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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Intermittent Fasting arrow Does Collagen Break a Fast? Debunking Myths

Does Collagen Break a Fast? Debunking Myths

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 22, 2023
4 min read 1526 Views 0 Comments
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Some experts argue that consuming collagen during a fast could disrupt the body’s natural fasting state and impede the potential benefits of the fast, while others suggest that it may be permissible due to its low calorie and insulin-stimulating effects. In this article, we will explore the scientific evidence and different viewpoints on whether collagen can break a fast.

does collagen break a fast

Collagen has become increasingly popular in the last several years, with beauty bloggers, scientists, and celebrities all touting its benefits. And it’s not surprising why – its natural formula works to replenish and support your hair, skin, nails, joints, and heart health.

With all of the perks, it might be easy to put collagen on a pedestal. But here’s something that might catch you off guard – does collagen break a fast? 

Read here to find out how this wellness supplement may or may not impact your fasting goals.

Does Collagen Break a Fast?

Technically, any food, beverage, or supplement that has even a single calorie can break your fast. And since one scoop of collagen powder contains about 35 calories, it can easily disrupt the fasting period.

However, there is a simple trick you can use to incorporate collagen into your diet while still reaping the health benefits of fasting! The trick – intermittent fasting (IF).

To keep it brief, intermittent fasting (AKA time-restricted eating) is a diet schedule that switches between periods of eating and fasting windows throughout the day. Now the trick is to time your collagen consumption within your eating window.

For example, if you’re following a 16/8 IF schedule, you would consume all of your foods, including a scoop of unflavored collagen, between 8 AM and 4 PM. Then, you would avoid any food or calorie-containing beverages for the remaining 16 hours till 8 AM the next morning. 

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found predominantly in connective tissues such as skin, muscles, and ligaments. 

In fact, it comprises 30% of all the proteins in your body, second only to water (70%) as the most abundant compound. To put it simply, collagen acts as the “glue” that provides strength and resilience, connecting the body’s support system and giving it structure. 

As we age, our body’s natural supplies of collagen are gradually broken down, resulting in the loss of its structure and fibrous strength. Taking collagen supplements has been linked to myriad benefits, such as better skin health, improved bone and joint health, reduced inflammation, and increased muscle mass.  

How to Take Collagen

Collagen is a tasteless, odorless protein that is most often consumed in powder form. In fact, it can be easily added to any food or beverage without compromising the taste of your meal.

Some people prefer adding it to a shake; others like to incorporate it into their morning coffee, tea, smoothie, or make-ahead breakfast bowls and baked goods. Of course, you’re not limited to just one method, either – try a few and see what works best for you.

Does Collagen Stop Autophagy?

To put it simply, autophagy does not remain as active when any food is consumed. And since collagen contains calories, it spikes up insulin levels, which ultimately stops autophagy

Remember, autophagy is a natural mechanism of the body that allows damaged cells to repair and cleanse themselves after you’ve fasted from 18 hours to 48 hours

Does Collagen in Coffee Break a Fast?

Any food, drink, or supplement containing calories, even if it’s as seemingly innocent as a cup of coffee, is enough to break a fast, and collagen in coffee is no different! It adds 37 calories straight away – two from the coffee and 35 from the collagen. 

As a result, many people who practice any form of fasting allow themselves tiny bits of calories in their morning or afternoon hot beverage as a tactic for suppressing hunger and feeling fuller and satisfied. 

4 Science-Backed Benefits of Collagen

Collagen is called the fountain of youth because of the benefits it brings to your skin, hair, and nails. From stimulating the growth of new fibers to improving your skin elasticity, it is the body’s building block and helps keep the body looking plump and youthful. Let’s look into the benefits of this superfood. 

#1 May help your nails and hair grow stronger

Healthy hair and nails can be a struggle for many people. However, eating foods rich in collagen, plus consuming it daily, may help you grow your hair and nails faster. In fact, your body uses two main types of collagen (types I and III) to create keratin, a protein in your hair and nails. 

Moreover, taking collagen supplementation may increase the strength of your nails by preventing brittleness. Thanks to the amino acids proline and glycine, which play key roles in nail growth and quality.

#2 Has anti-aging properties

Collagen is an important component of overall skin health. It delivers hydration and helps the outer layer of the skin retain moisture, remaining smooth and supple. Once you reach a certain age, your skin becomes drier and loses some of its elasticity. While collagen can’t turn back the hands of time, studies show that it helps reduce wrinkles and dryness.

#3 Helps relieve joint pain

Collagen works to promote joint comfort, strength, and flexibility by protecting joints with enhanced cartilage production. It can also help relieve the pain of osteoarthritis

In fact, low levels of collagen in your body put you at a higher risk for osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint conditions. Taking collagen supplements will help replenish the natural collagen stores in your body as you age, relieving joint pain.

#4 Can boost metabolism

Collagen’s ability to boost metabolism is a well-known secret. It supplies your body with high-quality protein that satisfies your hunger cravings, helping you reduce the number of calories you eat throughout the day. This allows you to preserve lean mass as your body naturally burns more calories and loses weight!

In fact, according to a 2018 animal study, collagen peptides demonstrate an anti-obesity effect by promoting body fat burning and regulation of lipid metabolism.

A Word From Our RD

As long as you stay within the calorie target for your fasting window, adding collagen peptides to your favorite drink or snack is a great way to stay fuller longer and help energize you throughout the day.

Because collagen peptides are virtually flavorless and soluble in hot or cold liquids, it’s an easy way to meet your body’s growing nutritional needs without consuming additional calories. Not to mention that collagen powder has about 9 grams of protein per serving, which is essential for maintaining lean body mass and supporting metabolism.


When you’re trying to reach your fasting goals, the last thing you probably want to hear is that something might break your fast. And if you’re still wondering whether collagen breaks a fast, the answer is simple! You can enjoy this superfood as long as you’re consuming it within your eating window without going overboard. 

Ready to jump onto the collagen train?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
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.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 22, 2023
4 min read 1526 Views 0 Comments

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