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How Much Collagen Should You Take To See Results?

Collagen is a protein making up a significant portion of our skin, bones, and connective tissues. It has gained popularity as a supplement for its potential benefits of keeping the skin young and elastic, but it also offers various positive effects supporting overall health and wellness.

While our bodies naturally produce collagen, production declines as we age, leading to wrinkles, joint pain, and other signs of aging. As a result, many people turn to collagen supplements to help replenish their body's natural stores to combat aging or to reap its other health benefits.

Knowing how much collagen to take to see results can be challenging with so many forms and dosages available. This article explores the science behind collagen supplementation and provide insights into how much collagen is needed to achieve your desired outcomes.

What are the types of collagen?

Collagen is a protein comprising a unique combination of amino acids, including glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine. Interestingly, collagen has many types, and they can have unique functions up to 28 types of collagen are currently identified, differing in structure, composition, and location. Despite these differences, they are characterized by having at least one helix structure.

Among these are five primary types of collagen:

TypeFunction
Type IAround 90% of the collagen in the human body is of this type, making it the most abundant. It is found in skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and teeth, and provides structural support and helps maintain the integrity of these tissues.
Type IIThis type of collagen is found in cartilage, the flexible tissue that cushions joints. It helps provide elasticity and shock absorption to the joints.
Type IIIThis type is commonly found with Type I, including bone marrow, vasculature, and organs. It is the main component of the reticulin fibers, secreted by reticular cells that form a network mesh with several functions in structural support, wound healing, and immune support.
Type IVThis type of collagen is found at the basement membrane of cells, which helps anchor cells to their surrounding tissues and regulates the exchange of substances between cells and adjacent tissues.
Type VThis type is abundant in the eye cornea, placenta, and dermal/epidermal region of the skin. Notably, type V collagen is required for the fibrillation of type I and III collagen.

Why should you take collagen?

As you age, your body naturally makes less collagen. Starting in the 40s, the body can lose approximately 1% of collagen each year. By the time you are in your 60s or 70s, collagen loss will adversely affect your hair, skin, and joint health. Hence, individuals often take supplements to combat aging-associated collagen decline and promote overall health. Meanwhile, others take collagen as a source of protein for meal replacement.

Here are the top reasons why you should consider taking collagen supplements:

Skin health

Supplementing with collagen has been shown to improve skin health by increasing skin moisture and elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and promoting the production of other supportive proteins like elastin and fibrillin.

Joint health

Research suggests that supplementing with collagen may help to improve joint health by stimulating the production of new cartilage, reducing inflammation, and protecting existing cartilage from degradation. Collagen may also help to improve joint mobility, decrease pain, and support overall joint health.

Gut health

Collagen is a key component of the gut lining, and supplementation may help to support gut health by reducing inflammation, improving digestion and absorption of nutrients, and promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Nails and hair

Like bones and joints, collagen is a significant building block of nails and hair, and supplementing with it may promote health and growth. Collagen can improve nail strength, reduce brittleness, and increase hair thickness, shine, and overall health.

Muscle growth

Collagen makes up about 10% of muscular tissue. Strength and resistance exercise, and a collagen protein supplement, may help you gain lean muscle mass and greater control over your body's composition.

Weight loss

Collagen can aid in weight loss by increasing satiety, reducing appetite, and improving metabolism. It can also support healthy muscle growth, aiding in weight loss efforts. However, collagen alone is not a magic weight loss solution and should be combined with a healthy diet and exercise.

How much collagen should I take per day?

With collagen's broad beneficial effects, nearly everyone can benefit from its supplementation. Dosage may vary depending on the purpose of use and dosage forms.

The most popular forms of collagen supplements are:

Hydrolyzed collagen

Hydrolyzed collagen is the most common form of collagen supplement derived from various animals, including fowl, swine, cattle, and shellfish.

A lower dosage of 2.5 g per day might help with hydration, skin health, and joint discomfort. It has been suggested that increasing this dosage to 5 g per day could increase bone integrity. Lastly, higher doses of hydrolyzed collagen (15 g per day) have mainly been used to help muscles grow.

Undenatured collagen

Collagen that has not been denatured comes from poultry bones. Some research shows taking 10 to 40 mg per day of undenatured collagen can significantly improve your joints' health.

Gelatin

Gelatin is a part of gelatinous candies. It comes from animals and is mostly used in cooking. For increased collagen proteins, gelatin can be added to stews, soups, smoothies, and other meals.

Manufacturers commonly advise consuming 1–2 scoops of the powder form per day. But the amount of collagen in a supplement can vary depending on how it is made, so read the product label to determine how much to take.

Can you take too much collagen?

Collagen is considered generally safe, but excessive intake of collagen supplements may cause undesirable effects like digestive discomfort, such as bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Additionally, it may interfere with nutrient absorption and increase calcium levels in the blood, potentially leading to kidney stones.

Due to limited scientific evidence on high-dose collagen supplementation, it is advisable to follow the recommended dosage on the product label or as advised by a healthcare professional. Consulting a healthcare professional before taking excess collagen supplements is also recommended.

When is the best time to take collagen supplements?

Collagen supplements can be taken any time of the day, depending on the individual's goals and preferences:

  • For repair and regeneration. Take collagen at night for skin and muscle repair. At night or before bed, collagen supplements may better help the body's natural healing and repair process, as collagen synthesis occurs during sleep.
  • For weight loss and management. Some individuals prefer taking collagen in the morning. When taken before working out, collagen may boost metabolism and energy throughout the day.

Collagen can be safely combined with most vitamins and supplements you may require to improve your overall health. For example, biotin is often combined with collagen because they work best together to promote collagen's health benefits. The recommended dose for biotin is 30–100 mcg daily, and for collagen, around 2.5–15 g, depending on the form and source. Biotin is usually taken in the form of a pill, whereas collagen comes in a variety of forms.

When will you start seeing the results of collagen?

The time it takes to see the results of collagen supplementation varies from person to person and depends on several factors, including:

  • Purpose of use
  • Amount of collagen taken
  • Form of collagen supplement
  • Individual health status

Some people may start to see improvements in their skin, hair, and joint health within a few weeks of beginning collagen supplementation, while others may take 3–6 months to notice any changes. Consistent and long-term use of collagen supplements is recommended for optimal results.

How to choose the best collagen supplement?

If you’re considering collagen supplementations, here are several key criteria worth paying attention to:

  • Amount of collagen. Choose a product with appropriate amounts of collagen. Studies have found that collagen supplementation can show benefits when taken in daily doses ranging from 2.5 to 10 grams. However, certain benefits have also been observed at lower doses of 10 mg per day.
  • Collagen form. Specific forms of collagen are more easily absorbed by the body than others. For instance, collagen hydrolysate or collagen peptides are more likely to affect the body than intact collagen or gelatin.
  • Supplement form. Collagen supplements come in different forms, including powders, capsules, liquids, and gummies. Choose a form that’s most suitable for you and your lifestyle.
  • Additional ingredients. Some collagen supplements are single-ingredient, while others include additional ingredients. Certain additional ingredients may be beneficial for one’s skin, joints, or collagen biosynthesis in general.
  • Brand reputation and customer reviews. Opt for a brand with high standards and positive customer reviews.
  • Price. Go for a product that does not compromise on quality to lower its pricing.

📝Healthnews editor's top picks

For those exploring the idea of collagen supplementation, our dedicated article on the best collagen supplements for wrinkles may be helpful.

Best collagen for anti-aging — HUM

HUM Nutrition Collagen Love

  • Collagen peptides
  • Additional ingredients for potential joint and skin health support
  • Affordable pricing
  • FDA-registered and GMP-compliant facilities

Best nourishing collagen for wrinkles — SpoiledChild

SpoiledChild E27 Extra Strength Liquid Collagen

  • Bovine collagen peptides
  • 5 g of collagen
  • Contains vitamin C
  • Sustainable packaging

Best collagen for joint support — Momentous

Momentous Collagen Peptides

  • Hydrolyzed collagen
  • 16.8 g of collagen per serving
  • Contains vitamin C


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