With so many wellness trends out there, it can be hard to figure out what actually works, and what may be beneficial for your body. This is especially true when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and supplements. It seems like every time you open social media or look through health and wellness articles, a new superfood or supplement is being advertised as a cure-all. While we can’t speak for every supplement out there, there’s one that we will take a deep dive into – liquid collagen. Get ready to learn everything you need to know about liquid collagen and your body!
What is Liquid Collagen?
Before we can explain liquid collagen, it’s important to understand what collagen is in the first place. Collagen is a protein that occurs naturally throughout the body. It is essential for supporting the structure of your bones, cartilage, connective tissue, muscles, and skin, as well as holding tissues together. Collagen is so important that it makes up one-third of the protein in the human body. Liquid collagen, on the other hand, contains collagen peptides. Peptides are short-chain amino acids. These smaller, hydrolyzed, elements are easier for the body to absorb. Although it’s easier to consume larger amounts of collagen through supplements, it is a naturally occurring substance in many animals, especially animals. Collagen supplements are generally derived from the connective tissue of animals like chickens, cows, pigs, and fish.
Benefits of Liquid Collagen
Now that you understand what liquid collagen is, are there benefits to it? Your body produces less collagen with age. The body starts to lose about 1% of its total collagen every year starting around age 40. Liquid collagen aims to help make up for this loss by helping to improve the elasticity of the skin, and muscle mass, while preventing signs of aging.
Manufacturers of liquid collagen claim that it can help with:
- Joint health
- Shinier and healthier hair
- Stronger nails
- Weight loss
- Skin health
- Wrinkle reduction
- Bone loss prevention
- Stronger teeth
- Leaner muscle mass
Most of these claims are not backed up by scientific evidence. Much of the benefits people talk about when it comes to liquid collagen are anecdotal. That doesn’t mean that they don’t work necessarily, but that there is limited evidence to support their effectiveness. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any research on liquid collagen. Research suggests that collagen may be helpful in heart health by reducing artery stiffness, possibly helping prevent and treat artery disease. It may also help to slow down the effects of arthritis by protecting the cartilage around joints.
Risks of Liquid Collagen
Because collagen is widely found throughout the body, nature, and in many food sources, it’s a relatively low-risk supplement to consume. The biggest possible side effects have to do with a lack of regulation of supplements in many countries. This means they could potentially contain heavy metals and toxins. Like with any food or supplement, it’s also possible to have an allergic reaction or experience symptoms like nausea and bloating. Be sure to look out for possible allergens like eggs, fish, and shellfish if you have any food allergies. Although it isn’t necessarily a risk, collagen supplements can be pricey, and it will typically take at least eight weeks for seeing noticeable results, so they can take a toll on your wallet.
Because collagen is such a straightforward ingredient, it’s best to look for supplements without a bunch of additives like sugar. That being said, Vitamin C may help your body absorb collagen, so you may want to keep an eye out for supplements that contain it. Collagen supplements are commonly found in powder form in addition to a liquid. These can both be mixed into coffee and tea, smoothies, or taken with water. There are also a lot of pre-made drinks on the market with a serving of collagen for on the go. Supplements aren’t the only way to consume collagen, it’s also present in many foods, specifically animal products. Consuming foods like fish, bone broth, bone marrow, dairy products, poultry, and beef are all easy ways to boost your collagen intake without having to buy a supplement. You can even find skincare products with topical collagen to help improve the appearance of the skin. Like other collagen products, however, there is limited evidence of their effectiveness.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, currently there are vegan collagen supplements available. You can however take supplements that help with collagen synthesis in the body. These supplements contain amino acids like lysine, proline, and glycine from vegan sources. While the jury is still out on the extent that collagen supplements can help, it is a supplement with almost zero risks and many potential benefits. It has been shown to be helpful for a variety of things from heart health to stronger skin, hair, and nails.