Supplement timing often revolves around exercise, but collagen supplements break this mold. This unique aspect frequently comes up in discussions with my colleagues.
What's the twist?
Collagen can improve everything, from skin elasticity to joint health. However, the ideal time to take it varies based on the health benefit you're targeting.
I've teamed up with a fellow dietitian to uncover the science behind it and guide you on the best times to take collagen for optimal results.
- Optimal collagen intake timing varies: for joint and muscle repair, evening is best, while morning intake benefits skin elasticity.
- Taking collagen on an empty stomach enhances absorption, aiding in more effective protein breakdown and nutrient assimilation.
- A study in the Amino Acids Journal found that collagen hydrolysate contains about 33% glycine residues, which is beneficial for muscle recovery and sleep quality.
- From what I've observed, maintaining a regular collagen intake schedule is often more impactful than focusing solely on the time of day it's taken.
Is There Better Time Of Day To Take Collagen?
Yes, the timing of your collagen intake can be important, especially when targeting its two primary benefits: health and beauty.
Collagen is primarily beneficial for joint and muscle repair, making it an essential supplement for those with active lifestyles.
From my personal experience, especially after days filled with intense workouts or demanding physical activities, I've found taking collagen in the evening to be highly beneficial. This is due to its significant glycine content, which I've noticed aids in muscle recovery.
A study in the Amino Acids Journal reveals that collagen hydrolysate contains about 33% glycine residues, which can boost creatine, highlighting its role in aiding muscle repair .
Moreover, a study from the European Journal of Nutrition suggests that collagen, taken before bedtime, can promote better sleep quality due to its glycine content .
Chronic stress can deplete collagen, impacting skin health and overall physical well-being.
If you’re looking to give your skin some extra elasticity for a busy and stressful day, then the best time to take collagen would be with your morning coffee.
Making it part of your morning routine could provide your skin with important nutrients to remain healthy while being exposed to all the different environmental harms.
This practice has noticeably improved my skin's elasticity and overall health.
Something you might also consider is taking collagen peptide or one of the proven collagen powders in your morning coffee to combine a beauty and brain boost at the same time. Also, consider taking some vitamin C at the same time, as the two may work well to repair skin cells.
And if you want to maximize the benefits for your whole body, then consider taking a collagen protein supplement or a bone broth protein powder multiple times a day to spread out the amino acids for when they may be needed most.
Should You Take It On An Empty Stomach?
Yes, you should take collagen on an empty stomach. Your stomach takes a bit longer to break down and absorb proteins, so it is advised that you take your collagen without food.
The more stomach acid that is available to work on the collagen proteins, the faster you should be able to absorb it.
Moreover, according to a study published in the Food and Function journal, collagen is believed to support the strengthening and repair of the intestinal lining, which can be beneficial for those with digestive issues .
But if you tend to have a sensitive stomach, then you may want to consider taking collagen peptides just before a meal.
Can You Take It With Other Supplements?
Yes, you can take collagen with other supplements. In my professional practice, I've advised many clients to take collagen alongside other supplements. This combination has often resulted in enhanced overall health benefits.
Here are some of the most common pairings (except for the above-mentioned vitamin C):
- Hyaluronic Acid: Often teamed with collagen for skin health, hyaluronic acid boosts moisture retention, complementing collagen's role in skin elasticity and hydration.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fish oil supplements, omega-3s work with collagen to improve joint health and reduce inflammation. This combination is particularly beneficial for those with joint issues or athletes.
- Biotin: As a member of the vitamin B family, biotin amplifies the benefits of collagen for hair and nail health, promoting stronger nails and healthier hair.
- Calcium and Magnesium: Essential for bone health, these minerals, when paired with collagen, offer a comprehensive approach to maintaining bone density and strength, crucial for aging bodies.
- Protein Powder: Exercise caution when combining collagen with protein powders to avoid protein overload. A high intake of both can overwhelm stomach acid, potentially causing bloating and cramps. It's advisable to start with a lower dose of collagen when also consuming protein shakes, gradually increasing as your digestive system adapts.
For more detailed insights, refer to our post, 'Whey protein vs collagen.'
Therefore, always start with a smaller collagen dose or spread it out during the day, then gradually increase it as your body adjusts to the supplementation.
Why Must Collagen Be Taken at Night?
Collagen mustn't be taken at night, yet some people swear by taking collagen at night so your body has enough time to process the collagen while you sleep.
Do I Have to Take Collagen on an Empty Stomach?
No, you don't have to take collagen on an empty stomach. There is insufficient evidence to suggest taking collagen on an empty stomach is more effective than the alternative.
Is It Better to Take Collagen in the Morning or at Night?
It depends on your metabolism if it is better to take collagen in the morning or at night. In addition, you should experiment with both and select the option that yields the most significant benefits.
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