Almost everywhere you turn, you find celebrities, health experts, and just everyday folks extolling the virtues of collagen supplements. Of course, there is natural collagen production in your body. It’s found in your skin, bones, joints, ligaments, teeth, and an array of other parts of your body.
The extra boost of collagen from supplements erases wrinkles, skin dryness, and other signs of aging, say its many fans. Some people note that the supplement gives them relief from joint pain caused by everything from arthritis and osteoporosis to extreme exercise. Users also report weight loss, fat burning, muscle building, stronger nails, and fuller hair among the many benefits they’ve experienced after regularly taking collagen supplements.
Those who want to take collagen supplements may have questions about maximizing the benefits and avoiding any downsides. Consider the following answers to some of the most common questions related to taking collagen on an empty stomach (or not!).
There's a lot of buzz from people who recommend that you take a collagen supplement in the morning on an empty stomach, as a snack at midday, or right before bed. And they all have logical reasons for their beliefs.
Taking it in the morning without food allows your body to absorb it fully, some claim. The midday snack advocates say that if you follow their advice, it will keep you full and less likely to eat unhealthy foods. Want great REM sleep that allows your body to use collagen to reboot and heal fully? Then night-time just may be the best time to take collagen, a different group said. Arguments and debates abound.
Candidly, there are no scientific studies that determine the best time to take a collagen supplement. Right now, scientists don't see a correlation between collagen effectiveness and when you ingest it. Do what feels right for you.
Either is fine. And, yes, you can take collagen on an empty stomach. In fact, a significant number of health gurus say that morning, before breakfast, is the optimal time to take it. The idea is that doing so will best allow collagen to absorb into your system and give you the most benefits possible. Plus, it will boost your energy.
There are a few things to consider when you think about taking collagen for maximum benefits.
First, anecdotes abound, but there are no scientific findings to back up the claim that morning is the optimal time to take collagen. True, stomach acid, which you need to digest proteins, is at its highest level when your stomach is empty. Yet collagen products, which mimic one of the most abundant proteins in the human body, are mainly digested in the small intestine.
You can get the ultimate benefits of collagen powder by taking the correct amount regularly.
Those who advocate you take your collagen on an empty stomach first thing in the morning may have a point. When you take a dose of collagen without food, there’s nothing in the human body to prevent absorption. And you certainly shouldn’t experience adverse side effects.
The best tactic is to work collagen powder into your diet before your morning coffee, with your morning coffee, or any time during the day that works for you. Consistent use and the correct amount are the keys to deriving as many benefits as possible.
Just as each person responds to foods, supplements, and vitamins differently, you likely won’t have the same response to collagen as others do. One example is the energy boost many report after taking collagen supplements. That reaction may well dictate the best time to take it for your individual needs. You may want to try it at different times to see what works best for you.
As we mentioned, there are no scientific studies that determine the best time to take your collagen supplement. Right now, scientists don't see a correlation between collagen effectiveness and when you ingest it.
What scientists have seemingly proven is that there are minimal doses for effectiveness. They include:
Another interesting finding is that 40g of collagen taken for 120 consecutive days alleviated knee pain, even during strenuous exertion.
If you take a collagen supplement with vitamin C, you may receive some positive health benefits.
A scientific study indicates that taking this vitamin and a collagen supplement can increase skin hydration and glow. That combination fights damage caused by aging, ultraviolet radiation, smoking, and air pollution.
Vitamin C has proven skin healing properties that accelerate the skin's regenerative properties. And collagen keeps skin firm and full. Although findings are not definitive, the studies indicate that the combination of collagen and vitamin C is a powerful boost to the skin that fights visible signs of aging.
What many people find even more positive is that vitamin C can ease the joint pain caused by arthritis. That's excellent news. But there's a downside, too, so try to avoid overdoing it.
Duke University researchers found that high doses of vitamin taken over the long term actually worsened knee osteoarthritis. The 2004 study in guinea pigs found more cartilage damage and bony spurs formed in their knee joints.
The researchers reported that “the high dose was 150mg per day.” They chose that amount to “protect against surgically-induced osteoarthritis in a short-term guinea pig study.” As for the equivalent human dose, it would be 1,500-2,500mg per day.
When you consider combining collagen with other vitamins, remember that science has not provided exact answers on the pros and cons. Again, some people advocate for it and say it gives them extra skin hydration, pain relief, and other benefits.
Although that has not been proven, results of a small study in which 120 participants took collagen with vitamins, antioxidants, and other active ingredients resulted in better skin elasticity, texture, and joint health.
With all those positives from collagen supplements, there’s really no downside to trying them, empty stomach or otherwise.
One point everyone agrees on is that you should choose a high-quality supplement such as Revive (Multi-Collagen). It supports joints, bones, cartilage and gut health, improves skin elasticity, and supports stronger nails and healthier hair. It’s also tasteless, so you can add this collagen powder to the liquid of choice.