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Here's what collagen does for your skin

In recent years, collagen has grown increasingly popular in the health and wellness space. It’s used by many for its skin benefits, but what exactly is collagen, what is it good for, and how can you incorporate it into your own routine? Here, we’re diving headfirst into the world of collagen to uncover more about this trending supplement and help you decide whether it’s a good fit for you. 

What is collagen?

The most abundant structural protein in the body, collagen is found in the hair, skin, nails, connective tissue, tendons, and bones. It acts as a glue-forming protein that affects the firmness and elasticity of the skin. Collagen is composed of the amino acids hydroxyproline, glycine and proline, among others.  

What is collagen good for?

Although the body can produce collagen by itself, the amount it’s able to dwindles as we age. This decrease in collagen production can lead to certain signs of aging that we all have to come to terms with eventually — wrinkles. It’s by no means a miracle elixir, but collagen is partly responsible for the firmness and elasticity of the skin, so maintaining our intake is a wonderful way to help curb those crow’s feet and laugh lines. Collagen also gives structure and elasticity to nails, bones, muscles and joints.  

Collagen is partly responsible for the firmness and elasticity of the skin

How much collagen do you need per day?  

Several studies show that adults benefit from 2.5g to 15g of collagen per day. In addition to the collagen produced by the body, you can also get a portion of this daily dose from food and collagen supplements (more on that later). 

What foods contain collagen?  

If you want to give your skin a boost in the right direction, it can’t hurt to watch your collagen intake after the age of 25. Here are some natural sources of collagen 

Broth  

One of the best ways to ingest collagen is with a nice hot broth. Sure, it’s easy to make your own with a cube of stock from the supermarket, but homemade broth will be much richer in collagen (and tastier!). Ask your mum or grandma for a good recipe or search the web and give it a go yourself.  

Red meat  

You can also get collagen through red meats like beef, pork, and lamb. These (and many others) also contain the amino acids the body needs to make its own collagen. Too much red meat, however, does carry other health risks, so try to limit your portions to around three per week.  

Chicken 

Another good source of collagen is chicken. In particular, the skin. So, the next time you’re cooking up your famous Sunday roast, remember to turn up the heat and get it extra crispy. 

Fish 

Again, it’s not necessarily the meat of the fish that contains a lot of collagen but the skin. Get your salmon with the skin on for a good portion of collagen in one sitting.  

Getting enough collagen as a vegan

It can be difficult for vegetarians and vegans to get enough collagen through food (as you can see, the sources above are all animal). Unfortunately, vegan collagen supplements are not available. If you live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, it’s better to support your skin in other ways. Paying attention to your vitamin C intake, for example, is important as it contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of skin.  

Collagen supplements  

If you’re a flexitarian that leans more plant-based, or you just don’t like red meats, broth and skin, it’s still possible to get extra collagen using a supplement. Read on for more information on the types of collagen supplements available.  

What is a collagen supplement made of?  

If collagen already occurs naturally in our bodies, then what are collagen supplements made from? Well, we can divide collagen into three different categories:  

Bovine collagen  

This common form of collagen often comes from bovine bones, although it’s also found in/under the skin of a bovine.  

Pig collagen 

Pig collagen is mainly extracted from the bones of pigs. We often see it in the form of gelatin.  

Fish collagen  

The collagen in fish is of a similar protein structure to that of humans. This means that our body can absorb this form of collagen the best.  

How many mg of collagen does a supplement contain?  

The dosage of collagen varies from product to product. As we discussed earlier, it’s been scientifically proven that adults benefit from 2.5g to 15g of collagen per day. So, you can assume that most supplements contain at least 2.5g.  

What is the best collagen supplement?  

When there’s so many collagen supplements out there, finding the right one for you can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a good entry-level product for everyday use, Body&Fit Collagen Beauty Drink Mix is ideal. Each serving contains 4.5g of protein along with a dose of vitamin C, vitamin E and manganese. It’s enriched with hyaluronic acid, another popular ingredient in beauty products, and available in refreshing Pineapple Mango, Pink Lemonade and Raspberry flavours 

For more of a pure, high protein collagen supplement, Body&Fit Pure Collagen Protein is perfect for after training. It contains 19g of protein per serving and is flavourless, making it excellent for adding to shakes and smoothies. In addition, 1 scoop of 20g contains only 72 kcal. The product contains no added colors, flavours, sweeteners or preservatives.  

We also stock collagen by Vital Proteins. Their Marine Collagen provides 12g of high-quality white fish collagen peptides in a versatile powder that you can mix into both hot and cold liquids, smoothies and shakes. 

Collagen tablets  

A quick, easy and convenient way to get more collagen is with collagen tablets. Our Body&Fit Collagen Tabs contain 2.5mg of premium Verisol® collagen per daily dose (three tablets) on top of vitamin C, which contributes to the formation of collagen and supports normal skin function.  

Do you struggle to take your daily tabs and caps? Then read through our blog on building a routine and using a habit tracker. We explain exactly how you can stick to the agreements you make with yourself, such as taking vitamins and collagen tablets each day. You can find the article here: how to find a routine that works for you. 

Can collagen make you gain weight?  

No, collagen will not cause you to gain weight. The main cause of weight gain is consuming more calories than you burn. Since collagen itself is low in calories, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on any weight gain.  

Other foods that support the skin  

Aside from collagen, a balanced and varied diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is essential for glowing skin. Make sure you get enough of the following vitamins:  

Vitamin B3 (niacin) 

A popular ingredient in skin care products, vitamin B3 is also found in meat, fish, whole grain cereals, vegetables and potatoes.  

Vitamin B8 

Also known as  biotin, you can find vitamin B8 in eggs, liver, milk, nuts and peanuts.  

Vitamin A  

The fat-soluble vitamin A is mainly found in animal products like meat, dairy, fish and egg yolks. Liver is especially high in vitamin A.  

Vitamin C  

Vitamin C enhances the normal function of collagen in the body and is found in fruits, vegetables and potatoes. Certain types of cabbage, peppers, citrus fruits, kiwis, berries and strawberries also contain a lot of this well-known vitamin.  

A daily boost of collagen can certainly help skin appear fresher, firmer and more vibrant, although a healthy, well-balanced diet is essential. When you’re nourishing your body with all the right foods, that feel-good feeling is sure to shine through. For more information about collagen or any of the other health, fitness and beauty supplements across our range, feel free to contact our Nutrition Experts @bodyandfit_official who are always on hand to help you #FINDYOURFIT.

Sources:   

Collagen Powder: Health Benefits, Safety Information, Dosage, and More (webmd.com) 

Vegan collageen poeder – Een volwaardig alternatief? (viscollageen.nl) 

How Much Collagen Should You Take Per Day? Experts Explain | mindbodygreen