What is collagen water? Benefits, risks and more explained by a dermatologist

Previously only people in your spin class would walk around drinking fancy water – like vitamin water for nutrients or coconut water for electrolytes. But now it looks like everyone and their mom are carrying collagen water. You know collagen has something to do with skin care, but what exactly is it doing in your water bottle?

Collagen water is basically water with dissolved collagen,” says Dr. Melanie Palm, MD, board-certified dermatologist. MD Skin Art in San Diego, California. Collagen is a protein that the human body produces naturally that helps strengthen your hair, skin, bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments, says Dr. Palm. As to why your workout buddies and hairstylist are now drinking this stuff, it’s because humans don’t have an unlimited supply – and supplementation can help with that. It has become more popular in recent years as celebrities like Kourtney kardashian have started collaborating with supplement brands to bring collagen drinks to pharmacies near you. According to a 2018 review published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the use of collagen in the beverage, food and health industries will be worth more than $6.6 billion by 2025.

Collagen is not just necessary for the skin. “As we age, the the amount of collagen we produce decreases, resulting in weak connective tissue, wrinkles, poor joint health, and drier, sagging skinDr. Palm told Bustle. “If a person is looking to increase their protein intake or support joint health, collagen water might be a good option,” she notes, adding that it is more portable than powdered supplements than you could mix it into a smoothie.

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Benefits of collagen water

Despite all the hype about collagen supplements, it helps to figure out what they can actually do for you. You might be interested in incorporating more protein into your diet if you’ve recently resumed those boot camp classes in your gym. Collagen water can also make you feel fuller for longer, says Dr. Palm, which can help you get through those early morning workouts without those hunger pangs. breakfast “.

But that’s not what most people talk about when they talk about collagen. Usually people focus on the potential skin care aspects of collagen intake: It is often suggested that collagen can help people avoid wrinkles or keep their skin “younger”.

In reality, you can’t really choose which collagen will help your body the most. According to a 2020 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, people can get some benefits of ingesting collagen supplements, but the body decides how it works based on your individual needs. “While collagen supplements are broken down by the intestine into basic parts called amino acidsIt is at our body’s discretion how it chooses to use these “building blocks,” says Dr. Palm. “Collagen taken orally could end up helping to build muscle, bone or skin. “

Ultimately, giving your body extra raw materials to help keep your skin healthy doesn’t make collagen a catch-all for changing the look of your skin. “As for other widely claimed benefits, like maintaining plump, youthful skin, there is still not enough definitive data to confirm this,” Dr. Palm told Bustle.

Risks associated with collagen water

If swallowing protein outside of the context of a shake sounds odd, you can be sure it’s not usually harmful. “In fgeneral, drink collagen water is safe, ”says Dr. Palm. But that doesn’t mean you should take the first bottle labeled with collagen that you see on the shelf. Dr. Palm notes that some brands may contain flavorings or sugar, which you may or may not want in your gym drink. Additionally, like any other supplement, Dr. Palm points out that collagen water is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so it’s up to you to find brands you trust.

If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you will need to proceed with caution. Dr Palm says that the collagen in collagen water usually comes from cattle or marine animals. There are herbal collagen stimulation options there, but if a supplement is intended for the direct ingestion of dissolved collagen, it will be made from animal sources, unless otherwise specified. And people with kidney problems may want completely avoiding collagen waterDr. Palm told Bustle. “Those with renal failure should avoid excess protein in their diet, ”she explains. “A doctor should be seen first, but he probably shouldn’t drink collagen water due to his underlying medical condition.”

Regardless of your condition, Dr. Palm advises against making collagen water your primary source of hydration. “Too much of anything can theoretically be a bad thing,” she stresses.

Vs collagen water. Liquid collagen

Collagen water is a separate thing (ish) from liquid collagen. Collagen in liquid form maybe something you most associate with a cosmetic surgeon’s syringe or one of those little vials with a dropper. And of course some liquid collagen can be distributed directly into your skin or onto your food. But unless it’s a syringe, the liquid collagen marketed to be taken orally can be taken in a drink, that is, in the form of collagen water.

Collagen water or liquid collagen aren’t the only ways to get your dose of amino acids – there are powders and tablets, too. However, the liquid forms of the protein could be more efficient because of the way the body break it down. The most direct way to give your body the benefits of collagen might just be to fill your comically oversized water bottle with the stuff.

Referenced studies:

Avila Rodriguez, MI. (2018) Collagen: A Review of Its Sources and Potential Cosmetic Applications. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29144022/.

Anderson, KL (2020) Clinical evidence for the anti-aging effects of a nutraceutical drink with collagen peptides on the skin. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, https://jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961620S0002X.


Dr. Melanie Palm, MD, Certified Dermatologist, Art of Skin MD

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