The Ultimate Guide to Collagen, Creatine, and Electrolytes: Enhancing Your Health and Fitness

The Ultimate Guide to Collagen, Creatine, and Electrolytes: Enhancing Your Health and Fitness

We all want to live a healthy life and maximize our potential when it comes to our fitness.

But have you ever thought about how supplements like collagen, creatine, and electrolytes can help you do this?

Well, Harlo is here to help.

In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about collagen, creatine, and electrolytes, how they can positively affect our health and fitness, and important things to look out for when it comes to choosing a supplement that incorporates all three.

Introduction to Collagen, Creatine, and Electrolytes: The Power Trio

Collagen, creatine, and electrolytes are the power trio when it comes to enhancing your health and fitness. 

But let’s talk about what they actually are.

What Is Collagen?

The first part of the power trio is collagen, which is a protein in the body found in bones, skin, muscles, and tendons. Collagen plays an important role in holding the body’s cells together and is a very common protein in the body, with research showing that about one-third of the protein in our bodies consists of collagen.

Collagen is incredibly important for our overall health. For example, healthy levels of collagen contribute to joint health, healthy kidneys, skin elasticity, and a healthy heart. On the other hand, collagen depletion or breakdown has been linked to numerous health problems

Collagen supplements are used in various ways, with some people using collagen supplements for cosmetic purposes like improving skin elasticity and doctors using it in techniques for wound healing.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is the second part of the power trio. Creatine is an organic acid that supplies energy to the body’s cells, particularly the muscle cells. We can find creatine in red meat and fish, throughout the human body, and in supplements.

Creatine can also be used in a number of ways, with research showing that it can help treat muscle diseases, treat depression, and improve cognitive ability. It’s also valuable in improving athleticism, as athletes often use creatine supplements to improve their high-intensity training, build muscle, and even heal from injuries.

What Are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes, the final part of this power trio, though no less important, are vital for survival. When dissolved in water, electrolytes conduct electricity that is crucial for many automatic processes in the body. For example, electrolytes regulate nerve and muscle function, hydrate the body, regulate our internal pH levels, and help rebuild tissue that has been damaged.

The electrolytes in our body include sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

How Collagen Benefits Your Skin, Joints, and Muscle Health

Now that we’ve had a little preview into what exactly collagen, creatine, and electrolytes are, it’s time to talk more about how they can help your overall health and fitness.

Let’s start with collagen.

Collagen Is Beneficial For Your Skin

Yes, we all want to be healthy and fit, but guess what else we want? Beautiful, glowing skin. The skincare industry wouldn’t be worth upwards of $150 billion if we didn’t! And while what you put on our face has an effect on our skin, what we consume can also play an important part in having great skin.

Enter collagen supplementation.

Collagen plays a pivotal role in strengthening our skin, and improving elasticity and hydration. And as we age and our body produces less collagen, research has shown that collagen supplementation can help slow skin aging by reducing dryness and wrinkles. In fact, a review of 26 studies showed that people who took one to 12 grams of collagen each day for 4-12 weeks saw improvements in skin elasticity and hydration.

And while the skin-related benefits of collagen may be enough to convince us of its importance, just wait. 

There’s more.

Collagen Is Beneficial For Your Joints

Just as producing less collagen as we age affects the elasticity of your skin, it also increases our risk for joint disorders like osteoarthritis. These disorders can have devastating effects on our life, causing pain, swelling, and a reduced range of motion. Unfortunately, many people live with the negative consequences of joint disorders and joint pain. 

But collagen might help.

Studies have shown that additional collagen in the form of supplementation can help to improve symptoms and reduce joint pain. A 2018 study of 120 people even found that taking oral supplements containing collagen reduced joint pain by 43% and improved joint mobility by 39%.

So, collagen supplementation can be helpful for someone with a joint disorder or experiencing joint pain, as it may be a great way to lessen the pain and get some mobility back.

Collagen Is Beneficial Your Muscle Health

While it’s easy to look at building muscle mass as a purely esthetic goal, muscle mass can be crucial in preventing injuries during our workouts or just in our daily routine. The health of our muscles is also important for simply going about our day with the ability to walk, jump, dance, play sports, and other physical things we want to do in our life. But, as we age and lose collagen, we also experience a decrease in muscle mass.

The good news is that collagen supplements have also shown the ability to boost muscle mass. 

For example, in one study, 26 older men with sarcopenia (age-related loss of muscle mass and strength) were given 15 grams of collagen while in a 12-week exercise program. The results? They gained significantly more muscle mass and strength compared to men who exercised but didn’t take collagen. 

Believe it or not, there is also evidence that collagen has even more benefits than the ones we talked about, including preventing bone loss and promoting heart health. It is truly powerful!

Creatine: Boosting Energy and Muscle Growth Safely

Creatine is another powerful compound that can help us on our health and fitness journeys. And while it is a naturally occuring substance found in our bodies and other animals, creatine supplementation has tremendous benefits. 

Let’s discuss why.

Creatine Is An Energy Booster

When it comes to our performance in the gym and living an all-around great life, there’s something we desperately need, but due to lack of sleep, stress, and other factors, we often don’t have enough of it.


In fact, a recent poll of roughly 2,000 adults conducted by YouGov on behalf of the World Cancer Research Fund found that about 35% of people said that being “too tired” prevented them from making healthy choices in their diet and getting more physical activity.

While these numbers are unfortunate to say the least, the reality is that there are things that can help. And one of the best supplements for this is creatine.

Research has shown that creatine supplementation can reduce fatigue and tiredness. For example, in one study, creatine was shown to increase energy levels during sleep deprivation. Creatine can be helpful even in intense athletic situations, as one study showed that creatine led to reduced fatigue in athletes during a cycling test, and another study showed the same effect on people exercising in high temperatures.

Not only does creatine help you have more energy, but it also helps our cells produce more energy. It does this through how it works in relation to ATP. 

Quick biology lesson here: ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the most basic form of energy in your body’s cells. However, when you exercise intensely, ATP runs out very quickly, requiring your body to produce new ATP to fuel your activity. While exercising at a maximum intensity requires more ATP per second than what your body can produce, creatine supplements increase your body’s phosphocreatine stores, which produce new ATP energy during exercise. This can give you extra energy before you get fatigued.

While creatine can help you feel more energized physically, can also help counteract mental fatigue. And on top of that, creatine has been shown to have other brain benefits like improving memory, intelligence, and reasoning abilities. So, not only does creatine give us more energy, but it might also give us the mental power throughout the day to help us make smarter choices for our health, fitness, and beyond.

Creatine Can Help Prevent Injuries

Unfortunately, a lot of people get injured at the gym. In fact, it's estimated that roughly 17.9% of gym members get injured each year, which can hurt the momentum in any fitness journey. And injuries can happen for a lot of reasons such as overexertion, improper form, or even falling while doing certain exercises. Weight lifting injuries are also more common than cardio injuries. 

While injuries are sometimes thought of as an inevitable part of any fitness journey, that doesn’t mean it has to be. Research has shown that creatine may help reduce injuries to the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves.

For example, one study showed that athletes who were using creatine supplements experienced less muscle cramps, tightness, strains, and injury than athletes who didn’t use creatine supplements. Also, being stronger tends to be an effective way to prevent injuries, which creatine can help with.

Creatine Facilitates Safe Muscle Growth

There are many supplements on the market that notoriously have rather loose evidence supporting their benefits. But the good news is that is not the case with creatine.

In fact, creatine has been researched for more than 200 years, with numerous studies showing that it is safe for long-term use. Even the International Society of Sports Nutrition has stated that creatine is the most effective supplement in the world for adding muscle mass.

Research has also shown this repeatedly. For example, a review of more than 150 studies showed that people taking creatine see an average of 2.2% increase in lean body mass and 3.2% decrease in body fat. Another study showed that participants who used creatine in a 6-week training regimen added 4.4 pounds more muscle mass than participants who didn’t use creatine.

Creatine can also help improve high-intensity performance, making your workouts more effective. It can help factors like strength, ballistic power, muscle endurance, resistance to fatigue, muscle mass, and recovery. One review even found that it can improve high-intensity exercise performance by up to 15%.

Creatine Is Beneficial for Women 

One common objection women have when it comes to taking creatine is that it is just useful for men who want to bulk up. However, this is not the case.

Yes, studies have shown that creatine can help women increase lean muscle, but the reality is that muscle mass is not just useful for bulking. It can actually help women look more toned. And for older women who have higher rates of sarcopenia (muscle loss), increasing lean muscle is very valuable.

Additionally, research has shown that creatine supplementation can be important during menses, pregnancy, post-partum, menopause, and post-menopause due to hormone-related changes. So, really, creatine supplementation is valuable throughout most of a woman’s life.

And, as we’ve gone over, there are more benefits to creatine besides just muscle growth. Creatine can also help improve energy, prevent injuries, and improve performance, all of which are crucial for any woman trying to live a healthy and fit lifestyle.

We could go on and on about all the research into creatine, but that would take too long!

The benefits of creatine are clearly enormous, and creatine supplementation can substantially improve our physical performance and overall health.

The Essential Role of Electrolytes in Hydration and Performance

As stated earlier, electrolytes are essential for keeping your internal systems running efficiently and bringing balance to our bodies. And there are two things that electrolytes are particularly important for when it comes to our health and fitness — hydration and performance.

Electrolytes Can Protect Us From Dehydration

While the foods we eat throughout the day constantly replace the electrolytes you’ve lost, it’s easy to deplete our bodies of electrolytes and create an imbalance. Many things can cause an electrolyte imbalance, one of them being exercise. This is because when we're exercising, we’re typically sweating a lot, especially if it’s a high-intensity workout, and sweating drains our electrolytes, which can also cause dehydration. Certain illnesses, like a fever, can also cause dehydration and a loss of electrolytes.

While a severe level of dehydration can be a medical emergency, a mild to moderate level of dehydration is also not something to ignore. Some of the symptoms of dehydration at a mild to moderate level include fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, and headaches. These are often symptoms we think of as coming out of nowhere, but the reality is that dehydration could be a possible culprit.

And since a loss of electrolytes can lead to dehydration, it’s important to keep replenishing our electrolytes as we lose them, whether we’re working out, are sick, or are just going about our day.

That’s the benefit of electrolyte supplements. Electrolyte supplements can help us replenish our system so we can avoid adverse effects like dehydration, which is especially important in situations where we know we’re going to be losing a lot of electrolytes, such as during a workout or being in hot temperatures.

Electrolytes Can Improve Our Performance

By helping us stay hydrated, electrolyte supplementation can also have a positive effect on our performance when working out. In fact, a recent study showed that proper electrolyte supplementation can delay fatigue and improve performance. Taking electrolytes can also help us avoid muscle cramps, which of course make it harder to get a good workout in. 

Combining Collagen, Creatine, and Electrolytes: What You Need to Know

We know from the tremendous amount of research out there that collagen, creatine, and electrolytes can be extremely beneficial for both our health and performance.

But what happens when we mix the three together, like in our 3-in-1 Performance Drink Mix.

Well, we get the benefits of all three! Let’s review what those benefits are.

As stated earlier, collagen can benefit our skin, joints, and the health of our muscles. Creatine, on the other hand, can give us more energy, help prevent injuries, improve high-intensity performance, and facilitate muscle growth. The final piece of the puzzle is electrolytes, which can keep us hydrated and also improve performance.

So, by combining collagen, creatine, and electrolytes, we’re improving multiple aspects of our health and fitness. And not only do we get the benefits of all three, but there is also some evidence to suggest that we get even more.

For example, in one study by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, people who took creatine combined with electrolytes saw significant improvements in various strength exercises like the bench press. The researchers theorized that combining both creatine and electrolytes may have increased the absorption of creatine, therefore increasing the benefits of the creatine itself. Additionally, at least when applied topically, creatine may also help our skin produce more collagen.

The great thing about combining these three substances is that they can significantly improve your health and fitness, giving you benefits that feel like magic but are actually just pure science.

Daily Dosage and Timing: Maximizing the Benefits

While collagen, creatine, and electrolyte supplementation can clearly do wonders for our health and fitness, the amount we take and the time of day we take them can have a significant influence on the results we see. So, let’s dive into how to maximize the benefits of our supplementation.

Optimal Daily Dosage of Collagen

Most studies find that we get the most benefits from our collagen supplementation when we’re taking about 2.5 to 15 grams of collagen each day. Research has shown that this range is safe and effective, and studies that have looked into this amount of collagen supplementation have found that some of the benefits include improved:

Optimal Daily Dosage of Creatine

The optimal daily dosage of creatine is less than that of collagen, with most research showing that we’ll get the most benefits by taking around 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day. Some people also like to do a process called creatine loadingbefore getting to this dosage, which involves taking 20-25 grams of creatine per day, split into 4-5 doses, for about 5-7 days. While this temporarily higher supplementation dosage can help us experience the benefits of creatine supplementation sooner, the 3 to 5 gram dosage a day is much more convenient. 

Optimal Daily Dosage of Electrolytes

As discussed earlier, some of the types of electrolytes we need every day include potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Depending on our diet, we can get the electrolytes we need from the food we eat, with supplementation being useful to complete what we’re not getting. Here are some guidelines when it comes to electrolyte supplementation:

  • For potassium, an adequate daily intake is about 3,500 mg. However, most people don’t get enough potassiumthrough their diet, which is where supplementation can help. 
  • There are also many people who are magnesium deficient, but when it comes to taking this supplement, the maximum recommended amount we should take is 350 mg per day for adults.
  • For sodium, the maximum amount we should be consuming per day is about 2.3 grams, so as long as we don’t go over this amount via our diet and supplementation, we should see the benefits without the risks.

Now that we've covered the optimal dosage of collagen, creatine, and electrolytes, let’s get into the best way to time them.

How to Time Collagen, Creatine, and Electrolyte Supplements

While some people think that there are optimal times to take collagen, there are currently no studies to support these claims. The priority really lies in consistently taking an adequate dosage for at least eight weeks to see the benefits. So, when it comes to timing our collagen supplements, the truth is that the best time depends on when it is easiest for us to take it!

Timing creatine is a bit different. Research shows that the best time to take our creatine supplements tends to be close to when we exercise. For example, in one 10-week study, participants who took a creatine supplement close to exercise gained more muscle and strength than participants who didn’t take it close to exercise. The same tends to be true with electrolytes since the best time to take these supplements is when we know we are likely to lose them quickly, like during a workout.

So, what should we do when taking a supplement that contains collagen, creatine, and electrolytes?

Well, since there's no evidence supporting an optimal timing for taking collagen supplements, but there is evidence of an optimal time for creatine and electrolyte supplementation, consuming a 3-in-1 supplement around our workout sessions is likely to maximize their benefits.

It’s also important to use a product that adheres to all the recommended supplement dosages for all three, like Harlo’s 3-in-1 Performance Drink Mix.

Potential Side Effects and How to Mitigate Them

Like every supplement or medication out there, there are some potential side effects. The important thing is to be aware of them so we can avoid them.

Potential Side Effects of Collagen

Let’s start with some of the potential side effects of collagen supplements. Collagen is considered a safe daily supplement, and most people won’t experience the negative side effects of taking it. However, some people have experienced stomach complaints or feeling overly full from taking collagen. Other side effects include constipation or diarrhea. Taking too much collagen can also cause bloating. 

To avoid these side effects, be careful about how much collagen you’re using, and make sure to stay within the recommended guidelines. If you do this and are still experiencing side effects, stop taking the supplement and talk to your doctor.

Potential Side Effects of Creatine

Studies have shown that digesting excessive amounts of creatine may cause digestive issues. For example, in one study29% of participants who took a 5-gram dose of creatine twice a day experienced diarrhea. Participants who took a 10-gram dose once a day increased their risk of diarrhea by more than 50%.

However, it’s important to remember that these examples are of people who took more than the daily recommended amount of creatine dosage. Staying within the guidelines can help mitigate the risk of this side effect.

Another potential side effect of creatine supplementation is that some products contain additives or contaminants that can lead to issues. So, it’s important to be careful with the brands we buy from. 

Potential Side Effects of Electrolytes

Similar to creatine and collagen, there are some potential side effects that come with taking electrolyte supplements. For example, some of the side effects that come with drinking too much electrolytes include nausea and diarrhea.

Since the risk of side effects when using collagen, creatine, or electrolytes is far greater when consuming more than the recommended amount, one of the best things we can do to mitigate any risks is just stick to the recommendation.

Real User Experiences: Testimonials and Results

We know that there are enormous benefits to taking collagen, creatine, and electrolyte supplements, including skin improvements, increased muscle mass, better hydration, and more. And while going through the research that supports these claims is very important, at the end of the day, it’s important to hear from real users and hear real experiences to understand if a product is worth trying. At Harlo, we have plenty of happy customers who can confirm that our products are the real deal!

For example, one customer, who is an experienced athlete that ran the LA Marathon, Pasadena Half Marathon, London 5k and more even stated “Harlo helps me perform better, recover faster, and stay hydrated.”

Another customer had a very positive experience with the Harlo 3-in-1 Performance Drink Mix and said they saw a lot of improvement in their journey to building muscle mass. [Insert Testimonial Here]

Our customers have also seen great improvements with their skin, with one saying, [Insert Testimonial Here].

Another common sentiment is that the drink mix helps prevent fatigue at the gym and afterward. [Insert Testimonials Here]

We’re extremely happy that we have so many customers who have seen real differences in their health and fitness using our products. But this is no accident. Our blend is engineered specifically to help you elevate your health and vitality. Want to try us out? Check out our products here.

FAQ: Addressing Common Concerns and Myths

In the age of the Internet, there’s a lot of false information out there. The same is true when it comes to information about collagen, creatine and electrolytes. So, let’s go through some of the most common concerns out there and look at the evidence to see if they are true or if they’re myths.

Does Creatine Give You Acne?

There are some people out there who are under the impression that creatine causes acne. In actuality, research shows that topically applied creatine can actually be beneficial for our skin, improving wrinkles and skin damage. This myth may have been started by the fact that creatine can enhance our performance at the gym, making us sweat more, which can lead to acne. However, there is no evidence that suggests that creatine directly causes acne.

Can Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

Another misconception is that creatine can cause hair loss. However, there is no evidence to suggest this. So, if you’re losing hair while taking creatine, there are other reasons involved. You can always talk to your doctor to see what your options are!

Can Creatine Cause Headaches?

There isn’t much worse than a bad headache. However, we can’t blame creatine supplements, as there is no research that shows that creatine causes headaches. In fact, there is more evidence that creatine can help alleviate headache symptoms. So, getting a headache after taking creatine is more likely due to other things like dehydration, overexertion, or stress.

Can Creatine Cause Dehydration?

Another question people often have is if creatine causes dehydration. Again, there’s no evidence to suggest that’s true. One study of college athletes found that the ones taking creatine had fewer cases of dehydration, muscle cramps, and muscle injuries than people not taking it. So, no, creatine doesn’t cause dehydration, and if anything, it might help prevent it.

Does Collagen or Creatine Interact With Other Medications?

When it comes to collagen supplements, there is currently not a lot of research into how it interacts with prescription medications. Creatine, on the other hand, may interact with certain medications, such as those that affect our blood sugarliver, or kidneys, so make sure to talk to your doctor if you’re taking these supplements.

And if you’re currently taking another type of medication and are concerned about it negatively interacting with your creatine or collagen supplement, talk to your doctor to get the OK.

Can Creatine Hurt Your Kidneys or Liver?

While you may want to avoid taking creatine if you're taking medication that affects your kidneys or liver, the belief that creatine can directly harm your kidneys or liver is a myth. This may have started because creatine can slightly raise levels of creatinine in your blood, and creatinine is often measured to diagnose kidney or liver conditions. 

However, the reality is that there is no evidence that supports this claim. Even a long-term study that lasted four years concluded that creatine had no negative side effects.

Can Creatine, Collagen, or Electrolytes Make You Gain Weight?

Another concern people sometimes have with taking creatine, collagen, or electrolyte supplements is that it causes weight gain. But let’s look at the research here. Studies do show that creatine users experience weight gain more than people who do not use creatine. However, this weight gain is due to muscle growth, not increased body fat.

As for collagen, research shows that it might actually help people lose weight by improving satiety. So again, this is a complete myth, and there is no evidence to support it.

Some people might see the weight on the scale go up when drinking sports drinks containing electrolytes. Part of this might be due to water retention since sodium can lead to water retention and bloating, but this isn’t actual fat gain. 

This doesn’t mean that weight gain can’t be caused by a sports drink. Some of these sports drinks have a lot of sugar and calories! If weight gain is a concern to you, make sure you’re choosing a sports drink or mix that isn’t high in sugar or calories.

Is Collagen Vegan?

People who follow a vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based diet also sometimes wonder if they can take collagen. Well, since naturally occurring collagen is an animal product, avoid it if you don’t consume any animal products. 

However, scientists have developed a form of vegan collagen made from bioengineered microorganisms, although it is not widely available.

The 6 Best Ways to Choose the Right Collagen, Creatine, and Electrolyte Drink Mix

If we don’t choose the right product, we’re not going to get the maximum benefits that we can get from collagen, creatine, and electrolytes. And a bad product can even do more harm than good. 

But how do you choose the right product? Let’s go through a few things that are important to look out for.

1. Choose a Drink Mix That Follows the Recommended Doses

As we talked about when we covered the possible side effects of collagen, creatine, and electrolyte supplements, the dosage of the products we use matters. A lot. So, when looking for a product, make sure it follows the guidelines.

For collagen, that range should be between 2.5 and 15 grams of collagen.

For creatine, that range should be between 3 and 5 grams a day.

As for electrolytes, just make sure the product doesn’t have more than 350 mg of magnesium, or 2.3 grams of sodium.

The good news is that Harlo follows all of these recommendations, as our products contain:

  • 10 grams of collagen
  • 3 grams of creatine
  • 1 grams of sodium
  • 60 mg of magnesium
  • 200 mg of potassium

2. Choose a Drink Mix That Uses Clean Ingredients

When selecting a collagen, creatine, and electrolyte drink mix, it’s also essential to choose a product made with clean ingredients. Products that contain only clean ingredients can be more easily absorbed by the body, and they are also safer as they’re free from toxic and harmful ingredients.

3. Choose a Drink Mix That Is Lower In Calories and Sugar

Another important factor when choosing a collagen, creatine, and electrolyte drink mix is to choose a product that is lower in calories and sugar. This is very important so that you don’t consume a lot of excess calories or sugar alongside your supplements. Especially because consuming too much sugar can cause a “sugar crash,” and make you jittery and anxious. Sugar can also make you gain weight

If you were wondering, Harlo’s 3-in-1 Performance Drink Mix only has 40 calories per serving and zero sugar!

4. Choose a Drink Mix That Has Happy Customers

Knowing that a brand has a history of making its customers happy with both their products and customer service is incredibly important when choosing a drink mix. Look for products with testimonials that show people are actually getting the results the product claims to give. There are plenty of ways to check reviews, like on the company’s website, social media, or Amazon, if they sell there.

5. Choose a Drink Mix That Is Convenient

Another thing to think about if you want to incorporate collagen, creatine, and electrolytes into your day is how to do it in a convenient, easy way. So, look for options that require minimal preparation or mixing. And if you’re using a powder mix, it should dissolve quickly! No one has time to wait. 

6. Choose a Drink Mix That Comes In Multiple Flavors

Some love oranges, some hate oranges. Some like raspberries, some hate raspberries. We all have different tastes! So, when choosing a drink mix, find a product that at least gives you some options. You shouldn’t have to suffer through a drink that you don’t find delicious.

At Harlo, our drink currently comes in three flavors — raspberry, orange, and citrus salt. And they’re all super delicious!

Try Harlo’s 3-in-1 Performance Drink Mix

When it comes to getting a supplement that contains collagen, creatine, and electrolytes and gives you what you need for each, Harlo’s 3-in-1 Performance Drink Mix is what you need. Not only does our product have the recommended dosage of collagen, creatine, and electrolytes, but it’s also made from high-quality, meticulously curated ingredients, such as bovine collagen and premium pink Himalayan sea salt. It’s also easy to use and has a delicious flavor sweetened with stevia leaf, a natural sweetener.

The products you put in your body matters, and in order to maximize the benefits of collagen, creatine, and electrolyte supplementation, you need a great one. 

Try ours.

Back to blog