As more people turn to collagen supplements for their purported health benefits, one question often emerges: does collagen make you gain weight?
This article aims to comprehensively tackle this query, exploring the nature of collagen, its impacts on the body, and its relationship with weight gain.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, contributing to the structure and health of our skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments[^1^].
In recent years, collagen supplements, which typically provide Type I, II, or III collagen, have gained popularity for their potential benefits such as promoting skin health, reducing joint pain, and improving gut health[^2^].
Types of Collagen Supplements
Different types of collagen supplements might have different impacts on the body:
- Type I Collagen: Primarily good for skin health.
- Type II Collagen: Typically used for joint and cartilage health.
- Type III Collagen: Often supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.
Remember that while these types have different primary benefits, they all are forms of protein that can contribute to your total daily protein intake.
Collagen and Weight Gain
Collagen supplements typically come in a powdered form that’s low in calories and contains a high amount of protein. A scoop of collagen powder may contain around 20-25 calories and up to 6 grams of protein. Considering these facts, collagen, on its own, is unlikely to cause significant weight gain.
However, if collagen supplements are mixed with other ingredients and consumed in addition to regular dietary intake without compensating for their caloric content, they can contribute to a caloric surplus, which might lead to weight gain over time.
Always be sure to check the nutritional information on the supplement packaging.
Collagen and Muscle Mass
Collagen plays an essential role in the health and functioning of muscles. Some studies suggest that collagen supplementations aid in muscle recovery [^3^].
It’s important to note that while increased muscle mass might contribute to weight gain, this would be a healthy increase in muscle, not fat.
If you’re regularly working out while taking collagen, this might be a contributing factor for difference in body mass.
Collagen: Understanding Potential Side Effects
Like any supplement, collagen should be consumed responsibly. Understanding potential side effects can help ensure safe and beneficial use.
- Digestive Upset: Some people may experience digestive issues, such as feelings of fullness, heartburn, or a bad taste in the mouth[^4^].
- Allergic Reactions: Those with allergies to the source of the collagen supplement, such as fish, beef, or egg, may have an allergic reaction.
Remember, supplements like collagen can be a beneficial addition to a healthy lifestyle, but they are not a cure-all. It’s important to listen to your body and take any supplement as part of a balanced approach to health and wellness.
Always remember to use supplements, including collagen, as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplementation, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking other medications.
So, does collagen make you gain weight? There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that collagen supplements when used responsibly and in moderation directly cause weight gain.
Any potential weight gain associated with collagen would likely be due to a caloric surplus in your overall diet, not the collagen itself.
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