What to expect after taking collagen for a month
Collagen supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years, with claims that they can improve skin, hair, nails, joints, and more. But what really happens when you take collagen consistently for a month? Here's a detailed look at some of the changes you can expect to see.
- What is Collagen?
- What Happens in the First Month of Taking Collagen?
- What Kind of Collagen is Best?
- How Much Collagen Should You Take Daily?
- What to expect after taking collagen for a month. Conclusion
- Resources used to write this article
What is Collagen?
Before getting into the effects of taking it, let's briefly go over what collagen actually is. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up about 30% of our total protein content. It's found throughout the body, but is particularly high in connective tissues such as skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, and the digestive system.
Collagen gives skin its structure and strength. It's also what helps keep joints lubricated and cushioned. But as we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen, leading to signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging skin, brittle nails, stiff joints, and weakened bones and muscles. This is where consuming supplemental collagen may help.
What Happens in the First Month of Taking Collagen?
Now let's get into the changes you can expect to see after consistently taking collagen supplements for a month. Here are some of the top effects:
1. Improved Skin Hydration and Appearance
One of the most noticeable effects of taking collagen is an improvement in skin's moisture levels and appearance. Collagen helps attract and bind moisture into the skin, leaving it looking plumper and more hydrated.
In the first month, you may notice:
- Increased skin elasticity and reduced appearance of fine lines/wrinkles
- Firmer, more toned skin texture and smoothness
- More even skin tone and reduced redness
- Less dryness, flaking, or itching
These skin benefits are likely due to collagen supplements' ability to stimulate your fibroblasts - the cells that produce your natural collagen. This ramps up collagen production in the skin.
2. Hair and Nails May Get Stronger
Collagen is not only great for your skin. It also promotes keratin production, which is what your hair and nails are made of.
After a month, you may see:
- More shine and luster to your hair
- Faster hair growth
- Reduced hair breakage and split ends
- Stronger, less brittle nails
- Faster nail growth
The amino acids in collagen, particularly cysteine and methionine, bolster production of keratin. This leads to improved strength and resilience for hair and nails.
3. Joints May Feel Relief
Collagen is extremely concentrated in the connective tissues around joints and bones. Taking supplements may help:
- Increase collagen density in cartilage and tendons
- Reduce inflammation and pain
- Improve joint lubrication
- Support bone mineral density
These joint and bone benefits kick in because consuming extra collagen provides the raw materials for your cells to produce more structural collagen and proteoglycans (fluid-retaining molecules) around joints.
You may notice improved flexibility, less cracking/popping, and ability to be more active without joint discomfort after taking collagen for a month. Those with arthritis often report significant reductions in pain as well.
4. Muscles May Get Some Support Too
While not studied as much as benefits for joints and skin, early research shows collagen can also help improve muscle mass and function. After a month, you may see:
- Improved stamina and endurance
- Faster recovery from exercise
- Increased lean muscle mass
- Reduced muscle loss from aging
These muscle and performance benefits likely come from collagen's ability to regulate production of proteins like creatine and L-carnitine that are vital for muscle metabolism and repair. It also reduces inflammation from exercise.
5. May Support Heart Health
Emerging research shows collagen may support cardiovascular health in several ways:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving artery flexibility and strength
- Reducing risk of atherosclerosis
- Thwarting plaque buildup
- Easing vascular inflammation
Though research is still early on collagen and heart health, these preliminary findings show promise. More studies are underway.
6. Helps Improve Gut Barrier Function
Collagen contains the amino acids glycine and glutamine, which help repair the stomach lining and strengthen the gut barrier. Taking collagen may help:
- Heal leaky gut
- Reduce inflammation
- Relieve digestive symptoms
- Restore healthy gut bacteria
One month of collagen supplementation may improve gut-related issues like bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, and food sensitivities. For continued benefits, most experts recommend taking collagen for at least 3-6 months.
What Kind of Collagen is Best?
If you're ready to try out collagen supplements, you may be wondering what kind works best. Here's a quick breakdown:
- Bovine (cow) collagen: Very common, well-studied, and contains Types I & III collagen. Needs enzymes for absorption.
- Marine (fish) collagen: Best for Omega-3s. Contains Types I & V collagen. Easier to absorb.
- Egg shell membrane collagen: Contains Type I collagen plus hyaluronic acid. Also easy to absorb.
- Hydrolyzed collagen: Broken down for better digestibility and absorption. Works faster.
- Unflavored collagen peptides: Easier to add to foods and drinks without altering taste. Disperses well.
- Collagen protein powder: Flavored mixes for making shakes, smoothies, oats, baked goods etc.
Look for a reputable brand that sources quality ingredients and avoids unnecessary fillers. Third-party testing helps ensure purity and safety.
How Much Collagen Should You Take Daily?
Experts generally recommend 10-30 grams daily, or starting with at least 10 grams (two scoops) to notice results:
- 10 grams per day = Good for general wellness
- 20 grams per day = Shown effective in research for joint and skin benefits
- Up to 30 grams per day = Typically safe upper limit for most adults
Split your daily servings however you prefer - some take all at once, while others divide throughout the day. Listen to your body.
Stick with your dosage for at least one month for the best chance to see and feel subtle improvements in your hair, skin, nails, joints and more. Be patient and stay consistent!
What to expect after taking collagen for a month. Conclusion
After taking collagen consistently for one month, here are the top changes you can expect to see:
- More moisture and improved elasticity in your skin
- Possible reduction in lines, wrinkles and dryness
- Stronger, healthier hair and nails
- Relief of joint discomfort and improved flexibility
- Potential gains in muscle mass and cardiovascular health
- Enhanced gut barrier function and digestion
Stick to a daily serving of a high quality bovine, marine or egg shell collagen supplement. Look for beneficial ingredients like hyaluronic acid as well. Within your first month, you should notice benefits in skin, hair growth, joints, nails, and potentially muscles, heart health and digestion. Keep up your regimen for 3-6 months to experience the full, accumulative effects.
Resources used to write this article
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