When to take Collagen
If you're not taking collagen at the right time, you are missing out on crucial benefits! In this article, I'll teach you the best time to take collagen peptides based on your specific health goal.
You want to take it at different times for weight loss, gut health, digestion or joint health. So buckle up and we'll get right to it.
If you're looking for the single best collagen to use, go ahead and try Bluebird Provisions chicken bone broth with collagen. It is absolutely delicious, minimally processed and has 12 grams of collagen per cup.
First a quick note: this website is reader-supported. I spend a lot of time personally evaluating, testing and reviewing each product on this list. When you buy through links on our site, I may earn an affiliate commission.
When to Take Collagen
When you take collagen depends on what health benefit you are after. There is a best time to take it for weight loss, gut health, digestion, joint health, glowing skin, sleep benefits and glucose control.
Best Time to Take Collagen
15-30 minutes before your meals
Digestion and Gut Health
First thing in the morning and before meals
Joint, Tendon and Ligament Strength
45 minutes before exercise (with 50 mg Vit C)
Skin, Hair, Teeth and Nails
Anytime, but daily
One hour before bed
Blood Sugar Control
30 minutes before large meals
Best Time to Take Collagen For Weight Loss
If you're looking to lose weight using collagen, then you want to take it regularly throughout the day and prioritize it 15-30 minutes before your meals.
The timing is crucial as high protein meals are shown to help keep you feeling fuller for longer. This means you will eat less at mealtime and throughout the day.
This allows you to seamlessly create a caloric deficit without even noticing.
Learn more about collagen for weight loss including the best types to take. Don't forget that your collagen intake should be part of a balanced diet.
Collagen Timing for For Digestive and Gut Health Issues
If you're suffering from digestive issues, bloating or GI upset then the best time to take collagen is first thing in the morning and before your meals on an empty stomach.
Collagen peptides are rich in amino acids (glycine, glutamine and proline) that soothes your digestion and prepares it to digest incoming food.
These amino acids even help build new connective tissue in your small and large intestines. You'll feel completely different because your gut is new and improved.
Get the specific details to optimize your gut health with collagen.
Before Exercise to Fix Joint Pain and Tendon Issues
The best time to take collagen for joint pain is 45 minutes before exercise. The key is to take it with 50 mg of Vitamin C.
Why before and not after exercise like other proteins?
It tuns out that the exercise activity loads you joints and helps push more collagen into your tendons, ligaments and joints. This is where you need it most!
If you take it after, you miss out on the crucial loading that exercise gives. You can learn more about this strategy in my collagen for joints primer.
You can squeeze lemon juice in your mug of broth to get enough vitamin C.
Take Daily for Glowing Skin, Strong Teeth
For glowing skin and stronger hair, nails and teeth, you need to at least 10 grams of collagen for 6-8 weeks. It takes a while but it is worth it for the long-term benefits.
Collagen helps to hydrate your skin, reduce wrinkles and help you rebuild new skin. You don't necessarily need to take it at a specific time. Just make sure you get some daily.
You can get your daily dose from bone broth or from collagen rich foods.
Benefits of Taking Collagen at Night
The benefits of collagen at night are that it gradually reduces your core body temperature, which helps you slip into deeper, more restorative sleep phases.
For a restorative nights sleep, take 15 grams of collagen about one hour before bed. 15 grams is necessarily to get the 3 grams of glycine you need.
Glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter (much like GABA) which helps your body relax and unwind.
Tip: Mix a scoop of your favorite collagen into your nightly tea or drink a mug of bone broth to get enough glycine.
Before Carb Heavy Meals to Control Blood Sugar
To control your blood sugar after carb heavy meals or if you are a type 2 diabetic, then take 15 grams of collagen before your meals.
The main amino acid that makes up 1/3rd or collagen is called glycine. Glycine is shown to decrease your blood sugar response to carbohydrate rich meals.
Type 2 diabetics are using glycine to help stabilize blood sugar and reduce insulin levels (1).
Starting with a dose (3-5g of glycine) first thing in the morning then with your carb heavy meals will go a long way to stave off a potential food coma.
After Fasting to Soothe Your Gut
Taking collagen peptides after fasting can help sooth your digestive system to prepare it from incoming food. This is because the amino acids fast track your digestion to get it back on track.
You really want gentle foods after a fast instead of bombarding your system with calories.
How to Maximize the Benefits of Collagen Peptides
You can maximize the benefits of collagen by taking it with Vitamin C, eating the right foods and lifting weights. Read on as I will break down the reasoning for each of these.
Take it with Vitamin C
Give your collagen a boost by pairing it with Vitamin C! Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis and it helps shuttle collagen into your body where you need it most.
You don't need a ton of Vitamin C, just 50 mg. You can get this from most foods, so from a practical perspective, just take your collagen with some food.
Eat These Collagen Boosting Foods
To complement your collagen supplement, make sure to include the following collagen boosting foods:
- Bone broth
- Sardines, herring and anchovies
- Animal skin
- Chicken wings/feet
- Tough cuts of meat (roast, flanks)
- Bone in meats (oxtal, ribs)
- Pork rinds
Now, don't worry! It's not as hard as you think to include these in your diet. You can find awesome bone broths online (check Bluebird Provisions) and opt for tougher cuts of meat in stews and slow-cooked dishes.
A daily dose of collagen will fit right into your routine without any extra hassle. For example, snack on some pork rinds or eat canned sardines with you meal.
Lift Weights or Move
Resistance exercise or lifting weights is the best way of maximizing your collagen benefits. This is because your joints, tendons, muscles and fascia all need heavy loads in order to move collagen to these areas.
This works especially well when you consume collagen 45 minutes before you lift weights. This will also give you a more resilient body so that you can withstand the rigours of your day as you age.
To incorporate this magic combo into your routine, follow these simple steps:
- Start your day with your collagen supplement. Remember, there are specific times that work better.
- Engage in resistance training or light exercises daily. Movements that use your whole body are best like squats, lunges or deadlifts. But any movement or exercise will yield some benefit.
Top Rated Collagen Peptides Supplement
There's a ton of collagen supplements on the market, and it's difficult to differentiate between them. One product I love is Sports Research collagen powder. This is a grass fed beef collagen with 10 grams of protein per serving.
What I love is that the brand prides themselves on third party testing. They use 'Informed Choice' to test specific batches of their products. This verifies that there is the exact nutrition facts and ingredients in the product that they claim.
In my experience, 99% of brands do not do this because it is expensive. The fact that they do this says a lot and is the reason they are top of my list.
If you wan to check some other brands out, get my full list of the best collagen peptides supplements.
Now, let's dive deeper:
- Pro: Manufactured in the U.S., ensuring high-quality ingredients.
- Pro: It's non-GMO and paleo-friendly, making it suitable for most diets.
- Con: Requires regular consumption for noticeable results.
- Con: Not suitable for vegans as it’s derived from animal sources.
Now if you want to absolute best chicken collagen available, try Bluebird Provisions Chicken Bone Broth powder.
Is it best to take collagen powder on an empty stomach?
If you are suffering from gut health or digestive issues, then it is best to take collagen on an empty stomach. Otherwise, it does not matter whether you take it on an empty stomach or not.
Collagen is a protein that helps stimulate digestive enzymes in your stomach, this is how it helps to reduce bloating and soothe your digestion.
If you're feeling bloated from collagen on an empty stomach, try consuming something salty or acidic to stimulate your digestive enzymes.
How long should you wait to eat after taking collagen?
From a practical perspective, you don't need to wait to eat after consuming collagen. You can take it with your meal, before or after. Some people think that it is better absorbed on an empty stomach, bu that is not true.
Carbs, protein and fat will merely slow down absorption, not impair it.
But if you are using collagen for blood sugar control, then aim to take it 60 minutes before a carb-heavy meal.
Is it better to take collagen in the morning or at night?
Whether it's better to take collagen in the morning or at night really depends on your individual needs. Scientifically, there's no definitive advantage to either timing. Some people take collagen in the morning for gut health benefits or to control blood sugar.
For example, you might add it to your morning smoothie. Others prefer taking collagen at night for inflammation support and to have a restful night's sleep. For instance, it can be a part of your bedtime routine. Remember, it's about finding what works for you and your schedule.
Do I have to take collagen on an empty stomach?
No, you don't have to take collagen on an empty stomach. Especially if you find that your stomach gets upset with collagen, in this case take it with a meal. Taking it on an empty stomach does not mean it will be absorbed better.
Your body continuously digests proteins, carbs and fat, so the time of consumption doesn’t significantly impact absorption.
When should I take collagen for best absorption?
There is no best or worse absorption, there is only faster or slower. For faster absorption you want to take collagen on an empty stomach. But faster does not necessarily mean better. Your body is always absorbing macronutrients, so you won't miss any benefits by taking it with food.
If you're struggling with digestive issues, take collagen first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or with food.
Bear in mind that the body can absorb collagen at any time. It is more about getting your weekly doses instead of cramming all of it at once.
The best time to take collagen peptides is generally on an empty stomach in the morning with breakfast, before a meal or in the evening with dinner.
If you want to optimize for glowing skin then take it with vitamin C. If you want to optimize for joint health, it with vitamin C 30 minutes before exercise. If you are looking for the absolute best source of collagen, try a high protein bone broth like the one from Bluebird Provisions.
You can find them online or on Amazon Prime for free shipping.
Do you have any questions about collagen? Leave a comment and I'll get back to you asap.
Bluebird Provisions is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.