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Home Fasting Does Collagen Break a Fast? 4 Amazing Benefits of It

Does Collagen Break a Fast? 4 Amazing Benefits of It

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Collagen intake is on the rise as many people try to improve the health of their hair, skin, nails, and joints. Collagen supplements are usually made up of animal products, like bovine, and come in different forms, including collagen powder and capsules.

While on an intermittent fasting diet, you may want to continue your collagen supplementation, but will collagen break a fast?

In this article, we’re going to look at whether collagen breaks a fast, what collagen actually is, and how to take a collagen supplement for maximum benefits. Keep reading now to find out more.

Does Collagen Break a Fast?

Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight, but a long fast could mean missing the opportunity to take your collagen supplement. While any intake of calories technically breaks a fast, you could still take one scoop of collagen powder during a fast and still feel the benefits of the fast.

Breaking a fast can mean two different things: you have consumed any calories and therefore have broken your fast, or you consume calories that cause a spike in blood sugar levels and move the body out of ketosis. 

As ketosis is the fat-burning state responsible for much of the weight loss on the intermittent fasting dieting plan, the second version of breaking a fast is the one we’re most concerned with.

Collagen peptides – the main ingredient in collagen supplements and collagen protein powder are pure protein. This means they have a negligible glycemic index and, therefore, no impact on blood glucose levels. So, taking collagen supplements during a fast is unlikely to break your fast in any meaningful way.

Generally, most supplements are safe to take during a fast and will not impact the benefits of the fast, but it is always best to check before taking them.

If you’re new to intermittent fasting and want more tips and tricks on successfully losing weight using this dieting method, take a look at the DoFasting app. This app allows you to learn more about IF, understand the different styles, and see your progress as you reduce weight through fasting.

You’ll also find a ton of fasting-friendly recipes and workouts to try, no matter which intermittent fasting method you choose to try out.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein found in all animals and makes up the framework of almost all cells. There are 28 different kinds of collagen protein, but one type makes up for nearly all of it in the human body.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is found in connective tissue. It is used in cellular communication, immune response, tissue repair, and cellular migration. Collagen production slows with age causing fragmentation and causes degradation of these processes.

Collagen can be found in some meat products, but many people choose to supplement collagen in their diet too. People taking collagen are usually supplementing to increase joint health, improve the look and feel of hair and nails, and have more youthful skin.

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How to Take Collagen?

You can take collagen in a few different ways. One of the easiest ways is to find a pill or capsule form of collagen that you can take alongside your other supplements daily. This helps you make sure you’re taking it on time and taking it every day.

You can also find collagen in the form of a powder. This can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, or even your morning coffee. Collagen peptides are generally tasteless and dissolve well into morning coffee. You can also consume this during a fast without breaking the fast (provided you don’t have milk or sugar!)

It is also important to note that you can get collagen in your diet from food sources like chicken skin, certain seafood, and bone broth. Bone broth is another food you can consume during a fasting period that won’t technically break your fast.

Does Collagen Stop Autophagy?

The research on whether collagen will halt autophagy is varied. While most people agree that it might not, nobody is fully agreed that it definitely doesn’t. With the various definitions of fasting, the disagreement is not so much about whether collagen breaks a fasting period because of the calories but more about whether collagen breaks a fast in terms of the ketosis definition of a fast.

In theory, as collagen does not cause an increase in blood sugar above that of natural fasting levels, it shouldn’t halt the autophagy process, but research is not conclusive on this. If you want to be safe, we recommend taking your collagen supplements during your eating window.

Does Collagen in Coffee Break a Fast?

Collagen in your morning coffee does not break a fast as it contains very few calories and does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Intermittent fasting defines fasting as the period in which your body is in the state of ketosis, so consuming calories that do not impact blood sugar will not illicit an insulin response and, therefore, will not break your fast.

Taking collagen supplements in your coffee will not stop you from feeling the weight loss benefits of fasting. However, if you are being incredibly strict about the fasting period and consuming only water, you may decide to instead take your supplement during your eating period.

4 Amazing Benefits of Collagen

Collagen has several health benefits for the body, and we have summarized some of them below.

#1 Good for skin, nails, and hair

Most people who supplement with collagen do so because of the health benefits for skin, hair, and nails. Adding collagen to your diet can promote better skin health, including improving elasticity and hydration.

#2 Promotes longevity

There is research to suggest that increased collagen intake may extend lifespan. Reduced collagen can cause a slower cellular repair and cellular communication and increases degradation. Increasing the amount of collagen in your diet could speed these processes up.

#3 Might help relieve joint pain

There is some evidence to suggest that taking collagen could boost joint health. However, most studies are not conclusive. Taking collagen may help with cartilage deterioration in osteoarthritis and could reduce some symptoms, but it should not be relied upon for treatment of the condition.

older man holding knee with pain

#4 Ensures better metabolism

There is some evidence to suggest that collagen can boost metabolism and increase weight loss efforts. It is thought to regulate lipid metabolism and suppress fat production. This makes it a useful supplement to take while fasting.

Fasting also boosts metabolism and helps you burn more calories each day. Other methods of burning more calories each day include getting more steps in, going for a daily run, and increasing overall physical activity.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Collagen supplementation is thought to boost skin, hair, and nail health as well as have a positive effect on joint health and metabolism. It has very few calories and can be consumed during a fast unless you are undertaking very strict fasts and only consuming beverages with zero calories.

Fasting, in this sense, means not breaking the metabolic state of ketosis. Ketosis is the state in which the body will burn fat for fuel while blood glucose levels are depleted. This state is only broken when calorie consumption elicits an insulin response. When this happens, body fat is no longer burned for fuel anymore.

Most collagen powders and supplements have only a small number of calories and are made up of protein. This means they have a negligible glycemic index, will not cause a spike in blood sugar, and, therefore, will not break a fast. How much collagen you consume does matter, and so you should only consume as much as is recommended.

Collagen supplementation goes well with the fasting lifestyle as it is thought to boost metabolism and comes with other health benefits too. It can help to boost the health of your skin and is used in processes including tissue repair and cellular communication. It may also be linked to longevity.

Like collagen supplementation, intermittent fasting has been linked to increased autophagy. Autophagy is the process by which cells are recycled and regenerated, and decreased autophagy has been linked to a number of chronic conditions. Fasting can help to reduce the risk of a number of these conditions, including prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Taking supplements may be part of your daily nutrition, and most supplements will not break a fast. It is important to check the label for artificial sweeteners, sugar, or anything else that breaks a fast, and if you’re not sure, put off taking it until your eating period.


So will a collagen supplement break a fast?

Collagen is not thought to break a fast as it has very few calories and is mostly made up of protein. Provided your supplement does not contain artificial sweeteners or sugar, you should still reap the benefits of fasting if you take a collagen capsule during your fasting window.

If you’re new to intermittent fasting and want tips and tricks to successfully lose excess weight while fasting, check out the DoFasting app. It provides a space for you to track your progress and even reminds you when to start fasting!

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

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