HOW IS COLLAGEN DIFFERENT FROM WHEY PROTEIN?
Collagen supplements are an exciting alternative to whey protein when weight training or playing sports. As an important constituent of healthy skin cells, for many years’ collagen has been used as an effective skin treatment and anti-ageing supplement. However, many gym goers and fitness enthusiasts are discovering collagen supplements for the first time, after being disappointed with their results from whey-based supplements. We have often been asked how long it takes for collagen to work. This is essentially a two-part question and we will cover each element separately. Firstly, how long does it take to experience the short-term effects of collagen supplements, and how long will it be before you notice collagen making a difference to your workouts.
Collagen is a naturally produced protein that is made by our bodies throughout our lives. It is the most common protein in our cells and, second to water, is the most important compound in our body. It is therefore difficult to make direct claims about how quickly a collagen supplement will take effect. When taking a high-quality protein shake, most manufacturers suggest waiting 15 minutes before the additional protein appears in your bloodstream. Amino acids from the protein will start to reach your muscles within 30 minutes of taking the supplement and they will peak after 90 minutes. These timings are based on dietary studies of whey protein supplements. For collagen, which is more bioactive and easier for your body to absorb, effects may be even quicker.
The results you see from long-term collagen supplements use depends on multiple factors. The volumes you take are one, as are your age, fitness regime, general health and diet. We strongly recommend you take collagen as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, in conjunction with other supplements as necessary. The body takes approximately four months to replace damaged muscle and skin tissue with new, healthy cells. You should therefore see the effects of increased collagen within four months. This ties in with scientific studies of collagen supplementation for its effect on the skin, where 80% of users agreed that their skin looked younger and healthier within four months. As with any health supplement, results vary from person to person. Some people may start to see results in as little as three weeks, with some differences being noticeable after about two months.
The important thing to remember is that collagen supplements won’t work on their own. Every indicator suggests that they will have a positive effect on your workouts, but you shouldn’t expect results overnight. If you keep working hard at the gym, rest well, eat properly and do your stretches, then your body will take care of the rest. Collagen will help your muscles recover, keep your joints flexible and your bones strong, before, during and after your workout.