The 10 Collagen FAQ's, Answered!
We’re willing to bet that you have questions about collagen. It’s become a “hot topic” and a mainstream subject as of late. You’ve probably heard of it and, maybe you’ve seen friends and family sharing their favorite collagen supplements on social media (or even in real life perhaps)! What is it, where does it come from? Does the body make collagen? What happens as the body ages? If you’re not familiar with this protein, you may be asking yourself all these questions and more! Let’s take a little look at what collagen is and why we need it before we review 10 collagen FAQs, answered.
The protein in the body is comprised of collagen, about a third of it actually! It is incredibly important part of your health. Your skin, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons all contain collagen. As you can see, that’s a big portion of your body! Remember that skin is the largest organ! Did you know that your gut health is also supported by consuming collagen? One of the main components of the cells that create the lining of your gut is collagen. Glycine and glutamine are amino acids that aid in digestion and encourage good heath of the gut barrier. Guess what? They are both found in collagen. The health of the intestinal lining is a crucial part of protecting your gut microbiome. A healthy gut helps the body absorb more nutrients.
With the right nutrition, your body can produce collagen. Vitamin C, proline, glycine, and copper are all necessary for your body to make its own collagen. In addition to these nutrients, you also need protein with the “right” amino acids for the body to make new proteins. Each of these things are needed in order to make collagen, and if something is missing, the body will struggle. This gives you a little background on collagen and why it is important. With all the recent hype about collagen (bone broth, supplements, etc.), next we will dig into the 10 collagen FAQs, answered!
here are the most frequently asked questions
1. When is the best time of day to take collagen?
There isn’t necessarily a “best time” to take collagen. You can take it whenever you’d like. For simplicity and convenience some people use a powdered supplement form of collagen and add it to their shakes, smoothies or coffee. Other people will drink bone broth throughout the day or in the evening. There isn’t one “right way” to add collagen to your diet. We suggest that you find what works best for you and make it part of your routine. Having a routine will make sure that you don’t miss your daily dose!
2. What is collagen good for?
We gave you a little preview in our introduction to answer this question, but collagen is good for so many things! As your body ages, your collagen production decreases so adding it to your diet is incredibly beneficial. Collagen provides the amino acids that are needed to build strong, healthy connective tissue that is found throughout the body. Joint and bone health reap the benefits from collagen as it prevents bone loss and relieves joint pain.
It plays a huge role in the health of the gut (digestive system). As we mentioned, the connective tissue in the gut is made up of collagen. The lining that protects the digestive tract is also strengthened by it. For this reason, collagen production and/or supplementing promotes good gut health. Most people have improved hair and nails, meaning they are stronger and often grow faster. It is also known to reduce stretch marks and the appearance cellulite. Collagen is probably most commonly known for its effects on skin health as it is shown to improve elasticity and firmness. Collagen helps skin appear healthier as it reduces wrinkles, dryness and sagging skin. You can see that collagen is really good for the whole body!
3. How often can I take collagen?
We recommend taking collagen at least once per day. The benefits are so great that your body can always use a daily dose! There isn’t wrong with anything taking collagen more frequently. The only thing to be careful of is the macronutrient content, especially if you are keto. If you are in ketosis, too much protein can knock you out. This occurs when your body actually doesn’t need all the protein that’s consumed. This process is known as gluconeogenesis. Did you know that you can consume more protein than you need? What happens when there is too much protein is that some of the protein’s amino acids can be converted into glucose (a simple sugar) which will prevent the body from staying in ketosis. The body will revert to using that sugar for energy instead of burning ketones (fat) which is what ketosis is.There aren’t really any known risks with collagen consumption. The only thing to be careful of is if you have a food allergy such as fish/shellfish or eggs. Just be aware of the ingredients in the supplement you are taking to lower your risk of an allergic reaction. Other than this, collagen is safe for just about everyone to consume.
4. Can you take collagen on an empty stomach?
It is suggested by some that taking collagen on an empty stomach is best. Why? They believe that the stomach acid will be able to quickly break down the collagen because it’s not working to digest anything else. Once the collagen is broken down, it can then be put it to use. It is certainly not necessary to do this to receive the full benefits though. Your body will put the collagen to work regardless of when it is digested. Many people use collagen supplements in making bulletproof coffee, also known as fat fueled coffee. If you don’t know what bulletproof coffee is, it combines coffee, butter and oil. Think coffee + healthy fat = bulletproof coffee! Some people will add collagen, or find a supplement that has collagen and healthy fats like this one: Keto Super Collagen Protein. For those that intermittently fast, you can break your fast with bulletproof/fat-fueled coffee. If you’d like to try an amazing fat fueled coffee, we suggest this recipe!
5. What is the best source of collagen?
Most collagen on the market comes from bovine, pork, poultry or marine sources. Marine is the most bioavailable source. This means that the body can absorb and utilize it. What good is taking collagen if it can’t be put to work? Marine sources contain a lot of type 1 collagen. This type is made of densely packed fibers which constitutes a major part of the skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue and teeth. It is made up of densely packed fibers and accounts for 90% of your body’s collagen. This type of collagen is known to improve health of skin, hair and nails.
Healthy fats provide nourishment to improve softness and reduce dry skin. The skin cells are produced within the body and then are pushed to the surface when ready. Two layers of fat surround each skin cell, and this is critical when trying to achieve healthy, plump skin. Omega-3 fatty acids often come from marine animals including salmon, mackerel, oysters, sardines, etc. These fatty acids have a huge impact on the health of your skin cells. Top Notch Nutrition’s Keto Super Collagen Protein has both collagen and healthy fats! With a tri-fat blend and marine collagen peptides, this product is a great supplement for skin health. Another advantage is that marine collagen is usually sustainably produced as it is made from the scales, bones, etc. that are generally just discarded.
6. Is collagen good for a keto diet?
If you are keto, collagen is a great option. Make sure that you are getting a clean (no artificial ingredients), low-carb and low-sugar option. Super collagen, as mentioned above, is the only collagen that has healthy fats, including MCT’s from coconut, avocado and grass-fed butter. This type of collagen supplement helps you get the healthy fats that are needed for energy on keto. When starting Keto, it might seem very challenging to hit your fat goals, without going over on protein. Hydrolyzed marine collagen is a great protein source for keto peeps, because it is the least likely to convert to glucose in your body and knock you out of ketosis. As you learned earlier, too much protein can lead to gluconeogenesis! We also recommend that you choose hydrolyzed marine collagen, because it is the most bioavailable as we have already discussed. If you are taking a supplement, you want your body to put it to good use, right?
7. Will collagen help me lose weight?
Yes, it can help with weight loss. Collagen is known to boost metabolism. It has shown to have appetite suppressing qualities. Collagen also helps retain muscle mass. The body burns calories quicker with more muscle mass and this in turn promotes weight loss. Another benefit is that it also tends to keep people satiated or feeling full longer. This helps to not overeat at the next meal. This same satisfaction fights off cravings which encourages weight loss as people aren’t indulging. Being full also minimizes the “snacking” and “grazing” that often happens when people don’t feel gratified after a meal. All of these, in combination, are reasons that collagen can aid in weight loss.
8. Where does collagen come from?
Most collagen comes from the skin, bones and connective tissue of animals. There are some foods that are naturally high in collagen including: bone broth, gelatin, chicken and pork skin. As mentioned above, the body can make its own collagen, but it slows down as the body ages and needs to have all the right components present to do so. Therefore, consuming foods high in collagen and/or collagen supplements is so important. We discussed marine collagen already, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that it is a very popular source for collagen supplements for its sustainability and bioavailability.
9. How else can I get collagen without drinking the powder?
Tablets and Capsules – there are supplements on the market in tablet or capsule form instead of powder. As previously mentioned just be aware of the ingredients so you are not consuming artificial ingredients.
Bone broth – is made by simply cooking soup bones with vegetables and seasonings for 12-24 hours. Essentially, bone broth is stock that is thicker due to the collagen that comes out of the animal bones during the long simmer process. This is just one reason why it’s so good for you! Bone broth is perfect for sipping or adding to soups or stews. You can find a great recipe here.
There are some foods that can aid in boosting collagen production but not many contain enough collagen themselves to supplement. Spinach, kale and berries all fight free radicals which in turn prevents the breakdown of collagen. Some components of garlic facilitate the rebuilding of damaged collagen.
10. Is collagen safe for kids?
Yes, kids can have collagen. Most children shouldn’t need as much as an adult. Their bodies haven’t lost the ability to produce plenty of collagen. We always suggest that you consult pediatrician, especially if you have any concerns.
We hope that you’ve found the 10 collagen FAQs, answered helpful! As you can see from the information here, collagen gives the body so many advantages. The benefits are countless! If you are looking to add a collagen supplement to your diet, find something that works for you whether it’s a tablet, capsule or powder. We know that simplicity is key to stability with your diet. The easier it is for you to incorporate things like collagen, the more likely you are to keep them as part of your routine. Remember that as we get older, collagen production slows down so supplementing is recommended. Give collagen a try, we know that you’ll quickly notice the benefits!