Collagen For Weight Loss: Does It Help You Lose Weight 2024?

mitchelle morgan
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Reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN
collagen for weight loss
Collagen for weight loss supports healthy muscle mass growth. Photo: Prathankarnpap/Shutterstock

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Collagen is a vital protein abundant in our bodies, making up about 25% to 35% of all proteins.[1] It’s among the nutrients that will keep your skin elastic, helping you avoid loose skin. It is also vital for healthy joints,[2] muscles,[3] hair, and nails.

But is it a viable addition to a weight loss plan?

Here we unveil the scientific evidence behind collagen’s possible impact on weight loss. We’ll touch on the different types of collagen and their locations. We’ll also highlight how they might influence body fat loss and enhance muscle growth.

Read on to learn all these and more.

Does Collagen Help With Weight Loss?

Yes, collagen supports weight loss. It promotes satiety and appetite control, and it may reduce fat accumulation. It may also boost metabolic processes, lean muscle building, and joint health. Its amino acids and peptides provide a holistic approach to effective and sustained weight management.

Is Collagen Good For Weight Loss?

Yes, collagen is good for weight loss.

Why? It’s foremost a protein. Taking more protein than the recommended dietary allowance may reduce weight and improve body composition.[4]

 The current guidelines for protein are 1.2-1.5 grams/kilogram of body weight,[5] slightly more than the current recommended dietary allowance of .8 g/kg.

Collagen is also suitable for weight loss because of the following.

How Collagen Works For Weight Loss

How Collagen Works For Weight Loss
Collagen peptides support weight loss. Photo: Prathankarnpap/Shutterstock

Special fibroblasts synthesize collagen molecules. They use vital nutrients like vitamin C, copper, and manganese for this process. Collagen molecules break down into collagen peptides through hydrolysis.

The peptides further specialize, forming various types of collagen with specialized purposes. There are over 28 collagen types; below are the most common ones:

  • Collagen type I is present in skin, bones, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Collagen type II is present in cartilage, offering shock absorption and joint support.
  • Collagen type III is present in the skin, internal organs, and blood vessels.
  • Collagen type IV is present as a thin layer separating tissues.
  • Collagen type IV is abundant in hair and other connective tissue.

Collagen promotes weight loss in the following ways:

Satiety And Appetite Control

Consuming hydrolyzed collagen protein promotes fullness[11] by stimulating the production of incretins.[12] Incretins are gut-produced hormones. GLP-1, or Glucagon‐like peptide‐1, is the most potent and well-studied incretin. 

GLP-1 boosts insulin,[13] slows digestion,[14] and curbs appetite.[15] These mechanisms regulate blood sugar and may aid weight management.

But, compared to whey protein, collagen peptides have less effect on appetite.

Reduction Of Fat Accumulation

A 2018 study on high-fat-fed mice shows collagen peptides derived from skate could reduce liver fat accumulation.[16] Skate skin is a byproduct of fish[17] and a known source of collagen. Collagen inhibits fatty acid synthesis by improving the fatty acid metabolism.

 We need more human clinical evidence to prove that it works the same for humans. 

The study suggests marine collagen peptides may lower human triglyceride levels. This showcases potential lipid-lowering effects.

Boosting Metabolic Processes

Collagen is rich in an amino acid called glycine, a conditionally essential amino acid. The body uses this amino acid in several metabolic pathways,[18] like glutathione synthesis. The main job of this synthesis is to offer antioxidant health benefits to the body. 

Muscle Building, Recovery, And Body Composition:

Muscle Building

Supplementing collagen peptide and resistance training could boost muscle mass and strength[10] in older men with sarcopenia or muscle wasting. Twelve weeks of hypertrophy resistance training and specific collagen peptides resulted in a higher lean body and fat-free mass.[19]

Muscle Recovery

Collagen supplementation has a modest but significant impact on muscle recovery.[20] It occurs after resistance training.

Body Composition

A 12-week collagen supplementation with resistance training may improve body composition. it increases fat-free mass and decreases fat mass[21] in elderly sarcopenic men. Sarcopenia is the age-related, involuntary loss of muscle mass and strength.

Compared to whey protein, collagen may not be an effective supplement for an improved body composition.  A study on overweight adult women suggests collagen peptide may increase body weight[22] in 8 weeks.

Unlike other proteins, collagen lacks branched-chain amino acids[23] and tryptophan.[24] These two amino acid groups are the satiating protein amino acids.

Improving Joint Health

Weight loss programs contain exercise routines based on optimal bone health. Your skeletal system should be strong, flexible, and mobile for healthy weight loss. It should withstand progressive resistance and heal even after injury. 

That’s where collagen supplementation comes in! It helps replenish the bone cartilage in all bone joints to reduce pain and strain.

Low-molecular-weight collagen peptide supplementation for 12 weeks may reduce knee joint pain.[25] This is in patients with osteoporosis.

Supplementing with collagen type 1 may also help injured people gain rotator cuff tendon function.[26] This tendon wraps around the top upper arm bone, stabilizing the ball-and-socket joint.

Collagen peptides may also help increase bone mineral density[27] in postmenopausal women.

Best Time To Take Collagen For Weight Loss

Best Time To Take Collagen For Weight Loss
Finding the best time to take collagen is important. Photo: Ann Rodchua/Shutterstock

The timely ingestion of collagen peptides for weight loss maximizes its effects. Here are a few reasons why timing is essential:

Your Metabolic Clock

The body’s metabolic rate varies throughout the day. This affects how it processes nutrients. 

Our energy expenditure at rest and after eating is more efficient earlier during the day. Eating later in the day may lead to weight gain.[28]

Strategic collagen intake helps synchronize its anti-obesity effects with peak metabolic periods. You optimize their absorption and assimilation.

Helps You Stick To A Routine

Oral ingestion of collagen supplements on a specific day and time supports consistency. Proper timing fosters a routine — essential for long-term weight loss success.

Based on the above reasons, here are a few suggestions of the best time to take collagen for weight loss.

Morning Boost

You can start your day with collagen supplementation. Early intake aligns with the increased metabolic rate, improving daily fat metabolism. A healthy metabolism can enhance the impact of collagen on weight loss.

Pre- Or Post-Workout Intake

Consuming collagen pre- or post-workout can benefit those who work out. Collagen supports joint health, reducing discomfort during exercise while promoting lean muscle mass.

You can reap the benefits of super greens, protein powders, and collagen supplementation. But ensure that all ingredients interact safely. For definitive guidance, consult a professional medical practitioner.

Factors To Determine Timing

If you still need help with timing, use the following factors as guidance.

  • Personal Routine: Align collagen intake with your daily habits to ensure consistency.
  • Health Goals: Tailor collagen intake based on specific weight loss efforts.

A trained medical practitioner can help you determine the best times based on your needs.

How Much Collagen Should I Take A Day For Weight Loss

We source collagen through the body’s own collagen production, diet, and supplementation.

Animal products like bone marrow, broth, and cuts with connective tissue supply collagen. Your body may also get collagen from gelatin in jello and other desserts.

But the burning questions are:

  • Why does quantity matter?
  • How do you determine the right amount?
  • How do you choose the right collagen quality, type, and brand?

Why Does Quantity Matter?

Quantity matters because an excess of anything poses health dangers.

Excess collagen may cause digestive issues, kidney stress, skin,[29] and allergic reactions. An excess might also lead to liver dysfunction and interfere with the gut microbiota.[30]

Please note that the source of the collagen might be the root cause of some reactions. For example, marine collagen may trigger a fish allergy reaction. The other kinds are bovine, chicken collagen, egg-shell membrane collagen, and plant-based collagen.

Quantity also matters because of:

  • Metabolic Impact: Taking the correct quantity will promote weight loss. Very high or low quantities may hinder the desired metabolic effects.
  • Muscle Mass Development: Collagen’s role in increasing muscle mass may rely on dosage. Optimal quantities ensure effective muscle growth, which is essential for sustained weight loss.
  • Consistency: Weight loss health benefits from collagen take time. Consistent intakes regulates necessary collagen levels for ongoing metabolic and muscle support.

How Do You Determine the Right Amount?

Getting the best quantity of collagen for weight loss will vary from person to person.

According to studies, 2.5 to 15 grams per day[31] may suffice. Yet, the amount may rely on the duration of taking the collagen.

For instance, the studies that offered the above amount range took three to 18 months.

Determining the right amount may also rely on the collagen supplement form.

Collagen supplements may come as collagen powders, capsules, gummies, or liquid collagen for weight loss. For skin and joint health, you’ll find collagen topical creams. The calibrations will vary here, so please follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

How Do You Determine The Right Quality, Type, And Brand?

We need all types of collagen to lose weight and become healthy.

So, to select the optimal collagen supplement brands for your needs, consider

  • Prioritizing purity, sourcing, and type-specific benefits.
  • Checking for third-party testing.
  • Prioritizing hydrolyzed collagen peptides because they are bioavailable. Aligning the collagen type with your health goals. Select the best types for skin health, nail growth, joint support, or muscle growth.

Besides the above constraints, doctors consider age, activity level, and health status. Doctors also check your dosage needs if you take other medication or diet pills. Consulting with a healthcare professional provides personalized insights tailored to your specific needs.

Can Everyone Take Collagen Weight Loss Supplements?

Collagen supplements retail in various forms. Nonetheless, as with any other supplement, it may only be for some. The main reason is that the consumer’s safety depends on many factors.

These factors include your health status, medications, age, and pregnancy.

Please consult a doctor first or refrain from using collagen supplements if you are

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women. This group should consult their doctors. There is not enough safety data for these populations. 
  • People with specific medical conditions. See a doctor first if you are diagnosed with certain medical conditions. Examples are kidney or liver disease. A medical assessment helps you understand the potential impacts of the supplementation.
  • People who are allergic to collagen sources. If you are allergic or sensitive to collagen sources like fish, bovine, or eggs, please avoid the corresponding types.
  • People with gut health and liver issues. Those with digestive problems or a history of liver issues should exercise caution and consult their doctors.

Collagen supplements are not a standalone solution for weight loss. You still need a balanced diet and regular exercise.

There is also a concern with ongoing clinical evidence. It suggests that collagen’s weight loss benefits may change over time. It’s best to rank products, set realistic expectations, and manage potential risk. 

Here, a little research to stay updated helps! Confirm all the facts you read with your doctor.

After the go-ahead, buy reputable, high-quality brands with third-party certifications. The product’s purity and potency should come second. Third, stick to the dosages and be consistent with your new supplement regimen.

If you use supplements like belly fat burners, confirm the collagen supplement won’t clash with them.

Finally, plan regular visits to your doctor. These visits allow assessments of whether the collagen weight loss supplements work.

Conclusion

So, does collagen help with weight loss?

So far, the scientific facts surrounding collagen for weight loss are affirmative.

Yet, prioritizing a healthy diet within a calorie deficit remains fundamental for weight loss. For collagen supply, add foods like bone broth, fish, and eggs into your diet. These naturally boost collagen levels for healthier skin, hair, and joints.

Hydration and exercise are also huge players. Collagen supplementation reinforces this weight loss journey. Use collagen supplements and collagen-rich foods for healthy skin, bones, and muscles.

Always consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to tailor the selection to your unique needs. With guidance, the best collagen for weight loss supplements work. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best collagen for weight loss?

Look for hydrolyzed collagen supplements, rich in peptides and amino acids, for effective weight loss.

Does collagen melt belly fat?

Collagen may reduce fat accumulation, potentially reducing belly fat.

Does collagen help with cellulite and weight loss?

Collagen may enhance skin elasticity, but its direct impact on cellulite is inconclusive.

How much collagen do I need daily to lose weight?

The recommended collagen dosage for weight loss is 2.5 to 15 grams daily; consult a professional for personalized advice.

Does collagen make you chubby?

No, collagen doesn’t generally cause weight gain; its impact supports weight loss and lean muscle development.

Can collagen supplements replace a healthy diet for weight loss?

No, collagen complements a balanced diet. Prioritize whole foods, stay on a caloric deficit, and view collagen as a supportive element in your weight loss strategy.

Is there an age limit for collagen intake?

No age limit; collagen benefits all. Consult with a healthcare professional to tailor dosage and approach based on individual health considerations.

Can collagen interfere with medications?

Consult your doctor. While collagen is generally safe, interactions can occur. Your healthcare professional will guide you on incorporating collagen into your routine.

+ 31 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mitchelle Morgan is a health and wellness writer with over 10 years of experience. She holds a Master's in Communication. Her mission is to provide readers with information that helps them live a better lifestyle. All… See More