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What is a Collagen Drink?

Alex Tree
Updated Feb 23, 2024
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The collagen drink is a type of energy drink infused with collagen to help promote the body’s natural ability to produce the fatty tissue. The drink claims to stimulate the collagen-making mechanism in the body, which in turn will give the skin a more plump, younger look and feel by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and sagging. The collagen drink is said to do these things without the use of needles, collagen fillers, or the invasive surgery of collagen implants. The drink hails from Japan and comes in many variations.

As collagen in the body is broken down during the aging process, wrinkles and sagging can appear. Some dieting and health experts suggest that the consumption of certain foods can help rebuild lost collagen. Foods that are high in antioxidants such as lycopene and isoflavone help to block the production of the enzyme collagensases, which is responsible for the breakdown of collagen. A few foods that contain these antioxidants are tomatoes and soy-based products, such as tofu and soy milk. Citrus fruits, green vegetables, and fish also help to promote the production of collagen in the human body.

Collagen drinks can be made from a variety of ingredients. While most contain some form of hydrolyzed collagen, the other ingredients are mostly some combination of amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins that help promote skin elasticity. The collagen is usually derived from fish, known for its high content of fatty acids, although some drinks may derive the collagen from other animal fats. Collagen drinks are generally considered a safe dieting supplement. The collagen drink can either come in a prepared, liquid form or sold in a dry, powder form.

Although collagen drinks are a popular anti-aging treatment, the actual long-term benefits for the skin have been doubted by experts and consumers alike. When collagen is ingested, it is broken down into amino acids. Amino acids are then distributed throughout the body as energy for the body’s cells, which means that ingesting collagen has no direct effect on how much collagen the body produces.

Many fans of the drink guarantee a reduced appearance of wrinkles and sagging. Some products even promise results within three days. Popularity of the collagen drink has increased around the world with a variety of products being developed in Japan and advertisements running throughout China, Japan, and the U.S. Still, the reduction of wrinkles is supposedly dependent of continued consumption of the collagen drink; therefore, the plumping effect may be lost if consumption is stopped.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGeek contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon264640 — On Apr 29, 2012

Let's not continue with typical American consumer ignorance. If there exists no evidence-based medical scientific or pharmacological support regarding any proven benefit of ingested oral collagen, why would any reasonably informed person with even a minimal high school education take it? Recall the Thalidomide debacle.

By SkittisH — On Aug 04, 2011

Wow, people are such cynics. I happen to use collagen drinks, and they make a noticeable difference in my skin texture and appearance! Stores that want you to buy expensive collagen drinks don't want you to know this little secret: collagen is just gelatin!

I buy plain unflavored gelatin and add it to fruit or vegetable juice and drink that for an extra collagen boost. Some of the collagen I end up using in my body is coming from the fruit or veggie juice and some is from the gelatin powder I add to it.

Collagen drinks like this are extremely affordable for any budget, and for anybody who thinks that taking collagen is just for vain reasons, I'll have you know that gelatin also helps your body to restore lost cartilage from aching joints.

My doctor told me I would need hip replacement surgery a few years down the road because my hip had so little cartilage left. I started taking collagen drinks, and now a few years later my hip is actually improving! Give collagen drinks a try before you dismiss them as money-making schemes.

By Hawthorne — On Aug 03, 2011

@aishia - Fighting their own aging is something a very large number of people do. American society promotes the idea that looking young and sexy is vitally important in our social scene, and we unfortunately have a tendency to divide people into the groups of children, young and sexy adults, and the elderly who only associate with other elderly people.

Collagen is proven to make your skin and hair improve in texture and look younger, plumper and softer. I can't say for sure whether collagen drinks would do the same, because I judge things only from firsthand experience and I have never tried one. The idea of a drink keeping you youthful and wrinkle-free sounds very doubtful, though.

I'll stick with eating collagen-producing foods and taking care of my skin so that it doesn't wrinkle from too much sun or too much drying out or too many harsh chemicals, and consider that enough.

By aishia — On Aug 02, 2011

@Malka - Lack of discipline isn't the only reason people can lead unhealthy diets, you know. Healthy food costs more. I know that I, for one, can't afford to eat whatever I please all the time. I am in college, I have four roommates, and I still have so little money on hand that sometimes I eat 15 cent instant ramen three meals of the day.

Anyway, I agree with you about the fact that collagen is not made to be eaten. Collagen seems like one of those things that humans are naturally made to produce until they start aging, kind of like the substances responsible for keeping your hair color instead of going gray.

I could just not understand the situation well since I am still young and not at all worried about wrinkling or losing my current haircolor, but doesn't that mean taking collagen supplements is just another futile attempt to stop aging? People are suppose to age.

If the collagen is there to keep your skin softer or something, that's cool, but no amount of drinking a supplement will keep you looking young forever, no matter what the label promises. That's a classic sales gimmick designed to make you buy more -- especially the part about losing the effects if you stop drinking the drink daily!

By Malka — On Aug 01, 2011

Sounds like people are making the classic mistake of trying to take a non-food substance like it's a vitamin. Eating collagen won't help you, people, eating things that cause your body to make its own collagen will! Your body has everything it needs to make all the collagen you want, if you feed it the right fuel.

I think it's interesting that foods that are naturally healthy tend to make the body create collagen, too. Fish, leafy greens, tomatoes.

If losing weight, feeling better and living longer aren't good enough reasons to finally grow some discipline and stick to a healthy diet, maybe losing weight and having less wrinkles is a vain enough reason for some people.

Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGeek contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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