Collagen supplements have become all the rage nowadays due to their numerous health benefits. Because of this, though, there is quite a wide variety of collagen options available, making the choice a difficult one. When choosing a collagen supplement, it’s important to look into the ingredients and the quality behind the product.
Aside from knowing the source and quantity of your collagen supplement, the next most important question to ask is, how long does it take for collagen supplements to work? A lot of this depends on your age, lifestyle, environmental factors, and genetic makeup.
One of the primary factors that will impact your collagen supplement results will be your age. When you’re young, your body produces enough collagen naturally. You can expect your skin to be elastic and your organs to function normally. Your body can repair wounds at a rapid rate because of the collagen in your cells, but as you age, the collagen decreases. So, let’s take a closer look at what can affect the timing of collagen supplements and how long it really can take for them to work.
When does Collagen Begin to Decrease?
Most young adults have an adequate supply of collagen, but supplementing with a collagen capsule, collagen drink, or collagen protein powder can also be beneficial in the long run. Sometimes though, you can have collagen deficiencies if you suffer from a rare, but serious, disease known as collagen disease. Collagen diseases are a group of autoimmune disorders that prevent your body from using collagen. If you have one of these diseases, you should consult your doctor on how to start a possible collagen supplement treatment.
Aside from that, collagen tends to decrease as we age. While collagen production naturally drops as we age, it is important to note that it is also affected by other systemic conditions such as chronic inflammatory conditions, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and more. These conditions inhibit collagen production and affect the ability of the body to produce a healthy amount of collagen.
It’s recommended that collagen supplements are to be taken between the ages of 30 and 65. This is a good time to take collagen supplements because your body is still producing enough collagen, so you’ll be able to see noticeable results, from better gut health to better skin health. Outside of this range, the visible benefits range, you may not be as keen to notice results. That’s not to say they aren’t working, just that it’s harder to tell when they are.
Different Collagen Supplements
Different collagen supplements contain different amounts of collagen. Some might suggest taking a smaller amount twice daily, some a larger amount once daily, and some might limit your intake because they have other ingredients in addition to collagen.
There are five main collagen supplement sources:
- Type I
- Type II
- Type III
- Type IV
- Type V
Each of these has a different purpose, and can often be bought together or separate.
A good supplement should be taken in moderation, as too much can have unwanted side effects. While taking an excessive amount of a supplement may not lead to any results, taking too little can also lead to no results.
Should you Stack Anything with Collagen?
When it comes to supplementation, oftentimes, there are vitamins that you want to stack together to see optimal benefits. For instance, with turmeric, it’s always suggested that you take black pepper for maximum absorption.
Collagen supplements can be taken on their own, but you can also add other vitamins and minerals to help your body absorb and use collagen effectively. Some other things commonly taken with collagen include:
- Vitamin C
- Amino Acids
This universal supplement has several important health benefits, and it’s difficult to overdose on it. Taking a daily vitamin C supplement, such as Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, can be a great health benefit.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are involved in the synthesis of collagen and skin byproducts such as keratin. You can get these amino acids from animal products, including meat, seafood, dairy, and tofu.
Copper is essential for the human body to operate properly. It is available in organ meats, seeds like sesame and cashews, and legumes like lentils.
In addition to achieving a healthy diet, you should evade eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates. These processed ingredients prevent the skin from producing collagen and repair existing collagen. They fight against your collagen goals.
Things to Consider Before Taking a Collagen Supplement
Before you purchase a collagen supplement, it’s useful to ask yourself: what are you looking to gain from collagen supplements?
Each collagen type (I, II, III, IV, V) has a different purpose. However, there are three factors to always keep in mind that can impact collagen production and help preserve the structure, elasticity, and health of your skin.
When choosing a product, you should first consider your overall health. Your body needs to dedicate resources to fighting off illnesses. Whether they are acute or chronic, all illnesses place a strain on your body. If you’re sick, your body can’t dedicate energy to repairing your skin’s collagen. You may notice your skin suffers when you are sick, and this is why!
Adding a collagen supplement can be beneficial in aiding these symptoms. Another factor you have to consider is the effects of sun damage on a person’s skin. Damage done by the sun causes skin cells to age and die, which can lead to premature skin aging.
That’s because people who spend a lot of time outdoors tend to have deeply sun-damaged skin from a younger age than those who are indoors, according to a new study. Sunscreen can go a long way towards preventing wrinkles, but long-lasting sun damage is difficult to reverse.
Other habits like alcohol consumption and smoking can also cause damage to the skin biome. This is another place the powder supplement can be helpful!
Should I Take Collagen In The Morning Or At Night?
Taking collagen at night is typically more effective at building healthy bones because the amino acids are being used when your body is at rest, while during the day, your body is moving and using other proteins for building new tissues.
There are no active studies proving the effects of collagen on sleep; however, many anecdotal accounts point to collagen’s positive impact on sleep. “The science is limited,” says Dr. Galligan, “but it seems to work equally well both before bed and in the morning.”
It typically takes your body around three to five hours to optimally absorb collagen. That means it could be tough to have a REM cycle schedule or sleep schedule to properly ingest collagen in the morning and again right before going to bed. Studies are still ongoing as to how collagen supplements work and what their effects and benefits are, but there is no need at this time for consumers to take it in a particular way or at a particular time.
Collagen supplements work best when you take them according to a schedule. To be effective, take your collagen supplements on a regular schedule that works for you. Maximum benefit from taking collagen supplements can be gained when you make it a part of your routine, such as brushing your teeth or driving to work.
Now that we answered the question “how long does it take for collagen supplements to work” we can dive into the actual benefits that come with supplementing with collagen. Whether you are taking collagen peptides, or a different form, there are a variety of benefits to dive into.
1. Improves Skin and Hair Health
Collagen is the major building block of your skin. It helps strengthen the skin and may help intensify collagen growth in general. As you get older, your body produces less collagen, which can lead to having dry skin and the formation of wrinkles.
Collagen supplements help increase the production of other proteins, including elastin and fibrillin. These are also known as fibrous proteins that help reinforce elasticity in the skin, and improve skin cell regeneration .
This supplement can also be useful for hair growth and strength, according to Eva Proudman, a trichologist with UK Hair Specialists Ltd. She recommends collagen peptides to a majority of her patients.
2. Helps Relieve Joint Pain
Collagen supplements can help maintain cartilage health. Cartilage is the rubbery tissue on the ends of your bones that cushions them as they move. As you get older, collagen levels in your body decrease, making your joints more susceptible to pain and weariness.
Some studies have indicated that collagen supplements may help improve osteoarthritis symptoms and reduce joint pain. While there is some evidence of a relation between collagen and the production of collagen, there is no assurance that you will obtain the results you expect from taking supplements.
3. Could Prevent Bone Loss
Just as bone mass diminishes with age, so does collagen density in the body. This condition, called osteoporosis, can be caused by a lowered bone density, which increases one’s risk of a hip fracture. Collagen works to increase your bone strength and help diminish any symptoms of osteoporosis.
4. Could Boost Muscle Mass
Collagen is a substance found in muscle tissue that keeps your muscles strong and functioning properly. Studies suggest that taking collagen supplements helps increase the size of your muscles, especially if you’re an older person with sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that happens with age.
It’s also very similar to protein powder, as it dissolves in just about everything. This makes it an easy product to add to your smoothies, coffees, etc.
5. Promotes Heart Health
Scientists have found that collagen supplements could help reduce the risk of heart-related conditions. Collagen strengthens arteries and keeps them strong, which is important for maintaining a healthy heart. Studies indicate that taking collagen supplements may reduce the risk of heart attacks and other heart-related disorders.
Should You Give Collagen a Try?
A collagen supplement may be useful to some people who wish to increase their intake of collagen. It may help support healthy tissue and overall health. But do take note that it’s best to talk with your doctor about any dietary supplement, even ones as simple as collagen products, before adding it to your diet.
Let your doctor know what your concerns are, whether it is bone health support, gut health support, general collagen production decreases, or general support for your joints and nails.
Collagen is super easy to add to your day-to-day regimen. One way is to add collagen peptides to your morning coffee, you can easily stir them in, and they have little to no taste. You can also utilize collagen peptide supplementation by adding it to your smoothies. This is a great way to get in protein as well!
Remember, the time it takes for collagen supplements to work can range from person to person. If you add collagen peptides to your diet, wait a few weeks before you judge the results.