We've all heard that you are what you eat, so drinking or eating collagen should theoretically assist and provide your body with the building blocks it needs to make collagen, right?  

Let's start with a definition of collagen, a phrase that has made its way into our cosmetic products, supplements, and Facebook adverts. Collagen is a vital protein that helps to keep your tissues and bones together. Collagen is a protein that gives your skin structure and elasticity or that renowned "bounce." 

Collagen includes hydroxyproline, an amino acid found only in young skin. Prolyl-hydroxyproline, a collagen fragment made up of only two amino acids, was discovered to cause skin cells in vitro (in cells) to create more hyaluronic acid, another component crucial for increasing the skin's water content. 

Sadly, you typically have little influence over where your body places things. When you consume or drink a protein like a collagen, enzymes in your stomach and small intestine break it down. Long before your body can absorb these little particles, they are usually up to three amino acids long. That's a small number of amino acids. Most of the time, your body has no way of knowing that these particles are collagen – they might be any other protein. 

Here is a little bit of information about collagen and the best time to take collagen. 

The Science Behind Collagen 

The science underpinning collagen, like the elixir of youth, has been presented differently across channels, leading to quite diverse conclusions. While there have been studies showing that collagen supplements enhance skin, they have all been done on mice, rats, and even pigs. 

What works in the lab may or may not work on our skin. Another issue with supplement research is that they frequently include many substances. This means you can't be certain it's the collagen that's causing the problem. It's even more difficult because there are 28 distinct forms of collagen, and not all of them are beneficial to your skin! 

Thousands of amino acids are found in collagen proteins. Collagen that has been hydrolyzed (broken up) is used in most supplements, however, it can be broken up in a variety of ways. It's very likely that the body does not treat them all equally. This implies that research showing a benefit from one kind of collagen says nothing about the other types of collagen — or even other collagen supplements. 

Have there been any clinical human trials on collagen, as per those "according to scientific reports"? Sure. However, this raises another issue. Many of these studies are carried out by companies that offer collagen supplements. There is a clear bias in favor of publicizing positive outcomes. 

The Fountain of Youth 

It appears that patting the fountain of youth's waters into your skin is still more beneficial than consuming them! Look for creams containing vitamin A and compounds like retinol and tretinoin in topical treatments. These are the gold standard when it comes to increasing collagen levels in the skin. Vitamin C serums are also excellent for boosting collagen production. 

Skin moisture is another major cause of tired-looking skin that may be remedied using serums and moisturizers. To fill up skin and disguise wrinkles, look for humectant compounds, or substances that encourage moisture retention, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid. 

Most essential, high-UVA protection sunscreen will keep free radicals from breaking down collagen in the first place. 

Best Time to Take Collagen 

Did you know that loss of collagen starts at mid 20’s? It is also the best time to start taking collagen boosting supplements. One good example is Gloww Collagen by Mega We Care.

According to studies and reports, the most optimum and best time to take collagen is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or with your meals if you have digestive or intestinal troubles. 

The optimum time to take collagen for joint, tendon, or ligament pain is about an hour before you exercise for optimal effects (be sure to include 50 mg of vitamin c). Because your workout activity serves to transport collagen peptides into your tendons and joints, the timing is critical. 

Try taking collagen before bed if you're having difficulties sleeping. Glycine, an amino acid that makes up roughly a third of collagen, aids relaxation, reduces body temperature, and aids sleep preparation. 

Glycine is a neurotransmitter that inhibits other neurotransmitters (similar to GABA). This is why collagen is said to have sleep-inducing properties. 

Collagen is also best taken before meals to assist manage blood sugar levels. For optimal health advantages, take 15 g of collagen. This will provide you the 3-5 g of glycine you need to keep your blood sugar levels in check. 

Article Reviewed by Dr. Zharlah G. Flores, MD, FPDS