All you need to know about collagen!
What is collagen?
Collagen is the beauty buzz word hot on all beauty fanatics’ lips. Collagen drinks, collagen capsules, collagen powder, collagen face masks—these collagen products are touching the shelves and quickly swept away by consumers everywhere.
Collagen products hit the charts because of the vital role collagen plays within our bodies.
Collagen is a structural protein that is most abundant in mammals and found in connective tissue, skin, tendon, cartilage and bone. It works by interacting with different cell surfaces—or as a ‘bridge’ which cells cross to create new connective tissue. The function of collagen is keeping our body’s tissues intact and in shape and helping tissues to withstand stretching!
There are about 16 different types of collagen, but the most common collagen types found in the human body are collagen types I, II and III.
Type I collagen is found in our skin, organs, bones and tendons which help to connect muscles and bones. If we do not have collagen in our bones, or the collagen in our bones are mutated, our bones will become brittle, resulting in crippling and even death; this is how big of a role collagen plays in our bodies!
Type II collagen is found in our cartilage, while Type III collagen in the fibre of our soft tissues, such as bone marrow and organ tissues.
With age, the collagen in our bodies decreases, affecting our skin’s ability to form, to repair itself, and maintain elasticity! Hence, many people turn to collagen supplements, or collagen-boosting foods to increase the collagen in their bodies for better health and skin.
What are collagen superfoods?
If you want to boost collagen in your body with a natural food diet, it’s time you add these collagen superfoods to your list!
Foods that are rich in protein provide amino acids needed to produce collagen! Foods with other nutrients like vitamin C, zinc and copper also help your body to boost the production of collagen.
In the meat category, the superfoods are bone broth, chicken and fish! Bone broth is a popular food said to be rich in collagen as the cooking of bones and connective tissue in soup releases collagen and amino acids. Besides, bones also contain calcium, magnesium, glucosamine and many other nutrients which makes it an even healthier choice for your diet!
Collagen is found mostly in the bones, skin and cartilage, instead of the meat. So, be sure not to exclude the parts that are rich in collagen - the fish or chicken skin!
Other foods like eggs, leafy greens, berries, tomatoes, and fruits rich in vitamin C including oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and kiwi will also help to boost your body’s collagen production.
What are collagen supplements?
If collagen superfoods can boost collagen production in our bodies, why should anyone take collagen supplements?
Don’t be mistaken! Collagen supplements benefit our bodies differently from collagen-boosting foods.
Collagen-boosting foods either supply your body with full-length collagen or introduce nutrients like amino acids and vitamin C that help trigger your body’s collagen production. Collagen supplements, on the other hand, provide hydrolysed collagen (or collagen peptides) to your body.
While collagen in our bodies exists as structural proteins of long-chain amino acids, collagen peptides are shorter chain amino acids that travel to the body’s tissues and build up to form full-length collagen helices. These full-length collagen helices produced then help to repair damaged skin, bone or joints.
Collagen peptides being termed as hydrolysed collagen, are smaller and shorter than full-length collagen. They are easier to be absorbed and distributed by our bodies, making collagen supplements a desirable means to increase collagen in our bodies.
So perhaps you should consider collagen supplements over collagen-boosting leafy greens!
What types of collagen supplements are there?
With plenty of collagen supplements brimming from shelves and collagen products plastered on online shopping sites, anyone new to collagen will feel overwhelmed. There’s no need to worry—we have some guides on the different types of collagen products!
Collagen supplements come in different forms like collagen drinks, powder, capsules and even collagen masks.
Apart from collagen face masks that target only the epidermis, collagen supplements penetrate deeply into the innermost layer of the skin, as well as other parts of the body.
1. Collagen Drinks
Collagen drinks are, as their name suggests, a liquid form of collagen supplements. Collagen drink bottles are small, containing about 50ml of ready-to-drink collagen. You consume this collagen supplement by simply finishing it in a single shot or pop some ice cubes to slowly enjoy it. It is best served chilled.
2. Collagen Powder
Collagen powder comes in white, powder form that is often packaged in sachets or packets. You can consume this collagen powder directly or by adding it to your food or drinks!
3. Collagen Capsules
Collagen capsules contain collagen powder in the most compact way possible. You can pop it into your mouth and swallow it with water. It is easily one of the most convenient methods.
4. Collagen Face Masks
Lastly, collagen masks are face masks infused with hydrolysed collagen and other anti-ageing ingredients that rejuvenate your skin and help you achieve that youthful boost! They work like any other regular masks, wear it on your face and simply enjoy the benefits!
Should I take collagen?
Now that you know what collagen and collagen supplements are, you might start to question collagen’s effectiveness.
So, let's unpack the benefits of collagen supplements, possible side-effects, effects on overconsumption of collagen, and finally answer the question of whether you should be taking collagen supplements.
Top 5 benefits of taking collagen
Collagen—as we can’t seem to stop celebrating—plays an important role in our bodies!
Although many people consume collagen supplements intending to only improve their skin, collagen supplements give them more than just skin health.
Here are the top 5 benefits of consuming collagen supplements:
1. Increase elasticity in our skin
The most common reason people take collagen supplements in Singapore is to improve their skin health! Research studies have found collagen supplements to be effective when ingested—making skin more supple, firm and hydrated.
2. Reduce joint pain
A lesser-known benefit of collagen supplements is that they benefit joints and help to alleviate joint pain!
A research study by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information in the United States (US) investigated the effects of ingesting collagen hydrolysate (which is hydrolysed collagen) on a group of athletes. The study found that the hydrolysed collagen was effective in relieving joint pain for athletes, measured in terms of pain, mobility and inflammation of joints.
Cartilage contains our body’s natural collagen so it follows that collagen supplements which boost collagen levels in our bodies are effective in helping to reduce joint pain!
3. Likely Strengthens Bones
Collagen supplements do more than satisfy our skin, they also make us stronger as collagen supplements are believed to increase bone mineral density and strengthen our bones.
A research study found that the ingestion of specific collagen peptides was successful in improving bone mineral density and strengthening bones in older women.
Overall, collagen supplements are possibly useful for promoting stronger and healthier bones in our bodies!
4. Restore hair and nails
Do you have brittle hair? Are your nails soft and have vertical lines running through them? Collagen supplements may help you with these problems! Collagen supplements are believed to effectively restore your hair and nail properties!
A study found that a sample group of participants who ate a nutritional supplement containing active ingredients of peptides, lipids, hyaluronic acid, and collagen saw significant improvement in the conditions of their nails and hair. Their nails and hair improved in terms of nail cracking, brittleness and softness, as well as hair dullness and dryness.
While the beneficial properties of collagen supplements for hair and nails are not extensively backed up by research, it is likely that collagen supplements do help to add hydration and shine to your hair!
5. Other benefits of taking collagen supplements
Collagen is a necessary protein in our bodies to keep them strong and healthy! These are several other believed benefits of collagen supplements:
- Boost muscle mass
- Heal wounds faster
- Improve gut health
- Promote weight loss
- Strengthen heart
- Improve mood
While there isn’t a lot of scientific research surrounding these benefits, many believe that collagen supplements do help in these areas.
What are the side effects of taking collagen supplements?
Collagen supplements are generally safe to ingest, but there are a few side effects that may occur for different people.
- Heavy or full stomach and heartburn - some people who take collagen supplements report feeling full or heavy in their stomachs. Different people have reported differently as to whether collagen supplements cause heartburn. Some say that collagen supplements reduce heartburn, while others with existing conditions of heartburn claim collagen to increase heartburn.
- Rashes or allergies - if you are allergic to eggs, fish, or shellfish, you can be allergic to collagen supplements too. Collagen supplements may contain ingredients like these, so it is important that you check the list of ingredients on the sachet or box before you take the supplement or consult a doctor for advice. Don’t worry, you can still turn to collagen-boosting foods to keep your body strong and healthy!
- Diarrhoea - collagen supplements may cause diarrhoea. It is not because of the collagen itself, but the other ingredients that’s in the collagen supplements. In fact, because collagen contains amino acids like proline and glycine—the same amino acids that form the linings of your intestines—collagen helps to improve intestinal health and even repair damaged intestines!
If you have existing medical conditions, it is important to consult with your health practitioner first. Overall, collagen supplements are safe as long as you take them in the right amounts and according to your body’s suited intake!
Can you take too much collagen?
Taking too much collagen supplements may cause side effects like bloating and feelings of fullness in your stomach. It is generally not healthy to overdose on anything, so the same goes for collagen supplements.
You can tell how much collagen supplements you should be taking based on the dosage recommended on the sachets or boxes.
An estimated amount of collagen you should be taking at once is about 10 grams. Your collagen supplement dosage also depends on factors like age, sex, and protein-diet.
Reap the benefits of collagen supplements by keeping to a healthy dosage, and check with your doctor if you are concerned!
Therefore, is taking collagen supplements worth it?
Collagen supplements are generally safe and healthy. By helping your body to absorb collagen more easily, collagen supplements provide your body with great benefits like younger-looking skin, shinier hair, healthier joints and stronger bones.
Collagen is a protein that all of us need in our bodies, and collagen supplements will help to make up for the collagen that you may lack—especially as you age.
All you need to do is take your collagen supplements in the right amount, and top it off with a healthy lifestyle and diet!
Choose only the best!
The best type of collagen drink in Singapore!
Collagen drinks are just so easy to consume because they contain collagen of an appropriate serving, ready for instant consumption!
Collagen drinks are not just beneficial, they are also convenient and refreshing! Collagen drinks can come in different flavours like lemon, blueberry, oranges, cherry, or raspberry. If you prefer something milder in taste, you can choose neutral-tasting collagen drinks too.
Usually, collagen drinks are from collagen that comes from bovine (cow), porcine (pig), or marine (fish). So, what is the best type of collagen drink in Singapore?
No doubt, the answer is marine collagen! Marine collagen is known as the recommended collagen supplement for everyone—in Singapore and around the world!
Marine collagen drinks are the best for several reasons:
- Marine collagen is smaller sized collagen peptides that are easily absorbed in our bodies. Hence, they are lighter on our stomachs and reap the most effective results!
- Marine collagen contains Type I collagen more than any other type. Type I collagen is the most prevalent collagen type in our body and makes up 80% of the collagen in human skin! Marine collagen is for sure the best collagen supplement drink to boost collagen levels in our skin and make skin look younger!
- Marine collagen is the richest in antioxidants and amino acids. It contains high levels of antioxidants that reduce inflammation and help your skin to self-repair. Additionally, it also contains eight out of nine amino acids for protein, which shows how rich amino acids are in marine collagen!
All in all, marine collagen drinks are popular and the best collagen drinks you can find in Singapore—so look out for marine collagen when shopping for your collagen drink!
Are collagen drinks alone enough? Added superfoods!
Recently, collagen drinks have evolved into beauty drinks or beauty shots in which collagen is accompanied by other superfoods that are packed with other benefits!
Beauty drinks contain extra added ingredients like stem cells extract, ceramide, glutathione, fruit and vegetable enzymes that help target specific issues in your body.
Here are some of the best superfoods that are present in beauty drinks in Singapore!
1. Anti-Oxidising Stem Cells
Stem cells are a type of cell that can grow into many different types of cells! In plants, stem cells repair the damaged and injured parts of the plant and help new cells regenerate.
Stem cells are added into beauty drinks for this very effect—to help our skin rejuvenate well! They also have high antioxidizing properties which protects our skin against ageing and inflammation.
One best stem cell beauty drink in Singapore is AVALON® Stemcell Beauty Drink, known for helping to solve the root cause of all skin issues by repairing damaged skin cells.
Listed as the No.1 beauty drink in Singapore, AVALON® Stemcell Beauty Drink improves skin health in two steps!
Repairing damaged skin
The highest purity of Orchid Stemcell extract can effectively and rapidly repair skin cells, allowing the skin to absorb beneficial nutrients.
Rejuvenating skin from within
Using premium Marine Collagen Peptides, this drink replenishes skin cells with collagen, and locks in moisture, enabling the repaired skin cells to be reinforced and combat all major skin issues.
Consuming collagen alone is not enough to improve skin health because the root cause of skin issues remains ignored: damaged skin cells. Damaged skin cells cannot properly absorb the nutrients given to them—meaning that it is useless to provide collagen to damaged skin cells because they are unable to absorb the collagen or other nutrients for rejuvenation.
AVALON® Stemcell Beauty Drink contains orchid stem cells that are proven to be 128% more effective than other stem cells in cell repair by laboratory skin cell tests.
- Retain skin’s moisture
- Brighten skin tone
- Tighten pores
- Improve skin firmness
- Reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
- Lessen pigmentation
- Improve acne issues
This beauty drink contains sparkling water content that helps to boost nutrients absorption, promote skin metabolism, and add a refreshing taste too!
Ceramides are fat molecules, otherwise known as lipids, that are found in the uppermost layers of our skin. These fat molecules form a protective layer in the top layers of our skin, helping our skin retain moisture and protecting our skin against external pollutants!
Beauty drinks such as AVALON® Hydra Ceramide Beauty Shot with ceramide ingredients boost plumpness in your skin and keep your skin naturally moisturised and protected! AVALON® Hydra Ceramide Beauty Shot helps to maintain a healthy skin barrier to defend our skin against external aggressors and prevent skin sensitivity issues such as itchiness, redness, and irritation.
AVALON® recommends taking the AVALON® Stemcell Beauty Drink with the AVALON® Hydra Ceramide Beauty Shot to achieve the best results for skin!
3. Enzyme Boosters
Enzymes are catalysts that speed up different processes in our bodies. In the human body, enzymes are used to facilitate digestion, improve blood flow or inflammatory responses, and more!
Enzymes used in skincare can help to break down keratin protein that is present in dead skin cells, thus resulting in smoother and brighter skin. Enzymes when ingested, can also help with digestion and speed up your body’s metabolism rate.
AVALON® Femi Care Enzyme Drink contains fruit and vegetable enzymes and cranberry extract to revitalise skin, body’s digestion and improve female intimate health.
Try out these different beauty drinks that have added beneficial ingredients to boost your skin and general health!
Your favourite celebrities who take collagen!
Collagen supplements are not just for people who suffer from frustrating skin problems, they are the latest beauty trend and hottest wellness product, used even by celebrities to maintain their skin and body’s health!
Who doesn’t love Jennifer Anniston? Emmy-winning actress and charming Rachel Green character in “Friends” includes collagen peptides in her daily morning diet!
In her interview with Well+Good magazine, Jennifer Anniston shares what she has for breakfast each morning: a shake with pure protein, bananas, blueberries, frozen cherries, stevia, a vegetable mix, maca powder and cacao. Of course, not forgetting collagen peptide! Anniston found her nails to be stronger and her skin to have a vibrant glow after taking collagen peptide powder!
Kate Hudson, Golden Globe winner and timeless beauty, is also another celebrity who adds collagen to her diet! She uses a collagen peptide powder, free from preservatives, which she enjoys adding to her smoothies!
So many other celebrities use collagen supplements to boost their health and emit that supple skin glow.
Kylie Jenner puts collagen creamer in her coffee every morning, and Kourtney Kardashian swears by the collagen powder she makes into a beverage every morning to kick start her day, which she says helps boost immunity and is great for skin, hair and nails.
Finding the routine that suits you most
1. What is the best time to take collagen?
Myth: “The best time to take collagen is on an empty stomach.”
People worry that acid in the stomach, produced when food is digested, might destroy collagen peptides before they are absorbed by the body.
The truth is that it doesn’t matter whether you take collagen supplements on a full or empty stomach.
Collagen peptides do not get digested or broken down in the stomach--whether or not stomach acid is present. They pass through the stomach to the small intestine. It is in the small intestine that most proteins (or collagen) get broken and absorbed by the body.
Therefore, take your collagen supplements before, with or after food—it doesn’t matter!
Myth: “It is better to take collagen in the night than in the morning.”
This claim is made because people believe that night or sleep-time is the period where your body is recovering itself, and collagen peptides will serve the body’s recovery during this time.
The truth is that there is no known evidence to support this claim, and taking collagen supplements in the morning or at night is just as effective and beneficial for your body.
However, if your collagen supplements or drinks include ingredients like melatonin, which helps to regulate your sleeping and waking cycle, you may feel more comfortable taking it at night!
2. How often should I be taking collagen supplements?
Collagen supplements should be taken once a day!
Taking one or two sachets of collagen powder with your smoothie during breakfast is enough for a day! The same goes with other consumed collagen products, like collagen drinks or capsules!
AVALON® recommends users who are taking their Stemcell Beauty Drink to consume one bottle a day for seven days, and then take it every alternate day afterwards just to maintain a healthy glow for your skin. For users with major skin concerns, they may take up to two bottles daily for 28 days.
Users who want to lighten skin pigments and brighten their skin, can alternate between the Stemcell Beauty Drink and Radiant Sakura Beauty Shot. For hydration, users can alternate between Stemcell Beauty Drink and Hydra Ceramide Beauty Shot instead. This means you would still be taking a maximum of one bottle a day.
On the whole, it is recommended to take not more than 10 grams of collagen a day!
Do collagen supplements promote weight loss?
Collagen supplements are considered weight loss products.
Collagen supplements are said to help promote weight loss because they contain the amino acid glycine, a protein that is important for the formation of muscle tissue.
Collagen supplements may help to increase muscle density and muscle mass, and this increase in muscle tissue in the body, therefore increases the body’s metabolism. With an increased metabolism rate, the body loses fat and achieves healthy weight loss.
Some people may find that collagen supplements are causing them to gain weight, but the only reason this is possible is because of the added muscle mass!
Collagen supplements may help to promote healthy weight loss, but they are taken mostly for the benefits of skin rejuvenation and hair and nails health than for weight loss.
Seeing effective results
In conclusion, although the effects of collagen supplements are not yet extensively studied and researched, they are found to be generally safe and beneficial when taken in healthy amounts!
Collagen supplements take different lengths of time to produce visible results, varying according to different collagen products and brands. AVALON®’s collagen products, for example, take 3 days to see effective results, while other brands’ collagen supplements may take a longer time. However, results vary among individuals.
When choosing collagen products, check the ingredients to make sure that they are good and safe. For those trying out collagen products for the first time, it is of good wisdom to ensure that the product is suitable for your body and safe for you to consume.
If you are nursing, pregnant or with medical conditions, it is also important to consult your health practitioner before you take any collagen supplement products.
Choose wisely, stay safe and healthy, and we can’t wait for you to experience the results!