So you want to find out if collagen for weight loss is a scam or the real deal. Well you’ve come to the right place. Research shows that collagen protein is a key factor in losing weight and adding lean muscle. Collagen has been shown to reduce inflammation, repair joints and increase muscle mass.
What Is Collagen?
So, what exactly is collagen? Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin, bones, hair, nails, tendons, and ligaments—it’s like the glue that holds our bodies together. (1) Our bodies use the protein in food to make it naturally, but there’s one small catch: our natural supply decreases as we age (like everything else..sigh).
Collagen ensures the cohesion, elasticity, and regeneration of all connective tissue matrices and can be found in tissues such as skin, blood vessels, bones, tendons, and ligaments. It’s even found in your teeth, cornea, cartilage, digestive tract, and the discs between your vertebrae. It’s everywhere!
Benefits of Collagen for Weight Loss
Losing weight can be hard, and keeping the weight down can be even harder. Thankfully, numerous studies have shown that collagen may be able to help. Collagen can not only help you lose weight, it can also help you deal with some of the side effects of weight loss too, including ensuring your body stays strong and maintaining the integrity of your skin after shedding a few pounds. Below you will find five ways in which collagen can be pretty useful when it comes to losing weight, maintaining it, and looking good.
1. Collagen Provides Fullness unlike Other Proteins
Specifically, research has shown collagen peptides are even more satiating than some protein powders. One clinical trial found collagen to be 40% more filling than the same quantity of whey, casein, or soy, and individuals consumed 20% less at their next meal after collagen consumption than individuals who consumed other types of protein. That means they consumed 20% fewer calories, thus promoting weight loss because less energy is consumed.
A lot of people use orotein powders for the purpose of promoting satiation, but many of these protein products can be packed with fillers and other unnatural additives for taste. Collagen is great because in its pure form, it had no sweeteners or otherwise. Clean collagen can help you stay full and satisfied without other unhelpful substances entering your body. When you feel fuller and for a longer time, you are much less likely to overeat the next time you have a meal. Less energy consumption is one of the keys to losing weight.
2. Collagen May Help Suppress Appetite
A helpful collagen weight loss benefit is that it may help suppress appetite. Another study among obese and diabetic patients found intake of hydrolyzed collagen stimulated the release of satiating hormones into the blood. After cosumption of collagen, patients had a reduced appetite, resulting in a decreased overall food intake. These diabetic patients were able to lose weight by eating less because the collagen protein played an important role in reducing their appetites.
Suppressing hunger hormones won’t directly help you lose weight by itself. However, it makes it much easier for you to have cravings or give in to cravings, because you don’t feel the desire to eat as strongly. Losing weight is hard enough, so why not make it easier for you to keep up with your weight loss diet?
3. Collagen May Help Retain Muscle Mass
As we age, our bodies lose muscle mass and often replace it with fat. This loss of muscle correlates with excess excretion of nitrogen in urine and increased dietary protein needs in elderly people. Research has shown collagen for weight loss supplementation can be effective in helping aging individuals maintain lean body mass and preserve nitrogen balance. In a study among 71-year-old women, patients who supplemented with collagen peptides demonstrated better preservation of lean body mass and nitrogen balance than patients who were given whey supplements. Higher muscle mass helps with weight loss because the body burns calories faster.
Of course, retaining muscle mass is important for aging, but it’s also important in general when it comes to losing weight and staying healthy. If we want to stay active in order to keep our bodies strong, we also need to make sure we can help the body prevent injury and aches and pains. Arginine, which is an amino acid that can be found in collagen, has been found to help support overall strength in adult males. It has also been found to promote recovery! This is important in helping you stay active and on the right track to losing that weight and keeping it off.
4. Collagen May Help In Smoothing Cellulite Appearance
By strengthening the dermis layer of our skin, collagen also plays an important role in hiding cellulite. Cellulite becomes more visible as our skin stretches, thins, and sags. Collagen makes up 70% of our skin, proving it to be a very important component of the body. It also makes up 90% of our connective tissues. Therefore, it makes sense that collagen supplementation has been clinically proven to increase skin-collagen expression and improve elasticity and thickness, which is important for hiding fat cells that lie underneath the skin5, 6.
How to Use Collagen for Weight Loss
Implementing collagen into your daily routine is way easier than you may think. Collagen products are now widely available, and they come in many forms. You can get your collagen from bone broth, for example, but many find it easier to use collagen supplements instead. The most popular way of adding collagen into one’s diet is through using collagen peptides, which are hydrolyzed collagen molecules in powder form that can be absorbed into just about any liquid, hot or cold!
We recommend Further Food Collagen Peptides, because they are organic and GMO-free. They are sourced from grass-fed bovine hides from South America, and are highly bioavailable. Further Food Premium Marine Collagen Peptides are also a great source of hydrolyzed collagen that sustainably comes from wild-caught codfish. Both of these collagen products are flavorless, so you can add them into virtually any recipe! Of course, if you’re looking for some flavor, try Further Food Chocolate Collagen Peptides or our Vanilla Collagen Peptides!
How Can Collagen Help With Weight Loss?
While most people were introduced to collagen on the beauty side, I was introduced to collagen by a personal trainer about 5 years ago. At the time he was in his late 30’s, but he moved like a 17-year-old. He told me that he’d dealt with several sports injuries and his doctor told him collagen could help strengthen his bones and ligaments. Unknown to him at the time, it was also effective at helping him keep his weight down. As we get older it can be harder to maintain a healthy weight. But, ongoing research about collagen shows that collagen supplementation just might be the key in your journey to stay at a healthy weight. There are several ways using collagen for weight loss works: let’s talk about them.
1. Collagen Promotes Satiety
When you are not hungry you will be less likely to eat more and can wait longer between meals. That’s how using collagen for weight loss works. Collagen peptides are full of high-quality proteins. Proteins are great at making you feel full and satisfied after you eat a meal. Over time, you’ll be eating less and getting more nutrients from the foods you do eat so you will be able to lose weight faster. This is similar to the results you’d see with paleo and keto diets!
2. Collagen Supports Muscle & Connective Tissues
Collagen can, directly and indirectly, help you lose weight. One way it indirectly helps you lose weight is that it helps strengthen ligaments and tendons that may have been damaged due to injury or have simply weakened with age. (2) Collagen can help build strong muscles, prevent injury, and repair tissue damage. So when it’s time to workout, you feel stronger and more energetic. You recover much faster, so you’re ready for your next workout. This can help you keep a consistent regiment and ultimately lose weight.
3. Collagen Improves Gut Health & Digestion
Collagen is all the rage in health and wellness circles for its ability to heal, seal, and repair the gut lining, which results in improved overall health. Healthy gut, healthy life, right? This is because the villi that line the intestinal wall is actually built of collagen. If your gut isn’t healthy it can hinder weight loss, so adding a multi-collagen to you could be the best move you haven’t made! Be sure to check out this blog post to learn more about the specific benefits collagen has on your gut health.
Collagen is a major structural protein, making up 25 to 30 percent of the proteins in your body. It gives structure to connective tissue like:
- blood vessels
Collagen is made of amino acids, which are considered the building blocks of protein. The amino acids glycline, proline, and hydroxyproline account for 57 percentTrusted Source of the total amino acids in collagen.
Amino acids are shaped like chains. In collagen, the amino acids are tightly twisted like a rope, making collagen extremely strong and stable.
In the body, collagen is naturally produced by cells called fibroblasts. Optimal collagen formation requires getting enough high-quality protein and vitamin C in your diet. You can also get collagen directly by eating certain foods and by consuming supplements.
Collagen supplements are made from the bones and tissues of animals, like cows, horses, pigs, or fish. The goal of these supplements is to help your body rebuild collagen. Types of collagen supplements include:
- Gelatin. Gelatin, or cooked collagen, is made by heating collagen for a long time. The heat degrades collagen, forming smaller proteins.
- Hydrolyzed. If the proteins are further broken down into amino acids, it’s known as hydrolyzed collagen. This form is also called hydrolyzed gelatin, collagen peptides, or collagen hydrolysate.
- Undenatured. Undenatured collagen is intact and hasn’t been degraded.
Collagen supplements are available in several forms:
- in packaged foods or drinks
Can collagen help with weight loss?
To date, there’s been minimal research on the direct link between collagen supplements and weight loss. Most studies are small, outdated, or involve animals.
Although more research is needed, existing studies on the broader benefits of collagen show how these supplements may indirectly help with your weight loss goals:
Collagen supplements may increase satiety, or the feeling of fullness. This could aid weight loss and management by reducing hunger, and therefore, how many calories you eat in a day.
Collagen might have this effect because it’s a protein. According to a 2020 reviewTrusted Source, high-protein diets increase satiety hormones like glucagon-like peptide-1 and cholecystokinin. They also suppress ghrelin, a hunger hormone.
According to a 2008 studyTrusted Source, increased protein intake can also increase thermogenesis, which influences satiety and energy expenditure. The study also notes that higher protein diets may stimulate muscle protein anabolism, “favoring the retention of lean muscle mass while improving metabolic profile.”
Also, in a small 2009 studyTrusted Source, gelatin was found to reduce hunger 44 percent more than casein, the protein in milk.
It’s worth noting that gelatin is an incomplete protein, meaning it lacks all the amino acids the body needs. You can’t meet your protein needs with gelatin or collagen supplements alone. But supplements can increase your overall protein intake, potentially improving satiety.
Increase muscle mass
Building muscle is an essential component of weight loss. That’s because muscle burns more calories at rest, increasing overall calorie expenditure.
Taking collagen supplements may help your efforts by increasing muscle mass. Remember, collagen is the main structural protein in your muscles.
In a 2015 study involving older adults, participants with sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) completed 12 weeks of weight training. Half of the participants took collagen peptide supplements, while the other half took a placebo.
Those who took collagen peptides experienced a greater improvement in muscle mass and strength. They also lost more fat mass than the placebo group.
These results suggest that collagen supplements can support loss of body fat by enhancing the effects of weight training on muscle mass.
Reduce fat accumulation
There’s some evidence that collagen may reduce the development and accumulation of adipocytes, or fat cells.
A 2019 studyTrusted Source found that collagen from skate, a type of fish, reduces body fat in humans. The amount of fat lost was small, but suggests potential benefits for weight loss.
Similarly, in a 2018 animal studyTrusted Source, collagen peptides from skate had an anti-obesity effect in mice. The researchers linked this effect to improved fat metabolism and reduced fat accumulation.
A 2016 animal studyTrusted Source also found that collagen hydrolysate (also called collagen peptides) reduced fat cell size and weight gain in rats.
Relieve joint pain
Collagen supplements might indirectly help weight loss by reducing joint pain. Healthy joints are needed to move comfortably during exercise and daily activities. Engaging more regularly in physical activity could then in turn support weight management.
A 2015 studyTrusted Source found that collagen peptides can manage osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis happens when your joint cartilage wears down, causing joint pain and stiffness.
Also, in a 2017 study involving athletes, collagen peptides decreased knee joint pain related to physical activity.
If joint pain prevents you from working out, these benefits of collagen may help.