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What Is Collagen Water, and Is It Good for You?
Beauty trends keep changing on a dime. Sometimes it's snail and mud facial, sometimes it's celery juice, and as of now, it's collagen water. Before you jump on the collagen water bandwagon though, it would be good to know what exactly it is, and whether it is actually good for you.
In this article, we will explore what collagen water is and whether it's good for your overall well-being, skin, and other facets of health.
What is Collagen Water?
Collagen water is just what it states to be – it is a simple mixture of collagen and water. It can be made at home or it can be store-bought.
At home, it is made by mixing collagen peptides in water; these peptides are also called hydrolyzed collagen. You just take one scoop of whatever collagen powder you have and mix it with water. You can also mix it with fruit juices, or squeeze a lemon into the mix.
You can also add the powder to tea, coffee, and hot chocolate, or just blend it in with your morning smoothie for a combined boost.
Collagen peptides are essentially short-chain amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), usually extracted from animal products like skin and bones. It can be taken from beef, pig, chicken, sheep, rabbit, or duck tissues.
Marine collagen can be extracted from fish, jellyfish, and seas sponges – because they have fewer contaminants and cause less inflation, this type of collagen is more in demand.
However, pre-packaged collagen drinks are all the rage at the moment, not least because you don’t have to even take the effort to mix your collagen powder into water. Packaged collagen water also has some additional supplements added to it. These may include hyaluronic acid, extra protein, zinc, Vitamin C, and sometimes some fruit juice extracts or sweeteners for taste.
Functions of Collagen in the Body?
Collagen is mostly associated with skin, nails, and hair. Many beauty products contain collagen and collagen supplements are often marketed on the premise of offering you smoother, more elastic, bouncier skin that is free of wrinkles, shinier hair, and healthier nails.
However, there are many different kinds of collagen in the body that perform an array of functions. Collagen is the protein that makes up connective tissues between ligaments, muscles, and bones. It gives your body strength and structure, as well as forming an important part of cartilage to ensure bone and joint health.
As the most prominent protein in the body, making up 33% of all proteins, collagen is crucial for many different functions including as a part of blood vessels, covering the organs, and making up the lining of the intestines.
Does Collagen Water Have any Benefits?
There is insufficient evidence to prove the potential benefits of drinking collagen water, as being greater, equal to, or less than topical collagen or collagen supplements. Because collagen is used in cosmetics, there is a popular narrative that ingesting it will improve skin, hair, and nail health.
However, this is borne out by very little evidence, since the United States Food and Drug Administration does not regulate any collagen supplement products. There have only been minimal studies – but the good news is, these studies have shown promising outcomes.
Benefits for Skin
Collagen water may be able to improve the quality of your skin and reduce the signs of aging. It can increase skin elasticity and make it plumper, hydrated, and firm. It may help to reduce wrinkles and lift sagging skin, in addition to reducing skin tears and healing skin wounds faster.
Hydrolyzed collagen may also improve the texture and appearance of your skin, by making it smoother and brighter. It takes away dark spots, tackles pigmentation, and gives you an even skin tone.
It also promotes the restoration and rejuvenation of skill cells, minimizes dullness, and helps your skin retain as much moisture as possible.
Benefits for Hair and Nails
Collagen water also has multiple benefits for your hair and nails. It makes the component proteins of your hair and nails i.e., keratin stronger and thereby reduced brittleness and breakage.
Collagen also has the proline amino acid found in keratin to make hair thicker and promote hair growth. It also contains antioxidants which can reduce hair graying due to oxidative stress.
Collagen also contributes to smooth nails, without any yellowing, discoloration, ridges, or spots – in essence, pink and shiny nails!
A Protein Boost
Collagen water is rich in protein, with some brands containing up to 10 grams per bottle. You can use it either as a pre-workout or post-workout drink.
As a pre-workout drink, it keeps you hydrated and full, so you can easily hold out till breakfast. As a post-workout drink, it may help with the recovery of injured muscles and reduces joint pain.
Other than beauty benefits, collagen is an important constituent of bone health as well. It can help with cartilage regeneration thereby improving the prognosis of osteoarthritis patients, and keeping bones and joints well-lubricated.
It could help slow down the bone breakdown and disintegration that comes naturally with age, or age and activity-related wear and tear.
Remember that there is only a limited amount of collagen your body can absorb, no matter which way you choose to use it i.e., whether by topical application or by drinking the compound. Plus, not all sub-types of collagen work for all different purposes. For example, types III and I are the main components of supplements for hair, skin, and nails.
While collagen water is normally very low-risk and doesn't show many side effects, you must be careful of a few matters. There is no vegan/vegetarian collagen, as collagen peptides are always sourced from animals, some of which may cause allergic reactions e.g., marine sources.
Some collagen water has a lot of additives, sweeteners, and preservatives which aren't healthy. And since collagen water isn’t regulated by the U.S. F.D.A., you will have to be careful to buy only trusted brands, or those brands that ensure that third-party quality testing.
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