What You Should Know Before Drinking Collagen Water

It seems like every few weeks, there's a new drink or product that everyone is using to look and feel better. One current popular trend is collagen water. This product may look like an overpriced bottle of plain tap water, but there's more than meets the eye. "Collagen water is essentially water with dissolved collagen," Dr. Melanie Palm, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, told Bustle. Collagen is a protein naturally produced by mammals, including humans. It is one of the main building blocks of the skin and also helps build hair, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments (via Everyday Health).

Unfortunately, our collagen production tends to decrease as we age, leading to "weak connective tissue, wrinkles, poor joint health, and drier and sagging skin," said Dr. Palm. "If an individual is looking to increase their protein intake or promote healthy joints, collagen water could be a good option." Collagen water is portable and mildly flavored, which can make it a decent alternative to powders that need to be mixed into a drink or strongly flavored collagen snacks.

Does collagen water really work?

This depends on what you think collagen water will do for you. Collagen supplements can be helpful for some people (via Healthline). Some research has shown that these supplements can improve skin elasticity, relieve joint pain, and help build muscle. However, according to Bustle, you can't pick and choose which benefits you'll receive when you take a supplement like collagen water. "As collagen supplements get broken down by the gut into elementary parts called amino acids, it is at our body's discretion how it chooses to use those 'building blocks,'" Dr. Palm said. "Collagen taken orally could end up helping to build muscle, bone, or skin."

For example, if you're hoping to improve your skin by drinking collagen water but you've been overworking your muscles, your body may choose to use those amino acids to help your muscles instead of your skin. So while the collagen is technically doing its job, it may not be working in the way you had hoped. While there shouldn't be any major downsides to drinking collagen water, it may not work in the way you want it to.