10 Things You Need to Know About Collagen
Rhiannon Lytle, RHN
Even though collagen seems like a household name these days, many people are still unsure if they should take collagen, or what it can do for them. There are many questions you still have about collagen before it's time to pick up your first bottle, so we want to clear that up! To help you decide if collagen is for you, we’re answering the top 10 things you need to know about collagen:
1. What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein, and is what makes up a lot of what is found in our hair, skin and nails. It is referred to as the “glue” that holds our body together. As we get older, however, we're unable to produce the necessary collagen to prevent the signs of aging. This is why many people will supplement with it.
2. Are there negative side effects of taking collagen?
For most people, there are no side effects of taking collagen. Most people find that adding collagen to their routine has positive outcomes for their digestive health, hair, skin and nails. However, in rare instances, some people have noticed small breakouts, or light digestive distress when adding collagen to their diet. There has been no definitive correlation between collagen and these issues.
3. How long does it take to see results from taking collagen?
There are a few factors that matter here: how long you take it, and what your lifestyle is already like. Generally it can take up to four months to truly see the benefits of collagen in your body. If you are eating a poor diet that lacks the nutrients your body needs to produce its own collagen, and start taking a maximum dose each day, then you may see the effects quite quickly. However if you eat quite healthy and add in about 1 serving per day (approximately 10g), it may take a few more weeks to see the extra glow.
4. Do I need to take collagen every day?
It is suggested that you consume around 1 tbsp. of collagen everyday. If you are looking for more therapeutic benefits taking 2-3 tbsps. each day will provide more nourishing, and possibly faster acting effects. As our collagen production starts to reduce with age, taking it regularly will be beneficial for more long-term health effects.
5. Should I take collagen on an empty stomach?
Our best suggestion to taking collagen: take it whenever, and however it works best for you! Many people will add it to their morning cup of coffee, while others like it in a pre-bed elixir to help promote a more restful sleep. While some people swear by taking it at a specific time each day, there is no evidence to show that timing matters. So take it whenever works for you!
6. Are there different types of collagen?
Yes! You can learn more about the types of collagen here. But we’ll give you the Cole's Notes version now: There are many types of collagen in your body (articles cite anywhere from 15-27 different types of collagen). However, there are three types that are of most importance in our body: Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3. Pretty easy to remember, right?
- Type 1 collagen is what helps our hair, skin and nails, and can be found in Organika’s Enhanced Collagen, Marine Collagen and Salmon Collagen.
- Type 2 collagen is found in Organika’s Chicken Bone Broth and BioCell Collagen supplements, and supports joint health. People living with joint issues, like osteoarthritis may find relief from using supplements rich in Type 2 collagen.
- Type 3 collagen is usually found alongside Type 1 collagen in your body and is an important component of our bone marrow. This is available in Organika's Enhanced Collagen line.
7. Can I make collagen on my own?
Your body naturally produces collagen using Vitamin C, and the amino acids, glycine, proline and lysine. This means that yes, if you are eating a primarily plant-based diet, you can still produce the collagen necessary to keep your skin glowing and your hair flowing. However, it is important to remember that our collagen production decreases as we age. That’s likely because our body can’t breakdown and absorb the proper nutrients to create it (like these amino acids and Vitamin C). So including a collagen supplement, or a plant-based booster is helpful!
8. Is collagen just a powder?
Collagen can come in various forms, but you’ll usually see it in a powder or capsule form. For example, our Marine Collagen and Enhanced Collagen line are powders that can be added to smoothies, baking, or your morning coffee/tea. Our Plant-Based Collagen Booster is also a powder, however it’s best to use that in cold liquids to ensure you keep the integrity of the vitamins. On the other hand, you can also use Organika’s BioCell Collagen or Salmon Collagen, which both come in capsule form.
9. Can I take different types of collagen at the same time?
You can! In fact, Organika even sells a product that includes all three types of collagen in one convenient powder called Full Spectrum Collagen.
10. Can I add hydrolyzed collagen to hot foods or liquids?
The process of hydrolyzation means that the collagen has been broken down into a smaller molecule that is better absorbed by your body. Heating the collagen does not degrade the nutrient profile, as it is already broken down to its smallest molecule.