If you’re looking for a way to keep your skin glowing and wrinkle-free, you might try a collagen drink. Find out how effective (or ineffective) collagen drinks are.
What Collagen Drinks Do
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and it’s responsible for the structure and elasticity in our skin. Unfortunately, our bodies produce less collagen as we age. As our natural collagen production decreases, we start to get fine lines and sagging skin. Collagen drinks aim to help with that.
By using hydrolyzed collagen, collagen drinks claim to help with the upkeep of your skin. All you have to do is use them daily to get the benefits. No need for a collagen drink recipe when it comes in a ready-to-drink bottle.
What Makes Collagen Drinks Work?
According to Dr. Justine Kluk, a London-based Consultant Dermatologist, these drinks contain collagen peptides that are “reportedly digested into smaller molecules and then absorbed in our gut.”
Can we really get rid of wrinkles and fine lines with a simple drink?
“Investigations using radioactive labeling have demonstrated that these absorbed peptides can reach the skin and may be retained in the tissue for up to 2 weeks,’ Dr. Kluk added.
Collagen Drink Benefits
Dr. Kluk says that a growing number of lab studies support the potential for collagen peptides. Whether in drinks or supplements, they can help reduce wrinkles and improve skin hydration. They do this by “strengthening our own collagen networks,” says Dr. Kluk.
“The amount recommended in clinical studies varies from 2.5 to 10g per day, with some reporting their outcomes at 4 weeks and others after 8 or more weeks,” says Dr. Kluk.
“[However,] the jury is still out as to whether these products actually work for the general population, so the best dose and duration are yet to be determined. In fact, evidence for their effectiveness on human skin outside of the laboratory setting is still scarce.”
What Does the Hard Evidence Say?
“Collagen is a protein which is broken down in the gut during digestive processes to smaller molecules such as peptides and subsequently amino-acids,” says Dr. Anjali Mahto, Consultant Dermatologist at Skin55 and author of The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Great Skin.
“There is little evidence that ingesting whole collagen will survive digestion and then travel in the blood stream to the skin in high enough quantities to make any meaningful change to the skin’s structure or function,” Dr. Mahto continues.
“Many of the new supplements contain fragments of collagen (collagen peptides) rather than whole collagen. You might have heard the argument that these collagen peptides ‘fool’ the body into thinking that collagen has been broken down resulting in new collagen production, but I’d treat these arguments with caution as there are few robust, validated high-quality scientific trials to confirm this.”
In other words, we still need more evidence to conclusively claim that collagen drinks turn back the clock on your skin. Meanwhile, feel free to try them and see if they work for you. There are not many known collagen drink side effects – just stay away from collagen made from sources you’re allergic to.