Does Collagen Help Reduce Belly Fat? Here’s The Truth

Our team of dietitians team up and tackle the question, “can collagen help reduce belly fat?” Here’s the truth.

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There’s a lot of talk about the health benefits that you can achieve with the use of collagen supplements, but did you know that you can use it to reduce belly fat? As we age, our metabolism starts to slow down, and our hormones may be a little unbalanced. When this happens, we’re more prone to developing fat in the area of our midsection. Working out and a healthy diet can help you boost your metabolism and initiate fat loss, but belly fat can be a challenge to lose.

If you have additional belly fat that you’re looking to get rid of but have been unable to accomplish your weight loss goals with traditional methods, you may want to consider using a collagen supplement on a regular basis. Not only can it help you lose weight faster, but collagen has a number of health benefits as well.

How Can Collagen Help Lose Belly Fat?

Collagen is the most prevalent protein that is present in our bodies. You can find it in places like connective tissues, bones, skin, muscles and ligaments. Increasing collagen intake can increase skin elasticity, promote healthy joints and even help you lose belly fat. Let’s look at how this process is accomplished.

collagen helps with belly fat

Collagen Can Help You Feel Full

Because collagen is a protein, it can be used by the body to promote the process of thermogenesis, which in turn will boost the feeling of being full. When you don’t feel quite so hungry, you’ll focus more on incorporating essential nutrients into each meal while minimizing caloric intake. You can also have an easier time avoiding cravings.

Collagen Can Help Increase Muscle Mass

There are different types of collagens, and type III collagen is the most beneficial if you’re looking to increase your muscle mass. This collagen form will support the structure of your muscles while also providing your body with the building blocks necessary for the new growth of muscle. Because your heart is a muscle, you can use collagen to protect your cardiovascular health.

Could Help Speed Up Metabolism

When you have a healthy amount of lean muscle tissue on your body, this gives your metabolism a much-needed boost. Muscle is able to burn calories faster than fat, so collagen promotes efficient fat burning even when you’re not working out.

Reduce Fat Accumulation

When you’re utilizing a healthy diet plan along with an exercise regimen and a high-quality collagen supplement, you have the potential to reduce fat accumulation. The process of burning fat becomes more efficient thanks to increased collagen consumption, and you may find that you have an easier time keeping the weight off moving forward.

Relieve Joint Aches and Pains

The incredibly high amount of collagen that is found in the cartilage that exists in our joints keeps movement comfortable. As we age and the production of collagen decreases, this can cause a reduction in collagen in our joints. The result is not enough support and protection when our joints need to absorb impact and shock. This can increase your risk of injury, arthritis and joint pain. Collagen supplements can replace some of that lost collagen, so you experience healthier joints overall.

What Collagen Is Best for Cutting Belly Fat?

If you’re trying to find a collagen supplement that will help you cut belly fat out of your life, try to find something that includes type III collagen. This form of collagen is responsible for speeding up your metabolism while also helping to burn more calories.

How Much Collagen Do You Need Daily to Lose Belly Fat?

losing belly fat with collagen

It is recommended that you consume approximately 15 grams of collagen per day in order to experience a loss of belly fat. This is also the optimal amount for other benefits such as an increase in joint health, better gut health and faster muscle building. Some people find they have to take a larger amount to see any noticeable difference in how they feel or the amount of fat that they’re losing, but you may want to check with your doctor before taking an increased dose, so you don’t experience any adverse reactions.

Consider the form of collagen that you want to take. A lot of supplements come in powder form these days, which makes it really easy for them to be added to all kinds of drinks and smoothies. If you choose something that is difficult to swallow or has an unpleasant taste, it’s not likely that you’re going to keep up with the routine. Also, make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water with your collagen supplement.

What Happens if I Take Too Much Collagen?

Too much of anything isn’t necessarily good for the body, and collagen is no exception. When you increase your collagen consumption to an amount that’s higher than the 15 grams per day, you put yourself at risk of developing certain side effects. High amounts of collagen can cause your skin to stretch and thicken. This is just at an exterior level. Internally, mega-doses of collagen can affect your organs like the heart, kidneys and lungs. It’s a good idea to stick with the recommended dose on whatever product you choose.

How Long Does It Take for Collagen to Work?

Some people see a difference in certain aspects of their health after they’ve been taking collagen for just a few weeks. However, it’s recommended that you stick with a collagen routine for about 12 weeks before you determine its full potential. This is the amount of time that your body needs to utilize that collagen to repair your joints, balance your gut health and increase the elasticity of your skin. You’re not going to burn fat and build muscle overnight either. This is a process that will require the slow buildup of collagen in the body.

Ways to Get Collagen in Your Diet

In addition to taking a supplement, there are other ways that you can get collagen into your diet. You can increase the number of collagen-rich foods that are part of your meals. Collagen is found in more common items than you think. Let’s take a look at a list of options.

Collagen-Rich Foods

The following foods are both nutritious and rich in collagen. Certain nutrients can also help increase the production of collagen in the body, such as vitamin C.

  • Soy products
  • Dark, leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage and kale
  • Beans such as broad or butter beans
  • Red fruits and veggies that have a high lycopene content, such as beets, sweet potatoes, carrots and tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits and strawberries for high levels of vitamin C
  • Foods that have a high Sulphur content, like green and black olives, fresh cucumbers and celery

Collagen Supplements

While there are foods you can utilize to increase the prevalence and production of collagen in the body, a supplement can provide you with fast and effective benefits. It’s also much more convenient to swallow back a supplement once per day than it is to meal plan for the week around foods that help with collagen production. Just make sure that you’re paying close attention to the quality of the supplements you’re considering. Always purchase from a reputable brand that uses high quality ingredients and transparency with their formulation.

The Bottom Line: Can Collagen Help You Lose Belly Fat?

You have the potential to lose more belly fat with the use of collagen supplements. Though it’s considered a protein, collagen isn’t going to make you gain weight. In fact, it’s going to impact your weight by speeding up your metabolism and burning fat at a faster rate. When you pair this supplement with a healthy diet and lifestyle, you’ll be shocked at how much quicker you can get to your goal weight.

Collagen is a well-tolerated supplement, but there are some side effects that you should watch out for. Some people have reported mild stomach discomfort when starting a product for the first time. These symptoms usually subside. If they get worse, stop taking your supplement and talk with your doctor about what you’ve experienced. You could be having a reaction to the place where the collagen was sourced. Common sources include fish, bovine and chicken.

Constipation is also a side effect of collagen. You can prevent this from happening by making sure that you’re consuming enough fiber and water with your supplement. Collagen requires an adequate amount of water and fiber in order to be utilized.

Quick Tips Before You Leave from the RD

If you’re planning on adding a collagen supplement to your routine, there are some tips that I would like to share with you to make the most out of this change.

  • There isn’t really a time of day that collagen will work better at, so it’s recommended that you take it with your largest meal of the day. Make sure to follow it up with a full glass of water.
  • Some collagen supplements also include other vitamins, minerals and extracts. Make sure that you’re not double dosing on anything that’s in another product you’re taking.
  • Do your research before investing in a collagen supplement. Make sure it’s coming from a reputable brand; high-quality ingredients are used and there are legitimate reviews on the company’s website. While affordability may be something you're focusing on, don't compromise product quality just to save a few extra dollars.
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Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD

Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, earned her masters degree in Nutrition and Foods from the University of Georgia. She's a Registered Dietitian at Morrison Healthcare and has a strong passion in helping people improve their wellness!

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