Collagen supplements have been the talk of the town in recent years.
Many people have been looking for supplements and products that can help in slowing the signs of aging. With collagen supplements on the rise, there are a lot of about which kind of collagen is the best for the body.
You might be wondering what collagen is, why collagen production is important in our bodies, or why it has become a hype to a lot of people, especially in the beauty community.
We looked into studies by different researched bodies, like the National Library of Medicine to find out what collagen is and why people take it.
What is collagen
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body which is found in the skin, muscles, bone, tendons, and cartilage. It can also be found in our blood vessels and organs.
There are 28 types of collagen but the five main types are types I, II, III, IV, and IV. They are found in different parts of our body:
Type I: Skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments
Type II: Cartilage
Type III: Arteries, organs, and muscles
Type IV: Primarily in the skin
Type V: Eyes, hair, and surface of the cell
Collagen determines the physiology of our skin and it maintains the skin’s structure to prevent it from sagging . As we age, the collagen in our bodies drops. Smoking, lack of sleep and exercise, and sun exposure can also cause collagen to deteriorate .
Eating foods rich in protein can help the body produce more amino acids. The main amino acids – proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline – make up the collagen in our bodies.
Aside from protein, vitamin C, zinc, and copper also help produce collagen.
Since the body produces less collagen as we grow older, most people take collagen supplements to slow down the aging process and to keep the skin’s strength and structure.
Difference between liquid collagen vs powder collagen
There is no difference between liquid collagen and collagen powder supplements in terms of the nutrients and benefits it can give to the body.
The main difference between powder and liquid collagen is the form and how you prepare the supplement.
Collagen in food is found in the connective tissue of animals such as fish, horses, cattle, rabbits, or pigs . Collagen that comes from fish skin is called marine collagen.
Collagen is sourced and then undergoes a process called hydrolysis. This process breaks down collagen fibers that they got from the source and turns them into collagen peptides. These are proteins found in animal collagen .
Powder collagen, as the name implies, is collagen in powder form.
Collagen that is extracted from animals is made into powder. It is mostly flavorless but there are other ingredients that are included for added taste .
It does sometimes leave the mouth with a chalky taste especially when it is not mixed well with your drink or food.
Like with powder collagen, the same process is done to make liquid collagen supplements. Collagen is extracted from a source and turns into hydrolyzed collagen. This makes collagen easier to absorb since the fibers are broken down.
Most people prefer liquid collagen drinks as it is easy to consume. You also don’t have to prepare liquid collagen.
You can mix liquid collagen in foods like cereal and yogurt, or you can also mix it with drinks.
Benefits of collagen supplements
Studies show that collagen supplements can improve skin appearance .
A result of a study that consists of 72 females aged 35 and more with healthy skin showed that oral collagen significantly improved their skin. Hydration, roughness, and elasticity of the skin improved after three months of taking the supplement .
According to this article, collagen supplements can also help with bone density and can slow down the aging process .
Aside from hydration and elasticity benefits, studies also show that taking collagen can help people with joint problems . This is saying that collagen is not only good for the skin, but for the overall health of the body.
Risks of taking collagen supplements
According to this study, collagen supplements are generally safe to take without causing any side effects to the body.
But, collagen supplements can also lead to bloating, heartburn, and feeling full after taking them. It might also pose a risk if you have allergies to the animal that the collagen is extracted from. Make sure to look at the list of ingredients of the product you will buy before consuming any collagen.
Reasons to choose powder collagen
If you do not mind a little bit of prep time, you can choose a powder collagen supplement. You can mix it with your smoothies, or water, or even mix it with foods such as yogurt or overnight oats.
Just remember to mix the collagen powders really well to avoid clunks of powder when you drink it. But some collagen powders easily dissolve so you don’t have to worry about that.
Reasons to choose liquid collagen
If you have a busier schedule, liquid collagen can be a convenient choice because you can just drink it and go about your day. You can drink it on the go if you are extra busy.
Powder vs liquid collagen absorption
Since both have collagen peptides, powder and liquid collagen have the same benefits and nutrients when absorbed. But, hydrolyzed collagen may be better than non-hydrolyzed collagen as it breaks down into smaller particles when absorbed by the body.
Other ways to take collagen
Aside from liquid and powdered collagen, there are other ways that you can take a collagen supplement.
There are collagen pills, capsules, and tablets that you can find on the market.
You can also have a cosmetic procedure to have collagen injected into your skin. Collagen injections are done commonly to the face and lips. It can give the appearance of youthfulness if you get the procedure done.
This cosmetic procedure can also get expensive as some people can get up to 3 injections spread over 3 to 4 months . Some people may need it if there is lower collagen in their bodies.
If you don’t want to ingest collagen or get any procedures done, there are collagen creams on the market that you can apply to your skin. But, it can have side effects such as rashes or inflammation of the skin.
Collagen can definitely have its benefits and risks. But there are studies that show how collagen can help in making the skin and joints healthy.
The type of collagen supplement will depend on you and your lifestyle. Liquid and powder collagen supplements both offer the same benefits to the skin.
If you are the type who is always on the go, then liquid collagen is the best option for you. Whether it is liquid or powder, it can give you the same nutrients which can help in giving you healthy skin.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What form of collagen is best absorbed?
Look for hydrolyzed collagen. This means that the collagen has broken down into smaller particles which makes it easier to absorb.
Should I drink liquid collagen every day?
Taking collagen daily should be generally safe. According to this article, a 2.5 – 15 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptides can be a part of your daily diet. So whether it is in liquid or powder form, it can be consumed daily.
Is it better to take collagen in the morning or at night?
There is no scientific study of when to take collagen.
Some say it is better to take collagen in the morning while the stomach is empty. While some say to take collagen at night for better sleep.
Try it for yourself and see which part of the day of taking collagen works best for you and your body.
At what age should I start drinking collagen?
Collagen naturally drops as we age. While there is no standard age to start drinking collagen, it is recommended to start in the early 20s.
But it is better to consult with your doctor first if taking collagen is good for you, especially if you have allergies as most collagen is sourced from tissues, skins, and bones of animals like fish.