When to Take Collagen While Fasting 
Carmen Van Rensburg - Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Carmen Van Rensburg is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with a wealth of experience, spanning over 12 years in the field. She has demonstrated expertise in devising exercise-based rehabilitation services that promote wellness and recovery. Her instructive techniques in conducting safe and effective exercise sessions have significantly aided individuals in various areas. These include weight loss, improving muscle strength, optimizing cardiovascular function, enhancing body composition, increasing flexibility, and facilitating recovery from chronic diseases, disabilities, and injuries.
09.01.2024

Everything You Need to Know About When to Take Collagen While Fasting

Table Of Contents

Introduction: What is Collagen & How Does it Work?

You’ve probably heard a lot about this protein, but you’re not sure what it does for your body. Don’t worry, we’re here to make things clear!

Collagen is necessary for numerous body functions, including skin health and digestion. We’ll look into collagen in detail here.

What is it, why do we require it, and how can we help our bodies by consuming enough of this essential nutrient? Continue reading to learn more about your body’s favorite building material, collagen, and fasting!

When to Take Collagen While Fasting 

What Happens When You Take Collagen While Fasting?

When you take collagen during fasting, there are a few things to consider. Fasting is when you abstain from consuming food or beverages except for a specific period. Collagen is a protein naturally found in our body and provides structural support to our skin, bones, tendons, and other connective tissues.

It is critical to avoid consuming any calories or substances that can disrupt the fasting state while fasting. Collagen, particularly in supplements or powders, may contain calories and other additives that may cause the fast to be broken. The majority of collagen supplements are flavored powders or capsules that may contain sweeteners, flavors, or other ingredients that may affect insulin levels or trigger an insulin response.

Is it possible to consume collagen while fasting? During the fasting period, your body can produce collagen naturally through a process known as endogenous collagen synthesis. This procedure is based on amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins that are obtained from the breakdown of your body’s proteins. Fasting may facilitate this process by increasing the release of growth hormone, which is involved in collagen production.

If you’re on a strict fasting schedule, it’s best to avoid taking collagen supplements during the fast. There are, however, other ways to help your body produce collagen without breaking your fast. Fasting has been shown to have potential benefits in terms of promoting autophagy, a cellular cleansing process that can help rejuvenate tissues such as collagen.

Is Collagen Calorie Rich?

Yes! Collagen doesn’t contain any significant calories. 

It’s a protein, and proteins typically contain about 4 calories per gram.

Collagen supplements and powders are commonly available on the market and may contain additional ingredients contributing to their caloric content.

Collagen supplements often come in flavored powders or capsules, including sweeteners, flavors, or other additives to enhance taste and texture. These additives can add calories to the product. The exact caloric content will depend on the specific brand and formulation.

It’s essential to check the nutritional information or the packaging of the collagen product you’re using to determine its caloric content. 

If you’re following a strict fasting regimen or trying to limit your calorie intake, it’s worth being mindful of the additional ingredients in collagen products. Opting for unflavored or plain collagen powders may be a better choice to minimize calorie intake.

Does Collagen Inhibit Autophagy?

Regarding fasting and autophagy, some people are concerned that consuming collagen or protein, in general, may disrupt the autophagy process. The idea behind this concern is that protein intake, including collagen, can stimulate insulin secretion, potentially inhibiting autophagy. 

However, the impact of collagen on autophagy during fasting is still an area of ongoing research, and the available evidence is limited.

It’s worth noting that the primary factor that stimulates insulin release is carbohydrates, not protein. Protein consumption, including collagen, can trigger a modest increase in insulin levels, but this response is generally less significant than that caused by carbohydrates.

If you aim to maximize autophagy during fasting, limiting protein intake, including collagen supplements, may be prudent, especially during fasting. Fasting itself, without consuming any calories or specific nutrients, has been shown to stimulate autophagy.

However, collagen can be a beneficial addition to your diet outside of fasting. It’s a crucial component of our connective tissues, and adequate collagen levels are essential for maintaining healthy skin, bones, joints, and other tissues. 

So, while collagen may not directly promote autophagy, it can offer additional benefits for your overall health and well-being.

What Does the Science Say About Collagen and Insulin?

There is no consensus among experts regarding whether collagen significantly spikes insulin levels.

One thing to keep in mind is that collagen is mainly made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. As a result, protein consumption generally causes a moderate increase in insulin secretion. The rise in insulin levels caused by protein consumption, on the other hand, is generally less significant than that caused by carbohydrates.

Furthermore, collagen is a low-glycemic protein, which means it has little effect on blood sugar levels. This suggests that collagen may have a less significant insulin effect than high-carbohydrate foods.

What Experts Say About Collagen Peptides and Intermittent Fasting

Collagen peptides are derived from collagen, a protein that gives our skin, bones, and other connective tissues structural support. Collagen peptides are frequently taken as a supplement or mixed into foods and beverages.

The main goal of intermittent fasting is to restrict caloric intake during the fasting period, allowing the body to undergo specific metabolic changes. 

So, do collagen peptides cause intermittent fasting to fail? Consuming collagen peptides that contain calories can disrupt your fasting state, especially if you adhere to a strict fasting regimen.

If your fasting protocol allows you to consume a certain number of calories, you can add a scoop of hydrolyzed collagen peptides to your morning coffee without breaking your fast. This way, you can reap the potential benefits of collagen while adhering to your fasting regimen.

The Benefits of Taking Collagen While Fasting for Women’s Health

Collagen is a protein that is essential for overall health and wellness. Adding a scoop of collagen to your water, coffee, or tea at the end of your fast can provide an instant boost that will help you recover faster. A healthy collagen supplement is an excellent choice, particularly the unflavored and unsweetened variety.

  • With an average of 35 calories per 10g serving, collagen helps you feel full and energized. This can be especially beneficial when you’re adhering to a minimum food intake before the start of your fast and at the break of the fast. 

Taking collagen before and after demonstrates that it is an excellent choice for supporting your nutritional needs during these critical times.

The benefits of incorporating collagen into your daily routine are numerous:

  • promotes strong bones
  • healthy tendons and cartilage, which are essential for joint health and mobility 
  • contributes to a healthy gut 
  • can support shiny, thick hair, strong nails, lean muscle, and better flexibility

Furthermore, collagen is well-known for promoting smooth, hydrated, and youthful-looking skin.

What Types of Collagen Are Best for Intermittent Fasting and Why?

One option is to take a collagen supplement that has been specially formulated to be free of calories, sugar, and carbohydrates. These collagen supplements provide the benefits of collagen without any additional ingredients that may interfere with your dietary goals.

Another possibility is to use collagen powder. Collagen powder is versatile and can be mixed into water or tea with ease. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of collagen in a simple and convenient manner without adding any unnecessary calories, sugar, or carbohydrates to your beverage.

4 Potential Dangers of Collagen and Fasting

In some cases, allergic reactions to collagen supplements are possible. Individuals with a shellfish allergy, for example, should exercise caution when consuming marine collagen, as it can cause a severe anaphylactic allergic reaction. 

To avoid potential allergens, it is critical to be aware of known allergies and carefully read product labels. If you suspect an allergic reaction or experience any adverse side effects after taking collagen supplements, seek medical attention right away!

1. Caloric Intake

Collagen supplements, especially flavored varieties, may contain calories. Even if the caloric content is minimal, consuming collagen during a fast can disrupt the fasting state, which typically involves abstaining from all calorie intake. This can affect the metabolic changes associated with fasting.

2. Insulin Response

Protein, including collagen, can stimulate insulin secretion to some extent. While the effect is generally milder than carbohydrates, an increase in insulin levels may partially inhibit certain benefits of fasting, such as autophagy. 

3. Hunger & Cravings

Collagen provides a sense of satiety and can help curb enthusiasm. However, allowing the body to experience periods of starvation during a fast is crucial, as this can have potential benefits like improved metabolic flexibility and fat burning.

4. Digestive System Activity

Fasting gives the digestive system a much-needed rest, allowing it to undergo repair and rejuvenation. However, introducing collagen, especially in large amounts, may trigger digestive processes and reduce the benefits of this therapeutic period.

Does Coffee with Collagen Break a Fast?

Fasting traditionally entails abstaining from food and drink for a set period of time. If you strictly adhere to this definition of fasting, adding collagen to your coffee would technically break your fast.

Putting collagen in coffee may still align with your goals if you follow a more relaxed form of intermittent fasting, such as the 16/8 method, in which you fast for 16 hours and have an 8-hour eating window. 

The few calories in collagen are unlikely to have a significant impact on your overall fasting results or the potential benefits of intermittent fasting, such as weight management or improved insulin sensitivity.

The Surprising Advantages of Adding Collagen to Coffee

  • Incorporating collagen into your coffee may support collagen production, improving skin health. This can result in smoother, more hydrated, and youthful-looking skin.
  • Adding collagen to your coffee may help support joint function, alleviate joint discomfort, and promote overall joint health.
  • Coffee is not typically a significant source of protein. However, by adding collagen to your coffee, you can boost your protein intake without adding excess calories or altering the taste of your beverage.

Is it acceptable to put collagen in my tea?

Absolutely! You can undoubtedly put collagen in your tea, which can be a great way to enjoy the benefits of collagen while sipping on your favorite warm beverage! 

Firstly, it can easily be mixed into hot liquids, including tea. It dissolves well and blends seamlessly, so you won’t have to worry about clumping or unpleasant texture. Combining it with your tea allows you to enjoy these potential advantages while indulging in a comforting and soothing drink.

Consider selecting a tea flavor that complements or enhances the taste of the collagen you’re using. For example, a citrusy herbal tea might pair well with a collagen powder with a hint of citrus flavor.

Do Gelatin Capsules Interrupt a Fast?

Gelatin capsules commonly used to encapsulate various supplements or medications are made from animal collagen, a protein-rich substance.

Traditionally, fasting typically involves abstaining from food and drink for a specific time. Therefore, when determining whether gelatin capsules break a fast, there are different perspectives to consider. However, there are several main points:

  • Gelatin capsules themselves are generally very low in calories. 

However, they do contain a small amount of protein. While the protein content in a single gelatin capsule is minimal, some experts argue that even small amounts of protein can stimulate insulin secretion and potentially disrupt the fasting state.

  • If your primary goal is to achieve strict autophagy or maximize the metabolic and cellular benefits of fasting, you may avoid gelatin capsules during your fasting period.
  • Some individuals may prefer to take gelatin capsules during their fasting window if it aligns with their overall comfort and adherence to their fasting routine. 
When to Take Collagen While Fasting 

What happens in the body step by step when collagen is taken, and how quickly does it work?

When you consume collagen, it undergoes several steps within the body to fulfill its various functions. Let’s explore how collagen works in the body step by step:

Step 1: Digestion and Absorption

Consuming collagen through food sources or supplements enters your digestive system. Your body breaks down the collagen into smaller peptides during the digestion process. These peptides are then absorbed through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream.

Step 2: Distribution

Once absorbed, the collagen peptides are distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream. They’re transported to different tissues and organs that require collagen for various functions.

Step 3: Collagen Synthesis

The cells use the amino acids of collagen to synthesize new collagen molecules. This process helps maintain and repair connective tissues, including skin, joints, tendons, ligaments, and bones.

Step 4: Tissue Repair and Regeneration

The newly synthesized collagen contributes to tissue repair and regeneration. In addition, it helps support the structure and strength of the skin, promotes the healing of wounds, and assists in maintaining healthy joints and bones.

When Should You Drink Collagen While Intermittent Fasting?

A great way to incorporate collagen into your fasting routine is by taking it in the morning before you begin your fast and then again when you break it. 

  • Taking collagen in the morning before your fast can help you feel full and satisfied throughout the day. Collagen is a protein that provides a sense of satiety, which can help curb hunger and sustain you during fasting. This can be especially helpful if you experience cravings or feel hungry while fasting.

Another advantage of taking collagen first thing in the morning is that it is keto-friendly. If you’re on a ketogenic diet or trying to enter ketosis during your fast, protein can help you achieve your goals. Because collagen is low in carbs and sugar, it will not interfere with your body’s ability to enter ketosis and use stored fat for energy.

One of the benefits of taking collagen with water at the break of your fast is that it dissolves completely and has no flavor. This makes it easy to incorporate into your routine without altering the taste of your beverages. In addition, collagen can boost energy and help you feel satisfied, which may prevent overeating or reaching for unhealthy snacks after your fast.

Summary

When it comes to whether or not you should take collagen while fasting, timing is everything. If you want to fast during the day, bring your collagen early in the morning or late at night. If you choose to fast overnight, a dose of collagen right before bed and right after waking up should suffice! 

Furthermore, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for taking collagen while fasting. It is dependent on our individual body type and needs, so it is critical to experiment with various dosing schedules to determine which ones work best for us.

However, regardless of the duration, each person should generally minimize their fasting window by supplementing with collagen before or after their meals. Taking collagen while fasting can help us feel more energized throughout the day, in addition to providing our bodies with additional nutrients and improved skin hydration. 

So don’t put it off until tomorrow—start reaping the benefits of this fantastic supplement as soon as possible.

Carmen Van Rensburg is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with a wealth of experience, spanning over 12 years in the field. She has demonstrated expertise in devising exercise-based rehabilitation services that promote wellness and recovery. Her instructive techniques in conducting safe and effective exercise sessions have significantly aided individuals in various areas. These include weight loss, improving muscle strength, optimizing cardiovascular function, enhancing body composition, increasing flexibility, and facilitating recovery from chronic diseases, disabilities, and injuries.

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