The idea of drinking liquid collagen drinks every day to prevent aging and look younger has gained a lot of attention lately. Some of it, though, is just hype and marketing. Read on to learn what liquid collagen can and cannot do to combat skin aging.
Collagen is a protein that provides structure to the skin to keep it looking youthful.
Liquid collagen is a pre-made beverage that consists of hydrolyzed (pieces of) collagen mixed with water or juice, which has better bioavailability than collagen powders.
There is not abundant research to support the use of liquid collagen for skin and anti-aging benefits, but preliminary results are promising.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that your body manufactures from amino acid building blocks such as glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. It gives structure and elasticity to various tissues in the body, like skin, blood vessels, organs, tendons, and joints. There are 28 different types of collagen in the human body, with Type 1 being the most abundant.
The continual manufacture of collagen keeps our skin looking young. However, certain forces work to break down our collagen and give us an aged appearance. These forces include the sun, pollution, smoking, alcohol, sleep deprivation, a poor diet, and the normal aging process. While some of these are controllable and preventable, others, like normal aging, are not.
What is liquid collagen?
Pre-made liquid collagen drinks consist of hydrolyzed collagen suspended in liquid, like water or juice. Hydrolyzed collagen is collagen broken down into smaller pieces or peptides to make it easier for the body to absorb. In general, liquid collagen has more bioavailability than collagen powder, allowing more of it to be absorbed. Liquid collagen is available in bottles and single-serving packets.
The best sources of collagen in pre-made drinks come from beef pig, chicken, and marine sources. When looking for the right collagen drink, be sure to check sourcing. Other collagen sources might not be absorbed by the body well enough to be of any assistance. The best collagen peptides are hydroxyprolylglycine and prolyhydroxyprolline; look for these on the label as well. Collagen types 1-3 can benefit the skin.
Benefits of liquid collagen
While preliminary small studies show some benefits to collagen supplementation for anti-aging, there is a lack of good evidence from larger randomized controlled trials. Although this evidence is encouraging, more study is required. The smaller studies did show some benefits from collagen.
The benefits of liquid collagen may include:
- Decreasing wrinkles
- Maintain moisture in the skin
- Decreasing pigmentation
- Increasing elasticity
- Improving skin texture
- Increasing skin thickness
- Enhancing wound healing
- Increasing hair and nail growth
How long until I see the results from liquid collagen?
You will not be able to see the results from liquid collagen immediately. It takes time to see visible results on your skin, so be patient. Some report the benefits of liquid collagen in 4 weeks; however, it takes most people 8-12 weeks after daily consumption. You may also discover an improvement in your joints, muscles, and bones.
Other supplements you can take with liquid collagen for better results
There are several other supplements you can take with liquid collagen that may help enhance your results. There are no studies that conclusively prove this, though. You may want to consider taking vitamin C, zinc, and copper, which aid in collagen production. Amino acids and protein powder also help support collagen. Antioxidants are essential to prevent collagen destruction by free radicals emitted from the sun.
Natural sources of collagen
If you are reluctant to try store-bought collagen products, there are natural sources of collagen that you can add to your diet. Natural sources may not deliver the same dose as store-bought products. These include beef, chicken, pork, eggs, dairy, seaweed, and salmon, to name a few. Talk to your doctor about how to augment your diet with natural sources of collagen.
Ways to preserve your skin's collagen
Often, it is simpler to stop collagen deterioration than to try to boost collagen synthesis. The generation of collagen is crucial for preserving a youthful appearance. Taking good care of your body and skin is crucial for anti-aging. While some causes of decreased collagen production or collagen destruction, such as the natural aging process, are unavoidable, some can be avoided.
Here are some tips for preventing collagen destruction:
- Daily sunscreen and sun protection
- Avoid smoking
- Do not consume excess amounts of alcohol
- Get plenty of sleep (8 hours)
- Eat a good, well-balanced diet that is low in sugar and high in protein and antioxidants
- Avoid pollution
- Use proven anti-aging products, like antioxidants and retinoids
Side effects of liquid collagen supplements
Liquid collagen is generally well-tolerated and has few side effects. Make sure you use the product according to the recommended dosage as indicated on the label. Always look for products that have third-party testing to ensure quality. Before starting any new products, be sure to check with your doctor first.
Possible side effects are:
- Kidney problems
- Allergic reactions
- Toxicity from added substances due to lack of regulation in the supplement industry
Although there is not a lot of solid evidence to back up liquid collagen supplementation, the initial results seem encouraging. Check your products for third-party testing and ensure the collagen type and source are the best for your body. Talk to your doctor first about starting liquid collagen to ensure it is right for you.
Does liquid collagen improve skin?
Yes, small preliminary studies show some benefits to consuming daily collagen supplements. It demonstrated a decrease in wrinkles and pigmentation while improving the hydration, elasticity, and texture of the skin. However, more research is needed.
Is it okay to take liquid collagen every day?
Yes, liquid collagen is usually well-tolerated by most people. It has few side effects. However, it is best to check with your doctor first to ensure liquid collagen supplements are right for you.
Is liquid collagen better than powder?
Yes, liquid collagen is better absorbed than collagen pills or powders. Your body will be able to use more of the hydrolyzed collagen from the pre-made liquid collagen drinks, so you will get better results. The only downside is that pills and powders are more easily transported than collagen beverages.
- Nutrients. Effects of a Combination of Water-Soluble CoenzymeQ10 and Collagen on Skin Parameters and Condition: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Study.
- Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Quality attributes of partially hydrolyzed collagen in a liquid formulation used for skin care.
- Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. An Insight into the Changes in Skin Texture and Properties Following Dietary Intervention with a Nutricosmeceutical Containing a Blend of Collagen Bioactive Peptides and Antioxidants.