Curious if liquid collagen really works? Unveil the truth behind the myths and misconceptions and uncover science-backed facts with senior research scientist Lauren Dewsbury.
Everyone seems to be touting the benefits of collagen supplementation and for good reason. The science into the benefits of collagen supplementation is growing exponentially and the results are very encouraging.
Still sceptical? Let’s take a quick recap on the science behind what collagen is, what is does, and whether it really works.
Collagen is a remarkable protein that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and vitality of our skin. As the most abundant protein found in our bodies, it acts as the "glue" that holds everything together. It provides structure and support for our skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Think of collagen as the building blocks that maintain the integrity and elasticity of these tissues.
For the skin. collagen acts like scaffolding, keeping it firm, supple, and youthful. As we age, our natural collagen production declines, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Collagen supplementation can enhance skin hydration, elasticity, and firmness, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and promoting a youthful, radiant glow. It can also contribute to the strength and resilience of our hair and nails, making them less prone to breakage and brittleness.
Beyond skin health, collagen supplementation also has benefits for:
- Gut health
- Supporting joint health Improving bone mineral density
- Enhancing body composition
- Promoting wound healing
You might have noticed a variety of different collagen supplements on the market now and have no idea which one is right for you. Typically, collagen supplements can come as powders that are mixed into drinks, capsules, gummies or as liquid collagen supplements that are ready to drink and can be consumed on the go.
Let’s double click on liquid collagen supplementation. Liquid collagen supplements are advantageous for several reasons:
- They are quick and easy to consume – no mixing required!
- They may include other active ingredients to enhance skin health
- Convenient format to support consistency in your beauty routine
- They taste delicious
But do liquid collagen supplements work in the same way as powders, gummies and capsules? Let’s take a deeper dive.
How long does liquid collagen take to work
Like most things, the way we respond to any supplement, including collagen supplementation will vary from person to person. There are several factors that can influence how long liquid collagen takes to work. These could be your lifestyle habits, diet, sun and UV exposure age and your goals with supplementation.
While tangible results are noticeable after 3 – 4 weeks of supplementation, collagen is not a quick fix. Collagen supplements work by helping to replenish the body’s collagen stores, a process which takes time. General recommendations are to take a liquid collagen supplement for at least 8 – 12 weeks consistently to get the maximum benefit from your investment. In clinical trials we see that results really begin to optimise around the 8-week mark and continue to improve by 12 weeks and beyond.
Vida Glow’s Collagen Liquid Advance is a liquid collagen supplement that works to deliver visible results in 4 weeks, with even better results at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and long-term.
Does liquid collagen work for skin
Skin-related benefits of collagen supplementation are among the most heavily studied. Several clinical trials show that hydration, elasticity, and a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is significantly improved compared to placebo after 8 weeks of supplementation. In addition, most of these trials are using a liquid collagen format so we can feel confident that liquid collagen works for skin.
Liquid collagen absorption
Let’s talk about liquid collagen absorption. Once we take our collagen, it makes its way through our digestive tract and is absorbed through the gut lining and into the bloodstream where it is distributed to tissues all throughout the body, including the deeper layers of the skin called the dermis.
The size of the collagen peptides will impact how well they can be absorbed. The bigger the molecules, the harder it will be for the body to absorb them effectively. The smaller the peptides (the lower their ‘molecular weight’) the more bioavailable they will be, meaning you will get maximum impact from your supplementation.
This is why it is so important to invest in a high-quality liquid collagen supplement that uses hydrolysed collagen peptides that your body can use.
What are the side effects of liquid collagen
Liquid collagen supplements are very safe and there are no anticipated side effects from taking them.
Of course, if you have any allergies, please keep this in mind when choosing a supplement that is right for you.
If you aren’t sure, it’s always best to discuss with your healthcare professional for advice that is tailored to you and your health needs.
Despite the increased awareness around collagen and the growing body of scientific evidence supporting the many health benefits of collagen supplementation, many myths and misconceptions still exist. Let’s touch on the key ones so you are empowered with all the knowledge you need to make an informed choice about whether liquid collagen supplementation is right for your beauty routine.
1. Collagen supplements can’t be absorbed.
Many people believe that collagen supplements don’t work as they cannot be absorbed by the body. This fact is true. We touched on this briefly earlier. Proteins are measured in Daltons (this is a unit of measurement in the same way kilograms or millilitres is). Collagen in its raw form is an exceptionally large molecule, coming in at around 300 000 Daltons. However, hydrolysation is a process that takes raw collagen and cuts it into smaller pieces called peptides which are much smaller, around 2000 Daltons (less than 1% of its original size!). Hydrolysed collagen peptides are highly bioavailable. Because of their small molecular weight, they can be easily absorbed through the gut and utilised by the body. It also means you need to take less to see results. Studies show that these collagen peptides can be detected in the blood after they are ingested (showing that they can be absorbed) and as little as 2.5g daily is all you need to see significant improvements to skin health. Again, it’s important to choose a brand using hydrolysed collagen peptides to ensure your body can use it.
2. Collagen supplements are a waste of money, just have more protein.
There is often confusion around whether collagen supplements are worth the investment and whether we should just consume more protein instead. Let's set the record straight and explore the key differences. While dietary protein is undoubtedly essential, collagen supplementation offers specific advantages for skin health due to its unique composition, rich in amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. These amino acids are the building blocks of collagen and are essential for collagen synthesis. Glycine aids in promoting collagen synthesis and supports wound healing, while proline and hydroxyproline contribute to the structural integrity of collagen fibres. Scientific evidence shows that peptides containing these three amino acids appear to have specific benefits on the skin above and beyond normal protein.
3. Collagen supplements are all the same.
Not all collagen supplements are created equally. In fact, there are many factors that can make or break your results. Here are some things to look for:
- Hydrolysed collagen is best absorbed. The molecular weight of the collagen will determine how well it is absorbed.
- Some research suggests that marine collagen is absorbed more effectively than other sources like porcine, chicken or bovine.
- Avoid collagen supplements with artificial sweeteners, fillers and preservatives.
- Look for products that have claims backed by science.
4. Collagen supplements don’t work.
The science begs to differ. Supplementing collagen stimulates cells called fibroblasts in the skin to produce more collagen and replete collagen stores. Several clinical trials have shown that consistent collagen supplementation over 8 – 12 weeks leads to significant improvements in elasticity, hydration, and fine lines and wrinkles compared to placebo. Liquid collagen supplementation offers a range of benefits for your skin, joints, hair, nails, and gut health. By replenishing collagen levels, you can prevent premature skin ageing and enjoy a more youthful and radiant glow. Embrace the power of collagen and unlock the secret to healthier, glowing skin.