Collagen is an essential nutritional element and a major protein component that contributes to many health benefits. Nowadays, collagen supplements are commonly used alongside other vitamin supplements. Still, not so many people are aware of it and its importance to the human body.
Just like all the other supplements, there are certain rules and measures that you should consider before you take collagen to let your body benefit from it the most. In this article, we will share with you everything about collagen. What is it? How does collagen work? When is the best time to take collagen? And how long does it take for collagen supplements to work? Keep reading to find out all about it.
- 1 What Is Collagen?
- 2 What Are The Benefits Of Collagen?
- 3 Does Collagen Have any Side Effects?
- 4 Collagen Supplements How Long Does It Take To Work?
- 5 How Often To Take A Collagen Supplement?
- 6 Conclusion
What Is Collagen?
To give you a quick answer, collagen is a protein element. Not so many people know this, but collagen makes about one-third of the proteins in your body. It is responsible for building your bones, muscles and keeping your skin healthy. It is also found in blood vessels and teeth.
Collagen is naturally synthesized in the human body. The process works by breaking down proteins into amino acids which then convert into collagen. As we age and our hair gets grey, the human body doesn’t produce much collagen. This is where many people start taking a collagen supplement. You can find them as capsules, pills, or even gummies.
In order for your body to produce collagen, it needs a combination of certain minerals alongside your protein intake. They are as follows:
- Glycine: you can find this mineral mostly in seafood, chicken skin, gelatin powder, meat, and legumes.
- Proline: this mineral is found in bell peppers, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, and cabbage.
- Zinc: Zinc is mainly found in meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, seeds, nuts, and beans.
- Vitamin C: found in mainly citrus fruits, bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, and broccoli.
- Copper: some of the foods that are rich in copper are liver, oysters, lobster, dark chocolate, nuts, and seeds.
What Are The Benefits Of Collagen?
Each nutrient such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids plays a certain role within the human body. The same goes for collagen. As we said before, collagen makes up to one-third of proteins in the body which means that it has significant importance. But does collagen work or is it just a way to make money? There is much debate on the efficiency of collagen in some of the health benefits such as regulating blood pressure and lowering blood sugar levels.
However, some studies show that collagen is beneficial in other areas and they are as follows:
- It Strengthens Bones: One of the most common health issues within elderly people is having weak bones which may cause bone fractures easily. Taking a collagen supplement daily will help your bones get stronger and prevent them from getting weaker due to age.
- It Improves Skin Elasticity and Hydration: Improving your skin elasticity and hydration is important for the looks and health of your skin. Collagen helps in managing age spots, wrinkles, dry skin, and even skin cancer.
- It Thickens Hair: One of many people’s concerns about their looks is hair loss, which is directly related to a deficiency in collagen for both men and women. Collagen helps with hair growth and regenerates the skin tissues around the follicles which helps in making your hair thicker.
- It Improves Nails Health: If you’re someone who is experiencing nail abnormalities frequently, this might be due to a collagen deficiency. Some of these abnormalities are nail brittles, discoloration, swelling, nail-skin separation, and so on. Some studies have shown that collagen strengthens your hair and nails and makes them grow faster.
- It prevents Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritisis a serious health condition that occurs when the cartilage between two bones in the joints weakens and deteriorates. As a result of this, you will experience lots of pain doing simple physical movements. Taking collagen as a supplement will help relieve the pain and improve the cartilage in the joints.
- Increases Muscle Gains: Collagen has been widely used by professional athletes and bodybuilders as a supplement to increase their frequency in gaining muscle strength and mass.
Does Collagen Have any Side Effects?
Collagen is one of the safest supplements to take. Since it is naturally synthesized in our bodies, taking it as a supplement to compensate for a collagen deficiency is actually important. However, for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, it is suggested that they put on hold taking collagen supplements since there isn’t much data on its safety for these cases.
Side effects of collagen are rare, but sometimes you might experience heartburn, the feeling of fullness, and a bad taste in your mouth.
Keep in mind that collagen supplements are made from different sources. For instance, you will find them based on fish, eggs, poultry, and even plant-based ones. So if you are allergic to any of these elements, you have to abstain from taking them to avoid any allergic reaction.
Overall, collagen supplements remain safe and efficient for collagen to work.
Collagen peptides are probably the most common type of collagen. The different types of collagen are collagen peptides, collagen type I, II, and III. So what’s different about collagen peptide? Think of it this way; collagen peptides are a shorter version of collagen. It is animal-based and commonly found in the form of collagen powder. What makes it different and more popular is its high bioavailability rate, which means that it’s absorbed quickly in the body. This will ensure that you get high chances of benefitting from its health benefits such as improving skin, hair and nails growth, and reducing osteoarthritis pain.
Collagen Peptide Nutrition Facts
For an estimated amount of 2 scoops (20g) you get:
- 70 calories
- 0g fats
- 110mg Sodium (5%)
- 0g carbs
- 18g protein
- 0g sugar
- 0g fiber
How Does Collagen Work?
As we mentioned before, collagen peptides are a shorter version of collagen. This means that it’s been hydrolyzed which makes it more absorbable in the body. As collagen peptides enter your body, they build up around your cartilage between your bones and in the skin. This helps improve their health and repair any existing damages.
Collagen Supplements How Long Does It Take To Work?
Collagen is a supplement and you should never consider it as a medicine to treat certain health conditions. As a disclaimer, if you are experiencing serious health issues related to collagen, we recommend that you visit your doctor first.
Many believe that taking collagen supplements will achieve the desired results overnight, which is not true. This might make you wonder how long it takes for collagen to work. Generally, taking collagen daily will help you see results within the first 4 weeks. Sometimes it might take up to 12 weeks.
Some people take high doses at the beginning and then decrease them gradually.
However, if you are unsure about this, we recommend checking with your doctor first. Achieving collagen health benefits not only depends on dosage but other factors such as your diet, age, exercise, whether you smoke or not, alcohol consumption, sleep schedule, and stress levels.
If you think that relying merely on collagen will work, you better save your money. Taking collagen supplements to achieve positive results should be a part of a whole healthy routine.
How Often To Take A Collagen Supplement?
Collagen, like any other vitamin or mineral, should be consumed on a daily basis and similarly, there are specific doses that you should cover. However, these are generally related to the health benefits that you want to achieve. For example, someone who wants to build muscle mass and volume like bodybuilders and athletes, they should take up to 15 grams of collagen a day. A dose of 5 grams per day is beneficial for bone strengthening. If you want to improve your skin elasticity and relieve joint pain, a dose of 2.5 grams is good for you.
Just remember to make it a part of your routine and take it on a daily basis. Let us find out how to do it in the next section.
When Is The Best Time to Take Collagen Supplements?
There is no right answer to when is the best time to take collagen supplements. You can take them in the morning as well as at night. Mostly, you will find collagen supplements as capsules or collagen powder which you can mix with your morning glass of water, iced tea, or iced coffee. You can also add it to your smoothie. So many people mix it in hot beverages which actually makes collagen useless as its molecular structure melts at high temperatures.
As for capsules, you can put them next to your coffee machine or your phone so that you don’t forget to take them.
Taking collagen supplements brings so many health benefits and consuming them should be part of your daily routine. If you want to improve your skin health, bone density, or even build muscles, collagen is the perfect option for you. Taking it as a supplement will just make sure that you get the daily recommended intake so it’s safe to take.