Updated September 1, 2021
Dietary supplements can be tricky. They're supposed to make your life easier and provide health benefits, but sometimes they can be overwhelming and complicated. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what you should take, how you should take it, when you should take it, etc. and honestly, it can be exhausting just trying to keep up with the information! Doctors, nutritionists, and health experts can all have varying opinions when it comes to all the supplements out there.
A hugely popular supplement is collagen, which is available in several varieties and types. These include collagen powder, collagen protein, collagen pills, and more. Taking this could help you achieve glowing skin, better joint health, decrease signs of aging, and more. Your skin health is so important, and a daily dose of collagen could give you significant improvements, both internally and externally.
Something many people wonder while taking collagen (or any supplement, really) is whether or not they should take it on an empty stomach, or with food. Read on to learn more information about when you should take your collagen supplement.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is formed through chains of amino acids, such as proline and glycine, which are essential to collagen's formation. These amino acids are building blocks in our bodies. When we are younger, we produce and contain ample amounts of collagen, which is why kids and teens have such smooth, "baby-like" skin. As we age, collagen production steadily decreases throughout the years. In fact, after age 20, our production decreases by around 1% per year. This can lead to issues such as hair loss, poor gut health, lack of skin elasticity, joint pain, problems with your connective tissues, and more. Clearly, collagen plays a large role in our overall health and helps us maintain many aspects of our body.
The benefits of collagen as a supplement are numerous and can help counteract all of the previous issues we mentioned. Its biggest effects on the body are typically glowing skin, stronger hair and nails, and lessening of pain in the joints. This is also what makes it such a universal supplement: whether you're 20 and want to boost your natural glow, or 60 and want something to support your joints, collagen can help. Plus, there are no known side effects of taking collagen as a supplement. It's safe to try and so good for your body, both internally and externally. Oftentimes, people just turn to skincare for their skin issues. What many people don't realize is that most problems we have start from within the body. So while a vitamin C serum may address some concerns, it's better to increase the number of foods you eat that naturally contain vitamin C.
Something to keep in mind is that all collagen supplements are derived from animal skin, bones, and connective tissues, which means there are no vegan options available.
Do I have to take collagen on an empty stomach?
You don't have to take collagen on an empty stomach. However, some people may argue that you should. Taking the supplement in the form of hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides means it's broken down into tiny particles that are ready for absorption. So, it might make sense that you take it on an empty so there's nothing preventing your body from absorbing it. That being said, your body will still absorb the collagen you take with food or on a full stomach.
Can collagen be taken with food?
Yes! Collagen can be taken with food. Later in the article, we discuss the many ways you can take your collagen supplement, and many of them involve taking it with food in some capacity. Your stomach acid is powerful and can easily digest collagen and food simultaneously. Collagen supplementation is really something you can play around with and figure out what works for your own body.
Is there an optimal time of day to take collagen?
It depends- some people have better results in the morning, and others have better results at night. For example, collagen can help boost your energy, which is why it might make more sense to take when you wake up. However, there are many collagen products out there formulated to work while you sleep, with added herbs and things like melatonin. If you're just taking plain collagen, it typically makes the most sense to have it in the morning right when you wake up or with your breakfast. However, it certainly won't deplete the benefits of collagen if you take it in the evening. It's best to try the supplement at different times of the day and see how your body responds in order to figure out the optimal time to take it.
Collagen supplements to try:
Typically, collagen supplements come as a pill or powder. As a pill, you simply swallow them with any beverage. The powder form gives you some flexibility in how you take it. You can blend it into a smoothie, mix it into any beverage to make a collagen drink, put it in your morning coffee, or even add it into healthy snacks and baked goods. You could also make homemade bone broth (which is already packed with collagen) and add your unflavored supplement to that. Your options are pretty endless and you can get creative on how you consume the powder form of the supplement. That being said, getting creative does mean more work.
A good option for those who are looking for meal replacements, quick snacks on-the-go, or just something simple and easy, our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars are a great option for you. They are formulated with wild-caught, hydrolyzed marine collagen. This means the collagen is broken down into smaller particles. By having it in this form, your body can absorb it quickly.
Marine collagen is also the most bioavailable when it comes to all the types of collagen available, which simply means it will absorb the fastest. Not only are our bars good for beauty boosting (hello, glowing skin), they also work to give your body energy, keep it full, and provide nutrients and vitamins. They contain 11-13 grams of protein and 8 grams of collagen. Other ingredients include sweet potato, cocoa butter, and nut butters. No matter your reason for taking collagen, our bars have you covered.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA.