Nutrition

How To Take Collagen Supplements: Your Questions Answered

How To Take Collagen Supplements: Your Questions Answered

Collagen is one of the best beauty products being used in skin creams and in powders today. But do we really know what it is or what it does?

There are lots of claims about collagen beauty benefits: Vogue claims that collagen keeps your “skin hydrated”; Glamour says that collagen gives you “plump, smooth, radiant skin”; and Women’s Health have seen collagen use lead to “stronger nails, better skin and a reduction in the hair loss”.

With so many different options on the market: marine collagen, collagen derived from animals, and even hydrolysed collagen, where do you start in choosing the right product for you?

To help you understand what this ‘miracle’ ingredient is and why you should be using it, we have pulled together your complete guide on all things collagen.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein that holds us together. It is in our skin, bones, muscles, and our cartilage. It is responsible for giving your body elasticity and resilience.

Our bodies can actually produce collagen naturally, but from the age of about 25, this ability diminishes and our collagen levels decline. And, since priority of our collagen stores is given to the more vital parts of our body like our cartilage, the parts of us like our skin suffer first as we age.

 

Why Should You Take Collagen?

Collagen gives us “elasticity and strength, contributing to a youthful appearance” according to Dr. Michelle Henry.  Medical News Today reported that collagen “also plays a role in replacing and restoring dead skin cells.”

Taking collagen on a regular basis can help repair and restore your natural collagen levels, which can help to add elasticity and moisture to the skin, as well as improving joint health. Compared to most beauty creams and products, taking a collagen supplement is an inexpensive way to harness your inner beauty and achieve that flawless glow.

 

 

How To Take Collagen Supplements: Your Questions Answered

Now we know what collagen is, let’s start answering your questions about collagen supplements and how they can help.

What Type Of Collagen Supplement Should I Take?

Collagen supplements can come in a variety of forms, shapes and sizes. The most common forms of collagen supplements are tablets and powder, however, you may see an increase of pre-made collagen drinks on the market – watch this space.

How you choose to take your collagen doesn’t really matter, a collagen supplement is the same regardless of how it is presented. The one thing to remember is the importance of taking as part of a regular routine, as this enables your natural levels of collagen to be restored and your inner beauty to flourish.

Does Collagen Help Hair?

 

girl with long, shiny hair

Some studies have shown that collagen can increase our hair building proteins, which help to prevent hair loss and support hair growth. But this hasn’t yet been authorised by the European Food Standards Agency.

Which Collagen Supplement Is Best For Me?

Not all collagen supplements are equal. The type and form of collagen can differ greatly between brands, so make sure you check what form and type of collagen your supplement uses.

The best collagen supplements for skin contain type I and III hydrolysed collagen. That’s because our skin uses type I and III collagen (whereas our joints and tendons use type II) and the hydrolysation of collagen makes it easier for our bodies to absorb and process because it has already been partially broken down.

Does Collagen Help Skin?

 

putting collagen moisturiser on skin

Similarly, nothing has yet been approved by the EU, but some studies into collagen and skin health have “found that women who took the peptide form of collagen regularly for eight weeks saw a 20% reduction in wrinkles”.

 

Is Collagen Vegan?

Unfortunately, there is currently no vegan collagen source. Until a source can be found or artificially produced, guidance from industry experts is to consume green tea and vitamin C. Green tea and vitamin C is known to help stimulate collagen production and help prevent its breakdown. As we already produce collagen naturally, the key is to keep it stimulated.

 

Is Marine Or Animal Collagen Better?

Some types of collagen tend to be similar to our own. Porcine and bovine, for example, has been studied to have better bio-availability than marine. However, marine collagen (sourced from fish) tends to be more popular.

 

Should I Take Collagen With Food?

As collagen should reach your intestines without being digested by stomach acid, it’s best to take your collagen on an empty stomach. So, if possible, take your supplement 2 or 3 hours after or before eating.

How Much Collagen Do I Need A Day?

Dr Kellyann recommends “a minimum of 5 grams of collagen a day”, but for “visibly improved skin and nails” take 10-15 grams a day, or 30 grams a day if you have a particularly active lifestyle.

 

Can I Take Too Much Collagen?

You shouldn’t exceed the suggested use of any supplement without gaining medical advice. So before exceeding the recommended dosage instructions of your collagen supplement, you should speak to your doctor or healthcare provider.

 

What Is Hydrolysed Collagen?

Hydrolysed Collagen is another name for a more processed form of collagen. Collagen is a complex protein structure and by having a more broken down version it makes it easier for the body to digest and put to use and who doesn’t want to see the benefits sooner rather than later.

 

When Is The Best Time To Take Collagen?

 

pug sleeping on bed with woman

Collagen can be taken at any point in the day. But taking your collagen just before bed can work with your bodies natural repair time – sleep!

The key to collagen supplements is consistency, so it’s more important to take your supplement when you’re most likely to remember.

 

Is Collagen Safe?

Collagen is a natural protein and so is extremely safe. But a large sudden increase in your intake can sometimes cause bloating. This is because your body hasn’t got enough enzymes to process more than it is used to, so just gradually increase your intake to give your body time to adjust. For example, if your collagen powder suggests taking 30g a day start by taking 5g for a week, then 10g for the following week, and so on.

 

Should I Take Collagen?

Collagen is an important structural protein in our body. Around the age of 25, our ability to make our own collagen slows down by about 1% per year, meaning the levels of collagen in our bodies diminishes more as we age. “As our production of the protein decreases, we’re met with wrinkles, sag, and even cellulite. Some blame that decrease in collagen production for creaky joints, thinning cartilage, and slower muscle recovery, too” according to Women’s Health.

So, although it’s not necessary to live, boosting the amount of collagen in our body can help to increase the amount of collagen in our skin and joints.

 

How Do Collagen Supplements Work?

Although topical collagen creams have been popular in the past, nutritionists have noted that “oral supplementation helps to deliver specific amino acids, which are considered the building blocks of collagen synthesis and can only be achieved through oral supplementation. Studies show that collagen is absorbed in the GI tract and, following digestion, is circulated in the blood and can accumulate in the skin.” We have developed our new Beauty Collagen Powder with this in mind.

 

Can You Get Collagen From Food?

Collagen can be found in small amounts in some foods, like bone broth, which is essentially cooked collagen. But pure collagen is very difficult to source in our diets.

 

Why Isn’t My Collagen Supplement Working?

Remember: priority of our collagen stores is given to the more vital parts of our body, like our cartilage. So if your natural collagen stores are low, then your body will appropriate incoming collagen to these priority areas first. So it may take longer to start seeing benefits anywhere else.

Just make sure you give your supplement 2 to 6 months to experience the full benefit.

 

The Best Collagen Supplement

Collagen is one of the best beauty products in the market in both supplements and beauty creams. Collagen is a large protein molecule and due to its size, it is extremely difficult to be absorbed into the body through the skin. Using a collagen beauty cream does have its benefits in providing a moisturising effect, however it cannot be said that using a cream on a daily basis will increase your body’s production of collagen. You are better off taking a collagen supplement, such as our Beauty Collagen Powder.

 

 

Collagen supplements come in tablets, multivitamins, powders, and even flavoured drinks!

 


Dr KellyAnn, 2019. How Much Collagen Should You Take Daily? [Online] <https://www.drkellyann.com/all-about-collagen/much-collagen-take-daily/>

Glamour, 2018. Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Collagen & How To Up Your Levels For Glowing Skin [Online] <https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/what-is-collagen>

Medical News Today, 2017. Collagen: What Is It And What Are Its Uses? [Online]  <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262881.php>

Michelle Henry, 2018. All Your Questions About Collagen, Answered [Online] <https://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/a22725725/what-is-collagen-benefits-uses/>

Rob Maru, 2018. Will Taking A Collagen Supplement Really Transform My Skin? [Online] <https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-28396/will-taking-a-collagen-supplement-really-transform-my-skin.html>

Vogue, 2018.Can Collagen Supplements Transform Your Skin—And Body? 5 Experts Weigh In [Online] <https://www.vogue.com/article/ingestible-collagen-supplements-risks-benefits-skin-bone-health>

Women’s Health, 2018. Will Collagen Supplements Really Make You Any Healthier? [Online] <https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19995031/collagen-supplements/>

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Roxanne Griggs

Roxanne Griggs

Public Health Nutritionist (ANutr)

Qualified, Public Health Nutritionist (ANutr).