Vitamin C and collagen are a biochemical one-two punch. They are the foundation of many health processes, from swift wound healing, to skin elasticity, to well-cushioned joints. If you’ve asked yourself, “can I take collagen and vitamin C together?”, the answer is a resounding “YES.”
To fully enjoy the benefits of collagen, ensuring you reach the daily recommended levels of vitamin C is also a must.
Why is that?
You see, vitamin C is a vital component in collagen synthesis, so vitamin C and collagen are a powerful pair of nutritional agents. But before we look at the benefits of vitamin C and collagen as a union, let’s investigate them as individuals to learn each of their attributes and characteristics a little better.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is the more common term for ascorbic acid. Don’t let the word ‘acid’ scare you; ascorbic acid is not only safe, it is a necessary part of a human diet.
Vitamin C is a water soluble compound. While one of its principal functions is assisting in collagen synthesis, it also synthesizes neurotransmitters and boosts proteins all over the body, bolstering your organs and immune system.
Vitamin C is also revered because of its status as a powerful physiological antioxidant. Studies have proven that vitamin C not only has antioxidant properties in and of itself, but also regenerates other antioxidants in the body.
Antioxidants help to dispose of denatured or decomposing cells in a safe way, preventing them from sticking around past their use-by date and potentially becoming cancerous.
In other words, vitamin C's importance in our diets cannot be overstated. That’s especially true since we cannot make any vitamin C ourselves.
Every trace of vitamin C in your body right now was ingested via the food you’ve eaten or the supplements you’ve taken.
Interestingly, this isn’t true for all the animal kingdom. Most animals are able to access vitamin C from any glucose source, because they have special enzymes that can synthesize glucose in this way.
Humans belong to a minority group that cannot create vitamin C - a group which also includes primates, bats, and capybaras. That’s right, you have one more thing in common with a capybara than you thought.
Since vitamin C is so important for your health, and you can’t create it on your own, it’s best to understand how to get this crucial vitamin in your diet.
Great sources of vitamin C
Fortunately, vitamin C isn’t hard to find in food. Fruit and vegetables should be the starting point for anyone trying to add a little more vitamin C to their diet. Citrus fruits are often touted, and with good reason, but look for a variety of natural colors and eat locally where possible.
A small downside of many vitamin C sources is that they’re also high in sugar, which can cause instability in energy levels, or cause problems for people living with diabetes. But you’ll be happy to hear that not all vitamin C sources contain sugar.
In addition to citrus fruits, you can also get vitamin C from cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc.), tomatoes, and white potatoes. Bell peppers of all colors are also a great example of a non-sweet vitamin C source.
Another quick and convenient way to ensure your body is stocked with the vitamin C it needs is through supplementation. A wide variety of vitamin C tablets are available, but check the labels and make sure you’re using a brand that you trust.
How much vitamin C should I ingest per day?
Vitamin C is essential, but you don’t need all that much of it.
According to health guidelines, if you’re an adult male then 90mg is the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. If you’re an adult female, that allowance drops a little to 75mg - unless you’re pregnant, where the rate rises to between 85 and 120mg depending on lactation.
It should be mentioned that although there’s an important daily threshold for vitamin C, there is also an upper limit to it. After 2000mg of vitamin C, the body won’t accept it anymore. In this situation, the body will be forced to use up other precious biological resources to excrete it from the body safely.
As with all dietary measures, checking with your doctor or nutritionist is a vital step in ensuring any transition your body undergoes. Any big changes in your vitamin C levels should be managed correctly to achieve the results that you are seeking for a healthier life.
Can I take collagen and vitamin C together?
Yes, there should be no issue in taking vitamin C and collagen at the same time. In fact, supplying the body with these important resources at the same time is the recommended way to make sure that they’re swiftly put to work in the body where needed.
Vitamin C is responsible for creating a strong core within a collagen protein, that’s what makes vitamin C and collagen such an important pairing. But what is collagen exactly, and why is it important to have both vitamin C and collagen in your diet?
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is found in so many places in the body because it provides attributes that almost all our cells need: strength, form, and elasticity.
Collagen is present in our skeletal system, and it’s also found lending tensile strength to organs, muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, and blood vessels. Consider it to be a major building block that scaffolds whatever it’s a part of, so more specialized cells have the space to go about their work.
Collagen fibers help to knit wounds together, and to keep your skin smooth and supple - but in order to synthesize collagen properly, there is something the body needs: vitamin C.
Vitamin C and collagen
The specific combination of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen molecules that make up vitamin C plug into the core of a collagen molecule as it is being synthesized. Collagen molecules being synthesized with a lack of vitamin C have weaker cores that cannot stand up the stresses placed on them.
Considering collagen’s abundance and importance, it’s vital that it has a strong, healthy core. A lack of vitamin C weakens and diminishes collagen and can lead to scurvy. Without vitamin C and collagen, the body won’t be able to upkeep itself anymore.
Scars may reopen, movement can become painful, and your teeth can even fall out! So as you see, vitamin C and collagen are both incredibly important to maintaining your health.
But how exactly do vitamin C and collagen work together to benefit your body? Let’s take a look at some of the potential health benefits of this important duo.
The benefits of vitamin C and collagen
Collagen and vitamin C work together at a wide variety of sites in the human body. Because vitamin C is needed to synthesize collagen, collagen benefits can often be viewed synonymously with “vitamin C and collagen benefits.”
So what are those benefits, exactly?
Benefits for skin
Vitamin C and collagen work together to lend elasticity to your skin. This elastic bounce-back effect to your skin may also reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Further, vitamin C’s antioxidant properties help to protect your skin against sun damage.
Benefits for wound healing
Whether big or small, the body reacts quickly to the presence of a cut or wound. Vitamin C and collagen play a part in that recovery effort.
The body reseals whatever separation was caused when the wound occurred using collagen fibers. While you are healing from a wound, you may wish to consider a protein surplus to ensure that your body has the materials it needs to build back strong.
Taking collagen as one of your daily supplements, and ensuring that you get a good daily dose of vitamin C too, could be a great way to speed up recovery times and get you back on your feet as soon as possible.
Benefits for injury prevention
What’s better than a supplement that aids wound recovery? The answer: a supplement that actively reduces the risk of injury in the first place. More and more endurance athletes are turning to collagen because they want to feel that their body is fully fueled for the long, rough road ahead.
Most injuries don’t affect the muscles; which are often strong and well conditioned. Injuries most often occur in tendons and ligaments that are put under too much stress from an external physical force.
The majority of the dry weight of tendons and ligaments is made up of collagen. The strong and flexible collagen fibers help these relatively small body parts withstand the pressures of the muscular and skeletal system they are part of. However, if the body is low on vitamin C and collagen, this could expose individuals to higher dangers of injuring themselves.
Taking vitamin C and collagen may help bolster the health of your connective tissues and protect you against injury.
Benefits for joint pain relief
If you experience chronic joint pain, collagen and vitamin C could be the shoulder, hip, or knee joint pain relief you’re looking for. Having a body that is well stocked with collagen means that the protein is on hand to replenish damaged ligaments and cartilage, providing your joints with ample cushion and protection.
Collagen makes up your articular cartilage, which is the tissue that covers the ends of your joint bones and allows them to move smoothly against one another. If your cartilage has broken down over time, you could end up with arthritis and uncomfortable joints.
Luckily, studies have shown that supplemental collagen, particularly Type II collagen, can help to regrow the cartilage in your joints - efficiently setting back the clock.
So now that you know some of the great benefits of vitamin C and collagen together, let’s discuss how you can get your daily value of collagen.
The best ways to get collagen in your diet
We’ve already discussed how to get vitamin C in your diet, as well as how much you should ingest, but what about collagen? If you’re asking: “How much collagen should I take?”, the answer is - up to 15mg of collagen a day.
It is for this reason that liquid collagen pouches like ProT Gold come in 15g doses - it’s one of the most convenient ways to get the correct amount of collagen in your diet.
Of course, it is entirely possible to get all the collagen and vitamin C you need from your diet. Collagen is found in the connective tissues of almost all animals - not just humans. That means you can increase your collagen intake through a number of animal products. It also means there is no such thing as vegan collagen.
If you want to get more collagen through food sources, some foods high in collagen include:
- Red meat
- Fish with the skin on
- Bone broth
Of course, it’s harder to digest protein molecules in their whole form, so you might not really be getting as much as you think out of collagen food sources. Much of the collagen protein will simply be passed through your digestive tract before being absorbed into your bloodstream.
That’s why we recommend a high-quality collagen supplement if you want to get the most out of the benefits of collagen. When choosing a collagen supplement, look for hydrolyzed or nano-hydrolyzed collagen. This means the molecules have been broken down into easy-to-digest pieces for you.
ProT Gold collagen supplements are nano-hydrolyzed and able to be fully digested in just 15 minutes or less. This helps you get your daily dose of collagen with surety.
When paired with proper vitamin C intake, ProT Gold collagen powder and liquid collagen pouches can help you add all the amazing benefits of vitamin C and collagen into your life.