Last modified on February 19th, 2023
Protein pills are dietary supplements that offer an affordable, convenient way to get more protein.
Protein is one of the most popular nutritional supplements, but you don’t always have the option to mix a powder. Protein helps repair tissue, make hormones, and build muscle.
We put together our rankings of the best pills and protein capsules.
- Pills or capsules are one of the easiest ways to boost your protein intake.
- The most common ingredients in pills are collagen, bone broth, and whey.
- Some pills have pea powder, casein, or soy protein.
- There’s no taste or smell to worry about with pills.
- Includes organic bone broth collagen blend with chicken and bovine bone broth
- Organic turmeric extract for anti-inflammatory benefits
- Organic ashwagandha extract for adrenal and mental health benefits
- Provides collagen type I, II, and III
- Each serving includes three grams of protein and 4000 mg of bone broth collagen
- Only ten calories per serving
- Take three to six capsules daily
- Promotes joint health
- Helps protect against the effects of aging
- Good for gut and digestive health
- Raw bioactive peptides, which is an amino acid supplement to help with muscle protein synthesis
- Peptides are alive and bioactive, so they’re more easily digested and used by the body
- Provides you with all the protein you need
- Can be used to replace whey protein concentrate or isolate
- May help with energy, endurance, muscle tone, and muscle growth
- Proprietary blend of all 22 amino acids
- Gluten, soy, dairy-free
- No stimulants, fillers, additives, preservatives, or binders
- Top-rated on Amazon
- Blend of eight essential amino acids
- Includes BCAAs with 99% bioavailability
- A low-calorie way to build and maintain lean muscle mass
- PerfectAmino is pre-digested so it’s absorbed into the bloodstream within 23 minutes or less
- Formulated by Dr. Josh Axe
- Contains five types of collagen sourced from food
- Helps with joint pain and stiffness and exercise recovery
- Can help reduce joint cartilage breakdown resulting from wear and tear
- May help support skin, hair, and nail health
- Contains herbs to support healthy stress response
- Could boost energy levels
- Contain organic, grass-fed bone broth powder
- Rich in glucosamine, collagen, and chondroitin
- The company uses a heat-intensive process to ensure the best quality bone broth powder.
- Benefits of having the protein and collagen in bone broth powder on the go
- Joint and gut health support
- Each serving has two grams of protein from organic bovine bone broth
- Two grams of collagen per serving (Types I and II for hair, skin, and nails)
- Marine collagen is one of the most easily absorbed and utilized types of protein
- Provide support for hair, skin, nails, bones, and joints
- Made from wild-caught, non-GMO project-verified white fish
- 12 grams of collagen per serving
- Bioavailable, digestive and cold-water-soluble
- May help reduce appetite
- Provides pain relief for many users
- 100% absorbed and 99% utilized
- Formulation include the optimal ratio of amino acids for absorption
- Produces almost no waste
- Exceeds whey protein in terms of gaining lean muscle mass
- Completely pre-digested with no digestive discomfort
- Bioactive factors to strengthen collagen and connective tissue
- Supports cell structure
- Living collagen provides support for bones, joints, cartilage, and connective tissue
- Unique compared to some other types of collagen that are highly processed
- Contains trachea-derived collagen, scapula-derived collagen, and chondroitin to lubricate joints
- Also has marrow bone collagen
What Are the Benefits of Protein Supplements?
There are benefits of taking protein supplements, but many people take protein powders. If you can’t or don’t want to take protein powder, the effects of protein supplements in pill form can offer the same benefits.
Protein is found throughout our bodies, including in our:
Protein makes up enzymes that power chemical reactions throughout our bodies.
There are more than 10,000 unique proteins that are part of us.
Amino acids are building blocks that make protein.
Nine amino acids are essential and must come from food.
According to the National Academy of Medicine, adults should get slightly more than 7 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight.
You can get adequate protein from food sources. If you need to fill in the gaps, you might consider a supplement.
Whole food sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, Greek yogurt, and plant sources like tofu, lentils, and beans.
If you’re going to take a protein supplement, like one of the best protein pills, ideally look for ones with essential amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Taking any protein supplement can help your body create the amino acids that will allow you to build muscle.
Types of Protein Supplements
Some of the types of proteins supplements that are most commonly used include:
- Whey protein has all of the amino acids and can be easily digested. Whey protein can also reduce stress and improve energy levels. Whey concentrates and isolates are often used after workouts for beneficial effects like better muscle recovery and less overall recovery time.
- Soy protein can help reduce symptoms of menopause, and since it builds bone mass, it can also help with osteoporosis.
- Milk protein supports muscle growth and may support the immune system’s functionality.
- Pea protein is hypoallergenic and very easily digested.
- Hemp protein provides omega-3 fatty acids and is completely plant-based.
- Brown rice protein is also plant-based and gluten-free.
You’ll see above that we also provided many of the best pills and capsules containing collagen.
Collagen isn’t a traditional protein supplement, but it has many benefits.
Collagen is our body’s most abundant protein.
What Are the Benefits of Protein Pills vs. Powders?
When you take pills rather than powder, there are certain benefits.
- The biggest is that with pills, you’re less likely to experience digestive symptoms than you are with powders.
- Powders can lead to bloating and uncomfortable symptoms. Switching a pill could help you avoid similar symptoms.
- Pills can reduce symptoms such as nausea.
- Convenience is another major benefit of protein supplement pills rather than protein powder. With protein powder, you have to make time to mix it up every time. If you’re traveling or on the go, you can get some of the same benefits of powder as protein capsules or whey pills.
- Pills have little or no calories. For someone who wants to lose weight, this is a benefit. This is a downside if you’re using protein to gain weight during bulking.
- Many people don’t like the taste of protein powder, making pills ideal for them.
With that being said, there are downsides to be aware of.
For example, many pills are collagen or bone broth, which we’ll detail below. It can be challenging to find whey pills or other types of traditional protein in pill form.
You will also get less protein per serving with pills versus powders.
For example, in a single serving of protein powder, you might get 20 grams of protein. With pills, you may only get around two grams of protein.
You should only follow the dosage instructions listed on a product’s packaging. Don’t try to get more protein by taking over the serving size because that can be dangerous.
Protein powders and shakes are designed as meal replacements, which can help you feel full for extended periods. Pills aren’t meant to be a meal replacement.
What to Know About Collagen Pills
Many of our top-ranked pills are collagen-based. This is different from a traditional protein powder. The following are some things to know about collagen pills.
Collagen protein helps with muscle and exercise recovery and skin, nail, bone, and joint health.
A collagen-based option will likely work if you want general protein benefits.
If your focus is primarily on gaining lean body mass and muscle mass, then you might instead consider taking a whey protein pill or a traditional protein powder.
Collagen contains different types of amino acids than whey or vegan protein.
Collagen is lower in some essential amino acids than other types of protein.
For example, collagen has less tryptophan and leucine but more glycine and proline.
The benefits of collagen primarily stem from a range of amino acid peptides in it.
The big takeaway is that collagen could potentially be your primary protein source, but it will affect your body differently than other protein powders.
You could also theoretically take both types of supplements.
Benefits of a Collagen Pill
The following are some of the benefits of collagen in general, which you can get from taking protein capsules.
Protein is a major building block of our skin, particularly collagen.
Collagen helps with hydration, elasticity, and the strengthening of the skin.
Research also indicates collagen supplements, such as collagen pills, can help reduce wrinkles and signs of aging.
Collagen helps with the strength of your cartilage, which protects your joints.
The amount of collagen in your body decreases naturally with age, which is why your risk of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders also increases as you age.
Your bones are primarily made up of collagen; as you age, your bone mass declines, much like your collagen levels.
This puts you at greater risk for conditions like osteoporosis.
A collagen or collagen protein supplement can help prevent or reverse this.
While whey protein may be overall better for increasing muscle mass, there is some evidence collagen can help with this goal too.
Around one to 10% of your muscle tissue is collagen. Research shows that collagen may help stimulate muscle growth following exercise, and it may help with the synthesis of creatine and other muscle proteins.
When you take a collagen supplement, based on currently available research, it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions.
For example, collagen helps strengthen your arteries to bring blood from your heart to your body optimally.
Other Health Benefits of Collagen Pills With Protein
- Collagen may help strengthen your hair and nails and promote growth.
- Regular collagen supplements may help treat leaky gut and other gut-related conditions.
- Some people feel a collagen supplement helps boost mood and reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Taking a collagen protein capsule may help with faster weight loss and speed up your metabolism.
What Is Bone Broth Protein?
Along with collagen capsule supplements, we also included some bone broth protein supplements, which are a bit different from something like a whey protein pill or powder.
Bone broth is a liquid with brewed connective tissues and bones. You can make bone broth with cow bones, chicken, and fish bones. Bone broth has protein, collagen, minerals, and other vital nutrients.
The tissues and bones of an animal have collagen. That provides you with food-based amino acids, which are the building block of proteins.
Bone marrow used to make bone broth has iron, fatty acids, vitamins A and K, zinc, magnesium, and selenium.
Bone broth-based protein pills have many of the same benefits as collagen supplements. For example, bone broth may strengthen joints, reduce pain, reduce inflammation, and fight osteoarthritis.
When Is the Best Time to Take Protein Supplement Pills?
There is debate about the optimal time to take a protein supplement, whether it’s a shake or a pill.
The right time to take a protein supplement depends on your goal.
If you want to lose weight, you might want to take your protein supplement mid-morning or afternoon when you’re more likely to snack. The protein supplement can help you avoid the urge by reducing your appetite.
If you’re taking pills or powders for building muscle, you might take them after you work out. Taking a protein supplement after a workout can help optimize muscle growth. Post-workout protein can help you recover from your workouts more effectively.
To prevent muscle loss, take a protein supplement at breakfast because it will distribute your daily intake. Most people consume much more protein in the evening than in the morning, so taking a protein supplement helps reduce the imbalance.
If you take protein before bed, it may be more easily absorbed and digested. Taking protein before bed can help maximize muscle growth even as you sleep.
If you’re taking a collagen protein supplement pill, you might take it in the morning or midday to help you feel fuller throughout the day. Collagen protein can also give you a kick of energy, which is another good reason to consider taking it in the morning. Collagen can be taken at any time, though. It’s all about your preference and what’s convenient.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are answers to common questions people have about protein pills.
What are the best protein pills?
We selected the following:
- Codeage Organic Bone Broth Collagen Capsules
- Future Peptides Pure Protein Capsules
- BodyHealth Perfect Amino Tablets
- Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Capsules
- Vital Proteins Marine Collagen
- Left Coast Performance Bone Broth Capsules with Collagen
- ALR Industries Humapro Tabs Protein Matrix
- Ancestral Supplements Living Collagen
How often can a person take pills with protein?
You can take pills as often as instructed on the product’s label. Most people take protein supplements every day. Don’t take more than the product manufacturer recommends when using pills or powders.
If you consume too much protein, there can be dangerous side effects.
Always speak to your doctor or health care provider before taking protein supplements.
Where can I buy pills with protein?
If you’re looking for where to buy these pills, we prefer Amazon.
The costs are competitive, and you may be eligible for free Prime shipping.
Above, we added Amazon links to our picks for the best products.
Why take pills that have protein?
These pills can have many of the same benefits as protein powders.
Taking pills can help reduce your appetite and improve the health of your skin, hair, and nails.
Pills with protein such as collagen or bone broth can increase your energy and help you develop lean muscle mass. Protein is also a cornerstone of your nutrition and physical health.
The pills and capsules offer some advantages over powders and shakes.
They’re convenient, and you can take them anywhere.
Pills are less likely to cause digestive symptoms than protein powders.
What Do Protein Pills Do?
In general, the idea of protein capsules or pills is the same as other types of supplements with protein. People take them to promote muscle mass, especially when you pair the supplement with regular exercise or strength training.
You can increase your intake of protein without upping your overall calories.
As a micronutrient, protein helps you build lean muscle and strong bones and may boost your metabolism. There are a lot of foods rich in protein, including fish and meat, but sometimes you may not get enough in your diet.
We want to highlight the big difference between pills and other supplements with protein: again, you can use pills without many extra calories.
The protein content in a pill or capsule varies depending on the brand, but as discussed above, a lot will have protein amounts of around three grams per six tablets.
If you use protein supplements, including capsules, benefits include:
- Weight management: When you have a lot of protein, it helps you feel fuller for longer. In a 2017 review, researchers found using a whey protein supplement reduced total fat mass and body weight in overweight and obese people.
- Muscle growth: Protein supplements can significantly improve muscle strength and size, but you need to combine them with resistance training like weight lifting. Older adults have higher protein requirements than younger people.
- Recovery: Following a strenuous workout, upping your protein intake can help repair damaged tissues and muscles and speed up recovery from muscle soreness.
Is There a Pill Form of Protein?
There are pill forms of protein, and we highlight some of our favorites above.
Are Protein Pills Good?
Our answer is yes, generally, they may be an even better option than protein powder. Benefits include:
- Convenience and portability
- Pills containing protein have few if any, calories compared to other high-protein supplements and snacks
- There are fewer fillers and harmful ingredients in pills compared to powder—for example, often powders are found to have ingredients like BPA
Are Protein Tablets Bad for You?
Overall the answer is no, but with some caveats. The biggest thing to think about before taking any protein supplement is whether or not you need it.
So, how much is too much when it comes to your protein intake?
While we know the standard recommendations, usually 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight (51 grams for a 140-pound person), some experts think we may need more.
For example, some health professionals feel we should consume up to twice the standard recommendation. On the other hand, some medical professionals believe the standard diet in America contains too much protein.
With that in mind, can too much protein be dangerous? Possibly yes. There’s almost always a risk of too much of a good thing.
If you have a high protein diet, you’re at more risk of kidney stones, for example.
If you’re concerned you could be getting too much protein, or you want to follow a high-protein diet, talk to your doctor. They can rule out any potential health conditions you might have that could make a high-protein diet dangerous, like kidney disease.
You can also aim not to get so much protein from supplements. Instead, you can also try to get it from healthy dietary sources like lean turkey and chicken, nuts and beans, and fish.
Spread your protein consumption throughout your day.
Possible risks along with kidney issues that can come from overeating protein include:
- Weight gain—yes, you can lose weight with protein supplementation, but only if you balance it with appropriate exercise and strength training. Don’t consume too many calories when you’re increasing your protein intake.
- Bad breath—if you eat large amounts of protein and especially if you do so when restricting your carb intake, you might notice your breath is unusually bad.
You’re less likely to risk overdoing your protein intake with pills than with powders.
Protein pills are a convenient way to take protein, and they can reduce the side effects you might experience with a protein powder or shake.
Most pills are bone broth or collagen-based, but there are also some whey protein and amino acid-based options.
Protein tablets and capsules are an easy way to add extra protein to your overall daily protein intake for athletic performance, weight loss, better skin and hair health, and numerous other benefits.
Our Editorial Process
All of our reviews are completely unbiased. We have an in-depth review and ranking methodology for each of our products. We base our reviews on:
- Peer-reviewed scientific studies and research
- Real customer reviews
- Our own experience using products
- Price and availability
Whenever possible, we review and rank products that we actually use to provide a better understanding of what you can expect.
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