Collagen in Coffee: Has the World Gone Mad?

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

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Honestly, the existence of collagen in coffee shouldn't surprise me. I mean, a society that expects more fitness and power from coffee with protein powder also deserves to be sold coffee with collagen powder as a miracle cure.

Honestly, the existence of collagen in coffee shouldn’t surprise me. I mean, a society that expects more fitness and power from coffee with protein powder also deserves to be sold coffee with collagen powder as a miracle cure.

Jennifer Aniston is considered the queen of collagen coffee. Apparently she drinks a cup of the stuff every day and that’s why, at well over fifty, she looks better than many twenty-year-olds. 

Collagen or collagen powder has long been a supposed hack for women wanting the ultimate glow of stars. The beauty industry sells countless powders, creams and drinks containing collagen hydrolyzate.

I wanted to know more about where and why coffee comes into play. However, I didn’t ask Jennifer Aniston about that. Instead, I fell back on science. 

Nothing surprising came out of it; as with the topics of weight loss, metabolism and exercise, collagen coffee’s secret weapon is our belief in it.

Make Your Own Wrinkle Killer: What is Collagen Coffee?

Collagen coffee is more than just coffee with a spoonful of collagen powder. At least that’s what Jennifer Aniston says. Oh, and she is actually paid by the powder brand Vital Proteins to say that.

The daily intake of (special) collagen is intended to preserve youth, stop skin from aging, rejuvenate the appearance by decades and generally give the complexion an extra dose of glow. All without any side effects or questionable ingredients.

The joke is that collagen is actually as effective and important as beauticians would have us believe. However, the (expensive) point here is that collagen probably doesn’t work as a supplement for skin or freshness.

Glow Coffee Pulver Uebersicht

Buy Collagen, Stop Aging?

As a so-called structural protein, collagen is significantly involved in all the building processes in the body that we associate with youth, freshness and glow:

  • Ensures firm skin and firm connective tissue

  • Is a building protein for hair, nails, teeth and bones

  • Forms the basic framework of our entire musculoskeletal system

Collagen is based on amino acids such as proline and glycine and is produced in the body itself. However, with increasing age, the body’s own collagen production decreases. Depending on our genetics, we see the consequences relatively early on in our skin structure and facial features.

However, there is no such thing as just collagen. According to current scientific evidence, there are 28 different types of collagen peptides, all with unique properties and tasks in the body. 

Collagen preparations for skin, hair and nails rely on collagen types I to III as so-called fiber-forming colloids (see Ricard Blum 2011). These collagen fibers are the reason why skin is tight and your joints can move smoothly. 

With around a 25 percent share, collagen is the largest protein group in the body. That’s exactly why it’s so common that as we get older, we find it increasingly difficult to keep collagen formation stable with our diet and lifestyle.

It seems obvious to help the body with certain additives. What would be better suited for this than a powder or preparation that contains exactly the substance that our body absolutely needs?

Attention: Free Running Studies!

Projekt Koffeinkick Filterkaffee fertig

Unlike the influence of caffeine on sleep or the neurological effects of decaf coffee, scientists seem to be surprisingly in agreement when it comes to collagen as a dietary supplement. In fact, the anti-aging promise seems to be true (see Choi et al. 2019 and Bolke et al. 2019).

However, a closer reading of these studies quickly shows that we shouldn’t be so hasty. In fact, some studies make no secret of the fact that they were commissioned by a collagen manufacturer (Bolke). 

As a meta-study, other papers only refer to the results of (possibly paid) primary studies (including Miranda et al. 2021; criticism in Campos et al. 2023).

So far, critical researchers have failed to answer the question of whether dietary collagen can be effective at all and how it could be integrated into the building process from digestion (as an overview at the Harvard School of Public Health).

Collagen in Coffee: A Study Against Countless Recipes

Australian Coffee as a Social Ritual

As soon as we move from the “simple” extra glow cream with collagen from dmSkincare to collagen in coffee, things become completely absurd. Because it seems as if the two components in the fountain of youth enjoyed by Hollywood stars are mutually exclusive.

So far there has only been one serious study on the direct connection between caffeine and collagen. And this states that caffeine apparently prevents the biosynthesis of collagen. In other words,. it does exactly the opposite of what collagen coffee is supposed to achieve (Donejko et al. 2014). 

Why coffee is involved at all can best be explained by the fact that caffeine has been elevated to an almost magical substance in recent years. It supposedly comes with a whole host of benefits – heightened beauty, superior performance, increased intelligence … whatever you want.

The influence of caffeine on metabolism is probably the most important factor in convincing folks that collagen coffee works: a faster metabolism ensures better incorporation of collagen. Supposedly, anyway.

Vegan or Fish allergy? Stay Away From Collagen!

Sure, vegans hate wrinkles too. However, they can’t spend their money on trendy powders or collagen supplements. Because collagens are animal proteins that come exclusively from animal sources. 

Even the most expensive powders and pills are obtained from the bones, cartilage, tendons and skin of cows, pigs, fish or chickens. All of which are byproducts of the animal slaughter industry. 

Sounds kind of like gelatin? It is! Gelatin consists of cooked collagen and water. So might we just eat gummy bears and save ourselves from collagen coffee? Well, it’s something to think about.

By the way, supposedly vegan alternatives write the word “collagen” in large letters on their packages before they have to admit that it is just a cocktail of amino acids, vitamin C and other minerals. These are intended to support the body in forming collagen. 

The Jennifer Aniston Original: Does the Hype Have Side Effects?

So far, all critical studies on collagen powder have shown that taking a collagen preparation involves minimal side effects. That is, except for the toll it’ll take on your wallet.

Aniston’s “beauty secret” is called Vital Proteins and is a collagen powder made from a “premium sodium hyaluronate” and the “bovine hide collagen peptides.” A 20-ounce (567-gram) container will set you back around 30 bucks on Amazon. Other kinds cost around the same or a little more, depending on the brand or name.

Hydrolyzed collagen offers the best bioavailability – i.e. the way in which a substance is absorbed into the body. The general bioavailability of collagen is based on the sources chosen and further processing (cf. Campos et al. 2023 ).

The peptide types, in turn, refer to the types of collagen that we need for the skin, against wrinkles and for more elasticity. But we should remember: whether and how the stuff gets there is questionable.

The Before and After: Why Are There So Many Positive Reviews About Collagen Coffee?

Sage Barista Touch Flat White

Some people in the wider Coffeeness team circle swear by collagen in coffee. Or at least collagen powder in a smoothie. Looking at a photo or in the mirror, they think they see exactly what the “insider tip” promises: firming, radiance and all that jazz. 

Despite all the rejection, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of the placebo effect. After all, this also works with caffeine and losing weight, metabolism or exercise.

You shouldn’t rule out the collagen preparation of your choice having a positive effect on your joints or skin. The proteins are already being used somewhere. But certainly not to a degree that justifies buying expensive powders. Ultimately, our body simply doesn’t work that way.

Have you ever done a test with skin, hair or nail supplements? What did you observe? Which nonsense trend should I tackle next? Let me know in the comments!

Collagen in Coffee FAQ

While there may be no definitive answers to whether collagen in coffee has any benefits, it’s certainly safe to consume.

It’s likely that adding collagen to juice or a smoothie is the most effective method of consumption.

Again, some will tell you that collagen peptides are heat-resistant, while others claim that collagen isn’t as effective when mixed with hot drinks.

Your coffee expert
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Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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