Review of Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate Powder

great lakes collagen review

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By Lauren Forrest, RD
Bestselling nutritional author and speaker.

Fact checked by Dianna Thompson.

I few months ago, I heard about Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate from my cousin, who is impressively well-versed in the subject of collagen protein and how it can help with bone and joint care — as well as enhance hair and nail growth, improve the condition of skin (think wrinkles!) and a number of other health and beauty benefits.

There were some pretty mind-blowing “factoids” that my cousin passed along to me, and while she actually was filling me in on it for my aged mother, I also recognized it as something that I also would benefit from in a number of ways (if it worked as well for me as it was obviously working for her).

Fast forward a couple of months from that discussion with my cousin…

My mother and I have both been using this product regularly, and I believe that I now have enough personal experience to pass along what I have learned with my own review of Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate.

Read on to get the scoop…

What is Great Lakes Collagen?

Before I answer the above question, I will first address two others:
Q: What is gelatin?
A: Gelatin is a food that is derived from the collagen of animals (usually cattle or pigs).
Naturally then, the next question is…
Q: What is collagen?
A: Collagen is a type of protein that is largely what gives strength and structure to parts of the body such as skin, bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels and the digestive system.

Over time – as a body ages (at around age 30) – it begins to produce less and less collagen, thus we observe the physical manifestations of wrinkles, dry, “crinkly” and saggy skin, weak and aching joints, etc.

(Interesting fact: The origin of the word, “collagen” is from two other words that together mean, “A kind of glue,” which is exactly what you could consider collagen to be to your own body – the glue that makes its structure firm and keeps it active and youthful.)

Now that I have answered the two questions above, I can now attack the original one…
Q: What is Great Lakes Gelatin?
A: It is a form of hydrolyzed (broken down for better digestion) collagen that provides all of the benefits that I have listed above – plus some! Truly one of the best collagen supplements (if not the best) available today.

It is composed of a combination of amino acids (collagen proteins) that help the body to fill in what’s missing in terms of its collagen production.

Below is a video with one of my favorite online natural health gurus, Dr. Axe – he explains (very aptly) what collagen hydrolysate is all about and how it is beneficial to your health. (As a note, Great Lakes has all of the points that he lists in the video, that you should be looking for in a collagen supplement.)

My Story

Several months ago my cousin visited our family – it had been about 14 years since I had seen her. The first thing that struck me when I saw her was how young she looked, and how beautiful, thick and long her hair was.

I swear the girl looked 30 years old (or maybe younger)! Doing the math (she is 6 years younger than me), I realized that she was actually 46 years old. Getting up on 50, and she looks just as young (or younger) than she did the last time I saw her.

Struggling not to be jealous, I leaned forward and listened to her attentively as she told my mother and I her “secret” – she has been taking collagen protein for years now, and she still takes it every single day (as well as adding it to her husband’s coffee in the morning).

Her main emphasis on recommending it to us was the benefits that my elderly mother would get from it (since collagen helps a great deal with skin, hair and joints), but as she talked on, I realized how much I also would benefit from it, if it did in fact work for me as well as it was obviously working for her.

The next day, she texted me a link to this form Great Lakes Collagen (at a good price at her favorite online health food store). Soon after, I was online ordering it myself, with credit card in-hand.

After my cousin’s visit (and before I received the product), I decided to find out a bit more about this “miracle stuff” to see what my mother and I might be in for. I found out that not only is it helpful with improvement of skin, hair, nails and joints, but I also found out that it greatly helps with digestion (an unfortunate weakness for me), as well as increasing metabolism and helping to lose weight.

Increased metabolism?! Help with weight loss?! Bonus!!!!

My first day with Great Lakes Collagen: I started using the product the same day I received it, as did my mother. I noticed a difference in how I felt within about 5 minutes. The feeling I had is a bit difficult to describe, but I would say that I felt more awake, stronger and generally more “there.”

I knew right away that I was on to something, and since I already felt better I also had a strong hunch that much better things were to come.

Over the past few months I have religiously been taking Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate powder, and I will never look back. It has given both my mother and myself so many benefits!

Benefits I have experienced: The most striking benefits that I have had personally are:

• Increased level of energy
• Softer, healthier skin with more elasticity
• A bit of reduction (already!) in fine lines around my eyes.

I also have noticed that indeed, my metabolism seems to have revved up some too. 🙂

An unexpected side effect:

Over the past couple of years my skin has become quite sensitive to even the smallest of abrasions. When I would get a scratch or small blemish, it would turn into a large red mark on my skin, along with a bit of swelling. After using this product for a few weeks, I noticed a huge difference in the texture and strength of my skin. No more big red marks, and my skin heals much, much faster when scratched or when getting any kind of abrasion.

One more thing – Could it be that some gray roots of mine are turning to my natural hair color? Hmmmm.

Maybe. The jury is still out on that one.

Benefits my mother has experienced:

My mom has also gotten some dramatic changes from using Great Lakes Collagen – she had been losing hair by the handful, which stopped. Her hair has gotten a bit thicker, and she too has noticed that at the roots of her hair she is seeing some of her original dark hair color.

I have noticed a difference in skin texture and tone with my mother as well – she was having the same type of sensitivity that I was, now her skin is not so “crepey” -it’s stronger and she is healing from small cuts and abrasions much more quickly.

Given the fact that my mother is almost 87 years old, it is also quite likely that her bones, joints and ligaments are getting stronger. Yay!

Great stuff, Great Lakes!

Health and Beauty Benefits of Great Lakes Collagen

Collagen Molecule

From my own experience, as well as doing some hunting and research online, I have put together a list of health benefits that can and do go along with using Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate:

• Supplies amino acids, which promote all cell growth, including blood cells
• Better (softer, more elastic) skin
• Diminished age spots
• Improved digestive function (including “leaky gut”)
• Joint health
• Helps to build and supports muscle tissue
• Increases energy and metabolism
• Reduces appetite
• Improves brain function
• Strengthens nails
• Strengthens (and thickens) hair
• Strengthens bones and teeth
• Improves liver health (assisting in body detox)
• Improves heart health

That’s a “WOW!” list, eh? I think so. And, as my body is starting to “get on up there” in years, I can appreciate most of the above items on that list. 🙂

Below is a well-made video from a doctor on the subject – she elaborates on the health benefits of collagen hydrolysate, and specifically on how it can help with digestive issues and “leaky gut.”

Who is Great Lakes Collagen For?

This product is recommended for those who…
• Are about 30 years of age or older (in my opinion – but perhaps especially for people over 40)
• Are looking for a good way to boost their protein
• Want to look younger
• Have digestive issues
• Want to strenthen and improve bones, muscles and joints
• Want to boost their energy and metabolism
• Are looking for an effective appetite suppressant
• Want to feel “sharper” or more alert throughout the day
• Want stronger, healthier nails
• Have thinning hair, or simply want to make their hair stronger
• Want to give their bodies a “detox boost”
• Are looking to lower cholesterol and improve heart health

Who is Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate Not For?

Given the fact that the product is beef tissue-based, if someone is a strict vegan or vegetarian, he or she might want to search out a different solution such as plant-derived collagen booster, however be aware that it is likely far less effective.

How to Take Great Lakes Collagen

Great Lakes Collagen comes containers of 1 pound each, or alternatively in a box of packets (to take on the go). The directions on the container state to take 2 rounded tablespoons twice a day, and per their recommendation it can be taken with any beverage, hot or cold.

However, I have found that it mixes and dissolves more easily with boiling water since it does sort of lump together a bit at first, and with hot water it tends to dissolve better than with cold.

What I do: I take it per the instructions on the container – using a regular utensil tablespoon, I use 2 rounded tablespoons in a coffee cup, add boiling water and immediately stir until it is completely dissolved. (If I wait to stir it, it can congeal at the bottom of the cup, requiring more time to dissolve it.) Then I add a bit of cold water to temper it a bit so that it is easy to drink. Then – down it goes!

While it does have a tiny bit of beef flavor to it, it’s not much and I find it easy to take just with water.
Other options: My cousin (that I mention above) says that she takes all 4 tablespoons right at the beginning of the day, and that works for her just fine.

Also, people who like a more protein during the day can add it to their protein shakes or smoothies. Other people like to drink it with their coffee, tea, milk, etc.

What are the Pros and Cons?


• Improvements in overall body health including improved cell growth, faster healing, improved digestion, liver support, cartilage, joints and more.
• Increased energy, metabolism and ability to lose weight faster
• Physical improvements that could be considered more “cosmetic,” including softer, younger looking skin, healthier and nicer looking hair, stronger, more beautiful nails – and I also have heard more than once (from good authority) that it helps to smooth out cellulite!
• Feeling sharper and more alert – assists with faster thinking and daily activities.


(It was actually kind of difficult for me to come up with any “cons” for Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate since I love it so much – and so do many other people – but I was able to find some things that some people might want to keep in mind.)
• Not an ideal product for very strict vegetarians and vegans since it it beef-based
• I have been running out of it pretty quickly (with my mother and I both taking it, it lasts only about 2 weeks)
• Some people do not like the taste of it when mixed only with water. (Mixing it with another beverage or smoothie easily covers any flavor.)
• A bit on the “funny side” to dissolve, unless you stir it in hot water right away. It tends to clump together and get sticky if you let it sit too long before stirring.

Do I Recommend Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate Protein?

I absolutely, positively love this product, and heck yeah, I recommend it!

Given the number of benefits that I personally have had with it (and probably will experience more as time goes on), and seeing and hearing about the wins that other people are having with it, I highly endorse it and very likely will be using it for years and years to come.

While there certainly are other brands and forms of collagen protein, and yes, to some degree any or all of them will have some positive effect for those who need it, there doesn’t appear to be any other specific brand or type that is getting the number of raves, 5-star reviews and do not seem to be quite as powerful and effective as Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate.

My Recommendation – Where to Buy Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate Protein

Given the (especially recent) popularity of this product, there is actually no shortage of places online or offline that carry it. However, of all of the resources that have it in stock (online), my top recommendations are:

Find it at Thrive Market – for $6.00 less than other online discount retailers (at this writing)!

Find it @ for a competitive price

Find it @ Amazon Health and Household for a competitive price
A couple of notes on my #1 recommendation above, Thrive Market:

• A membership is required – Thrive Market is the equivalent of a “Costco health food store,” so an annual membership is needed to shop there. (See my Thrive Market Review page on this website for all the details on this.)
• If you do any sort of vitamin or health food shopping at all, I highly recommend that you give Thrive Market a try. You can save a ton of money over time.

My Final Thoughts on Great Lakes Collagen

As the author of this review, I truly did my due diligence on this product – not only did a spend a good amount of time looking online at what other people had to say about it, I have been using it myself since October of 2017 (going on 3 months now) and couldn’t be happier with it!

Has this review helped you in some way? Do you have questions that are not answered here, or comments of your own?

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