What is Collagen | Benefits of Collagen | Collagen Supplements and Intermittent Fasting | When to Take Collagen Supplements While Intermittent Fasting | How to take collagen supplements While Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has gained traction in people in these recent years due to its innumerable health benefits, including weight loss. It is a dietary pattern that alternates between periods of eating and fasting. Intermittent fasting basically focuses on when to eat rather than what to eat. However, you simply cannot ignore the role of nutrients while being on intermittent fasting. Although there are a number of nutrients that contribute to good health, collagen is one such important nutrient that has several benefits to count. Let’s dive into the question – When to Take Collagen While Intermittent Fasting?
Some experts feel that taking collagen while on intermittent fasting may hamper the benefits of fasting because it includes some calories. But others contradict to this, stating that taking collagen supplements is acceptable as it has a very less number of calories and is permissible while fasting.
In this article, we will explore further details about what is intermittent fasting and collagen, their benefits, and when to take collagen while intermittent fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that focuses on limiting food intake to a specified time window and fasting for the rest of the day. It is an eating schedule that alternates between periods of fasting and eating. Intermittent fasting primarily does not emphasize restricting calories but focuses on how much time you have refrained from eating.
Intermittent fasting diet plans have many variations such as the 16/8 method, the 5:2 method, the alternate fasting method, the eat-stop-eat method, etc. All these methods are beneficial to weight loss techniques as long as you reduce your calorie intake and do not compensate by ingesting a lot of food during the eating windows.
How does Intermittent Fasting Work?
When you fast for longer hours, your body runs out of glucose. During intermittent fasting, your body exhausts the energy which was consumed during your last meal, and then it starts to tap your fat reserve for further energy. When glucose is not available, your body begins to burn fat to get energy. This occurs even faster when you deprive yourself of food.
During this process, your body induces cell repair on a molecular level. It also encourages the following bodily changes.
- Improves human growth hormone (HGH): The human growth hormone increases with prolonged fasting, which helps increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass.
- Induces autophagy: It is a process that repairs your body at a cellular level in which cells break down and destroy defective and old proteins present inside the cytoplasm of the cells.
- Improves insulin sensitivity: Intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity, lowers insulin levels, and reduces insulin resistance. This helps promote weight loss.
- Expression of genes: In this process, a cell gets activated and produces proteins and RNA, which eventually helps protect from several chronic diseases.
Need to know more about how it works? Read the article “How Does Intermittent Fasting Work? Explained”
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting possesses a myriad of benefits. Some important benefits of intermittent fasting may include:
- It improves metabolic rate which aids in fat loss
- It lowers the risk of developing type–II diabetes by reducing the insulin resistance
- It helps reduce oxidative stress and fight free radicals, thereby lowering inflammation
- It enhances heart health by reducing blood pressure, blood sugar levels, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels
- It induces autophagy, which helps protect against certain types of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease
- It may improve brain health by improving the growth of new neural cells
- It may help live you longer
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a thick, fibrous, and insoluble protein essential for maintaining the health of connective tissues such as muscles, ligaments, cartilage, skin, tendons, and bones. It is the abundant protein present in your body that makes up one-third of total body protein. There are various types of collagen, and the four most common types of collagen found in your body are:
- Type I: The most common type of collagen found in all connective tissues like tendons, ligaments, skin, bone, and dentin
- Type II: Found in intervertebral discs and in joints
- Type III: Found in all reticular fibers, such as skin, muscles, and blood vessels
- Type IV: an essential component of the inner ear, kidneys, and lens of the eye
With aging, collagen production lessens, which leads to structural waning of bone and skin tissues. This results in wrinkling of skin, weakening of joints, and other age-related issues. To counter these issues, you need to increase your collagen intake.
Benefits of Collagen
Collagen contains essential amino acids like glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Due to the presence of these amino acids, collagen supplements possess myriad benefits.
1. Improved Skin Health
2. Better Joint Health
The cartilage around your joints is made up of collagen fibers. As you age, your collagen levels decrease and structural changes occur within the cartilage throughout the body.
This may lead to conditions like inflammation in the joints or arthritis which causes severe joint pain. Studies suggest that collagen supplementation may improve joint health and have better mobility.
3. Improved Gut Health
Collagen may help lower inflammation, improve digestion, stomach health, and less bloating. It can also aid repair the gut lining and encourage good bacteria to thrive.
4. May Prevent Bone Loss
Bones are primarily made of collagen. It gives bones their structure and strength. When the collagen decreases with age, it results in decreased bone mass and low bone density.
5. Increased Muscle Mass
Collagen is an essential component of the skeletal muscle. Supplementing with collagen can help boost muscle mass in people who tend to lose their muscle mass with age (sarcopenia). As per a study, supplementing with collagen peptides followed by an exercise regimen can significantly help in gaining muscle mass and strength.
6. Improved Heart Health
The arteries get their structure from collagen. Research indicates that collagen deficiency may make the arteries less flexible and elastic. As a result, it may lead to atherosclerosis, a condition in which your arteries get narrowed down and may cause a heart attack.
Studies indicate that collagen supplementation can significantly reduce artery stiffness and help increase HDL cholesterol by an average of 6%.
Correlation Between Collagen Supplements and Intermittent Fasting
Both intermittent fasting and collagen supplements have gained admiration due to their innumerable health benefits. While intermittent fasting has become widespread because of its advantages, like improving insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar, reducing inflammation, and aiding weight loss, collagen supplementation has become popular due to its plusses that include better skin, joint, gut, and bone health.
The effect of collagen supplements on intermittent fasting depends on the individual’s goal. If your primary goal is to lose weight, then consuming collagen supplements during intermittent fasting may not affect your goal significantly. Because when you are on intermittent fasting, a human body runs out of carbs and sugars to use as energy and enters into ketosis.
Then it starts using fat reserves for energy and thereby helps in weight loss. During this process, you can technically consume a few calories in the form of collagen supplements that too without hampering ketosis. However, you need to ensure that your collagen supplement does not contain any other ingredients that can break ketosis.
But if your goal is to focus on calories, consuming collagen supplements may impact this perspective. Even if a scoop of collagen powder with black coffee can count up to 40 calories and it will affect your fasting regimen. This is because a prolonged period of fasting induces autophagy, a process that repairs your body at a cellular level and replaces the dying cells with healthier new ones. Hence, any amount of calories ingested may delay your body to enter autophagy.
When to Take Collagen Supplements While Intermittent Fasting?
There are different schools of thought on this. It totally depends on you when you wish to take collagen supplements during intermittent fasting. If you are worried about your calories and breaking autophagy, then the best time to take collagen supplements is any time during the eating window because it will make you feel satiated and sustain you for the rest of the day.
But if you are focusing on ketosis, then you can take collagen supplements any time during the fasting period. However, you have to make sure that your collagen supplement does not contain added sugar or calories.
How to take collagen supplements?
There are several ways to take collagen supplements to gain maximum benefits. These may include:
- Coffee: Blending it with your morning coffee is one of the most popular ways to take collagen supplements.
- Smoothies: Mixing a scoop of unflavored collagen powder with a protein shake or smoothie can be a great post-workout meal.
- Tea: Since tea is one of the most widely accepted drinks around the world, it can be a great way to consume daily collagen powder supplements.
The takeaway – When to Take Collagen While Intermittent Fasting?
Both collagen and intermittent fasting have several health advantages. While intermittent fasting can help you with overall health benefits such as weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, enhanced metabolic rate, alleviation of inflammation, and decreased insulin, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, collagen may help reap benefits like improved skin, joint, bone, and gut health.
However, it is essential to understand how collagen can impact your fasting state when you are on intermittent fasting. Whether you are consuming it during a fasting window or an eating window is entirely your prerogative. Numerous studies have proven that along with part of a healthy lifestyle, and fasting lifestyle, collagen protein and other collagen types have a huge benefit to your overall well-being.