When Should You Take Collagen Supplements For Maximum Effectiveness?

Who among us doesn't want extra shiny, lustrous hair, glowing skin, strong bones, muscles, and joints? Rest assured, we all do. An easy way to add extra strength and glow to our natural physiology is by supplementing it with collagen.

As one of the most abundant proteins in the body, collagen is the connective tissue in our body. It has the important job of connecting the skin to bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. In fact, 80% of our skin is made of collagen, and it provides structure to the hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments, and tendons. The amino acids that are its main components keep our body's skin, hair, and nails in working order. Without collagen, we would be in a lot of trouble.

In recent years, collagen supplements and creams have become an essential addition to most people's daily routines, but is there a particular time of the day or condition on which we should be consuming collagen supplements? Apparently not. Here's what the experts have to say.

What is the best time of the day to have collagen supplements?

A prevalent belief is that the body breaks down proteins better when the collagen supplement is taken on an empty stomach. In reality, it doesn't make much of a difference whether you consume collagen on a full or empty stomach. Scott Keatley, R.D. tells Mind Body Green, "The bulk of the breaking down of proteins actually happens in the small intestine, so full stomach, half-full stomach, or empty stomach — there will be little difference." 

You may also have heard that collagen supplements are most effective when taken at night, as the body is in recovery mode while sleeping. But there is no evidence to back this belief. As far as we know from literature and available information, collagen supplements are equally effective no matter what time of the day they are taken at. It usually takes a few hours for the collagen to reach the small intestine, where it begins to get fully absorbed in the body, so regardless of when you take it, there will be a delay in when it actually makes its way into the system.

However, the team at Natural Force says that taking collagen in the evening can help people relax, especially if they have worked out during the day. The particular protein that is part of collagen helps with the formation of creatine which builds muscle and eases joint pain while helping you get a good night's sleep.

What to combine your collagen supplements with?

It is common for people to consume their collagen supplements in their smoothie or coffee in the middle of the day as their mid-meal snack. People believe that this habit helps to keep them fuller for longer periods of time. This is, however, an erroneous belief. In reality, the power of collagen supplements to fill you up depends entirely on what you consume it with because it's the carrier that is filling you up.

Albert Matheny, M.S., R.D., CSCS, points out to Mind Body Green that "Having something with fiber and fat in it, like a smoothie with nut butter, along with your collagen supplement will help satisfy your appetite better than a sugar- or carb-based snack." Hence, if you take the collagen supplement with just water or coffee, it may not act as a fulfilling snack.

Ultimately, whatever time of the day you decide to take collagen supplements, it is most important to make them part of your daily routine in order to enjoy their wide range of health and beauty benefits. If you forget to take it from time to time, their results will certainly be hampered, and the supplement will not be effective in the long run. With this in mind, here is a list of the best collagen supplements to try in 2023.