Do collagen drinks work?

by Tom Russell July 25, 2022

Do collagen drinks work

Collagen is a structural protein that provides strength and flexibility to many essential body parts, including skin, cartilage, tendons and bones.

Adverts for collagen supplements, particularly collagen drinks, are all over websites and social media. They make promises of youthful skin, shiny hair and healthy joints, as well as great flavour and fast results.

To find out if the reality of collagen drinks lives up to the hype, we spoke to Lauren Eales, nutritional therapist at Planet Paleo.

Fast facts

  • Collagen drinks are flavourless powders you can mix with liquid.
  • Collagen drinks are the best, most versatile way to take collagen.
  • Most people notice results from drinking collagen in 2 to 8 weeks.
  • Studies indicate that taking 2.5g to 15g daily is safe and effective.

What is the best way to take collagen?

Collagen supplements come in various forms; the most common include powdered drinks, capsules, and premeasured liquid shots. With so many different products to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one will suit you best. 

Lauren Eales told us, "Powder is an ideal way to take collagen, this can simply be dissolved in water to make a collagen drink, or added to shakes, smoothies and more, for a high dose of easily absorbable collagen."

What are collagen drinks?

Keto Coffee Collagen Hot Drink

Collagen drinks are powders that you can mix with water, juice, or other drinks. They're often high-strength and flavourless, making them easy to add to your favourite beverage for a potent, easy-to-use serving of collagen. Because they're in powder form, they are exceptionally versatile; you can add your own flavours, mix in other liquids and adjust the serving to meet your precise nutritional needs.

When choosing your collagen drink, Lauren recommends looking for products that contain hydrolysed collagen, "Collagen should be hydrolysed, meaning the large proteins are broken down into highly absorbable collagen peptides for best results." Studies show that hydrolysed collagen increases the level of collagen peptides in the bloodstream and demonstrates more antioxidant activity than non-hydrolysed collagen.

Bone broth collagen powder

As well as flavourless powders, collagen drinks come in various other forms such as:

  • Collagen tea¬†is collagen powder combined with a mixture of tea and herbs. As it brews, the collagen mixes into the liquid and the herbs infuse to create a tasty beverage.
  • Collagen coffee¬†comes in powder form and contains an uplifting mix of collagen and high-quality instant coffee. Like Keto Coffee collagen from Planet Paleo, some collagen coffees include other ingredients to enhance the effect and taste.
  • Collagen broth¬†is a thin soup made by simmering meat and bones with herbs and spices. The collagen from the bones, cartilage and other tissue mixes with the broth. Planet Paleo offers a ready-made¬†organic bone broth powder¬†that you can quickly make into a tasty, collagen-rich drink.

Collagen drinks vs. liquid collagen

Glass of water

Collagen drinks and liquid collagen are not the same. Most collagen drinks come in powder form, and you can mix them to your preference to create a collagen-rich drink. Liquid collagen is a pre-prepared liquid that is often sold in packets of single-serving shots.

Lauren explained to us why she recommends collagen drinks instead of liquid collagen; "Collagen powders provide an easy to use, high potency dose of collagen peptides, with no other ingredients. In addition, they are generally tasteless, so they are easy to add to your daily diet. Liquid collagens generally have less collagen per serving and tend to have other ingredients as flavourings and stabilisers added; there can also be fewer options for how you use collagen in this form."

Does drinking collagen work?

Wet skin guy

There is no doubt that collagen proteins make up a large part of our bodies and are responsible for keeping skin supple and ensuring that joints remain healthy and pain-free. However, whether the collagen provided in supplements, including collagen drinks, is an effective way of increasing the amount of collagen in our bodies continues to be debated.

In 2019, a review was published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Researchers set out to look at all the available evidence from relevant studies. The conclusion states, "Preliminary results are promising for the short and long-term use of oral collagen supplements for wound healing and skin ageing."

It also reported that the results demonstrated that collagen supplements taken orally could "increase skin elasticity, hydration, and dermal collagen density‚ÄĚ.¬†

Bovine vs. marine

Marine Bovine Collagen cows fish

Not only can you choose from drinks, capsules, and liquids, but collagen supplements can also come from a range of different sources. The most popular sources for collagen drinks are cattle (bovine) and fish (marine).

Lauren told us that while there are some differences between the two, which you opt for will depend on your own requirements:

"There isn’t a huge array of differences between these forms. The collagen types they provide are very similar, with bovine providing mostly type 1 collagen with a small amount of type 3 collagen and marine providing purely type 1 collagen. Both are easily digested and absorbed, especially in the collagen peptides form. Type 1 collagen is the most abundant form in the body, making up our hair/skin/nails, organs, tendons and more. The choice is down to individual preference, dietary and lifestyle choices, and personal needs."

How long does it take to see results from collagen?

2+weeks

When you drink collagen, the peptides need to be digested and then transported to your cells. This process will begin immediately, but it will take several weeks before the effects build up to a noticeable level.

Some people report noticing results in just 2 to 3 weeks, but it can take longer. Lauren told us, "Collagen drinks are highly concentrated in comparison to capsules or tablets where you would need to use huge quantities to get any sort of therapeutic dose. Results generally depend on the individual and what they are taking it for, but we would recommend 6-8 weeks of consistent use for best results."

What are the side effects of drinking collagen?

According to the review of collagen studies, "Collagen supplementation is generally safe with no reported adverse events."

However, Lauren explained that people who are new to collagen might take a while to find the right amount for them. In some cases, this can result in some stomach discomfort:

"Side effects can occur if you take too much initially, and these tend to generally affect the digestive tract, from feelings of fullness to bloating and nausea. For this reason, we would recommend that those new to collagen start slowly and build up the dose gradually."

Is it good to drink collagen every day?

Happy couple beach

Most collagen drinks come with a recommendation to use them every day, but is this effective or safe? According to Lauren, daily collagen is nothing new, "Collagen rich foods were abundant in the diets of our ancestors, who would use all parts of an animal to make nutrient-rich bone broths. Taking a high-quality source of collagen can help to replace what is lacking in our modern diet."

For collagen supplementation to produce noticeable results, you must use it consistently. As we age, the amount of collagen in our skin, joints, bones, and connective tissues reduces continuously.

Lauren recommends that regular use of collagen drinks is essential, "We recommended taking collagen consistently to naturally support your body through the ageing process. You can take collagen on a long-term basis, and it can be a staple in your supplement routine."

How much collagen can I drink per day? 

According to research, a daily serving of between 2.5g and 15g per day is likely to be safe and effective. However, different people will likely respond best to different amounts. Lauren said, "This depends on many factors, we recommend around 7.5-10g a day. You can split the serving throughout the day or take it all at once."

As with any supplement, it's important that you follow the recommendations on the packaging. We also suggest starting with a small daily amount and gradually increasing the serving every 3 or 4 days. "There is no standardised upper limit, most studies indicate around 15g as a max dose, though there is a suggestion that higher doses are also safe. It really depends on the individual and their health needs."

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Tom Russell
Tom Russell

Author

Tom Russell writes extensively about CBD oil and other groundbreaking food supplements. He and his wife share their home with two daughters and a lifetime’s collection of books.


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