My 90-Day Collagen Experiment
Looking back at my 90-day collagen experiment, I’m eager to share what I experienced. Before I started, I heard all the hype surround what collagen can do for skin, hair, nails, recovery after exercise, and even digestion. However, I wanted to approach this with a level head, so I decided to give it a shot.
Browsing several other blogs, forums, Reddit, and other websites, I was mostly interested in what collagen could do for my skin and digestion. When it comes to supplements, I try to stay cautiously optimistic. Despite the overwhelming number of positive stories and studies showing the benefits of consuming collagen, there is a lack of non-industry funded studies. There is a question as to whether it’s necessary. However, I enjoy trying new things and seeing how it affects my body, so why not?
What is Collagen?
Before diving into my personal experience, let’s start with the basics. According to the Cleveland Clinic, collagen is a protein that makes up a significant portion of our skin, nails, hair, and bones. It’s the structural component that keeps everything together and is vital to our health and appearance. As we get older, our body’s natural collagen production decreases that eventually leads to decreased skin elasticity, brittle nails, dull hair, and reduced bone strength. This is where collagen supplements come in, with the potential to restore these vital components.
Collagen supplements come in various forms including powders, capsules, and liquids. I chose the Vital Proteins unflavored powdered version because it can be easily mixed into a drink or smoothie. The flexibility in how I could incorporate it into my daily routine was a plus.
Since dosage varies per person and there are no official guidelines as to how much you should take, I followed the suggested dosage on the packaging. Vital Proteins recommends taking 1.5 to 3 tbsp (roughly 20g) of collagen daily. I typically took 2 heaping spoonsful in the morning and mixed it with Nuun Immunity, a low-calorie electrolyte tablet.
Throughout the 90 days, I stayed consistent, not missing a single day.
Here were the most noticeable changes:
One of the main reasons I was interested in collagen was its potential to help with acne and scars. I had read about collagens’ role in improving skin elasticity, hydration, wrinkles, and scars. As someone who still struggles with acne almost daily at the age of 30, I was curious to see if it would make a difference.
Around the 60-day mark, I started noticing a subtle difference. My skin felt a little smoother, and it seemed like I was getting less breakouts. While it hasn’t completely cleared up my acne, my individual pimples appear to heal quicker, an improvement, nonetheless.
My hair has been described as fine with not a lot of volume. It’s wispy and requires a good amount of maintenance, especially as it gets longer. The potential for collagen to strengthen my hair was intriguing.
After 60 days, I did notice a decrease in hair fall on my pillow and it seemed like my hair was growing much quicker. I can typically go a month and a half before needing or wanting a haircut. However, after taking collagen daily, it seemed like my hair went out of control around the 30-day mark. Even my hair stylist was surprised how quickly I needed a haircut. While I didn’t notice any differences in thickness, the decrease in hair fall and speedy growth caught my attention.
One of the first things I noticed during my collagen experiment, was a change in both the appearance and growth of my nails. In less than 30 days, my nails were thicker and grew much quicker. It got to the point where I had to take a shower before cutting my nails because they became so thick and hard to trim.
During my experiment, I got a splinter from pressure treated wood that got lodged underneath my nail. It was too deep to get it out with tweezers but took about 2 weeks to completely push itself out. This seemed quick to me and I’m sure collagen played a role.
Will I continue using collagen?
Looking back on my 90-day collagen experiment, I'm content with the results. Going into it, I was most interested in the possibility of it aiding with digestion, speeding up recovery after workouts, and clearing up skin. Collagen didn't work miracles, but it did make subtle yet noticeable improvements in other aspects.
I've learned that collagen isn't a magical potion that will transform you overnight, but more of a long-term investment in your well-being. In the 90 days spent on this experiment, it made my skin look better, and it's helped strengthen my hair and nails.
Despite not seeing remarkable results from the reasons I started taking collagen in the first place, it's become a part of my daily routine, and I plan to continue to use it. Let's see what happens after another 90 days.
If you're considering giving it a shot, go for it! You may not see earth shattering results, but they're tangible, and that's what matters.
Do you take collagen daily? Have you noticed benefits beyond hair, skin, and nails?