After learning the myriad health benefits collagen has to offer, it’s only natural to wonder, “How long does it take for collagen supplements to work?”
The answer is a little more complex than a single digit. For starters, everybody reacts differently to dietary supplements. Your teenage son may experience an immediate reduction in post-workout muscle soreness after adding collagen powder to his protein shake. Meanwhile, your aunt in her fifties may only feel her joint pain lessening after supplementing with collagen peptides for a few months.
As you can see, how soon your collagen supplement will work is also highly dependent on the specific health benefit you’re using it for. We’ll take a look at how long it takes for collagen to work according to its various benefits, and why too much collagen won't speed up the journey.
How Long Does It Take for Collagen to Work On Joints?
Expected time: 1-6 months
One of the most popular reasons people look toward collagen is its impressive joint health-boosting capabilities. But, how long do you have to wait for the aches to diminish, and for you to feel like your younger self again?
A more conservative study places joint pain relief after six months of collagen supplementation. Another clinical study also highlighted “an improvement of 32% in joint pain, 44% in stiffness and 22% in function” after six months of taking collagen peptides.
Meanwhile, a 2012 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shared that participants who consumed two grams of collagen supplement every day experienced less osteoarthritis pain by day 35, with significant improvement on day 70.
As such, you may start seeing improvement in joint discomfort in as short as a month, or even less, as one client testimonial for Zen Principle collagen supplements proclaims:
“I am in the moderate stage of Osteoarthritis in my knee. I would estimate that I was in some level of pain (mostly severe) 75% of my waking hours....pretty miserable. I have been taking a dose in the AM and a second dose at night ever since receiving it. Roughly 3 weeks later, I am SO ecstatic to report that I now have pain roughly 5% of the day. I have also been moving around more, stretching and walking more but it is WONDERFUL to have less pain.”
How Long Does It Take for Collagen to Work On Bones?
Expected time: At least 1 year
When it comes to bone health, collagen supplementation will take longer to show results. Based on a 2018 study in the Journal of Nutrients, 102 postmenopausal women who took five grams of collagen peptides had higher bone mass density at the end of 12 months.
How Long Does It Take for Collagen to Work On Hair?
Expected time: 2-6 months
The current scientific literature has no conclusive evidence regarding collagen supplements for hair growth. That being said, one study shows that a supplement containing collagen as one of its active ingredients increased hair growth, volume, and thickness after six months. What’s more, participants started seeing significant improvements around the 3-month mark.
Anecdotal evidence from our customers also highlights similar results:
“Amazing! My hair is growing back. You have to take it for a couple of months if you have severe hair loss and you want to see results. Be patient. My skin is more supple, nails are stronger and it fills me up when I need a quick fix.”
“I have been taking two scoops in my coffee for 60 days now. At 53, my hair had stopped growing for a year. My hair is now 2.5 inches longer.”
How Long Does It Take for Collagen to Work For Nails?
Expected time: 6 months or more
If you’re supplementing with collagen to enhance nail health, you may need a couple of months. Having said that, the wait is definitely worth it in the end.
Scientific evidence indicates that six months of daily collagen supplementation increased nail growth rate by 12% and decreased the frequency of broken nails by 42%. Overall, 64-88% of all participants observed an improvement in the appearance of their brittle nails post-treatment.
This is further backed by glowing customer reviews at Zen Principle:
“WOW my nails have never been this strong. So I expect it to be helping bones and tendons. Very pleased because I’ve used many other collagens and NEVER had this much of an impact.”
“Nails are stronger and my nail ridges have disappeared in the new growth.”
How Long Does It Take for Collagen to Work On Muscles?
Expected time: 2 days to 3 months
From weight loss to muscle gains, collagen supplements are a hit among gym-goers and professional athletes. But how quickly this protein shows results will vary according to specific parameters:
- Muscle soreness: One study discovered that collagen peptides significantly downplayed muscle soreness two days after the workout
- Injury prevention and tissue repair: Research highlights vitamin C-enriched collagen gelatin enhanced collagen synthesis in the body within 3-6 days
- Weight loss: The Journal of Marine Drugs reports 12 weeks of collagen peptide supplementation significantly reduced body fat percentage in participants
- Muscle growth and strength: When combined with resistance training, 12 weeks of collagen peptide supplementation boosts muscle mass and strength
Our advice? Give your body time to become its fittest, healthiest version.
How Long Does It Take for Collagen to Work On Skin?
Expected time: 3 weeks to 6 months
Collagen is the go-to beauty supplement among men and women. One systematic review involving eight studies showed that collagen supplements improved skin elasticity, hydration, and signs of aging over 8-24 weeks.
Meanwhile, the Journal of Nutrients pointed out that a mere six weeks of supplementation was enough to increase skin moisture levels. That said, greater improvements in hydration, elasticity, and wrinkling were seen at the 12-week mark.
More reviews from consumers of Zen Principle collagen supplements reported:
“After receiving this product and using it faithfully, it only took 3 weeks to see a marked improvement to the appearance of my skin including the facial areas.”
“Bought this collagen for my Mom after reading an article because she developed an itchy skin condition. She has been using this collagen for a few months and her condition has improved.”
Can You Take Too Much Collagen?
Given the longer timeframes associated with certain health benefits of collagen supplements, it’s easy to see why some people consume more than what is recommended to try and speed up the results.
When it comes to supplementing with collagen, the general rule of thumb is 2.5 to 15 grams each day. Do note that this also depends on your age, weight, and health goals.
To see positive results as soon as possible, follow the recommended dosage on the product label. The reason being, the exact amount of collagen in each supplement will vary for different manufacturers. Take the supplement at least once every day or as specified on the packaging.
Other Things To Take Note Of:
Aside from the recommended dosage and frequency of use, other factors can affect how long it takes for your collagen supplement to work:
- The severity of your symptoms: How severe your symptoms are will likely influence the speed at which you see results. For example, if you only experience dry skin occasionally, your skin may become hydrated more quickly than someone with chronic eczema.
- Your lifestyle: Your lifestyle can boost or hinder the effects of collagen supplementation. Healthy eating, regular exercise, and quality sleep work in tandem with your supplement to reach your health goals as quickly as possible.
The point is, your collagen supplement may be the star of the show in improving your health and wellness. But that’s not to say, it’s the only thing that matters — your symptoms and lifestyle aspects play a part, too.
Collagen Works, You Just Need To Give It Time
As you can see, both clinical and anecdotal evidence more than proves the effectiveness of collagen in improving your health. What you need to do is give your supplement time to reap its beneficial results in due course.
If you are ready to take the plunge into collagen supplements, Zen Principle offers three different types:
- Grass-fed Beef Collagen Peptides Powder
- Grass-fed Beef Gelatin Powder
- Wild caught Marine Collagen Peptides Powder
Collagen peptides are easy on the digestive system and less likely to trigger an upset stomach. Meanwhile, gelatin can be used as a thickening agent to add texture to your dishes. To learn more about beef and marine collagen sources, check out our informational guides on beef collagen and marine collagen.