Collagen is a protein that is amply found throughout our body. In recent times it has become a growing sensation as a nutritional supplement, especially amongst young adults. The most common benefits that the collagen supplement can provide range from healthier and more youthful skin to preventing and delaying heart-related diseases.
From being added to creams, serums, and even makeup, collagen is mainly used as a new marketing tactic to achieve healthier skin. Although these creams provide your skin with added hydration, it is not possible to absorb collagen actively. Collagen is a macromolecule that can sit on the surface of your skin to provide superficial benefits but not be absorbed by it.
Therefore other actives are mainly used with collagen enriched serums to absorb it into your skin readily. These added products also help to stimulate new collagen production to make you look younger and fresher.
So how do you give your skin the goodness of collagen then? The simple answer to this is collagen supplements. To be more accurate, the use of hydrolyzed collagen supplements has been proven by researchers to be a better type of supplement for your skin.
What Is Collagen?
Amino acids, the basic units of life, are put together to form collagen, a protein. The essential amino acids found in collagen include glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline—these make up the central part of a collagen molecule in the human body.
Proteins are natural molecules present in our body in the shape of chains. The amino acid chains of collagen are twisted tightly around each other in a rope giving the structure rigidity and strength.
The basis of this protein in our body is the fibroblast cells. The amount of collagen necessary for us to survive requires a good amount of protein in our diet. Having Vitamin C can help boost the process of collagen production however it is not completely necessary to use. This vitamin is needed to make the structure more durable and sturdy.
The prominent protein of the extracellular matrix is collagen which helps in making the cell structure. For this reason, it is the amplest protein in the body and counts for about 30%-40% of the total protein count in the body.
Mostly, the collagen molecule is comprised of long and thin fibers that are tightly packed together to provide strength and anchor cells in their position. These fibers also make the skin elastic and require the strength that it needs.
Natural Food Sources And Supplements
Our body cannot utilize collagen in its basic form. Therefore it needs to be broken down into simpler forms, i.e., amino acids or smaller peptide chains that can be absorbed. The supplements mostly have collagen broken down into two or three amino acids. This shows that collagen proteins must be broken down into smaller peptides or amino acids before being absorbed. Most of the available supplements are already present in two or three chains of smaller peptides to decrease their time of being absorbed by your gut. The supplements usually do not have any side effects and are suitable for most of the audience that it caters to.
However, other than taking collagen in the form of supplements, you can also have it in organic food. Bone broth has the highest content of collagen present in it. But as collagen protein needs to be synthesized by our body and cannot be taken as a whole into our body, these sources provide the raw materials for collagen production.
We cannot be sure about the place where collagen will be used up in our body exactly. These supplements can be taken up to produce collagen in the bones, joints, skin, nails and so on. Our body works in an exciting way that it utilizes these resources wherever they are required.
So What Can You Do To Protect The Natural Collagen In Your Skin?
Ultraviolet rays that you get from the sun are the biggest enemy of your collagen in the skin . Therefore it is vital to wear good sunscreen while going out in the sun. Secondly, you can incorporate your diet with foods with a higher portion of antioxidants like fruits to prevent the breaking down of collagen in your skin. Other than fruits, you can take food rich in vitamin C to restore the collagen in your skin.
What Is The Purpose Of Collagen In The Body?
There are approximately 16 different types of collagen found in our body, but the central portion consists of types 1, 2, and 3. All of them have other physical appearances complementing the structure they are present. The roles of the most common ones are given below.
Type I.This accounts for around 90% of the total collagen pool of the body. It is found in bones, teeth, ligaments, muscles, and connective tissue to strengthen these structures.
Type II.This consists of a less firmly packed fibrous system and is found in cartilages and joints as a cushion to absorb shock.
Type III.This is used in making muscles, organs, and arteries.
Type IV.This is formed for filtration and is present amongst the different layers of skin.
As you become older, these collagenous fibers are replaced by less tensile fibrous tissue, making it stiff, making less collagen. This is clearly shown in the skin, which becomes less elastic, or your joints that become sore.
Likewise, there are also different types of collagen supplements that you can take.
Types Of Collagen In Supplements
Gelatin: also known as cooked collagen, is formed by prolonged heating of collagen. The heat breaks up the collagen into smaller protein peptides.
Hydrolyzed: if you continue to provide heat to the collagen further, it breaks up to form amino acids, which are called hydrolyzed collagen, hydrolyzed gelatin, or peptides of collagen.
Undenatured: this is the actual collagen that has not been treated in any way.
Is Collagen Absorbed?
Collagen gets absorbed but in your gut and not the skin. After being digested, it is then transported to the bloodstream and becomes available to the body. Collagen supplements are also absorbed similarly by our body. The parts of the collagen that are too large to be utilized are expelled out of the body.
If the supplement is in the form of hydrolyzed peptides, then it can be readily absorbed in the blood. There are no such side effects known to occur with collagen supplements. Therefore, they are an excellent component to add to your diet.
How To Best Absorb Collagen?
The most appropriate way to absorb collagen is to let your body do its job. When you take in collagen, it is broken down into smaller peptides to be used by your body in different ways. It then gets absorbed in your blood and does its job. For example, if your collagen is poorly developed in your joints and swollen, this will travel to your aching joints and relieve them.
In combination with having food rich in collagen, oral supplementation can increase the natural production of collagen in your body. Especially having food rich in vitamin C can help strengthen the collagen in your body. Having collagen supplements along with these actives will help your body to absorb the supplemented collagen better.
How Does Collagen Get Absorbed In The Skin?
This is a little tricky to answer as our skin cannot directly absorb collagen from cream or a serum. They are not very suitable for topical application on your skin. Alternatives like hyaluronic acid or salicylic acid are better ways for topical treatment through the skin.
However, the creams that have collagen components are not a total rip-off. They help to hydrate your skin and prevent it from drying out for you.
Use Collagen For Younger And Flawless Skin!
Collagen supplements contain collagen peptides which are hydrolyzed collagen broken down into more readily absorbable forms.
As collagen is the most frequently occurring protein in our body, it is essential for the growth and repair of our body. It is found in ample amounts in our skin, bones, joints, and hair. On the other hand, collagen becomes stiffer and more complex as you grow older. Therefore having dietary supplements of collagen has proven to be beneficial for your body.
By taking collagen supplements, consumers have seen visible effects on their faces and body. Women have noticed the decreased amount of wrinkles on their faces and glowing and healthier skin overall. Collagen also helps improve the texture of your skin to rejuvenate from the insides to make it look younger and fresh.
Moreover, collagen provides more facial moisture, firmness, and elasticity to the facial skin. This locks the hydration in your skin which helps your facial skin to become more glowing and fresh and gives you that crystal clear skin. However, having collagen supplements alone is not enough. You need to take in actives that help to boost the process of collagen absorption in your body.
How Can You Enhance Healthy Collagen Production In Your Body?
After taking your collagen supplement to enhance the natural collagen production in your skin, if you still think that it is necessary to boost the collagen formation for your skin, then there are a few actives that you can try out. By using these actives you can, you can better build up the collagen in your skin.
Retinol, also called retinoic acid, is the active member of vitamin A for our body. It works to increase cell turnover, decrease skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation, hydration, and reduce acne marks.
Retinol can also link up with any cell receptor in the body and dictate it to behave to produce new and healthier skin. More importantly, it is always better to talk to a dermatologist before using any product for your face to be on the safe side. Some people may find retinol a bit irritating. As a precaution, it is better to see the reaction on a minor skin patch then use it elsewhere.
2. Vitamin C
By far, one of the best actives that you could pair your collagen supplement with is vitamin C. This vitamin plays a significant role in collagen production in your body as it is involved in the hydroxylation process. This vitamin helps your body produce collagen naturally and prevents any further damage that may occur to it. It is also a natural antioxidant. It helps prevent aging and hyperpigmentation of your skin from making you look younger.
3. Glycolic acid
Apart from using vitamin C and retinol, you can also try to use some hydroxy acid. Researchers have proven that using hydroxy acids like glycolic acid helps to improve wound healing and also excites new collagen production. It also works to remove stubborn acne marks from your skin.
What Is A Better Time To Take Your Collagen Supplements – Day Or Night?
Another cherry on top for collagen is that it doesn't matter whatever time you take it. You need to listen to your body to understand what it wants. There are benefits and harms of taking it both times, but nothing so severe or damaging that leaves the other one behind.
For example, some believe that collagen helps them to start their day with a boost of energy. Therefore they prefer taking it early in the morning. Consequently, it might not be advised that they take it during the night or when you are about to sleep.
While others believe that when they take it during the night, it helps them sleep more peacefully, so they need to take their supplement at night only then. The hack here is to try taking it at different times to understand what time suits you better.
Moreover, some people argue that when they take it during the day, it will get absorbed throughout the day, which is more beneficial. Others say that when they take it during the night, it helps their body as it repairs itself.
Regardless of when you take it, the truth is that you will experience its benefits no matter what time you take it. You need to figure out the time that is best suited for your body to take the supplements.
What is Vieve?
Vieve is the world's first high-protein drink and protein water to use collagen as its primary protein source, offering a true non-dairy alternative to whey and milk based drinks. Each bottle contains 20,000mg of hydrolysed collagen.
Head over to our shop to check out our selection of protein drinks, collagen peptide powders and protein waters. Find out more about Vieve here. Vieve Protein Water is available in the UK from Amazon, Ocado or via our website.