, too, with no sugar, gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, fish, eggs, or hormones.
The one catch is: that there are only 10 grams of protein per serving. You get 20 grams from a serving of Vital Proteins and the Collagen Peptides Protein Powder from Ancient Nutrition.
HUM Nutrition Collagen Love isn’t a powder; it’s a capsule. That’s perfect for people who want to leave their coffee untouched and don’t know what else to mix the collagen into. This grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine option has vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, so it’s in the same vein as the beauty-specific collagen options from Vital Proteins and Ancient Nutrition.
Expect to pay about $40.00 per month.
The Garden of Life Grass-Fed Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein Supplement is another option with 20 grams of protein per serving. In some cases, you can get 28 servings for not much more than 14 servings of Vital Proteins or Ancient Nutrition.
This one also has probiotics to promote gut health and healthy digestion.
I have heard so much about Great Lakes Wellness Unflavored Collagen Peptides, but I’m not sure I’ve ever tried them. I’ve mentioned the Wellness one here, but there are others that focus more on beauty, digestion, or joints. There’s also marine collagen.
The Wellness one only has 12 grams of (bovine) protein. The ingredients are simple: bovine collagen peptides.
You can get 38 servings for around $30.00, giving this one a spot on the list of the best-priced collagen powders.
The Sports Research Collagen Powder Supplement is available in Unflavored, Dark Chocolate, Matcha Green Tea, and Vanilla. You can purchase it in various sizes, but the one-pound pack of one will cost you around $30.00 for 41 servings. The ingredients list is simple: hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides.
The only possible bummer? You only get 10 grams of protein per serving.
Conclusion: Start with Ancient Nutrition
While I do like Vital Proteins, I have to say that Ancient Nutrition is a good first choice based on their ingredient list. If you are looking for a complete protein powder, multivitamin, or probiotic, I recommend Ancient Nutrition.
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Crystal Schwanke has been on a fitness and health and wellness journey for more than a decade. She used to do wellness-related ghostwriting work and content writing for several well-known websites.
During this time, she tried all the protein powders, meal replacement shakes and mixes, and workout programs. Crystal’s favorite way of eating is Paleo(ish) and even when she isn’t writing about health and wellness and fitness, she often spends her time researching for the sake of learning. Her goal is to better equip herself so she can build a framework that will allow her to handle anything life throws at her.