It is the primary substance that helps our body to keep itself together. Collagen forms the basic framework that functions to give us support and strength. There are broadly two types of collagen present. Firstly, there is endogenous collagen that our body makes itself. Second is the exogenous collagen which is artificially made and is taken in the form of supplements.
Taking collagen supplements is one of the latest beauty trends sweeping up social media, mainly for those wanting to achieve more youthful, glowing skin and stronger bones. It also works as an anti-aging agent. However, the results from taking these supplements are not spontaneous but take time to be achieved. The results are also dependent on many different factors ranging from the individual's age to their current health status.
There are numerous benefits that you will feel from the daily intake of collagen in your body. These include tighter skin, healthier nails and hair, improved heart health, and so on.
As it is the most profusely found protein in the body, it is used in almost all our body functions. But we still don't know for sure how long it takes for collagen to start working for your body.
If you are eager to know how long it takes for collagen to work – read on 👇
Basis Of Collagen
Collagen is made up of amino acids that make up proteins which are the basic units of life. Glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline are the eminent amino acids present in collagen. These are the substantial portion of a collagen molecule in our body.
Fibroblasts are the essential cells that make collagen molecules in our body. The production of collagen in our body to the mandatory amount needs a specific level of protein along with vitamin C. This can be achieved by having food that has a precise portion of these nutrients or by taking collagen supplements.
The proteins existing in our body are in the shape of chains. The collagen amino acids are wrapped around each other in the arrangement of a cord, making collagen robust.
Collagen is undoubtedly one of the chief proteins found in the extracellular matrix, which helps stabilize the cell structure. Consequently, it is the most abundant protein in the body and caters to about 30%-40% of the total protein sum in the body.
Mainly collagen contains packed molecules that form elongated and thin fibers. They serve to anchor the cells to one another and provide support to them. They also provide the skin with the required elasticity.
What Does Collagen Do In The Body?
There are approximately 16 types of collagen present in our body, but the significant portion consists of mainly types 1, 2, and 3. The different types of collagen present have other purposes of serving in the body hence the difference in their structures. The functions of the most commonly occurring are given below.
Type I.This accounts for about 90% of the total collagen content of the body. It is primarily present in bones, teeth, tendons, and muscles to strengthen these structures.
Type II.This consists of a less firmly packed fibrous network in cartilages and joints as a cushion for shock absorption.
Type III.This is used in the formation of muscles, organs, and arteries.
Type IV.This is present for filtration and is present amongst the layers of skin.
As your age increases, these elastic collagenous fibers are changed to tough fibrous tissue, making it inflexible, producing less collagen. This is visible in the skin, which becomes less tensile, or your joints that become swollen.
How Do We Digest Collagen?
Before diving into the time taken by collagen to work for our body, we need to understand the science behind collagen intake and how it works in the body. It is vital to know how we digest that collagen and how our body metabolizes it.
Collagen is a complex molecule that comprises numerous amino acids linked together through solid bonds. Once it reaches our gut, it produces hydrochloric acid, particularly proteases that break down proteins into small peptide chains of amino acids. These breakdown products are then absorbed and enter the blood circulation to be transported.
If you take collagen supplements, you cannot expect them to be readily available to your body as it is a complex structure to digest. Our body needs to do the extra work required to break it down and then consume it. Therefore, most collagen supplements are already present in partially broken form to make the process easier.
How Long Do Collagen Supplements Take To Work?
This one is tricky to answer as it is dependent on various factors. Researchers have proven that visible improvements in the skin and bones can take around four weeks to show. Therefore you need to be patient and gradually wait for results to show. However, if you still can't see the difference in the usage, it is generally advised to keep using the supplements until you can feel the difference.
On the other hand, once absorbed into the bloodstream, it is used up by the body very readily. Sometimes they can start working within a few hours on intake and start rejuvenating the cells in our body.
However, collagen takes a bit of time to show its results after intake, but this depends on the collagen already present in your body. If you have shallow collagen levels, then you may notice a very drastic difference in your body. On the contrary, if you have moderate or high collagen levels already present in your body, you may not see huge differences.
Some studies have proven to show a significant change in the health of the skin and its elasticity. But if you take collagen for swollen joints or improve your heart health, the results might take a bit longer to show.
Athletes who were known to take daily 10 grams of collagen peptides stated that they had relieved joint pain after 24 weeks. This further shows that you need to keep on taking the supplement regardless of visible results for a long time.
Some of the apparent factors on which the results depend are listed below.
· Increased Exposure To The Sun
If you step out of your house regularly without the application of sunscreen, then it can damage your skin. The sunscreen provides the required protection against harmful UV rays and will prohibit further damage to your skin. Then it will be easier for the collagen supplements to work to rejuvenate your skin.
· Poor Daily Practices
Having cigarettes and alcohol daily can prove to be deteriorating to your skin and bones. Therefore collagen may take a more significant time to show the results. To boost the process of collagen repair, you need to cut down on these unhealthy habits.
· Dietary Choices
Consuming foods that have high sugar and fatty substances in them can be harmful to your health. Sugar is known to slow down natural collagen production in our bodies. Having fewer of these food items in your daily diet will help your skin improve its health and the collagen supplements to work better.
· Reduced Sleep
Not having an ample amount of sleep at night can cause your body to get tired, which hinders collagen production. This will also affect the duration required for the collagen supplements to work.
· A Lack Of Effective Skincare
If you possess dry skin or sensitive skin, you need to put in the extra effort required to maintain its hydration. Appropriately hydrated skin better responds to collagen supplements. Having a good skincare regime will keep your skin healthy and fresh.
Along with collagen supplements, hyaluronic acid is used to improve the condition of your skin. If you already have these in your skincare regime, it will take fewer collagen supplements to react and work for your skin.
Here's Why You Should Add Collagen Supplement To Your Diet
There are so many reasons why it is essential to have collagen supplements in your daily diet. You might already know a few, and some are also given below.
1. Relieves The Joint Pain
If you do not experience swollen or painful joints, they are more easily moved during workouts making your body more flexible. However, if you have aching joints, it will be a hassle to move them while working out.
Osteoarthritis literally means that the cartilage in your joints undergoes severe breakdown because of excessive use. To relieve your joints and help them repair, you can add collagen supplements to your diet, as research has proven.
2. Better Heart Health
Collagen supplements have proven over the years that they can prominently increase the health of your heart. It works to make blood circulation better in your body and reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Arteries are the main blood vessels of the body that are transport blood from your heart to all parts of the body. If there is any blockage in an artery, this will disrupt the blood flow and lead to cardiac arrest or heart attack.
It can further cause atherosclerosis which means the narrowing of blood vessels that causes inhibition in their function. If there is reduced collagen in the body, these arteries will become narrow and not allow blood to move any further.
Therefore inculcating collagen in your diet will reduce the stiffness of the arteries and enhance their elasticity. Therefore, older individuals above the age of 50 and mainly men should make collagen supplements a part of their routine diet to delay the risks of their heart diseases.
Time Taken To Respond To Collagen
Different parts of our body require other times to respond to the collagen supplements.
· For Skin
For better skin, collagen produces results in approximately 12 weeks which is common in most instances. For example, one study revealed that the consumers experienced improved skin elasticity, hydration, and robustness by using collagen supplements. Another research showed that the consumers experienced evener skin texture. Therefore you need to be patient to see the results and keep on using the supplements.
· For The Joints And Tendons
For joints and tendons, the period can be a little more subjective, ranging from 12 weeks to six months. Some researchers argue that they found out results in the 12-week time frame with a positive impact on joint pain. While others give the results that their studies proved that taking collagen supplements helps them providesupport in 13 weeks. However, more studies need to be made to thoroughly understand what our joints and tendons take in the supplements.
· For The Bones
The natural time for new bone to be formed in our body is already a somewhat lengthy process. It should not be a disappointment that the supplement also takes longer to work on the bones. Consequently, most researchers follow the participating over a year to see the difference in their bone density from using collagen supplements. For example, one particular study showed that postmenopausal women had greater bone density at 12 months after consuming collagen peptides daily for a year.
· For Hair And Nails
There are not enough studies to approximate the time needed for the supplements to show their results, and it needs more time to be figured out. On the other hand or nails, the studies suggest that at 24 weeks, they showed improved strength and reduced brittleness.
How Frequent Should One Take A Collagen Supplement
Collagen supplements are mainly in a partially broken down state that our bloodstream can easily absorb. This makes it readily available for different parts of our body. In some instances, collagen will start to rebuild even within an hour of taking the supplements.
However, you will begin to see the results a little later than you digest them. Generally, 2.5-10 grams of collagen supplement in your daily diet is rendered appropriate for improved skin and hair health by experts. But it still is dependent on the individual's health, lifestyle habits, eating habits, and so on.
Vieve Makes It Easy To Supplement Your Collagen Intake
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.
Our collagen powder mixes easily into everyday food & drink with just a tablespoon to give you an instant 10g collagen-based protein boost.
Head over to our shop to check out our selection of protein drinks and protein waters. Find out more about Vieve here. Vieve Protein Water is also available to buy from Amazon or Ocado.