What is the Best Time to Take Collagen?

by | Read time: 4 minutes

As with any habit, the best time of day to take a supplement is the time that helps you remember to take it consistently. However, if you want to optimize your collagen consumption, is there a specific time of day that improves the uptake and usage of collagen in your body? Here’s what you should know.

Glass of Water with Powder on Wooden Spoon & Flowers in Background to Represent Concept of the Best Time to Take Collagen | Vitacost.com/blog

What are collagen supplements?

Collagen supplements such as Codeage Hydrolyze Multi-Collagen Peptides are made from bioactive collagen peptides. These peptides make up about one-third of the protein in your body as part of your connective tissues.

You can find collagen supplements made from plant and animal sources of collagen, but most collagen is derived from cartilage and bones of animals and marine life. Plant-based collagen supporting supplements are extracted from algae. They aren’t made from actual collagen but provide the amino acids your body needs to produce its own collagen.

As we age, collagen production slows, and effects like skin sagging, slower skin repair, and wrinkles appear. Collagen intake may help boost collagen production to combat these effects. The amino acids in collagen bring nutrients to the body’s connective tissues, including skin, muscles, bones, tendons, joints and ligaments. Also, collagen’s amino acid profile may stimulate keratin production, an essential part of hair, teeth and nail structure.

In the morning or before bed?

There is a debate about whether consuming collagen is better before bed or in the morning. The theories are based on the belief that taking collagen on an empty stomach in the morning improves protein breakdown and assimilation. Since collagen is a protein, this would make sense. But not so fast.

Collagen passes through your stomach undigested and is broken down in your small intestine. Whether or not you have eaten recently or eat shortly after taking collagen (or even added your collagen to your meal), there is no disadvantage or advantage concerning digestion.

Other theories suggest taking collagen before bed because collagen is so useful for recovery and repair, and during sleep (REM sleep in particular), your body is busy repairing itself. The idea is that the amino acids in collagen can be better put to use when the body is most effectively and actively working on repair. However, this is a theory only and there have been no solid studies to suggest you will see any advantages to night-time collagen intake.

The best time to take collagen

Ultimately, the best time of day to take collagen is when you will consistently remember to take it. The best way to ensure this is to pair your collagen intake with another habit already in place. This practice is called habit stacking and is highly effective when building a new habit.

Stacking a new habit to a solidly established habit or routine can trigger your brain to follow through on the new practice. This habit-building magic is much more likely to help you stick to a new goal, such as taking your collagen supplement each day, then trying to choose a time of day without attaching it to an established habit.

If you are a coffee drinker, you likely do not go without your cup of black gold in the morning. This is one reason why adding collagen to your morning cup of coffee can be so practical. Adding a spoonful of collagen to your coffee makes this a perfect habit-stacking combo. Plus, it dissolves instantly and is relatively tasteless.

Other ideas include when your computer is booting up, as part of your bedtime routine right before you brush your teeth, or mix it into your daily pre or post-workout smoothie.

The bottom line

According to the available evidence and despite what you may see on social media, there is no ultimate optimal time to take collagen. The most vital aspect of taking your collagen supplement is to be consistent and give it time so you can see the results you’re after. Being inconsistent with your collagen intake might mean you don’t reap as many benefits as you hope to.

To make that easier, choosing a time of day where you already have an established habit, such as with your cup of coffee in the morning, will make taking collagen second nature.

These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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