When is the Best Time to Take Collagen?

athletes jumping on boxes

If you’ve just added collagen to your supplements routine, you might be wondering, “When is the best time to take collagen?”

And I gotta tell you–my answer to this question might surprise you a bit.

But before we get to that, let me first explain what collagen is and why you might want to take it, in case you’re not familiar.

Should You be Taking Collagen?

Collagen is a fibrous protein that gives connective tissues (like skin, joints, bones, ligaments, and tendons) support and structure.

Your body makes some collagen, but supplementing with it has become very popular in recent years. According to one report, consumers spent $8.36 billion on collagen supplements in 2020, and analysts expect this number to grow by 9 percent each year until 2028.

Now, every so often, consumers go completely bonkers for a supplement before researchers have had a chance to really figure out how helpful it is. And this has been the case, to some extent, with collagen–its popularity has outpaced the scholarly research.

Some studies suggest that collagen supplements are beneficial for skin and joint health, especially (I shared my thoughts on this with Men’s Health last week, just FYI).

There’s also enough research out there to know that collagen production in the body slows down in our twenties. So if, like me, you’re starting to get crow’s feet and creaky joints, then a supplement could be worth a try!

In fact, I take one daily since having knee surgery last year (even though I’m a supplements snob and usually wait until the research is pretty solid).

When is the Best Time to Take Collagen?

Do I have you convinced to add collagen to your routine? Good. Because now I’m going to tell you the best time to take collagen.

And the answer is….whenever you can remember to take it each day. But maybe not after your workout.

I usually tell my 1:1 clients that it’s not your best protein source for after workouts, at least if they’re trying to build muscle. Collagen is relatively low in anabolic amino acids, like leucine. I usually recommend whey protein after workouts, with collagen taken either earlier or later in the day.

But beyond that, you have some flexibility!

Consistency is important with any supplement routine, so the timing doesn’t matter for most people as long as you remember to take it each day.

Like most supplements, the studies on collagen have subjects taking it every day. But anecdotally, I can tell you that I notice a difference in my knees when I forget to take it for a few days.

I personally like to mix it in with my coffee each morning (in fact, some brands even make collagen creamers!). This gives me several opportunities to take it later in the day if I forget.

So just to recap, the best time to take collagen is the time of day when you can be most consistent! A habit tracker can help you build some consistency as you get started. Here’s a printable one you can use to keep yourself accountable!

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