You’re finally on board to start taking collagen supplements for your hair, skin, and joints, but you’re wondering how long it’ll take before you start to see results. Everyone’s body is unique, but with daily collagen intake, you could start seeing results in as little as two weeks.
Collagen works differently on different parts of the body. So, for example, you’ll start seeing quick results in your hair but it could take quite a bit longer to reap the benefits of collagen for your joints.
Here, we’re going over how long collagen takes to work for your hair, skin, and joints, how much collagen to take, and what time you should be taking collagen each day, along with its different types, benefits, and side effects.
"You could start seeing results in as little as two weeks"
How Long Does Collagen Take for Hair?
By taking collagen supplements daily, you’ll see improvements in your hair after two weeks with maximum results after eight weeks.
When you take a collagen supplement every day to improve the quality of your hair, in two weeks you’ll start to notice your locks are feeling softer, smoother, and shinier. Watch out Herbal Essences!
After extended collagen supplementation, you’ll even start to notice your hair’s texture starting to improve. It can also reduce the symptoms of an itchy, flaky scalp which is something to think about if you haven’t found a solution to dandruff using topical products.
Of course, there are many factors that contribute to the health of your hair including vitamin and mineral deficiencies, an unhealthy lifestyle, stress, and poor hygiene. Still, collagen supplements have been shown to have positive effects on hair health even without making any other changes.
How Long Does Collagen Take for Skin?
Collagen supplements take a little longer to work for our skin than for our hair, taking at least four weeks to start showing results with maximum benefits after 12 weeks.
So, what do these results look like? For starters, collagen can vastly improve the moisture in your skin, making it look more supple and healthy. You’ll also see reduced signs of aging such as fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
After all, wrinkles form when our natural collagen production tapers off. So, when we replace that collagen using supplements, it makes sense that our fine lines and wrinkles start to fill in and make us look younger and more vibrant.
How Long Does Collagen Take for Joints?
Your joints will be the last to enjoy the benefits of collagen supplements as it could take anywhere from three to six months to start feeling results.
This disparity has to do with what kind of joint pain you’re in and how it was caused. For example, athletes who have a joint injury but are otherwise in good health are likely to reap the benefits of collagen supplements in as little as 120 days. But, if you’re suffering from something like osteoarthritis, collagen supplements could take up to six months to work since they’ll require some extra TLC.
Since collagen is a vital protein that’s naturally produced within our bodies, it’s helpful to our bones and joints when we take them as supplements. The amount of time, however, that it takes to start showing results will vary depending on how depleted your bones and joints have become, hence the disparity.
Still, what’s a few months when you’ve been suffering from joint pain for potentially far longer? Most people who suffer with achy joints find collagen supplements to be an answer to their prayers.
How Much Collagen to Take
To figure out how much of a collagen supplement to take, look at the packaging to see what the manufacturer recommends. Every collagen supplement is different and for example, you might be taking three capsules per day or two scoops of powder per day.
The amount of collagen to take also depends on your age, gender, and overall health so it’s important to figure out how much collagen is right for you.
You may also want to consider your goals before deciding the best amount of collagen to use. For example, if your goal is healthy skin, a single dose will be sufficient. But if you’re working to increase muscle mass or bone density you may need a slightly higher dosage.
It might be a good idea to start off slowly and work your way up. But, if you start to feel thirsty, bloated, gassy, or if you’re dealing with digestive issues, that means you took too much. In general, though, the packaging should tell you how much to take.
Consult your doctor if you’re unsure and avoid exceeding the recommended dose limits.
Best Time to Take Collagen
Do I take it with food? Should I take it on an empty stomach? Morning? Night? When’s the best time to take collagen supplements?!
No need to fret because the truth is, there is no best time to take collagen. Do some experimenting and see what works best for your body and lifestyle. Some people swear by taking it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning (and don’t worry – your stomach acid is powerful enough to digest it on its own) but others get their best results by taking it with lunch.
If you’re taking collagen for your skin, the best time might be just before bed so it can work its magic overnight while your skin naturally repairs itself. If you’re taking it for weight loss, you might consider taking it in the morning for an energy boost so that you can stick with your fitness goals.
When it comes to timing, the most important thing is to take the collagen supplement daily. So, whenever you’re less likely to skip the supplement will be the best time to take it.
Different Types of Collagen
Ok – let’s back up and talk about what collagen is before we start talking about its different types. As we briefly mentioned, collagen is a protein that’s naturally produced by the body. It’s found pretty much everywhere including in your skin, bones, joints, tendons, and muscles. Consider collagen the glue that holds our bodies together.
Over time, the aging process causes our bodies to produce less collagen than when we were younger which is why we start to see signs of aging such as wrinkles, achy joints, and less flexibility. The production of all types of cartilage lessens as we age and additionally, the quality of the collagen is compromised.
There are four main types of collagen, conveniently labeled Type I through Type IV.
Type I Collagen:
Made of densely packed fibers and accounts for 90% of the collagen in your body providing structure for skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth.
Type II Collagen:
Made of more loosely packed fibers and is found in elastic cartilage.
Type III Collagen:
Supports the structure of muscles, arteries, and organs.
Type IV Collagen:
Found within the layers of your skin and helps with filtration.
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Collagen Benefits and Side Effects
Overall, the benefits of collagen supplements include:
- Anti-aging properties
- Reduced joint pain
- Improves a leaky gut
- Improves liver health
- Boosts metabolism
- Increases muscle mass
- Increases energy
- Strengthens hair, teeth, and nails
As for the side effects of collagen, they are relatively mild and include:
- Upset stomach
As you can see, there are a plethora of benefits to taking collagen supplements in addition to improvements in just your hair, skin, and joints. Researchers have also found that collagen supplements can calm our nervous system which often leads to a compounding effect.
When our nervous system is calm, we’re less likely to suffer from anxiety and we’re more likely to get better sleep. People who are less anxious and sleep better tend to exercise more and make healthier choices. It’s very common for one good habit to bounce off another and there’s plenty of evidence to show that taking collagen supplements can lead to these (and other) positive outcomes.
As always, consult with your doctor before adding collagen supplements (or any other supplements) to your diet and stop taking it if you experience any of these side effects.
Collagen has taken the health and wellness industry by storm in recent years and if you already use protein powder or “beauty powders,” you’re likely already taking collagen supplements as many companies are catching on to its powerful benefits.
Now that you know more about its properties and how quickly collagen can work for your hair, skin, joints, and more, it’s a no-brainer to add collagen supplements to your daily routine.
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