FAQ: Can Collagen Make You Fat and Does it Have Any Calories?

Person Examining Belly Fat

We put a lot of effort into preserving our health and appearance, especially since modern society puts a lot of stock on physical appearance. As a result of the emphasis on appearance, the cosmetics industry has become a powerhouse in most countries. Many products have been created to enhance physical appearance, with most being makeup or similar tools to enhance our features. Unfortunately, some cosmetic issues we face today are not easy to correct because they are not small blemishes. One of the main issues we face is hair or skin damage due to certain deficiencies.

When dealing with hair loss or skin damage, it is usually because of a more complicated factor to treat than others. Our bodies create hair, nails, and skin using a powerful protein that peaks during fetal development. This initial quantity of collagen helps us develop the dermal layer and produces other substances that directly correlate to hair and nail growth. While we have a large deposit of collagen to use in these early stages of our lives, it is less abundant after birth. 

While the collagen left in our bodies is limited, we still use it to repair damage to the organs and body parts it was used to create. The confusion lies in collagen supplementation, which some people fear can adversely affect their diets and cause weight gain.

Does Collagen Have Calories?

Collagen is a protein, which means it possesses a nutritional value and is not something we can consume with impunity. While some people immediately think of the collagen injected into the face to promote youthful skin, some collagen forms are ingested instead. These ingested collagen peptides go through the digestive system before distributing them through the body. This digestive process means the nutritional value of the peptides is fully processed and allocated as necessary. 

The good news is that protein is one of the most nutritious things you can consume, primarily found in legumes and meat. The bad news is that some of the best protein sources are high in calories because they are rich in nutrients.

A Scoop of Collagen Powder

Fortunately, collagen is a protein separated from the foods we eat and, therefore, free of excess nutrients. However, this does not mean collagen is free of calories; you must factor this in if you count calories. While this might be upsetting, the calories in collagen peptides are generally negligible if you follow the serving guide on the label. An average serving of collagen contains between 30 to 70 calories at most, making it a very light addition to your daily calorie intake.

With less than 100 calories, collagen can be used even when planning high-calorie meals with red meat and carbohydrates. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you count the calories of your collagen supplement if you want to maintain your habits. Just because something has a low caloric value does not mean those calories do not affect your total. Most of the time, calorie counts this small are negligible since most people consume 2,000+ calories daily.

How Many Calories a Day?

People who employ calorie counting to manage their weight require a lot of information to ensure the best results. The main concern for calorie counters is knowing how many calories they can consume daily to achieve the desired results. Different totals depend on whether someone wants to lose, maintain, or gain weight to improve their health. Most calorie counters seek to lose excess weight by managing their food intake. 

Most people cite the 2,000-calorie rule when using calories to determine serving sizes and exercise portion control. They do not realize that the 2,000-calorie count is median and subject to changes depending on the person. We all have different genetics, characteristics, and lifestyles that affect how many calories we can consume daily. The main details to consider are:

  • Biological Sex: Biological males process caloric intake differently from biological females. Biological males have greater body mass and are predisposed to repurposing nutrients for muscle development. Conversely, biological females have lower body mass and are predisposed to storing nutrients.
  • Age: Age determines how effectively we break down nutrients and convert them into beneficial byproducts. As we age, our ability to process these nutrients deteriorates, and we are more likely to store fat.
  • Height: Height establishes the healthy weight range a person should have. Taller individuals can have greater weight, while shorter ones must maintain lower ranges.
  • Current Weight: Our current weight determines whether we need to lose or gain weight to reach a healthy range.
  • Lifestyle: In this context, lifestyle refers to how active we are. If we live sedentary lifestyles, we cannot consume as many calories as those who live highly active lifestyles.

As an example, let us assume someone with the following traits wants to determine their daily caloric intake:

  • Sex: Male
  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5'10"
  • Weight: 160
  • Activity: Moderately Active

A general caloric calculation for this profile means he must consume 2,661 calories daily to maintain his current weight. If he wanted to lose weight, he should consume 2,129 calories instead. Additionally, the individual is within his healthy weight range since a man with these variables has an ideal weight range between 155 and 165 lbs.

A Person Counting Calories

The situation changes when the profile does, so the following profile will yield different results:

  • Sex: Female
  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5'0"
  • Weight: 95
  • Activity: Moderately Active

Only 3 variables have changed, but the daily caloric value radically shifts. A woman with these characteristics can only consume 1,701 calories daily to maintain her weight and only 1,361 if she wants to lose weight. This means maintenance drops by 960 calories for a woman within that height group, but 95 lbs. is within the ideal weight range for this hypothetical person. A woman with these characteristics has an ideal weight range between 94 and 128 lbs.

While these examples are specific to these hypothetical individuals, there are broader recommendations for daily caloric intakes that do not account for lifestyle, height, and current weight. These recommendations are as follows:

  • Biological Women
    • 19-30: Biological women between these ages are recommended to consume between 2,000 and 2,400 calories daily.
    • 31-59: Biological women between these ages are recommended to consume between 1,800 and 2,200 calories daily.
    • 60+: Biological women at this age are recommended to consume between 1,600 and 2,000 calories daily.
  • Biological Men
    • 19-30: Biological men between these ages are recommended to consume between 2,400 and 3,000 calories daily.
    • 31-59: Biological men between these ages are recommended to consume between 2,200 and 3,000 calories daily.
    • 60+: Biological men at this age are recommended to consume between 2,000 and 2,600 calories daily.

Once again, these recommendations are broad and cannot be relied upon for more specific circumstances (i.e., if you work out regularly or are pregnant). This information can serve as a general idea from which a more effective calorie plan can be devised.

Is Collagen Fattening?

Now that we have identified the caloric value of collagen and determined a rough idea of the ideal daily caloric intake, there is another question to address. Most people know that not all calories are created equal, and the composition of the calories is more important. 

For example, a 500-calorie meal with over 50% fat is less healthy than a 1,000-calorie meal with only 10% fat. Whenever we look at a nutritional label, several lines break down the concentration of certain nutrients that impact the overall caloric value. This usually means that we can determine the true nutritional value of something by checking the dietary values.

These dietary values are more important than the caloric total since something marketed as healthy with high saturated and trans fats can be counterintuitive. Therefore, we must determine whether collagen is one of these misleading substances. The good news is that collagen is not fattening and is pure protein, meaning it lacks fat entirely. This is advantageous and disadvantageous to those looking to enhance their collagen levels. 

While the lack of harmful fats means consuming collagen will not add to your overall fat, it does make it a little harder to bind. Many people combine collagen with healthy fat sources to make it easier to absorb. Healthy fats are usually found in certain legumes and fish and are important to a balanced diet.

A Collagen Powder Supplement

Ultimately, collagen supplementation will not make you fatter and will be an inconsequential addition to your caloric intake. However, you might have heard somewhere that collagen can improve your ability to lose weight. There is a theory that collagen consumption can enhance our natural metabolic rate and enable us to process fat more efficiently. This theory means collagen has the opposite effect to the concern that led you to this article. 

Unfortunately, some bad news associated with this theory might prove disappointing to you. While there is nothing connecting collagen consumption to increased fat levels, no scientific evidence proves the metabolic enhancement theory.

Few studies involving collagen focus on this phenomenon, and none are conclusive. Therefore, operating on this theory could prove disappointing since you will almost certainly see no change in your metabolic rate. Fortunately, collagen consumption has multiple benefits outside this theory, making it extremely rewarding.

What Does Collagen Do?

While collagen might not be effective for enhancing your metabolism, it does have benefits that make it an extremely valuable addition to your diet. We mentioned before that collagen is a building block for skin and hair, meaning we lack these components without it. 

Unfortunately, we rely on the little collagen we retain after birth to repair damage to these organs and body parts. Our bodies will always prioritize the skin and nails over the hair and, over time, will be unable to restore them to the same degree as when we were younger. Nevertheless, those with naturally low collagen reserves can employ supplements to enhance this repair. The biggest and most important benefit of collagen use is improving skin health.

Improved Skin Health

The main issue with our skin repair as we age is the loss of hydration and elasticity, which naturally deteriorates and results in wrinkles and other age-related blemishes. This occasionally makes us look older than we are when particularly low collagen levels lead to premature issues. Collagen supplementation can correct the lack of resources and give our bodies what they need to restore our youthful appearance. This benefit of collagen is scientifically proven, unlike the metabolism theory. It is not perfect since collagen supplementation's benefits seem limited to those with deficiencies impacting their overall levels. Nevertheless, collagen supplementation is well worth the paltry caloric value it adds to our daily intake.

Collagen has other benefits we have discussed previously, but there are too many to re-hash in this article. If you want to see what collagen can do for you, there is only one obstacle left to overcome: finding a reliable supplement from a trustworthy vendor.

Keep it All Natural!

Altering our dietary habits can be intimidating when our established routine has proven successful. While adding something like collagen is ultimately negligible to our daily caloric intake, wanting to know more is understandable. The simple truth is that collagen is one of our best weapons in combatting skin blemishes and hair damage. It offers the body a natural resource used to create these body parts so we can overcome any deficiencies. The real trick is finding a trustworthy collagen supplement since some markets peddle lesser products to pad their gross income.

Using a Collagen Supplement

We at Bella All Natural believe that the best solutions come from nature and that manufacturing these solutions must honor that origin. That is why we offer products like our Collagen Powder, which provides a daily dose of collagen in a single scoop. For those of you who are watching your calories, our product only has 36 calories per serving, meaning you still have plenty to work with throughout the day. We highly encourage you to visit our website and try our product for yourself to see firsthand what it can do. Regardless of your decision, remember always to keep it All Natural!

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