Collagen has grown in popularity in recent years as its many benefits for skin, hair, joints, and more have come to light. If you are considering collagen supplementation yourself, you may be wondering: “How long does it take for collagen supplements to work?”
The answer to the question: “How long should I take collagen supplements?” will differ from person to person. It may depend on a number of factors, such as the results you hope to achieve, the type of collagen supplement you are taking, and underlying conditions.
Knowing the ins and outs of what you’re taking helps ensure you get the best results possible, so today we’ll answer questions on how to tell if your collagen supplement is high-quality, and when to stop taking collagen if it isn’t working for you.
We’ll also cover the various benefits of collagen, and how long it takes for collagen supplements to work for each of them.
What are the benefits of taking collagen?
Our bodies naturally produce collagen, but as we age, the amount of collagen our bodies make decreases. When our bodies produce less collagen, it results in wrinkles, creaky and painful joints, sagging skin, and other potential issues.
For this reason, many people turn to collagen supplements for help. There are various proven benefits associated with taking collagen, including (but not limited to):
Increased muscle mass
Collagen may promote the synthesis of muscle proteins and stimulate muscle growth after exercise. In a small study, men who took collagen daily while participating in an exercise program gained more muscle mass than those who participated without taking collagen.
Boosted metabolism and energy
For those looking to boost their metabolism and energy levels, collagen may be a great solution. Collagen may help increase your metabolism by stimulating muscle mass growth and helping to convert essential nutrients.
Collagen has also been shown to help with energy levels, mood, and appetite.
Better joint health
Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage which protects your joints. Studies have shown that collagen for joints may help improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce overall joint pain.
An increase in protein intake, such as collagen protein, may help with weight loss. That’s because protein increases feelings of satiety, helping you go longer between meals.
Hair is made up of the protein keratin and structural lipids, and for the body to build keratin, it needs amino acids. Collagen peptides can provide the body with those needed amino acids, so experts believe collagen may help aid hair growth and combat hair loss as well.
Increased skin elasticity
Collagen plays an essential role in strengthening and hydrating your skin. As you age and your body produces less collagen, your skin may start to lose elasticity and be prone to wrinkles.
Fortunately, research has shown that collagen peptides may support skin elasticity and dermal collagen density. Collagen promotes your body’s natural production of collagen and elastin in your skin, and taking vitamin C and collagen may help keep your skin hydrated and fresh.
When it comes to collagen for gut health and digestion, research has found that people with digestive issues tend to have low blood levels of certain types of collagen.
L-glutamate, one of the main amino acids in collagen, helps reduce oxidative stress in intestines, and helps support digestive and gut health. Collagen also contains proline and glycine, which our gut lining uses for energy and to manage inflammation.
Better cardiovascular health
Without collagen, arteries may become less flexible and elastic, leading to atherosclerosis, heart attack, or stroke. Collagen provides structure to the arteries and may help improve blood flow and reduce the risk of heart conditions.
Improved brain health
Not only does collagen help support digestion, improve cardiovascular health and promote hair growth, but it is also a recommended supplement for mental health. One-third of collagen is composed of glycine, an amino acid essential for brain health.
Glycine may improve mental disorder symptoms and increase cognitive performance - making it an effective supplement for mental health.
Increased liver protection
The last benefit we’ll get into before discussing how long it takes for collagen supplements to work is collagen's effect on the liver. Glycine helps promote liver health as well as brain health, and may help repair liver damage and protect your liver from toxins.
Now that you know some of the amazing benefits of collagen supplementation, let’s answer the question: “How long should I take collagen supplements until I see results?”
How long does it take for collagen supplements to work?
When taking a collagen supplement, it’s natural to want results quickly. But how long it takes for collagen supplements to work depends greatly on what results you are hoping for! Here is a summary of what the most current research suggests for result timeframes.
How long does it take for collagen supplements to work on muscles?
How long it takes for collagen supplements to work on the muscles depends on the intended results of the collagen. According to the study discussed on the benefits of collagen for muscle mass, it may take up to four weeks to see results.
How long does it take for collagen supplements to work on joints?
For those looking for joint support, it may take anywhere from 12 weeks to six months to notice results from taking collagen supplements. One study found a positive impact on joint mobility in participants in 12 weeks.
For overall joint support, studies suggest that it will take longer for collagen to work. A study found that patients noticed enhanced overall joint health at six months.
How long does it take for collagen supplements to work with weight loss?
How long does it take for collagen supplements to work with weight loss? This depends on your age, metabolism, caloric needs, and caloric intake.
A study from the Department of Human Nutrition in Copenhagen, Denmark, found that out of 65 obese subjects, the ones that ate a high-protein/low-fat diet lost 3.3 kg (7.27 lbs) more than those that ate a high-carb/low-fat diet.
How long does it take for collagen supplements to work on skin/aging?
How long it takes for collagen supplements to work on skin/aging is about 12 weeks. A study found that participants experienced smoother skin texture (hydration, wrinkles, and skin elasticity) at six and 12 weeks, with more significant results appearing at the 12-week mark.
You can expect a similar timeline for how long it takes for collagen supplements to work for hair loss, since the skin and hair are intrinsically connected.
How long does it take for collagen supplements to work on digestion?
If you are having digestive issues due to inflammation or damage, collagen supplementation can heal smooth tissue cells in your digestive tract in 8-12 weeks’ time.
Of course, the exact timeline of how long it takes for collagen supplements to work will depend on a number of external (and internal) factors.
Factors on how long it takes for collagen to work
Certain factors will affect how long it takes for collagen supplements to work, including:
To see full results from collagen, it’s important to take the proper dosage each day. If you’re just starting collagen supplements, you may be wondering: “How much collagen should I take?”
It’s recommended that you look for a collagen supplement with 5 to 15 grams of collagen and take the collagen as instructed on the label. If you don’t notice any results by the three-month mark, that is when to stop taking collagen.
Another factor that may affect how long it takes for collagen supplements to work is diet. Collagen is not a complete protein. The difference between complete and incomplete proteins is that incomplete proteins do not contain all nine essential amino acids.
Because of this, collagen should be considered complementary to a diet full of healthy proteins. Additionally, you can also look for a collagen supplement that has been fortified with the necessary amino acids to make it a complete protein.
Type of collagen
Different types of collagen can affect how long it takes for collagen supplements to work. They will also each have various functions for the body, so it’s important to choose the collagen that is right for your needs.
If you are looking to improve your joint health, you should look for type II collagen. For gut, skin, and full-body health benefits, collagen types I and III are best.
In addition, you should make sure you are using hydrolyzed collagen, also known as “collagen peptides.” Hydrolyzed collagen has been broken down into easy to digest pieces so you can get the most out of your supplement.
If you’re wondering: “How long should I take collagen supplements? It’s been four months and I don’t see a difference.” That's when to stop taking collagen and check that the brand and type of collagen is best for you.
When taking the right type of collagen from a trusted company, you SHOULD be seeing results by the three-month mark at least.
Personal health and lifestyle
Since collagen should be considered an aid to a healthy diet and lifestyle, keeping healthy and active is important to get the best results from your collagen supplements. Your overall health should also be considered and may affect how long it takes for collagen supplements to work.
For example, if you are trying to take collagen to aid with wound healing, and you have diabetes, diabetes may slow wound healing and lengthen the timeline for seeing results.
Nano-hydrolyzed collagen: the fastest working collagen
If you understand the benefits of taking collagen supplements and want to see results, you should consider the type of collagen you take. As we said, how long it takes for collagen supplements to work depends on your dosage, diet, age, and type.
We believe the superior form of collagen is actually nano-hydrolyzed collagen. This is collagen that has been hydrolyzed more than once to make it fully digestible in just 15 minutes or less.
ProT Gold uses nano-hydrolyzed collagen in a trusted, medical-grade formula. Using fruit enzymes to break collagen molecules down to 1% of their original size, ProT Gold has created an easily digestible and bioavailable form of this versatile and healing supplement.
Fortified to be a complete protein, and with ZERO sugar, fat, or carbs, ProT Gold is trusted by nearly 4,000 medical facilities for daily nutrition.