Are you worried about premature wrinkles or thinning hair? Is the possibility of weak bones keeping you up at night? Well, these are the inevitable signs of aging, aren’t they? But what if you can reduce or even postpone them? The antidote to the aging signs, as some experts call it, is liquid collagen. This new-age supplement is all the rage now. Including it in your daily routine is thought to improve your skin and hair health and strengthen your bones and muscles. But does liquid collagen really live up to its hype?
In this article, we discuss liquid collagen, its benefits, and the risk factors you need to be aware of. Keep reading to make an informed choice.
In This Article
What Is Liquid Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that provides structure to tissues and helps in the development of organs. It also helps in wound and tissue healing. Collagen also helps repair cornea, gums, scalp, bones, and blood vessels (1). It accounts for around 30% of the body’s total protein mass (2).
The skin contains collagen types I, II, and III. These enhance skin strength and elasticity. The body begins to lose collagen between 18 to 29 years of age. It can lose around 1% of collagen every year from 40 years of age. At around 80 years, collagen production can decrease 75% when compared to that of young adults (1).
Some people take collagen supplements like peptides, protein powder, pills, and collagen water. Collagen water contains collagen peptides that are broken down into smaller elements for easy absorption. The water is made from the connective tissues of animals, and most of it is purified water. You get collagen water in the form of pre-made drinks or smoothies. Read to find out the different types of liquid collagen and their sources.
Sources And Types Of Liquid Collagen
The main sources of liquid collagen are bovine and porcine byproducts. The human body can absorb these tissues easily (1). Other common sources include:
Once collagen is extracted from the source, it is converted into a powder for supplementation. This is mixed with water or other beverages as liquid collagen.
According to Heather Hanks, a nutritionist, “Liquid collagen tends to be more readily absorbed than other supplements because it’s already partially broken down.”
You can get pre-made collagen drinks or include them in your smoothies or soups. The liquid collagen products are sold in the form of shots, vials, and smoothies.
Most collagen products are ready-made drinks containing 10 to 15 grams of collagen with fruit juice added as a sweetener. People prefer such flavored liquid collagen to avoid processed sugars.
Hanks asks to avoid liquid collagen products added with unhealthy additives like sugars, artificial sweeteners, and other unhealthy additives. “Manufacturers know that since you’ll be drinking it straight, many people will want it to taste good. Look for one that contains collagen suspended in purified water and not much else,” she adds.
If you choose the right form of liquid collagen, you can avail the various benefits it provides. Let us understand more about these in the next section.
What Are The Benefits Of Liquid Collagen?
Liquid collagen is reported to have several benefits. However, it is not backed by extensive research. But a study suggests that oral supplementation of hydrolyzed collagen has the following benefits (1):
- Improves skin hydration and maintains moisture.
- Reduces aging signs.
- Improves dermal thickness and skin elasticity.
- Improves skin texture.
- Rejuvenates skin cells.
- Maintains bone and joint health.
Collagen also helps improve the health of teeth and nails. According to a study, daily intake of collagen supplements may increase nail growth and decrease nail breakage (3).
Collagen may also improve bone mineral density and positively affect osteoporosis and osteoarthritis (4).
In another study, daily consumption of collagen peptides was found to increase hair cell growth and thickness. However, these tests did not involve products found in regular stores (5).
Research on collagen supplements demonstrates positive effects on skin, nails, bone, and hair. But there is a need for more research on the benefits of liquid collagen.
Since there are no specific studies on the safety and effectiveness of liquid collagen, you must be cautious while using its products.
Side Effects And Risks Of Using Liquid Collagen
Collagen supplements can cause allergies. Avoid marine collagen if you are allergic to marine products. It may otherwise cause anaphylaxis (6). Always read the ingredient labels to know the source of your collagen supplement.
You must ensure a healthy lifestyle along with collagen supplements. Activities like smoking, sunbathing, and excess sugar and alcohol consumption can damage the collagen in your body. Caffeine reduces collagen synthesis on your skin (7). Hence, mixing liquid collagen with coffee may not be a good way to have it.
Apart from the side effects, there are a few risk factors associated with liquid collagen.
Manufacturers do not have to prove the efficacy of collagen supplements as the US Food and Drug Administration regulates dietary supplements as food products (6). This may lead to many other issues where companies may sell collagen supplements from unsafe sources, mix prescription drugs into beauty supplements for better results, or list the ingredients inaccurately. In addition, liquid collagen supplements may also contain vitamins, minerals, or herbs that may cause toxicity at high doses.
Purchase liquid collagen supplements that have undergone third-party testing to ensure safety and efficacy. Your doctor may also be able to direct you regarding the ingredients and their side effects.
Liquid collagen is a collagen supplement suspended in purified water. It helps improve skin, hair, nail, and bone strength. It also plays an important role in wound healing and tissue repair. Since collagen production decreases over time, you may have to take liquid collagen to compensate for the loss. Though collagen supplements have several benefits, there is no specific study on liquid collagen’s efficacy. Seek your doctor’s help if you want to use it as a supplement.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is collagen better in powder or liquid form?
Liquid collagen supplements have a smaller molecular structure than those in the powder form. They are easily absorbed and fewer nutrients get destroyed in the gut. Hence, liquid collagen could be better than a powder supplement.
- Collagen water has connective tissues of animals and purified water.
- Liquid collagen reduces the signs of aging, improves skin texture, and manages bone and skin health.
- It is available in the form of health drinks and smoothies.
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- Hydrolyzed Collagen—Sources and Applications
- Beneficial effects of food supplements based on hydrolyzed collagen for skin care (Review)
- Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails
- Collagen supplementation as a complementary therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: a systematic review
- The oral intake of specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides has a positive effect on hair thickness
- Risks of Skin Hair and Nail Supplements
- Influence of caffeine and hyaluronic acid on collagen biosynthesis in human skin fibroblasts