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How to take collagen powder effectively

| MAR 15, 2023

How to take collagen powder effectively

We’re full of collagen which is a structural protein that makes up cells and tissues such as skin, tendons, bones and cartilage. We make it ourselves and can eat it, but as we get older we make less of it.  This starts around age 25 and by 45 we have way less. Compare a young child’s perfectly springy and smooth skin to an older skin. See the difference? That’s collagen.

There are different types of collagen and the most common one in humans is type I (about 90%). This kind of collagen is thought to be especially effective when it comes to your appearance because its molecular structure is similar to our skin. Plus its peptide molecules are smaller in size and therefore more bioavailable to the body, meaning it can be absorbed where it’s needed rather than just passing through and out the body.  But how to take collagen? This article explains how. 

What is the best way to take collagen powder?

The best way to take collagen is to stir it into water or coffee. Putting collagen, like Skinful Marine Collagen Powder in your coffee is a great way to stack a habit so you don’t forget. It also helps blunt the caffeine hit by adding protein, and if you combine it with some fat (like milk or MCT), even better.

You can also just stir it into water and our Strawberry Skinful + Vitamin C is the best option for this. It tastes amazing and is super easy.

There are other ways to take collagen and get it from your diet:

  • Add it to a hot chocolate or chai latte.
  • Add it to a smoothie, such as these 3 tasty collagen smoothie recipes.
  • Mix it in yogurt - a great way to add protein at the same time.
  • Make some bone broth and drink a cup a day, or use it in soups or risottos.

What is the best time to take collagen powder?

There are lots of different arguments circulating on the internet about collagen timing. One school of thought is that you should take your collagen powder on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

Another theory says the best time to drink collagen powder is at night because the skin is repaired and rejuvenated as you sleep. 

But all the experts in the field agree there’s no optimum time to take your powder as long as you’re taking a high enough dose of collagen to see a difference, with most concurring that the minimum amount is 5g. 

Collagen powders are broken down just the same whether you take them with or without lots of food.

What about at night? To date there’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest any improved results when taking it before bed, compared to any other time of day. 

As a side note though, collagen contains a fair amount of glycine, an amino acid that scientists believe could promote a restful night’s sleep. While other natural sleep aids have more evidence of effectiveness, if you’re already taking collagen and find it hard to sleep, there’s nothing to stop you from taking it before bed to see what happens.

How much collagen should you take per day?

Our manufacturer recommends 5g to 10g a day, and when we first launched Skinful we recommended you take 10g for the first month. After a few months we received lots of feedback from customers and Nutritional Therapists who were seeing the benefits using just 5g. We therefore changed our label and now recommend 5g. This means one of our pots of Skinful will last you 2 months.

However, the amount you should take is highly personal depending on health, metabolism, age and many other factors, so it’s best to consult a Nutritional Therapist if you have any specific concerns.

Can I mix collagen with hot drinks?

You can add our original Skinful Pure Marine Collagen to hot drinks, and it’s a really popular way of taking it. A mid-morning collagen coffee is a good way to keep hunger pangs at bay too.

Does heat damage the collagen powder?

Many foods lose their nutritional value when you heat them, but collagen powder is not one of them. 

The reason behind this is the high number of amino acids per peptide. The higher the number of amino acids in a peptide, the more stable it is at higher temperatures. Marine type I collagen is the most heat-tolerant of all because it has the highest percentage of amino acids (along with type III). 

Collagen peptides are heat stable up to 300°C, a temperature far higher than normal cooking and baking. As water boils at 100°C, collagen can be mixed into hot drinks, soups and stews without weakening its benefits.

How is collagen best absorbed?

The tiny collagen peptides are absorbed in the small intestine, just like other nutrients. There aren’t any particular studies into the best way for our bodies to absorb collagen but there are studies that show improvements in skin, hair and nails after taking collagen powder.  Including this one

Nutritional Therapist, Susie Debice BSc Hons, Dip ION, says: “When it comes to the bonds between the amino acids in the long peptide chains, most are easily broken by the action of stomach acid. However, one particular amino acid, hydroxyproline, found linked to proline or glycine in a collagen peptide chain, forms incredibly strong bonds that are pretty resistant even to the toughest of proteolytic enzymes. Why is this important? Because the dipeptides and tripeptides containing hydroxyproline get readily absorbed across the small intestine and play a key role in the way your body produces its own collagen." 

Should I split the scoop or take all the collagen in one go?

While it doesn’t matter in terms of its effectiveness, if you’re new to collagen you might wish to build up gradually by splitting the amount throughout the day.

Collagen is, after all, a protein. And too much protein all at once before your body’s had a chance to get used to it may lead to bloating, so it might be a good idea to start off easy. Try one serving in the morning with your coffee and one in the afternoon with your tea.

The extra protein may make you feel thirstier than usual, so always have a bottle of water handy.

Is there anything you can do to make collagen powder work more effectively?

If you really want to give your collagen powder a helping hand you could try cutting down on sugar in your diet. Sugar is known to damage collagen in a process called ‘glycation’. When you eat something sweet, the excess sugar is attached to the fats and proteins in the skin, producing enzymes that weaken both the collagen and its elastin fibres. 

Vitamin C and collagen 

Skinful + Vitamin C  includes the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C (from Acerola cherry), which is highly absorbed and helps support normal collagen function.

If you want to give your collagen an extra boost, this is a great option.

You’ll get the most out of your collagen if you enjoy taking it

The key is to take the collagen in the way you enjoy the most.  Some customers love it in their coffee, some add it to smoothies and lots just add Skinful + Vitamin C to a glass of water as it tastes so good.  If you find a way you enjoy it, you’ll do it consistently and you’ll form a habit that doesn’t feel like an effort. 

Incorporating it into something you already do, such as a morning coffee, also makes it super easy to remember and again, consistency is key.

For more information check out our Ultimate Guide to Collagen.

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