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LAVERA STEWARTEditor-in-Chief of the Gym Expert
There is no doubt, that collagen has a plethora of health benefits. From the overall improved overall look of your skin, hair, and nails, to weight loss and muscle mass improvement – this protein powerhouse seems to be everyone’s favorite. So in order to reap all the benefits as effectively and faster as possible, people often take collagen supplements in pills, powder, or even creams. But are these methods actually as effective as many claim? To answer that, let’s refer to a study published by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2015. There they observed that using collagen tablets reverses signs of skin aging. This research also found out that with a decrease in wrinkles and furrows decrease, you also get an increase in skin moisture. That alone is a big plus in favor of collagen supplements, however, we decided to also dive further into this issue and take a look at the benefits as well as the right way to take collagen.
- 1 What is collagen supplements and why should I take it
- 2 Effects of Collagen on Skin
- 3 Effects of Collagen on Hair
- 4 Effects of Collagen on Joint Pain
- 5 Recommended Dosage
- 6 At What Time Should I Take My Supplements?
- 7 How Often To Take a Collagen Supplement?
- 8 Does Taking Collagen Make You Gain Weight?
- 9 Сan You Take Too Much Collagen?
- 10 What's Better Collagen or Collagen Peptides
- 11 Which collagen is the best for muscles?
- 12 Conclusion
What is collagen supplements and why should I take it
First of all, we need to determine what collagen actually is. Simply put – it is an essential protein produced by a human body. Collagen is found in the skin, muscles, joints, bones, and blood. This protein is what keeps our skins vibrant, nails healthy, and allows us to bend, move, and stretch easily. Our body naturally produces collagen, however, how much our body produces it depends on a lot of factors, two of the most crucial ones are age and sex. Men naturally have more collagen density than women, and with age, the production process gradually slows down. Hence the wrinkled skin and less mobile joints. And this is where supplements come in to fix this issue. But the question is – does artificial collagen works the same way? Yes, since this is basically this natural protein in pills, powder, or cream form. It acts as a replacement and slows down the aging process. However, that’s not the only reason to take collagen supplements. Young people often also take collagen supplements, in order to keep the skin healthy and vibrant, by hydrating it, alleviate joint pains, and improve hair and nail health. Besides, collagen is often one of the main ingredients of all the best muscle recovery supplements, since it not only heals your muscles but also stimulates their growth.
With that out of the way, you’re probably wondering, how long it takes for collagen supplements to work? Let’s first consider short term effects of taking these supplements. When you assume collagen protein shake, amino acids will reach your muscles within 30 minutes with a peak after 90 minutes, since collagen is easily absorbed into your body. And regarding how long does it take for supplements to take effect in the long terms, we have to refer back to the mentioned study; It was observed that with regular use, minor results showed by week 4 with profound results coming after 12 weeks of usage. Wrinkles decreased by up to 31% in this clinical trial. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? However, results may vary depending on several factors:
- Level of physical activity;
- Amount of collagen you take.
And of course it is always recommended to accompany supplements with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Effects of Collagen on Skin
Our bodies naturally produce collagen throughout our lifetime. However, as we grow older, this production gradually slows, and skin structure suffers, leading to the occurrence of wrinkles and dryness. That is where the collagen supplements take effect, since they will help improve the decreasing levels of its protein. Does the intake of collagen help to avoid wrinkles? The collagen products have undergone lots of human trials and proved to:
How long does it take for skin to regenerate
So, when it comes to skin, how long does it take for collagen supplements to work? Most people see significant change within the first week of using them with maximum collagen supplement results seen after 2 months of usage. Wrinkles decreased by up to 31.2%. Moreover, collagen may also help make cellulite less visible in addition to keeping the skin vibrant and moisturized.
Effects of Collagen on Hair
Collagen has impressive benefits on hair. The amino-acid present in collagen works to promote the production of keratin, a protein that enables hair follicle regeneration leading to long, healthy, and beautiful hair. A study was once done on a group of people to test effectiveness of this substance to hair. It was observed that after 2 weeks, there’s was a significant change in hair’s strength, texture, and elasticity. Natural levels of collagen decrease with age leading to loss and graying of hair. We observed that such supplements encourage hair growth hence slowing down graying and hair loss.
Effects of Collagen on Joint Pain
Currently, a lot of research is focusing on joint health. Past research has linked collagen with reduced symptoms of arthritis with at least 4 of 5 osteoarthritis patients who took type-II collagen, observing significant pain drops of about 26% after 90 days. The supplement used for this study wasn’t denatured; it means that amino acids in it didn’t undergo the breakdown process.
And as for how long it takes for collagen supplements to work on joints, you should know that hydrolyzed collagen has been cited by many published studies to be especially beneficial for joints. Moreover, it has been proven that collagen gives good improvements in the joint health of individuals with sport-related injuries after 3 months. In case people suffer from osteoarthritis, there were significant enhancements after 3 -6 months of taking 40mg, type II collagen.
A lot of people wonder: “how much collagen should I take a day?” Simply, the amount of collagen you can consume depends on your daily requirements and reasons for taking these supplements. For example, to improve your skin radiance or reduce cellulite we recommend taking 11-gram scoop per day. Muscle building will require about 15 gm of Collagen supplement per day. Let’s take a look at some recommended dosages, just remember that the numbers may very depending on a lot of conditions. For more specific information it is always better to consult your doctor.
- Cellulite – collagen supplements go a long way in reducing the appearance of cellulite and strengthening tissues. Taking one scoop a day is enough to see the desired results.
- Skin – dosage is pretty much the same as that of cellulite. Expect to start seeing minor changes within the first 2 weeks.
- Muscle – muscles naturally lose their strength as we age. That’s why considering collage to boost muscle strength is wise. We recommend consuming 15-grams a day distributed among meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Bone – a dosage of at least 11-grams a day is enough to keep bones healthy.
If you wonder how long it takes for collagen to work if taken in large amounts, then you need to know that taking a little extra of collagen supplements is not harmful. However, don’t take more than three scoops in a day as it could lead to some unpleasant side effects. You can also take collagen with some of the best pre-workout supplements for even better effect. Also remember that some collagen supplements might make you thirsty, so always make sure to stay hydrated.
At What Time Should I Take My Supplements?
If you’re wondering when is the best time to take collagen, then the answer is pretty simple – at any time. However, we suggest opting for a specific time. Supplements for skin and muscle repair can be taken in the evening when the body is at rest. When you’re taking collagen supplements for weight loss, then the best time to take them is in the morming. This will keep you active and rejuvenated throughout the day, and will promote better fat burn. To reduce joint pain or inflammation it’s best to take a collagen supplement before and after a meal. And of course, always be careful while choosing your supplements – avoid some ingredients such as glucosamine, arginine and other fillers like maltodextrin, since they have no positive effect on body.
How Often To Take a Collagen Supplement?
All the collagen supplements must have a recommended dosage on the package. Usually, you should take no more than 1-2 tablespoons of powder collagen supplement, or no more than 1-2 pills a day.
Does Taking Collagen Make You Gain Weight?
On the contrary, it has been proven numerous times, that collagen actually helps you lose weight since it improves metabolism.
Сan You Take Too Much Collagen?
In general, collagen is a non-toxic and safe supplement, as long as you don’t take too much of it. Follow the specified dosage, no more, and you shouldn’t experience by side effects.
What's Better Collagen or Collagen Peptides
The question of what is better – collagen or collagen peptides is rather common. First, let’s see how it works. Collagen after use is not just transferred through your body. First, the body breaks down the protein into its constituent peptides, and only then these peptides are used by the body to produce collagen in its tissues.
Thus collagen peptides are more bioavailable and easier to use by the body, in other words, peptides are a form of pre-digested collagen. In fact, it says that supplements containing collagen peptides are more effective than the collagen itself.
Which collagen is the best for muscles?
Collagen Types I and III can improve circulation and promote glycine production which builds lean muscle.
So as you see, collagen is a very powerful and effective protein, that will help you improve both your looks and your health. Regardless of your gender and age, you will not retreat including some collagen supplements in your life. And we at Gym-Expert would love to hear about the amazing benefits collagen supplements will bring you after you tried them! So feel free to share your great achievements with us!
1. Benefits of Taking Collagen Supplements – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/collagen-benefits
2. Study of Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26362110/
3. Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21582/
4. The New York Times – https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/09/style/self-care/collagen-benefits.html
5. The Effect of Oral Collagen Peptide Supplementation – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26362110/
7. Wiley Online Library – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jocd.12174
8. Study “The Structure of People’s Hair” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4201279/
9. Collagen Supplementation as a Complementary Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis – https://www.scielo.br/pdf/rbgg/v19n1/1809-9823-rbgg-19-01-00153.pdf
10. Collagen Peptides – https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1606/collagen-peptides