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Last modified on January 22nd, 2023
You may be aware of some benefits if you’ve heard about the trend of using collagen protein. You may also wonder how collagen helps you lose weight. There are a few key ways it can help you lose weight. These include:
- Collagen can help you feel fuller, so you might eat less.
- Using a supplement can help you avoid injuries, aches, and pains that could prevent you from working out.
- Taking a collagen supplement like bone broth collagen or hydrolyzed collagen may help reduce your appetite
- There is some evidence using a collagen supplement can help you retain muscle mass which will allow you to be leaner and burn more calories
While that gives you a quick answer to the question of how collagen helps you lose weight, there’s more to it than that. The following gives you an overview of how collagen enables you to lose weight and more details about using a collagen supplement, such as other health benefits.
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What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies that’s naturally occurring. Collagen helps structure our bones, ligaments, and tendons, and it helps with fluid movement.
Collagen also affects the health and appearance of your hair, skin, and nails. While it’s in our bodies naturally, aging and stress can impact our collagen production, and many people supplement with collagen protein to compensate for this loss.
Collagen includes amino acids like arginine, glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Amino acids help our bones, skin, connective tissues, hair, and nails remain healthy.
When you buy a collagen protein supplement, it’s different from the traditional types of protein you might use as a post-workout snack. For example, whey and casein protein powders don’t have the number of amino acids you’ll find in a collagen protein.
Benefits of Collagen
There is evidence that using a collagen supplement can have visible benefits. For example, a study in 2014 looked at 69 women aged 35 to 55.
These women took either 2.5 or 5 grams of collagen every day for eight weeks. There were significant improvements in skin elasticity compared to the women who didn’t use it. Another study looked at women who took one gram of collagen derived from chickens for 12 weeks. Participants showed fewer visible wrinkles and less dryness of the skin.
That said, research on the use of collagen supplements is still fairly limited because many of these products are relatively new on the market.
- As a protein source, many medical professionals do feel collagen is beneficial. Collagen has more protein per calorie than other sources and less sugar and sodium.
- Most forms of collagen protein supplements are hydrolyzed. The collagen is broken down, so it’s more absorbable.
- Collagen plays a vital role in skin health. In particular, collagen boosts hydration and elasticity. As we get older, our body produces less collagen, which can lead to dryer skin and more wrinkles, and saggy skin.
- With collagen supplements, it’s possible to improve the skin’s overall appearance. Supplements can reduce dryness and wrinkle appearance and depth.
- Collagen may help support healthy hair and hair growth, strong bones, and muscle strength.
Collagen For Weight Loss
Below we delve into specific ways collagen products can play a role in weight loss.
Healthy Joints and Joint Pain Relief
Collagen can help your cartilage, which is what protects your joints. When you get older, your natural collagen production slows. Then you are more at risk for the development of joint disorders such as osteoarthritis.
Some studies indicate collagen supplements can help with the symptoms of osteoarthritis and may relieve joint pain.
For the treatment of joint pain or symptoms of osteoarthritis, a dosage of anywhere from eight to 12 grams a day is recommended.
Promote Heart and Cardiovascular Health
Heart conditions and illnesses related to the cardiovascular system are significant issues among the population in the United States.
Collagen supplements may help lower the risk of developing or experiencing a heart-related condition because it helps strengthen the arteries so they can effectively transport blood to the heart.
Some believe using collagen supplements can help with gut and digestive symptoms such as leaky gut syndrome. There currently isn’t a lot of reliable research on this collagen benefit, but antidotally people feel using collagen is helpful for them.
Feel Fuller Longer
One of the most direct ways collagen can help you lose weight is because it can help you feel fuller for longer.
Many people use other protein powders to help them lose weight, but they might not be as good as collagen protein because they can have fillers or more calories. Collagen is considered a clean protein to help promote the feeling of fullness.
In one study that looked at the benefits of using collagen to lose weight, hunger hormones were assessed in ten people who were obese, and ten people considered normal weight.
The use of gelatin, which is derived from collagen, improved the satiety hormone. The satiety hormone helped subjects in the study stick with their weight loss diet.
When you feel fuller for longer, you’re less likely to eat too much. You may also be less likely to give in to unhealthy cravings when satisfied. Other studies have found similar results, which provide an answer to how collagen helps you lose weight.
Supported Mobility and Joint Health
Part of losing weight is being active and burning calories. To stay active, you need a strong body and work to avoid injuries or pain that could keep you from getting exercise.
Using something like bovine collagen powder can provide support for your joints and bones, reducing pain and improving your range of motion and mobility.
Collagen also has an amino acid called arginine.
Arginine helps promote healthy circulation because it relaxes the blood vessels. Arginine can also help promote strength and recovery.
A high-quality collagen supplement can help support bone mass and protect against bone loss.
Build Lean Muscle Mass
When we get older, we lose muscle mass naturally, and it’s replaced with fat. There are ways to combat this, such as exercising and weight training. Additionally, there is some evidence that the use of a collagen supplement can help in the maintenance of lean muscle mass. When you have more muscle mass, your body also burns calories more quickly. If you up your collagen intake, you might have an easier time building muscle, even as you age.
Less Fat Accumulation
There’s evidence to show that collagen might reduce the accumulation of fat cells. In a 2019 study, marine collagen was found to reduce body fats in humans. In a 2018 animal study, marine-based collagen peptides had an anti-obesity effect in mice, and researchers believe it’s because the supplement improved the metabolism of fat and reduced fat accumulation.
An animal study from 2016 also found that collagen peptides, also known as collagen hydrolysate, reduced weight gain in rates and the size of their fat cells.
Choosing a Supplement for Weight Loss
When you’re comparing the many different types of collagen supplements to add to your daily routine, there are a few things to think about.
First, you want something convenient for you. That might be a powder you can easily add to your morning coffee or morning smoothie, or you could find that capsules are easier for you. Liquid collagen tends to be especially well-absorbed compared to collagen powder supplements.
You should also look for collagen peptide supplements or other types of collagen supplementation options that are third-party tested and come from a reputable company.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are answers to common questions about using this type of supplement to help with weight loss.
Can taking collagen help you lose weight?
There is evidence to suggest that collagen can help you lose weight by helping you feel fuller for longer, promoting the building of lean muscle mass, and helping improve joint comfort so that you aren’t sidelined from working out because of an injury.
Collagen can also help with gut health. Poor gut health is linked to gaining weight and to obesity.
How much collagen do I need daily to lose weight?
If your primary goal is weight loss, most research shows you should aim for up to 15 grams of collagen a day. There are multiple studies that show that 15 grams of collagen a day are a good target if you want to improve your body composition and build muscle mass. Some people take up to 30 grams a day, but you should start slowly and make sure you don’t get any side effects before you take a large dose.
Generally, collagen is well-tolerated, but with very high doses, you might experience gas constipation or bloating.
What kind of collagen should I take for weight loss?
Any kind of collagen has the potential to be good for weight loss. There are just some things to keep in mind when purchasing any of these supplements in general.
First, make sure the label contains all of the ingredients, and ensure there aren’t harmful contaminants. You should look for supplements that are made based on the Current Good Manufacturing Practices from the FDA.
It is possible that collagen for weight loss can be effective for a variety of reasons. Collagen peptides and different types of collagen taken as a dietary supplement can help you feel fuller for longer, support mobility and less joint pain, and help with building lean muscle mass and reducing overall body fat.