Collagen has become an increasingly popular dietary supplement in recent years, with many people touting its myriad of health benefits. However, regularly wonder– does collagen make you gain weight? There are some claims out there stating collagen causes weight gain, and yet there are studies saying that collagen can help with weight loss; leaving people confused about whether they should take the supplement. In this article, we delve into the information behind the potential link between collagen supplements and weight gain, and help you separate fact from fiction.
Collagen: What Is It and How Does It Work?
Collagen is a type of natural protein found in the body. It makes up a significant proportion of our skin, bones, and joints. Collagen is vital for our bodies; its purpose is to support our tissues and keep their structure strong and flexible. As we age, the amount of collagen in our bodies naturally declines, which can lead to weakened joints, wrinkles, and sagging skin. This is why so many people commonly turn to collagen supplements to combat the effects of aging.
Taking collagen supplements has been shown to help improve the elasticity of skin, lower joint pain, and even increase bone density. However, it’s effects on weight gain is less clear.
Weight Gain: The Basics
Before we delve into the link between collagen and weight gain, it’s important to understand the basics of weight gain. Weight gain occurs when we consume more calories than we burn off, and the excess calories are stored as fat. This can be caused by a range of factors, such as an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, or hormonal imbalances.
But! These are not the only ways someone can gain weight. There are other, more temporary ways. Water retention and constipation can also affect your weight. There are a few factors, but when the body retains water instead of releasing it in normal amounts, this can cause someone to appear to gain weight. Usually, this fluctuates around 2-4 pounds, over or under someone’s resting weight. This is often the reason someone who’s just starting to exercise to lose weight but isn’t used to it might see instant results– they didn’t lose a bunch of fat, but instead instantly shed water, and may even be dehydrated.
Constipation can work similarly. If you don’t have enough water and fiber, your bowels aren’t able to get the toxins and excrement out of your body in a timely manner. This can cause bloating and to retain somewhere around 2-6 pounds for most people. This is why if someone’s trying a new diet that’s low in fiber and start working out, they may find themselves gaining weight on the scale at the end of the week due to dehydration and a lack of fiber. All of that can be spited by the fact they actually did achieve their goal. These two factors, constipation and water retention, are the reason why most doctors recommend weighing yourself at the same time each morning after you’ve gone to the bathroom; you’re more likely to get an accurate reading over the course of a week or two.
The Link Between Collagen and Weight Gain: Myths and Misconceptions
So, can collagen cause weight gain? Well, there are a few myths and misconceptions surrounding collagen and weight gain. For example, some people believe that collagen can directly cause weight gain, while others believe that it can slow down metabolism or increase appetite. So how does it really work? Is it a false understanding, like water retention and constipation?
There’s no direct link to weight gain, but collagen does affect water retention and bloating. Collagen helps your skin retain water and be less oily, but not enough to affect someone’s weight. Collagen also helps mildly with digestion, which can help make you less affected by constipation.
The Science of Collagen and Weight Gain
While there is no direct link between collagen and weight gain, there has been some research into the potential effects of collagen on metabolism and appetite. Some studies suggest that collagen supplements may increase metabolism, leading to greater calorie burn throughout the day. Additionally, collagen has been shown to help regulate appetite, which could lead to a reduction in calorie intake.
Why does it affect appetite? Proteins, like those found in meat, eggs, and fish, digest slower than carbohydrates like you might find in wheat, rice, and cheese. Since collagen is a form of protein, it works like other proteins, staying in your stomach longer– that’s how it can suppress your appetite. It’s also been shown to help increase your metabolism and your body composition like other proteins. Protein helps build muscles faster, and the more weight someone has in muscle, the faster their metabolism, which is why a high-protein diet is often recommended for those looking to lose weight. As we mentioned before, collage is a vital protein for the body to have, and thus it’s important to include it when trying to lose weight.
Collagen and Weight Gain: The Bottom Line
There is no direct evidence to suggest that collagen does make you gain weight. However, there is evidence to suggest that collagen supplements may be able to aid in weight loss by increasing metabolism and reducing appetite. If you are considering taking collagen supplements, it is important to remember to check in with your doctor or a nutritionist to determine whether or not they are appropriate for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any side effects of collagen supplements?
- While collagen supplements are generally considered safe, some people may experience side effects such as digestive upset or allergic reactions. It is important to speak to your doctor before starting any new supplement.
How long does it take to see results from collagen supplements?
- The timeline for collagen supplementation results can vary depending on the individual and the reason for taking the supplement. Some people may see results within a few weeks, while others may take longer.
How should you take collagen supplements?
- Collagen supplements can be taken in a variety of forms, such as powders, capsules, or drinks. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and speak to your doctor if you have any questions.
What type of collagen supplement should you take?
- There are several types of collagen supplements available, such as bovine collagen, marine collagen, or chicken collagen. The best type of collagen supplement for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
Technically, the jury is still out on whether or not collagen supplements can cause weight gain. While there is no direct evidence to support this claim, there is evidence to suggest that collagen supplements may be able to help with weight loss if used correctly. Ultimately, it’s important to engage in healthy lifestyle habits such as exercise and a balanced diet to support overall health and wellness.