What is the best way to take collagen supplements? Advice from an expert
Collagen is an abundant protein in the body, our skin and connective tissue are rich in collagen. In fact, it makes up 70-80% of human skin. Collagen plays a vital role in skin elasticity. Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies lose collagen, leading to hallmarks of aged skin, including wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin. After the age of 30, our collagen levels fall at a rate of around 1 to 1.5% every year, and as a result, many people choose to take collagen supplements to protect skin health.
There are several types of collagen supplements on the market, and it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the different types. It's also worth understanding the best methods of collagen supplementation so you can get the most out of this crucial protein.
What is the best collagen supplement to take?
Collagen supplements can be derived from fish (marine), cows (bovine collagen), pigs (porcine) or chickens. Marine collagen is the most similar collagen found naturally in human skin. It has a high proportion of Type I collagen, which is predominant in the skin, so it's believed to be the most bioavailable for supporting skin health.
Collagen peptides (hydrolysed collagen or collagen hydrolysate) are the most effective form of ingestible collagen supplements. With these, collagen protein strands are broken down into small pieces that can be absorbed and utilised by the body more quickly than the whole proteins. Collagen peptides have a high bioavailability compared to non-hydrolysed collagen supplements or collagen-rich foods such as bone broth.
The best collagen supplements come in a powdered format. Unlike other forms, such as a collagen tablet, a capsule or gummy, a collagen powder product doesn't need additional fillers or binders, providing better digestion and more efficient delivery of nutrients. Collagen powder supplements usually contain higher dosages; plus, they're highly versatile and can be mixed into smoothies, juice or water to suit your preferences.
Finally, look out for a collagen supplement that contains Peptan®. This is the market's leading collagen product. Peptan® has been shown to support skin collagen structure leading to a reduction of wrinkles and an increase in hair strength.
When is the best time to take a collagen supplement?
Here at Revive Active, we recommend taking Beauty Complex collagen supplements after eating. This is because a meal or snack helps to stimulate the digestive system to improve the digestion of nutrients. Revive collagen supplements contain vitamin E, which helps support skin health, and this vitamin is fat-soluble, so it is best taken after a balanced meal.
How much collagen should you take per day?
Research has found that collagen peptides offer benefits to skin with a daily dose of 5000mg. Therefore, taking at least 5000mg of marine collagen peptides is a great place to start when supplementing. Higher dosages may be even more effective at supporting collagen production in the body.
Collagen tablets usually contain between 500mg and 3,000mg of collagen per tablet. This means they don't tend to offer a high enough daily dose to offer significant benefits, or you may need to take several doses, depending on the brand.
On the other hand, powdered collagen supplements tend to contain much higher levels of collagen peptides, which is why they're the best collagen supplement to start with. Beauty Complex contains 7000mg of marine collagen peptides, which may be able to offer more significant benefits.
How long should you take collagen supplements?
Studies have found that daily consumption of collagen peptides produces improvements in skin hydration and elasticity after 90 days. Another study on marine collagen peptides by Peptan® found that the appearance of facial wrinkles and hair strength also improved after 90 days. Other researchers recommend twelve weeks of daily supplementation with collagen peptides for significantly improving skin collagen density. Based on scientific research here at Revive Active, we recommend taking one sachet of Beauty Complex for at least nine weeks to see significant results for the skin, hair and nails.
Since our natural collagen levels continue to deplete as we age, it's a good idea to continue taking collagen supplements to support skin and hair health for as long as you want to experience the benefits. Skin collagen levels increase (we build collagen faster than breaking it down) until 25-34. It may be ideal for supplementing with collagen while our collagen-making cells (fibroblasts) are healthy and active to 'bank' collagen before it starts to decline. However, it is never too late to begin supplementation, particularly since collagen decline accelerates for women during menopause. The bottom line is that the longer you can supplement collagen, the better, but it is never too late to start.
What ingredients are the best to take with collagen?
Some nutrients can support the beneficial effects of collagen peptides and contribute to skin, nail and hair health. Look out for a collagen peptide supplement that contains the following additional nutrients:
This molecule holds on to water in the skin and helps maintain skin hydration. Skin dryness associated with age may be due to the loss of hyaluronic acid over time; we lose 75% of the hyaluronic acid in the skin by the age of 60. Hyaluronic acid supplementation has been shown to increase skin hydration and elasticity. It may also help to stimulate collagen production.
Extensive research suggests that vitamin C is crucial for the body's natural collagen synthesis process. Vitamin C, therefore, contributes to the normal function of the skin. Plus, vitamin C protects cells from oxidative stress and acts as a scavenger for harmful free radicals, which otherwise contribute to signs of skin ageing. It has been demonstrated that vitamin C supplementation increases collagen synthesis after ten days.
This antioxidant is the primary antioxidant of the skin. It helps to protect cells against oxidative stress, which can otherwise lead to collagen fragmentation. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin which means it is best taken with a source of fat or with/after a meal to be absorbed by the body.
Biotin is an essential nutrient for maintaining skin and hair health. We can obtain biotin from food, but supplementing is a convenient way to ensure you consume enough daily.
Ceramides in the skin are essential in maintaining the skin's barrier function. Phytoceramides appear to improve the skin-moisture barrier, which aids in reducing water loss.
Selenium and copper
Selenium is essential for maintaining normal hair and nails, while copper contributes to normal pigmentation in the skin and hair—both copper and selenium help to protect cells against oxidative stress.
Collagen complex beauty supplement
Beauty Complex contains 7000mg of Peptan® marine collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid, biotin, vitamin C, vitamin E, phytoceramides, copper and selenium to support the skin, hair and nails from the inside out. For ultimate convenience and optimum nutrient absorbency, the ingredients are delivered in a single-serving powdered sachet that can be added to water, juice or smoothies for a nutritious collagen drink. Read the complete Beauty Complex guide to learn more.
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