I used various treatments during my TSW journey, but by far the most impactful was collagen.
Especially during NMT, I found that once I started taking collagen the skin started flaking and shedding in much greater quantities and with much greater speed. Flakes were falling off me 24/7 without even needing to brush or rub the skin. It was a big surprise but also very encouraging.
When we go through TSW, we are trying to make new skin. That’s basically what’s happening. Our current skin is damaged and as it sheds we generate new skin that is hopefully healthier and stronger. Layers and layers come off week by week and hopefully over time, our skin is back to normal.
But as you’ve probably noticed, especially if you are doing NMT; we are going to shed a lot of skin before we get there.
Why does collagen help with TSW?
Collagen is the protein that our skin and nails are made of.
It contains the exact amino acids you need to create skin. When you eat collagen, you are technically eating new skin. So it makes sense that it’s good for a body that is constantly shedding and making layers of new skin, right?
Dr Sato also advocates that a high protein diet is preferred for NMT, and what better protein to eat than collagen – the protein that our skin is actually made of.
Do I have a study showing collagen is good for TSW? No, I don’t. Like I said, we don’t have any studies on TSW, because most doctors are still refusing to believe it exists. But it is certainly the supplement that made the most difference for me and I would highly suggest you try it, especially if you have been struggling to see progress.
What is the best way to take collagen for TSW?
I’ve used many collagen powders but the one I am using currently is this one from Vital Proteins.
When I’m flaring badly I take around 4 scoops per day. When my skin is more settled I take 2 scoops per day.
This is some of the ways I take it:
Mixing it into a hot drink in the morning
If you drink a coffee, tea or hot chocolate in the morning, adding a scoop of unflavoured or vanilla collagen is perfect.
Mixing it into your oatmeal or cereal
If you eat oats or cereal in the mornings, simply stir a scoop in. Again vanilla or unflavoured is perfect, but even chocolate is pretty good.
Mix it into your water bottle
I actually make a drink that is specifically for NMT – I mix in some sugar free electrolytes and a scoop of collagen into a water bottle and that’s my drink for the day.
The electrolytes are excellent for staying hydrated and providing trace minerals, which is especially important on our reduced water intake. I use Ultima Replenisher.
I use the unflavoured collagen which means you can’t taste it but you’re always taking in a small amount of collagen with each sip.
Adding it to smoothies
Probably the easiest way to use it – make a healthy smoothie with some good fats like nuts/peanut butter/coconut/avocado and some fruits or vegetables, and then put it one or two scoops of collagen powder.
Mix it into yogurt or ice cream
At the end of the day I like to have a small bowl of yogurt with some berries and I usually mix in a scoop of vanilla collagen as well.
Take collagen pills
One thing that I sometimes struggled with was getting enough collagen without breaking my water limit.
This is because every time you take collagen powder you need to mix it with some food or drink, so at the end of the day you can’t just make a smoothie or have a cup of tea.
This is when collagen pills come in very handy. Just take a handful, even up to five or six if you can handle it and take them with as little water as possible.
It still might not be as much as a scoop, but at least you’ll get a decent serving for that day without blowing your water limit.
Another trick you can do is take a few pills at each meal, and with the scoops of powder you add to your diet it should all add up to a good amount. I like to use these collagen pills from Neocell.
Can you overdose on collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is found in almost every animal product.
For example when you eat eggs, beef, fish, even dairy, you will be getting some collagen. A lot of animal tissue is made of collagen.
I am unsure if you can overdose, but I think you would need to eat a lot of collagen powder before you started to endanger yourself.
It is not a medication or a drug, it is a food so personally I have no concern about using a lot of collagen powder during bad flares.
Once my flares go down, I go back down to the recommended 1-2 scoops per day.
Of course if you are uncomfortable increasing your dosage too high, you can simply stick to the recommended 1-2 scoops per day at all times.
Vitamin C is a great complement to collagen
The reason I take Vitamin C every day is because it is a necessary ingredient in synthesizing collagen in the body.
That means when we eat the collagen, the Vitamin C aids in the process of actually turning it into proteins our body can use.
I like to use a lipsomal Vitamin C like this one, because this is designed to absorb more efficiently than pills or other liquids.
My Collagen Stack:
Here’s a summary of the collagen supplements I use:
Note: The purchase links below take you to iHerb which is where I buy most of my health products. You can use my referral code ZBS600 to get a 5% discount!
Vital Proteins Collagen Powder
I usually have a tub of unflavoured collagen and a tub of vanilla flavoured and use them in different foods/drinks.
I mix unflavoured collagen with these electrolytes in water and drink one bottle daily.
Neocell Marine Collagen Pills
I have a jar of these collagen pills and take them with my meals if I’m having a flare, or just if I haven’t had many scoops during the day.
Liposomal Vitamin C
Take one spoonful a day to help with synthesizing collagen in the body.
Disclosure: Using my discount code also gets me a 5% credit on my next order. Just wanted you to know!