What You Need to Know About Collagen Drinks

The beauty and skincare world never stops evolving and new products are introduced daily. While having options is awesome, sometimes it can also get overwhelming. How do you decide what products or ingredients are actually worth the money. Popular in Asia and Europe, collagen drinks are one of the most buzzed about beauty products right now.

What are Collagen Drinks?
Collagen drinks are essentially a collagen supplement in a liquid form. When it comes to the ingredients found in collagen drinks, that varies widely based on the manufacturer. Typically, either animal extract collagen or fish extract collagen are the source of collagen in drinks. Animal extract collagen generally comes from cows, chickens or pigs, so vegetarians will want to steer clear of supplements containing animal extract collagen. Fish extract collagen is regarded as the superior type of extract because it is believed that fish extract collagen is better absorbed by the body. The majority of collagen drinks are flavored to avoid an unpleasant taste.

Do Collagen Drinks Work?
In a word, maybe. There are differing opinions when it comes to the effectiveness of collagen drinks. Drinking a collagen supplement seems like a great way to add necessary collagen to your body. The general skepticism by experts is due to the fact that the collagen protein contained in the supplement will be broken down during the digestion process, which makes it impossible for that collagen to get to your skin. California based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Katie Rodan says, “[y]our body will break it down and use it for energy. Digestive enzymes are powerful, so the collagen won’t be absorbed into your bloodstream, meaning they won’t make it to your skin.”

While the general consensus seems to be that these drinks aren’t anything more than hype, there are some that truly believe collagen drinks can work. Dr. Stefanie Williams, medical director at European Dermatology London, was once a non-believer, but has since changed her mind. “Like many others, I thought the collagen would simply be digested and broken down before it entered the bloodstream and never reach the skin.” After reviewing data regarding collagen drinks, she was a believer. “After the molecule is broken down, the fragments are absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed through the entire body, including the skin, where small fragments remain for up to 14 days. [C]ollagen drinks…actually work by persuading our bodies to synthesize new collagen.”

Should You Sip Your Way to Better Skin?
While Dr. Williams was definitely persuaded by research, most dermatologists and other skin experts say that collagen drinks are not worth the money, but that doesn’t mean that you should discount all collagen supplements. A study published by the Natural Medicine Journal, proved that women who took collagen for six months had improved hyperpigmentation and percentages of pores.

Ultimately, more research is required before definitively saying one way or the other whether collagen drinks are effective or not. The data thus far is certainly promising and may eventually change the way aging skin is treated, but for now, it’s safer to stick with a healthy diet and taking great care of your skin, including remembering sunscreen every day. If you want to boost your collagen production, add fish, dark green vegetables, red vegetables and berries to your diet.

It’s always difficult to determine what new beauty and skincare trends actually work and which ones are completely bogus. For collagen drinks the jury is still out as to whether or not these are more hyped up than helpful. Increasing collagen does lead to healthier, more supple skin and diminished fine lines and wrinkles but collagen drinks may not be the most effective way to do so.