Last Updated on August 6, 2021 by Janie Wilson
How Long Does It Take For Collagen to work?
How long does it take for collagen supplements to work? If you want to know the actual no-fluff answers, you should go through this post carefully, where I have written about it in details.
Yes, there are a lot of benefits you will notice from daily intake of collagen, including firmer skin, healthier hair and nails, and also many other important benefits.
Since collagen is the protein most commonly found in the human body, it is extremely necessary for many parts of the body. Many people wonder how long it will take before they notice a perceptible change in the body after taking collagen for a certain period of time.
You should go through this article to learn more about collagen and when to expect some beneficial results.
When you incorporate a new supplement into your daily routine, it’s natural that youn would expect drastic results. But how quickly do those results appear? Well, you may need to be a little more patient. There are some things you can expect to see fairly quickly – we’ll explain that in a moment – but to get the full benefits, you need to give your supplements plenty of time before making a final judgment about their effectiveness.
Here we look at the reasons you might want to take a collagen supplement, how long it will take you to see results for each area of health support, and the various things that can affect these time frames.
How Long Does It Take For Collagen supplements to work?
What is collagen?
Collagen is found everywhere in our bodies — in our guts, muscles, bones, skin, tendons, and even in our internal organs.
Our bodies naturally produce collagen, but with age, its production decreases – which is why we suffer from sagging skin, wrinkles, and joint pain.
In fact, it is said that most people begin to produce 1% less collagen in their skin each year after they cross 22. Hence, one should do well to start taking a collagen supplement sooner or later.
Why take collagen?
Experts and consumers cite give reasons to include a collagen supplement in their daily routine. You may have heard something that sparked your interest in collagen supplements – and may have even prompted you to read this post about it.
It should be noted that the health claims vary quite a bit, as collagen is a protein found in many parts of the body, including the skin, muscles, joints and intestines. There are at least 28 types of collagen in vertebrates, including us – but collagen types I to III are the most common.
We produce collagen naturally through the fibroblasts of our cells, but this component diminishes over time. Therefore, many people try to maintain their natural levels with collagen powders, pills and elixirs.
Benefits of Collagen
Here are some of the science-based benefits of collagen that you can expect:
- Supports skin health
It can help fade wrinkles on the skin by providing it with one of the essential ingredients to stay firm and tight. Research shows that these collagen peptides are able to maintain the elasticity of the skin and the density of collagen in the dermis. How? Hydrolyzed collagen peptides have been shown to support the natural collagen production and also other molecules that make up the skin, such as elastin and fibrillin. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides in particular help the skin.
One reason for the widespread use of collagen supplements is the potential benefits to gut health. Studies have shown that blood levels of certain types of collagen are lower in people with digestive problems. It appears that one of the key amino acids in collagen, L-glutamate, supports digestive health because it is a major fuel source for cells in the gut. Our intestinal lining also uses proline and glycine for the production of energy. These are two additional amino acids present in collagen.
Type II collagen is a common structural component of joints. A randomized clinical trial showed that people who took a supplement containing type II collagen for six months had support for physical function and showed considerable reduction in joint stiffness. Another study found that athletes who consumed collagen regularly received support for the overall health and comfort of their joints. Finally, an extended study that pooled data from five clinical trials found that collagen supplements hugely improved joint stiffness but did not enhance comfort levels or physical function.
Collagen is not a complete protein because it lacks tryptophan, one of the nine essential amino acids. Yet it provides nearly 20 unique amino acids and can maintain muscle mass, especially when combined with exercise. In a small human study, men who took daily collagen and simultaneously participated in an exercise program gained more muscle mass.
- Hair and nails
Not much research has been done on collagen’s secondary beauty benefits – namely hair and nails – but experts believe it can promote har and nail health as well. First, to speak about nails. One study found that when patients used collagen daily for more than 20 weeks, it promoted nail health, including better growth, less breakage and improved appearance. For hair, the link is more theoretical. Hair is mainly composed of keratin protein and structural lipids. The body needs various amino acids to form keratin, many of which are found in collagen peptides. The main amino acid in keratin is proline, which is also found in collagen peptides.
How long does the effect of collagen last?
If you want nothing more than a timetable, the latest and best research suggests the following:
Skin supporting benefits: 4-12 weeks (1-3 months).
Muscle mass and strength (combined with endurance training): 3 months.
Reduced pain after physical activity: within a few days
Joint health support: 4-6 months
Tendon support (combined with strength training): 3-6 months.
Bone density support: 12 months
Nails: 24 weeks
How long does the effect of collagen on the skin last?
Well-designed studies suggest that 12 weeks is the general duration for skin benefits. For example, this study found that patients who used collagen supplements experienced an increase in skin elasticity, moisture and density. Another finding was that respondents perceived their skin texture to be smoother. This study measured skin-related outcomes (such as moisture, elasticity and wrinkles) after both six and 12 weeks, with significant results in the latter study.
Some studies suggest that results are seen more quickly. This study found a statistically significant improvement in skin elasticity after four weeks. Another study found even greater results after eight weeks. Finally, this study measured skin markers after two, four, six and eight weeks – the results were noticeable after six and eight weeks, but not before.
In the main, you can see improvements as early as the second month of use, but for full results you should stick with it for at least three months. This is what the science says.
How long does the effect of collagen on joints and tendons last?
If you’re looking for joint support, it can last from 12 weeks to six months. For more localized joint support, studies show that results can be seen after 12 weeks: this study showed a positive effect on joint mobility for 12 weeks; this study also showed that patients experienced a supportive effect on knee health for 13 weeks. However, studies suggest that it is likely to take longer to achieve wider joint support. One study found that patients’ overall joint health was better after six months.
Studies suggest that benefits for tendons and ligaments may be seen after three to six months. One study found that when collagen supplements were combined with strength training, the participants’ tendon function and performance improved after three months.
How long does the effect of collagen on muscles last?
Muscle time periods vary depending on the outcome being studied. This study showed that typical muscle soreness after a hard workout can be beneficial on day two. However, increasing muscle mass with collagen protein (peptides and amino acids) requires about three months in combination with endurance training. For example, a study of menopausal women found that participants had a positive effect on body composition and regional muscle strength. Another study in older men also found benefits for their body composition and muscle mass. Studies in recreational adult men show that collagen supplements support body composition and skeletal muscle strength.
How long does it take for collagen to take effect on bones?
Because the natural, physiological timetable for bone replacement is long, studies show that the effects take up to a year to be seen. This is why many clinical bone health studies follow participants for a year or sometimes longer. For example, this study found that postmenopausal women improved their bone density when they used collagen peptides daily for 12 months over a year.
How long does it take for collagen to work on hair and nails?
For hair, there is no immediate time frame in which we can expect results, as there is simply not enough research to confirm this yet. For nails, the available studies have been measured after 24 weeks and show an improvement in nail strength and improvement in fragility.
What can affect the speed of the work?
All collagens are not the same and no two are identical. Therefore, there are certain things that influence its effectiveness and the speed at which you get results. Here are some of them:
Surely, you can’t expect results if you don’t take the right daily dose. Make sure you find a collagen supplement that contains a sufficient amount of collagen (between 10 and 20 grams) and use it as directed. While this range is a useful guideline, it is important to note that lower doses supported by science (such as UC-II collagen) can also support important areas of health. The dose must be scientifically justified.
Collagen is not a complete protein because it does not contain all nine essential amino acids. Again, there is no tryptophan is missing, but it also contains fewer other amino acids. Therefore, collagen should be considered as a supplement to a diet that is otherwise full of other healthy proteins from complete, high-quality sources.
The type of collagen
Because different types of collagen have different functions in the body, you should choose collagen products based on your needs. If you are looking for help for your joints, you should look for type II. For your gut, skin and whole body, you should look for types I and III.
What is the best form of collagen to take?
Always look for hydrolyzed collagen peptides. “Collagen is a complex protein made up of three chains of amino acids. On the other hand, hydrolyzed collagen is collagen broken down into smaller protein chains called collagen peptides, which are made up of several amino acids.
Collagen itself is too large a molecule to be absorbed by the body. But when it is broken down into peptides, your body can easily absorb and use it. Hydrolyzed collagen is already broken down, so it does not need to be digested first in the gastrointestinal tract. The collagen fragments can be absorbed as it is and it circulates throughout the body to do their job.
How Long Does It Take For Collagen supplements to work?
Collagen is an extremely useful supplement that has essential functional roles and benefits for the entire body. How quickly you see these benefits, however, depends on your area of health support, the dose and type of collagen, your basic diet and your unique genetic makeup.
Many people take collagen supplements to improve the condition of their skin, hair, nails, digestion and much more. Many studies confirm the effectiveness of taking collagen peptides, especially since they are more easily absorbed by the body.
The time it takes for collagen supplements to take effect depends on many factors which include age, dosage, diet and lifestyle, and last but not least, individual collagen needs.
In an average, most people would see some positive effects after taking 10 grams of collagen peptides per day for 4 to 14 weeks. However, you should keep in mind that it all depends from person to person.
The most important thing is to follow a healthy, balanced diet rich in whole foods to get the most out of collagen supplementation. This is give your body an overall improvement and help you live a healthy life.