Perhaps you’ve been taking collagen peptides for some time now and noticed some changes in the mirror. Your wrinkles are less obvious, your skin texture firmer, and there’s an undeniable glow to your complexion. On top of that, your joints feel less achy, your hair and nails look healthier, and you’ve even started to gain some muscles.
You know you can credit at least some of these positive changes to your collagen peptides powder. Now that you’ve achieved your health goals, you’re tempted to take a break from the supplement. But what happens when you stop taking collagen peptides?
What Happens If I Stop Taking Collagen Supplements? Will There Be Any Side Effects?
When you stop taking collagen supplements, there won’t be any side effects (thankfully). But, the most important thing to note is that any health benefits you may have experienced while taking the supplement will eventually fade away.
The reason being, your body naturally synthesizes collagen. But this ability gradually declines over time. As you get older, your body produces less and less collagen each year due to:
- Aging: Scientific evidence indicates collagen synthesis in the body starts to slow down around the late teens to early 20s. This deterioration continues at roughly 1% per year.
- Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure: Sunlight is largely responsible for collagen degradation, primarily due to free radical damage on the skin cells.
- Smoking: Research shows that smoking downplays the production of Types I and III collagens by 18% and 22%, respectively.
- Stress: The stress hormone, cortisol, reduces collagen protein levels in the human body.
Given that your body is working with less collagen than before, it’s only natural to supplement it with exogenous collagen. There's a deep body of scientific studies advocating for the benefits of collagen supplementation. To recap from our post on “How long does it take for collagen to start working?” collagen supplements are scientifically proven to:
- Improve joint health in 1 to 6 months
- Strengthen bones in 1 year or so
- Promote hair growth in 2 to 6 months
- Strengthen nails in 6 months or so
- Reduce post-workout muscle soreness in a few days
- Boost muscle growth and strength within 12 weeks
- Revitalize skin appearance in 1 to 6 months
The moment you stop taking collagen supplements, your body is deprived of the extra collagen it was used to. Predictably, any improvements you have experienced will gradually vanish, as your body has to work with a low collagen content again.
After stopping collagen supplementation for a while, you may notice physiological declines such as:
- More intense joint discomfort
- More brittle bones
- Increased hair fall
- More frequent nail breakage
- Slower muscle recovery after physical activity
- Decreased muscle mass and strength
- More visible signs of skin aging
In a nutshell, you are reverting back to your pre-supplement self when you wean off collagen supplements. As you refrain from taking collagen peptides, the above declines may deteriorate even further as your body’s collagen supply grows ever scarcer with age.
If I Stop Taking Collagen Peptides, Will It Cause My Skin’s Elasticity To Go Away?
A popular question among collagen users is, “If I stop taking collagen peptides, will it cause my skin’s elasticity to go away?” According to science, most likely.
In a small study involving 64 women aged 40-60 years old, the test group took 1000 milligrams of collagen peptides every day for 12 weeks while the placebo group did not. Collagen peptides were detected in the bloodstream of the test participants, with “peak concentrations observed 1-2 h after intake.”
The results showed that daily consumption of marine collagen peptides significantly improved skin elasticity in the test group, compared to the placebo group. By supplementing with collagen peptides, you are replenishing your body’s reduced collagen supply to synthesize more elastin fibers in the skin layers. This improves your skin’s firmness and bounciness over time.
Once you stop consuming collagen peptides, your body loses its supplemental source of elastin-producing protein. As you can imagine, your skin cells now produce lesser elastin fibers, causing a recurrent drop in skin elasticity.
Will the Body Become Dependent on Collagen Supplements, Causing It to Naturally Produce Less?
Some of you may wonder, “Does taking a collagen supplement make your body stop producing collagen on its own over time?”
From a scientific standpoint, your body is already synthesizing less collagen over the years. As we’ve mentioned, this is due to internal and external factors such as aging, sun exposure, cigarette smoke, and stress. It’s a biological process that naturally happens to everyone, with or without collagen supplements.
As such, collagen supplements do not take away your body’s ability to synthesize collagen naturally. Rather, these supplements give your body the extra collagen it needs to make up for its dwindling biological supply.
Give Collagen Peptides a Go — You Won’t Regret It
Now that you’re forewarned about what happens when you stop taking collagen, there’s really no reason to stop supplementing with this exceptional protein. If you are new to collagen supplements, it’s definitely time to give them a go.
Zen Principle offers two types of collagen peptides to help you reach your health and wellness goals:
Both collagen peptides powders are the perfect addition to your morning cuppa, post-workout protein shake, and anytime you feel you need a collagen boost. If you'd like to add collagen to your meals, our Beef Gelatin Powder would be an ideal option.
No matter which collagen supplement you choose, you should commit to it to reap the desired benefits, and maintain said improvements in the long run.