Scientific research indicates there’s nothing collagen, the most prevalent protein in your body, can’t do. That’s why there’s so much talk about collagen and collagen supplements. And if it’s so powerful, more may be better. Still, many wonder how long it takes collagen supplements to work and the benefits of collagen supplements.
First, consider all that collagen does for the human body. You owe collagen production some thanks for the enamel on your teeth, the strength, elasticity, and hydration in your skin, the strength of your bones, the elasticity of yo
ur tendons, and much more. We could go on and on about this most common protein in your body.
It’s no surprise, then, that so many people now clamor for collagen supplements. According to a 2020 report, the demand is so high that the collagen market is expected to hit $7.5 billion by 2027.
You may already know Chinese women have long believed collagen has qualities that smooth skin, ease joint pain, and otherwise reverse aging. And in the ‘80s, many people used injectable collagen to fill out their lips and facial wrinkles. It’s also frequently used in cosmetic plastic surgery.
Today, you can forego unappetizing foods and painful injections to benefit from collagen powder and other supplementary forms that are simple to add to your diet. These supplements come in many forms, including protein powder made of grass-fed bovine, cage-free chicken, and other healthy ingredients and vitamins.
But it’s normal to wonder if collagen is as impressive as it seems.
The good news is that collagen powder and other supplement forms are rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. Although there’s no definitive answer to when you’ll see results after taking collagen, some small peer review studies have answered the question.
One study showed that it only took four weeks of taking collagen daily to show improvement in women’s skin. Their skin improved even more visibly after eight weeks of taking daily supplements.
That study, published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, reported on women between the ages of 35 and 55 who took a supplement with 2.5-5 grams of collagen. After eight weeks, the women had less dryness and extra skin elasticity due to skin cell regeneration. Another study found a daily intake of collagen over 12 weeks reduced visible aging signs, including wrinkles. Though small, more studies echo those results and show reduced wrinkles within the bodies of those involved in the research.
The answer to the frequently asked question “how soon after taking collagen do I see results for building muscle” was preliminarily answered during another small scientific study. That study found that 12 weeks of taking collagen combined with resistance training resulted in improved body composition and strength.
In addition, some studies show taking collagen supplements every day for three to 12 weeks post-injury relieves stiffness, pain, and other symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even exercise. Increased bone strength, muscle strength, and hair and nail health are other reported benefits. And there is some evidence that 12 weeks of daily collagen supplement intake can aid weight loss and gut health. That doesn’t even include evidence of its support in wound healing in as little as three to six weeks.
Although there are studies that support these collagen-related benefits, it’s important to remember they were small and not definitive. Research continues.
The sun, pollution, and smoking are just some of the factors that cause your skin to reduce collagen production by about 1% each year, beginning at around age 20. Decreased hormones in women take an even more significant toll, especially after menopause. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, women’s skin loses about 30% of collagen in the first five years after menopause. Alcohol consumption also speeds the process.
Ever look at a mature woman’s face and notice jowls, fine lines around the nose to the corner of the mouth, and wrinkles? That skin damage is due to the loss of collagen.
Scientific studies and anecdotal evidence show that collagen supplements can aid with skin hydration, which reduces wrinkles and even help restore skin. One peer-review study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology reported on women between the ages of 35 and 55 who took a supplement with 2.5-5 grams of collagen. After eight weeks, the women had less dryness and extra skin elasticity.
Other studies have echoed those results and showed reduced wrinkles and even increased collagen production within the bodies of those in the study. Other small studies had shown men and women gained muscle when they combined protein supplements with resistance training.
And there’s little evidence of adverse effects. Mild digestive symptoms and bad breath are the two most common downsides. Those with fish, shellfish, or egg allergies should check to make sure any supplements do not include those ingredients. Pregnant women should consult their physician before taking a collagen supplement.
Studies say that collagen supplements, especially collagen powders, are safe to use. As we’ve noted, upset stomachs and bad breath are the most common complaints. Still, caution must be taken.
Don’t buy low-quality collagen supplements or collagen peptides (these are “building blocks” of collagen) that include filler in their formulas. Look at the ingredients used in the supplements to ensure they are natural and easily identifiable.
Remember to look up the history of any product before you buy it. The FDA has actually removed some collagen products that unsubstantiated claims from the market.
Quality collagen supplements are safe and have multiple benefits for the human body. Whether you want to decrease wrinkles, strengthen bones, or ease joint pain, collagen supplements can support your goals.
Revive® (Multi-Collagen) is a collagen protein powder created from the finest ingredients, including grass-fed hydrolyzed bovine, cage-free chickens, wild-caught fish, and eggshell membrane infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C.