Collagen (hydrolyzate): what it is, what it is for and how to take it

Famous among those looking for foods and supplements that help in the health of the skin, collagen is a fundamental substance for the health of tissues. The substance helps to maintain the youthful appearance, avoiding expression marks and wrinkles early. But consumption is related to several other benefits and functions.


What is collagen?

Collagen is a protein that has the function of giving structure to our cells, maintaining the youthful appearance of the skin, nails and hair. In addition, it helps our bones, muscles and joints.

It is the most common protein in our body, representing up to 30% of them. The substance is produced by the body itself, but it can be ingested for supplementation.

There are several types of collagen. They support our skin, bones, muscles, cartilage and other tissues.

For the correct production of this essential protein, the body needs vitamin C, ascorbic acid. This vitamin is the raw material for collagen.

Without vitamin C, the body can develop scurvy, a disease that causes problems precisely because the body’s collagen production becomes impaired.

What is collagen for?

Collagen is a protein that gives firmness and elasticity to the skin, and ensures the structure of the body’s tissues. It is produced naturally from amino acids and vitamin C and can be found in meat and gelatin, as well as in dietary supplements.

This protein is like the cement in our cells. It makes up the so-called extracellular matrix and connective tissue , used to connect cells. These materials are what make collagen so effective in giving structure and firmness to tissues such as skin and bones.

What is hydrolyzed collagen for?

Hydrolyzed collagen serves to stimulate the body’s natural collagen production, improving the appearance of the skin and strengthening bones, muscles, joints, hair and nails. The product is a powder or capsule supplement made from bones and cattle cartilage.

Types of collagen

There are different types of collagen in our body. Their differences dictate where each one goes and what action it will take in a given region or body structure.

Type IX collagen, for example, is present in cartilage and in the eyes, while type XIX is only found in tumors. Here we will talk about the four main types. Check out:

Type I.

Type I collagen is the most common and represents up to 90% of all body collagen.

It is made of fibers that create the structure of the skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage (found mainly between the vertebrae), teeth and connective tissue. Its format in collagen fiber bundles is what gives great resistance to tendons, for example.

Type II

Type II collagen is present in fibrous and elastic cartilages. It can also be found on the discs between the vertebrae and in the eyes.

This collagen is found in the cartilage of the joints and is efficient for cushioning, serving as a cushion between the bones, cushioning the impact of a run, for example.

It can be taken as a supplement for the treatment of osteoarthritis , as it helps in the reconstruction of joint cartilage.

Type III

This type of collagen is present in smooth muscles, which form organs such as the spleen, liver, kidneys, stomach and intestines, in addition to blood vessels. This type of collagen is also present in the aortic artery of the heart and in the lungs.

Type IV

Type IV collagen is present mainly in the epithelial tissue. This fabric is mainly used for coating.

It is found in the skin, stomach lining and bladder, for example, but several other regions of the body are covered by this type of cell, such as the urethra and the walls of the chest cavity, for example.

This type of collagen is also present in endocrine glands, such as the thyroid.

Benefits: why take collagen

There are several benefits brought about by the presence of the right amount of collagen in the body, especially for the skin. Collagen makes tissues more elastic and firmer, reducing various signs of aging, for example.

To understand the benefits of protein, you can imagine collagen again as the cement that connects cells.

Imagine a house with old and damaged cement. The appearance will not be beautiful, the structure will not be firm. Now, if the cement is well applied, it is new and intact, the house will be beautiful and the walls, reliable.

Collagen plays this role. Gradually it ages, but the body, when it has the “materials”, produces more and replaces it, keeping the structure of the “house” (its body) well made and reliable.

The skin is firmer and reflects the light more evenly. Wrinkles disappear because the skin’s elasticity increases.

But collagen benefits go beyond the skin.

The veins in the body become firmer, since they are also made of collagen. The structure of the muscles? They are also made of collagen and are benefited by the substance.

The whole body benefits from ingesting collagen and maintaining the amount of nutrients necessary for its production in the body, such as vitamin C.

This is because this protein does only one thing: ensure the proper structure of cells. But as she does this on her entire body, the benefits are diverse!

Among the benefits of collagen, we can list:

  • Increased skin firmness and elasticity;
  • Cellulite prevention and reduction;
  • Stretch mark prevention;
  • Prevention of wrinkles;
  • Strengthening of tissues;
  • Capillary strengthening;
  • Protection of the circulatory system;
  • Improves muscle building.

What happens when the body lacks collagen?

Several diseases are related to the lack of collagen, many of them linked to old age, when the production of collagen can be reduced. Among these diseases are:


The arthritis is joint inflammation. Studies show that it is caused when the immune system attacks the collagen in the joints. It is a disease often linked to collagen deficiency in the affected region.


The Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that can cause generalized muscular pain and tenderness articulation. It is a frequent condition, bringing headaches, depression and sleep problems.

Patients often have reduced amounts of collagen, which is used as a supplement in treatment.

Bursitis and tendonitis

These two diseases are connected to loss of collagen due to advancing age, causing pain in patients. The bursitis is inflammation of the bursa, a liquid pouch that lubricates joints, while the tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons.


Scurvy is a disease that occurs when there is a lack of vitamin C in the diet. This vitamin is essential for the production of collagen.

When the body is no longer able to produce collagen, certain tissues in the body begin to show structural problems. The gums bleed, the joints suffer, muscle pain appears and the skin is rough, among other symptoms.

Other consequences

With age, collagen production is reduced in the body. Some of the consequences of this are:

  • Joint problems;
  • Bone problems;
  • Wrinkles;
  • Less elastic skin.

What to avoid?

Some factors can hinder your body’s collagen production or damage the existing one. Are they:


Blood glucose damages the body’s collagen through the process of glycation , which is the binding of a carbohydrate (like glucose) to a protein (like collagen). Ingesting excess sugar can cause collagen to be damaged and fragile.

UV rays

Ultraviolet rays, for example those we receive during sun exposure, can cause damage to the skin’s collagen. Remember to use sunscreen when going out in the sun.


Tobacco smoke causes innumerable damage to the entire body and collagen does not escape this, being damaged by the habit of smoking. In addition, nicotine constricts blood vessels, reducing the irrigation and nutrition of various parts of the body, such as the skin.

Is it possible to increase collagen in the body?

The body produces collagen naturally. And when you consume collagen, your body distributes it like any other nutrient, using it in the way it believes is best.

That is, it is your body that chooses where each nutrient goes and what to do with it.

Thus, ingesting high doses of the required amount of collagen does not mean that the body will produce more of this protein. This intake can cause other proteins to be produced or perhaps your body will send it all away.

At the same time, if the body feels it needs to produce more collagen, it is important that the necessary substances (especially amino acids) are present in order for it to produce the protein properly.

If you are healthy, have a balanced diet, with a good intake of protein, and your collagen production is sufficient, supplementation may not be beneficial.

However, it does not hurt to nourish the body and if you want to ensure that yours has enough collagen, you can eat foods rich in this nutrient daily, letting your body do its job.

If you want to start collagen supplementation, consult a nutritionist to assess this need . In certain cases (as in vegan or vegetarian people, in addition to the elderly), the practice may be necessary and bring good results.

Essential substances for collagen production

One of the main ingredients for the production of collagen is vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. In addition, some amino acids (glycine, lysine and proline) and other substances are needed.

Amino acids are the raw material for our body’s proteins and are separated into essential and non-essential.

The essentials need to be ingested in the diet, while the non-essentials are produced by the body itself and there is no need for ingestion, although it is beneficial for health.


Glycine is a non-essential amino acid that is necessary for the production of collagen, among other proteins. Its name is due to the sweet taste it has and is easily found in:

  • Pig skin;
  • Chicken skin;
  • Meat;
  • Soy protein;
  • Pumpkin seed.


Lysine is an essential amino acid. The human body is not able to produce it, so it needs to be ingested in food. For this, you can eat:

  • Seafood;
  • Soy-based products;
  • Milk derivatives;
  • Vegetables and vegetables (low concentration).


Proline is also a non-essential amino acid and is therefore produced by the body itself. It can be synthesized from glutamate, another non-essential amino acid.

The following foods contain proline:

  • Egg white;
  • Cabbage;
  • Asparagus;
  • Mushrooms.


Copper contributes to the production of collagen in the body and is a metal that can be found in several foods such as:

  • Sesame seed;
  • Cocoa powder;
  • Lentils.


Lycopene is a reddish-colored antioxidant that gives color to watermelon , tomatoes and guava. Therefore, these fruits are sources of this substance, which is also used in the production of collagen.

What foods contain collagen?

Some foods have collagen naturally in their composition and are excellent sources of protein. Therefore, it is often easy to supply the recommended dosages, without the use of supplements. These products are of animal origin, since the substance is produced only by animals. Are they:

Red or white meat

Meats, both cattle and chicken, are rich in collagen. The muscle cells are connected with the protein which, when ingested, is added to the body’s reserve.


Gelatin – the traditional, powdered one – is one of the most collagen foods available. It is made of animal skin, bones and connective tissue, which means that collagen is its main compound.

To increase the amounts of collagen in your body, gelatine is usually the most practical way.

Other foods

There are also other foods that can bring collagen in their composition. They are: eggs, oysters and mocotó jelly.

Collagen for vegetarians and vegans

Collagen only exists in products of animal origin. If you eat milk and eggs, it may be easier to get it, but for vegans, the options are limited and foods that have complete collagen are often off the menu.

It is recommended to ingest the nutrients used in the production of collagen from other sources.

For example, products based on soy, lentils, tomatoes, sweet potatoes , cabbage and oranges may be enough to nourish the body with all the ingredients necessary for the production of collagen.

In addition to them, agar-agar is a product widely used as a source of collagen and a substitute for gelatin.

It is important to consult the nutritionist for proper monitoring and definition of a diet that meets individual needs.

When is supplementation indicated?

Collagen supplementation should not be done without the recommendation of a doctor or nutritionist. It is recommended when there are signs of collagen reduction such as:

  • Skin sagging;
  • Loss of skin elasticity;
  • Sudden and rapid appearance of wrinkles;
  • Thin and dehydrated skin;
  • Capillary thickness reduction;
  • Weakening of joints.

In the case of arthrosis, collagen supplementation can help with treatment, but only your doctor can make the diagnosis and indicate ways to treat the condition.

How to take hydrolyzed collagen?

Hydrolyzed collagen is a supplement sold in powder or capsules. It goes through a hydrolysation process so that its enzymes are broken down and the body can absorb it more easily and in greater quantities.

Dosages must follow the instructions on the package. In powdered options sold in sachets, the single dose already corresponds to the daily value.

Unfortunately, not all manufacturers of beauty supplements report what type of collagen is present in their products.

This information is usually present in products that focus on replacing collagen due to deficiencies related to health conditions.

How to take powdered hydrolyzed collagen?

To take hydrolyzed collagen in powder, it is recommended to mix it in liquids, such as juices or tea. Some products come in sachets, just mix with water or liquid.

Others, in pots, have meters to facilitate dosing. Still, if there are no gauges, the product can be prepared using a spoon.

The ideal is to mix well with the liquid, or shake in a shaker, diluting the powder well.

How to take hydrolyzed collagen in capsules?

Capsules are good options for those who have difficulty in drinking the liquid due to the taste. Therefore, just consume the recommended amount of capsules with water or juice, following the directions for use.

In general, it can be taken in the morning or after meals (lunch and dinner), as directed by the doctor.

The ideal is always to consume with plenty of water and, if there is stomach sensitivity, avoid having an empty stomach.

Price and where to buy

Hydrolyzed collagen has prices that, on average, vary from R $ 23 to R $ 120.

The products can be differentiated according to the presentation (powder, capsules or liquid), quantity and other ingredients present in the formula. For example, some brands sell collagen capsules with added vitamin D and vitamin C.

You can find several brands for sale on the internet (with all the convenience of not even having to leave home) at Consulta Remédios . There you compare prices and can check all the information for each product.

Some examples are:


  • Condres (30 or 60 capsules) – EMS ;
  • Colartrox (10g sachets) – Kley Hertz ;
  • Artrogen Duo (11g sachets) – Aché ;
  • Hydrolyzed Collagen Type One Equaliv (30 sachets of 4g) – Althaia ;
  • Colagentek (10g sachets) – Vitafor ;
  • Collagen Diet (200g) – Atlhetica;
  • Hydrolyzed Collagen (300g) – Sanavita ;
  • Flex-S (4g sachets) – Chemical Union ;
  • Moviment C (12g sachets) – Eurofarma ;
  • Mobility (10g sachets) – Sanofi-Aventis .


  • Hydrolyzed Collagen (60 capsules) – Bionatus Green ;
  • Hydrolyzed Collagen (90 capsules) – Genacol ;
  • Ineout Collagen Age (120 cápsulas) – Dermage ;
  • New (60 capsules) – Hypera Pharma .

Do collagen cosmetics work?

Several beauty products with collagen in their composition are sold in order to improve the appearance of the skin and hair. But do they work?

Hair Products

Hair is not able to absorb collagen since the molecules are very large, but their effect is usually on the surface of the strands. There, it is able to retain liquids and keep the strands hydrated for longer periods of time than normal.

Therefore, the collagen in hair beauty products is efficient to keep the hair hydrated.

Skin creams

Professionals claim that using collagen in skin products does not have the desired effects. Although the skin does need collagen to stay firm, it comes from food and the body’s natural production.

Because the collagen molecules are too large, they cannot penetrate the skin and most of it remains on the surface of the skin until it is washed or scrubbed.

The skin is made to prevent large molecules like this from passing through, so it is not possible to absorb collagen through it. Even if it were possible, these creams with the substance would be classified as medicines instead of beauty products.

For the substance to take advantage of the effects of collagen, your body needs to produce it.

Common questions

Does collagen lose weight?

There are no scientific studies that prove that the consumption of hydrolyzed collagen loses weight.

Some sources may say that he loses weight by spending energy on muscle growth, but as it is the body itself that decides whether collagen production will happen, and not the consumption of the substance, it cannot be said that protein loses weight.

However, it is possible that there is a weight loss related to the behaviors around the ingestion of collagen.

Many supplement manufacturers give instructions for taking before a meal, for example. Collagen reduces appetite, so during a meal a person tends to eat less.

Another instruction given by manufacturers is to ingest collagen before bed, after at least 3 hours of fasting, which can also reduce your calorie intake.

By itself, collagen does not lose weight, but there is the possibility that some habits around supplementation favor weight loss.

Collagen is fattening?

As with weight loss, there is no scientific evidence that collagen is fattening.

It is known that it does not retain fluids, nor does it represent a large amount of calories, so it hardly makes much difference in a diet, especially if ingested in the recommended doses, which are low.

One tablespoon of hydrolyzed collagen provides approximately 35 kcal.

Can you take hydrolyzed collagen on an empty stomach?

He can. But there is no evidence that it will have more effect than if taken at other times. In general, the ideal is to follow the guidelines of the packaging or of the professional who indicated the consumption.

Some people may have adverse stomach reactions, resulting from sensitivity to the product. For example, stomach pains or nausea due to consumption on an empty stomach.

In these cases, the best way to ingest is with or after food.

Is it better to take hydrolyzed collagen before bed?

Hydrolyzed collagen can be taken before bed or after dinner. There are no risks in its consumption at this time, but there is also no evidence that it will have more effect than if it is consumed at other times of the day.

Therefore, consumption close to bedtime does not necessarily mean that absorption will be better or the effects more intense.

The schedule should be chosen according to the preferences and amenities provided to each person’s routine.

Collagen is an essential substance for your body, being the protein most present in it.

It leaves your skin firmer and more resistant to the effects of aging, in addition to helping with conditions that affect numerous parts of the body.

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