Do Collagen Drinks Actually Make a Difference?
Collagen is an important, naturally occurring protein in the body that acts as a scaffold for our skin – keeping it firm, plump and supported. For those who have lost the volume in their faces – anyone over the age of 25-30 and especially women of menopausal age – there is a temptation to try the now heavily marketed collagen drinks that promise to slow collagen loss easily and deliciously. Of course, as with every “new and simpler” way to improve our bodies, there is always a catch, or at least a few things to consider.
First and foremost, we must explore whether or not drinking collagen containing drinks actually make that much of a difference. The answer is that it depends. There is not much concrete data to support they do. While some preliminary data has shown a benefit, there are too many confounding factors to make a definitive conclusion. All we know is that drinking collagen COULD trigger a bodily response to create more collagen naturally.
That said, probably the greatest guaranteed benefit a patient will derive from drinking collagen infused liquids is hydration. Most Americans are chronically dehydrated and that takes a toll on the skin. Those who suffer from dehydration can have leathery, sagging and lifeless skin. Drinking collagen drinks, or any liquid for that matter, can improve that.
Can Collagen Drinks Actually Be Harmful?
This answer will depend, of course. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA and there is there for very little oversight to ensure the quality and efficacy of these drinks. While it is unlikely that these drinks have significant ill effects on your health, it is very possible that they contain ingredients who’s effect on the body is not well understood and could cause GI upset, for example. Further, if these collagen drinks contain sugar or even artificial sweetener, this can have a detrimental metabolic effect by causing weight gain and triggering a craving for more sugar.
Collagen drinks can also be very expensive. Being that they promise lofty benefits, they usually come with a price tag to match. To be sure, if the cost of these drinks doesn’t bother you, choose your drink wisely and by all means go for it. However, if cost is a concern, you may get similar benefit from plain old water.
So What’s the Answer?
Unfortunately, there is not enough data to show that collagen infused drinks actually make a difference. Instead, we suggest starting with an improved diet and exercise program, losing excess weight, improving your diet by adding healthy fats such as avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts and other delicious and healthy options. Also, improve your hydration and protect your skin with sunscreen. Finally, keep the bad habits out of your life including smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. You may also wish to change your make up routine, using natural, mineral versions or just stop using make up all together. Also, encouraging your daughter(s) to refrain from using make up may improve their overall skin health. All of these can help slow the loss of collagen, even if they don’t stimulate new collagen production.
You may consider starting a non-surgical face regimen with Dr. Szymanski. These regimens can improve the look of your skin dramatically. A consultation is a great way to understand more about your skin and how it can be improved.