Collagen is basically your body’s natural protein glue, holding things together like your bones, muscles, and skin. But if you want an added health boost from a supplement, how much collagen should you take per day?
Adding a collagen supplement has a bunch of potential benefits, like:
- improving skin health
- strengthening hair and nails
- decreasing joint pain
- preventing bone loss
- improving muscle mass
Here’s how much collagen a day helps keep your body strong and your skin glowing. 🌟
Before diving into supplements, understand that collagen is essential to your bod. According to a research review, there are at least 28 different types of collagen, but types I, II, and III are the most common forms found in the human body.
- Type I: Makes up more than 90 percent of your collagen and is found in connective tissue, hair, skin, and nails. The decrease in this collagen may result in sagging skin, fine lines, brittle nails, and thinning hair.
- Type II: Tends to be more abundant in joints and cartilage.
- Type III: Works with type I as an important form of collagen in your organs and skin.
Since there are so many types of collagen, more research needs to be completed to really pinpoint how each type influences our health. But we do know there may be major benefits to taking a collagen supplement.
If you’re looking to add in a collagen supplement to your day (collagen creamer in your coffee, anyone ☕️?), you may notice that you have a few options there too.
- Hydrolyzed collagen (sometimes referred to as collagen hydrolysate) comes from different sources like bovine (cows), marine sources (fish), and other animal sources (pigs, chickens). It’s broken down into small peptides which makes it easier for your body to absorb.
- Undenatured collagen hasn’t been broken down by processing. Like hydrolyzed collagen, it can come from several animal sources.
- Gelatin is cooked collagen that comes from animal sources (think Jell-O).
What if you’re not into animal products?
Naturally-occurring collagen supplements always come from animal sources. But that doesn’t mean peeps on a vegetarian or vegan diet don’t have options.
Thanks to genetic engineering, you can get your hands on vegan collagen made from yeast and bacteria.
Not all types of collagen supplements are the same. So, quantity and reasons for taking them differ from each other.
Hydrolyzed collagen is the most common collagen supplement on the market, most likely because a research review showed that it’s easily absorbed.
You often find this supplement in powder or capsule form, with powders being easy to mix in with soups, beverages, or even baked goods. You can also find hydrolyzed collagen in some cosmetics 💄.
When it comes to skin health, a study found that the intake of 2.5 grams of collagen peptides improved skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density.
Another study showed that bumping up your collagen intake to 5 grams per day potentially improves bone density (with the help of calcium and vitamin D).
Go big or go home by consuming 15 grams of collagen per day, which improved muscle mass and body composition in a study of premenopausal women.
Bottom line on hydrolyzed collagen:
A research review found that taking 2.5 to 15 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptides per day was safe.
This form of collagen can also be found in powdered or capsule form, with studies linking it to bone and joint health. One study found that a total daily dose of 40 milligrams per day improved knee joint symptoms in individuals dealing with osteoarthritis.
Bottom line on undenatured collagen:
A 2013 study showed that 10 to 40 milligrams of undenatured collagen is well tolerated and shows beneficial effects on joint health.
This form of collagen is less likely to be sold as a supplement and more often found in the fruity, jiggly desert Jell-O. You can also use plain gelatin to boost protein content and thicken sauces, soups, and smoothies.
Limited research has been done on gelatin supplementation, but we do have some info. A study found that participants who took 15 grams of gelatin improved their collagen synthesis (how their bodies a make it). This might play a role in tissue repair and injury prevention.
But the study above was conducted over a short period of time, so we can’t be sure of the side effects that may come with long-term use.
Bottom line on gellatin:
The safest bet is to go with the recommended dosage on the packaging. We still need more info to know for sure how much is optimal for your bod.
There aren’t any official guidelines on how much collagen to add to your smoothie of morning brew. It really just depends on why you want to take collagen in the first place.
A simple strategy is to check out the package recommendations. Most often if you’re taking powdered collagen, it’ll be recommended to take 1 to 2 scoops (or tablespoons) each day. Collagen pills or gummies may recommend 1 to 2 pieces for your daily dose.
With each form of collagen supplements comes various collagen contents, making dosages different. Overall, taking 2.5 to 15 grams of collagen peptides seems to be a safe and effective amount per day.
How much collagen is too much?
With every new supplement you add to your routine, should come the go-ahead from your doctor. This is especially true if you plan to take more than the recommended dosage.
Either way, collagen tends to be a generally safe and nontoxic supplement which results in very few side effects.
But there have been some reports published in a 2012 review that showed some uncomfy side effects of collagen supplements. Some participants mentioned an unpleasant taste, feeling overly full, and other stomach complaints.
Many parts of your body need collagen to stay structurally sound. If you regularly consume animal sources, you’re getting enough collagen already. But adding a supplement further supports bone, skin, joint, and hair health.
If opting for a supplement, the easiest way to take enough is to stick with the recommended intakes listed on the packages.