Collagen is a widely used supplement for post surgery recovery and medical nutrition therapy. If you’ve been prescribed a collagen supplement after a surgery, you may be asking yourself: Since collagen is so nutrient dense, does collagen make you gain weight?
This is an excellent question, especially since collagen can also be used to help treat things like malnutrition and even help you gain and maintain lean muscle mass. It is important to recognize that when we talk about “weight,” most of the time we are talking about your entire body weight.
However, when we “gain weight” we often associate that with the loss of muscle and the gaining of fat. The thing is, muscle weighs more than fat! So, the more muscle you have, the more you’re likely to weigh, even if you don’t have much fat on your body.
So, let’s keep in mind in order to answer the question: does collagen make you gain weight? We are going to look at it more through the lens of gaining fat or moving into an unhealthy body balance of fat and muscle compared to your weight before surgery.
In this article, we not only will answer your post surgery questions about if collagen makes you gain weight, we will also look at some of the reasons why you may be gaining weight after a surgery that have nothing to do with your diet.
Collagen as medical nutrition
Why is collagen used post surgery or as medical nutrition?
High-quality liquid collagen supplements like ProT Gold are trusted by thousands of medical facilities as medical nutrition. They are often used to help patients recover more quickly after an operation.
Within the realm of medical nutrition though, collagen peptides may be used for a variety of wound treatments beyond post surgery recovery.
Collagen peptides (also known as hydrolyzed collagen) are often used post surgery because of their proven ability to help your body heal wounds at a faster rate.
Your body makes collagen protein naturally, but as you age, collagen synthesis slows down. That’s why you may have noticed that a cut that would have healed in a matter of days when you were a teen now takes a week or more in your 40s.
While there may be other factors involved, a part of the reason this happens is because when your natural collagen production slows, your body no longer has as much to distribute to non-vital systems.
Collagen is the most prolific protein in the human body. It helps to make up your connective tissues like muscles, tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, organ tissue, and more.
As your body ages and your collagen production slows, your body naturally begins to allot less collagen to regions like skin and joint structures. That’s because more is needed to keep up your vital organs and other crucial processes.
While some naturally produced collagen may be able to be provided for wound healing, after a surgery, your body has gone through a trauma and there is a wound it must heal.
In order for your body to have enough of the right tools to do this, taking a collagen supplement may help.
Since a collagen supplement like ProT Gold is fortified to be a complete protein and is nano-hydrolyzed for easy absorption, your body can take the amino acids and turn them into new collagen modules.
With the extra collagen protein, your body is better equipped to send enough collagen to the wound location so it can heal at a more efficient rate.
How much collagen you take and how long you take it post surgery will depend on your age, biological gender, weight, and other health factors. These decisions should be made with the guidance of a nutritional health professional.
So now that you have a basic understanding of why collagen might be prescribed post surgery, it’s time to answer that question: does collagen make you gain weight?
Does collagen make you gain weight after surgery?
To answer the question of whether or not collagen makes you gain weight after surgery, we first need to look at why you were encouraged to add a collagen supplement to your post surgery diet.
Are you an older adult that needs more supplementation with protein to help you regain muscle mass around an injury?
Was collagen supplementation meant to only help your surgical wound heal?
Do you need help maintaining a healthy weight because of health conditions?
These are the types of questions that you should attempt to answer with your doctor, especially if you are concerned about gaining weight or are hoping that collagen does make you gain weight.
It is difficult to answer the question: does collagen make you gain weight? That’s because sometimes collagen does make you gain weight, and sometimes collagen doesn’t make you gain weight - it can help you lose it.
How can one supplement do both?
That all boils down to the application of the supplement use and how much of it you are consuming. The thing is, you can consume enough collagen protein that your collagen does make you gain weight.
This is especially true if you are someone that is underweight or malnourished, because your body is going to take the nutrient-dense collagen supplement and apply all of it that it can.
However, if you are someone that struggles with weight loss and needs a higher protein intake in order to build lean muscle and lose fat, collagen might still help you reach those goals. Just because collagen makes you gain weight doesn’t mean you are gaining weight from fat.
How much collagen you take is essentially what will determine if collagen makes you gain weight or lose weight. Other lifestyle factors like your diet, daily habits, and physical activity all impact how collagen interacts with your body as well.
Now, you may think this already sounds complicated and nuanced, but there are even more reasons why it’s difficult to answer the question: does collagen make you gain weight?
There are some other health factors post surgery that can throw off digestion, and the combination of those health changes and a collagen supplement may mean that collagen does make you gain weight.
It is possible that collagen does make you gain weight post surgery if:
You are experiencing potential collagen side effects when mixed with certain medications.
- You are not able to move or exercise as often because of bed rest required (and you are consuming more calories).
Your eating habits have changed and the use of collagen supplements is not paired with a healthy diet.
Your thyroid was impacted by the surgery, making it hard to know if collagen makes you gain weight or if it is hyperthyroidism.
Your body is having a hard time managing inflammation and water retention, causing weight gain.
- You are restoring to comfort foods to ease the stress and boredom of being bedridden post surgery.
As you can see, if your body is already at a healthy weight, usually collagen doesn’t make you gain weight on it’s own. It requires some outlying factors. It’s important to consult with your doctor about how much collagen you should be taking, and what your goals are post surgery.
If you are experiencing an excessive amount of weight gain post surgery and you aren’t sure why, then it may be due to a medical concern like hyperthyroidism and it should be addressed with your doctor.
Collagen benefits in a post surgery diet
There’s a wide variety of potential post surgery collagen benefits, but how collagen benefits you may be different than how it benefits someone else. That’s because different dietary nutrition needs, the type of wound that needs healing, and other health conditions all play a role.
Knowing how much collagen to use post surgery should be determined with a medical nutritionist and adjusted as needed throughout your post surgery treatment.
If you are not seeing the results expected, if you are experiencing weight gain, or if other complications arise during your recovery, then it may be time to restructure a treatment plan.
Whether you’re working through a hip surgery recovery, shoulder surgery recovery, or even a hysterectomy recovery, there are many potential collagen benefits.
Potential collagen benefits post surgery include that:
Collagen supplementation may help you build and maintain lean muscle mass.
Collagen supplementation may help your body synthesize collagen naturally.
Collagen supplementation may help you maintain a healthy weight if dosed properly and paired with an appropriate lifestyle.
Collagen may provide your body with the essential amino acids needed to speed up wound healing and recovery.
- Collagen may help strengthen joint structures and other connective tissues in your body.
Just as the amount of collagen you take can impact the effectiveness, the quality of the collagen supplement should also be in question.
How to find the top quality collagen for post surgery recovery
When looking for the most beneficial collagen for wound healing, look for one that is easily absorbable and uses quality ingredients (no fillers or additives).
Fillers in some supplements may also influence your weight, especially if they contain a high level of added sugars or unhealthy fats. If you consume a collagen supplement with lots of added sugar, there will be a greater chance that collagen does make you gain weight.
Absorption rate also plays a major role in whether a collagen supplement will benefit you or not.
When collagen is in the whole form, the molecule size is too large for you to fully absorb and digest. If your collagen supplement uses collagen in the whole form, you’ll likely end up passing most of the nutrients you want because your body cannot digest or absorb the amino acids.
Look for collagen that is labeled as collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, or nano-hydrolyzed collagen. This means that the collagen molecules have been put through the process of hydrolysis.
During hydrolysis, the collagen molecules are broken down into smaller, more digestible molecules with water. When collagen is nano-hydrolyzed, it means that it has gone through hydrolysis more than once and is even easier to digest.
Most supplements are regulated differently than our food is, making it somewhat difficult to tell which is a reputable supplement company or not. That’s why we are proud that ProT Gold is actually a medical food that is regulated and tested as thoroughly as the food you eat each day.
ProT Gold is trusted by 3,000+ medical facilities for use as medical nutrition therapy because of its effectiveness as shown in numerous case studies specifically for wound healing.
So, does collagen make you gain weight? Yes, in some circumstances - because sometimes it is intended to help you gain weight. It can be used to treat malnutrition and bring you up to a healthy weight. But it can also help you maintain weight, or even lose weight!
Collagen is a diverse supplement when used properly and with intention. Work with your medical nutrition therapist after your surgery to make sure you get the most out of your collagen supplement, and try ProT Gold as a part of your post surgery diet treatment plan.