Have you recently added a new collagen supplement to your routine?
Know when you can expect to see results from collagen supplements with this guide.
But first, let’s get a brief refresher on what collagen is.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It can be found everywhere -- in the joints, hair, skin, nails, and even the eyes.
Collagen's primary purpose is to provide structure. It is used to build muscle, tendons, ligaments, and skin.
There are over 20 different types of collagen found in the body, but the four most prevalent are:
- Type I: the most common form of collagen, found primarily in connective tissue
- Type II: found in joints as well as the cushion between the vertebrae of the spine
- Type III: an essential constituent of blood vessels and skin and plays a role in wound healing
- Type IV: found in the eye, kidneys, and ear
Our bodies naturally produce collagen from the amino acids and protein we consume through the diet. However, the body’s natural ability to synthesize collagen declines as we age, beginning between 25-30 years of age.
Collagen supplements (including Grass-Fed Bovine Collagen Peptides) have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their ability to support collagen production in the body and a number of other alluring benefits.
What are the Benefits of Collagen?
Improve Skin Elasticity
As we mentioned above, collagen plays a key role in the formation, quality, and appearance of your skin. Over the years, natural declines in collagen production coupled with exposure to environmental pollutants and consuming a poor diet can lead to signs of aging, wrinkles, and a loss of elasticity.
Collagen can help build back elasticity in the skin, encouraging the renewal of cells to promote firmer, plumper, more youthful-looking skin.
A systematic review of collagen supplements noted that consuming 3–10 grams of collagen per day for an average of 69 days led to skin elasticity and hydration improvements. Researchers noted that collagen supplements stimulate collagen production in the body and the production of other proteins (e.g., elastin and fibrillin) that help form your skin.
More recently, a meta-analysis also confirmed that supplementing with collagen increases collagen synthesis by fibroblasts, improves skin hydration and elasticity, and decreases wrinkles.
Support Joint Health
Collagen serves as a foundational component for tendons, ligaments, and joints. Decreased collagen production through the years can be a contributing factor to joint pain. Joint pain is one of the most common sources of pain and discomfort, affecting an estimated 15 million people in the US. 
Some research indicates that supplementing with collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and decrease overall joint pain.
Researchers contend that collagen supplements may accumulate in cartilage and stimulate collagen production in the body, which may help reduce pain, lower inflammation, and promote better joint health.
Supports Bone Health
As with many other things in the human body, bone mass can slowly decline with age. Bones provide essential structural support for the body, and it should come as no surprise that collagen is a significant player in the health and functionality of your bones.
Loss of bone mass and bone mineral density can lead to osteoporosis and increase the likelihood of fracture.
Collagen supplements have been found to help inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis. Additional studies note that consuming 5 grams of collagen daily for 12 months increased up to 7% in bone mineral density (BMD) compared with those who did not supplement with collagen.
Support Cardiovascular Health
Type III collagen is a major structural component of large blood vessels and the uterus. A loss of collagen can negatively affect arteries, becoming less flexible and elastic.
Some research indicates that daily collagen supplementation may help reduce artery stiffness and improve HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Stronger Hair and Nails
Collagen supplements may help increase the strength of your nails and help your hair and nails grow longer.
Types of Collagen Supplements
Collagen supplements can come in various forms, from powders to capsules to even topical creams and lotions!
Powder Collagen Supplements
Hydrolyzed collagen powder supplements typically contain collagen types I and III, such as our Grass-Fed Bovine Collagen Peptides. Steel Collagen also includes vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, which further aids collagen production in the body and helps your cells retain water, keeping them lubricated and moist.
Capsule Collagen Supplements
Most studies investigate collagen use between 2.5-20 grams of collagen. You'd have to consume a few handfuls worth of collagen capsules to get near this amount.
However, undenatured type II collagen has been shown to offer benefits using dosages as low as 40-1000mg.
Steel Beauty® is our female-focused hair, skin & nails supplement to help you maintain your youthful vibrancy.
Topical Collagen Supplements
While collagen supplements may be relatively new to the world of sports nutrition, it has been a mainstay of the cosmetics industry for quite some time.
Topical creams and body toning lotion with collagen can help build back elasticity in skin that declines due to aging, diet, and environmental stressors. Collagen encourages the renewal of cells, resulting in firmer, plumper, more youthful-looking skin.
Why Take Collagen Supplements?
While our bodies naturally produce collagen and we can obtain collagen through various foods in the diet, the reality is that collagen production naturally declines as we age. Furthermore, the average person isn't consuming foods rich in collagen (bone broth, gelatin, shrimp, sardines, wild salmon, etc.) regularly.
Collagen supplements provide an easy, affordable, and (in the case of Steel Collagen) delicious way to satisfy your collagen needs, all the while supporting the health and function of your most essential structures.
So How Long Does it Take for Collagen to Work?
Collagen isn't something you "feel" right after taking it like caffeine. It needs to be broken down by your body into its amino acids (e.g., proline, glycine, hydroxyproline, etc.) and then utilized by your body to synthesize new collagen.
This process takes time, which means you’ll need to be patient.
It could take several weeks before you start to notice differences in the mirror. Most research studies investigating collagen last between 8-12 weeks; however, some trials have lasted up to 12 months![4,5,9,10]
Just because you don't feel it working right away does not mean that it is not affecting the body. It just takes time.
1. Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Jan 1;18(1):9-16. PMID: 30681787.
2. Miranda, R. B., Weimer, P., & Rossi, R. C. (2021). Effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin aging: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. International Journal of Dermatology. doi:10.1111/ijd.15518
4. Porfírio, E., & Fanaro, G. (2016). Collagen supplementation as a complementary therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia, 19, 153–164. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-9823.2016.14145
5. García-Coronado JM, Martínez-Olvera L, Elizondo-Omaña RE, Acosta-Olivo CA, Vilchez-Cavazos F, Simental-Mendía LE, Simental-Mendía M. Effect of collagen supplementation on osteoarthritis symptoms: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Int Orthop. 2019 Mar;43(3):531-538. doi: 10.1007/s00264-018-4211-5. Epub 2018 Oct 27. PMID: 30368550.
6. König D, Oesser S, Scharla S, Zdzieblik D, Gollhofer A. Specific Collagen Peptides Improve Bone Mineral Density and Bone Markers in Postmenopausal Women-A Randomized Controlled Study. Nutrients. 2018;10(1):97. Published 2018 Jan 16. doi:10.3390/nu10010097
7. Kuivaniemi H, Tromp G. Type III collagen (COL3A1): Gene and protein structure, tissue distribution, and associated diseases. Gene. 2019;707:151-171. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2019.05.003
8. Tomosugi N, Yamamoto S, Takeuchi M, et al. Effect of Collagen Tripeptide on Atherosclerosis in Healthy Humans. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2017;24(5):530-538. doi:10.5551/jat.36293
9. Elam ML, Johnson SA, Hooshmand S, Feresin RG, Payton ME, Gu J, Arjmandi BH. A calcium-collagen chelate dietary supplement attenuates bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteopenia: a randomized controlled trial. J Med Food. 2015 Mar;18(3):324-31. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2014.0100. Epub 2014 Oct 14. PMID: 25314004.
10. Bolke L, Schlippe G, Gerß J, Voss W. A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients. 2019;11(10):2494. Published 2019 Oct 17. doi:10.3390/nu11102494