Want the perfect workout program?Take Quiz
Fact checked by Andrew Lenau, ISSA CPT & Sports NutritionistFACT CHECKED
October 11, 2023
Collagen is one of the hottest trends in the supplement and fitness world as people realize its numerous health benefits.
Collagen, made from amino acids, is the most abundant protein in the body and plays a role in building muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and other connective tissue. With several types of collagen supplements available, it's important to recognize the type and amount your body requires.
Figuring out how much collagen to take daily is vital to maximize the benefits and limit side effects. So in this article, we will explore the research to determine the truth about collagen intake.
Table of Contents:
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, accounting for roughly 30% of all our protein1, and plays an essential role in several bodily functions. It's made from the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline in a complex triple-helix structure, providing structural support and strength to the skin, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues.
Naturally produced by the body, collagen also improves the elasticity and firmness of tissues and cushions joints to maintain flexibility, but production slows as we age, and the quality declines.
Other benefits of collagen supplements include:
Collagen supplements vary in type, quality, source, and bioavailability, so it's essential to do your research to ensure you choose the right kind. For a more in-depth explanation of collagen, check out our article: What Is Collagen? Everything You Need To Know.
Based on research, the consensus among experts is that people can safely consume between 2.5 to 15 grams of collagen a day.
While this is a fairly wide range, your desired goals and purpose will determine how many grams of collagen per day you should be using (more on this below).
The "concern" with taking too much collagen is that it can throw off your amino acid profile. This is because collagen protein does not have all of the essential amino acids. It lacks tryptophan, so it's not considered a complete protein source.
However, a study from 2019 suggests that people can consume far more while maintaining amino acid balance.
The researchers concluded that collagen peptides can contribute up to 36% of the protein content in a typical American daily diet without compromising the essential amino acid balance necessary for overall health.
This shows that we can safely consume considerably more than the recommended maximum of 15 grams of collagen daily without hurting our protein profile2.
For example, a 14-gram serving of collagen peptide powder contains 12 grams of protein. So, if you consume 100 g of protein daily, 36 grams can come from collagen, meaning you can take up to 42 grams of collagen peptide powder.
FYI - The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) recommends 56 grams of protein for adult men and 46 grams for women daily. This translates to roughly 20 grams of protein from collagen for men and 16 grams for women.
2.5-15 grams daily on average, with the potential for 20 grams or more, up to a max of 36% of all protein sources.
Learn about dosing for specific goals and purposes just below...
As we have mentioned, the recommended collagen per day dosage depends on what your goals are.
Studies have shown that 2.5 to 5 grams of collagen daily significantly improves skin elasticity, hydration, roughness, and density3. We talk about this benefit, among others, more in our article: 5 Best Collagen Benefits For Women.
Collagen Dosage: 2.5 to 5 g daily
Studies have shown that 10 grams a day of collagen is ideal for improving joint pain and joint health4. Healthy Origins UC-II is a great collagen choice for those looking to support joint health. It includes 10 mg of undenatured Type 2 collagen per serving, which enhances joint health.
Collagen Dosage: 10 g daily
Studies have shown that 15-20 grams a day of collagen can improve leaky gut and control outbreaks related to IBS, IBD, Crohn's, or colitis. One study showed that 20 grams a day of collagen for six weeks reduced bloating and improved mild digestive symptoms in adult women5.
Collage Dosage: 15 to 20 g daily
Studies show that 5 grams a day of collagen is ideal for bone health. In one study, 5 grams of specific collagen peptides daily improved bone markers in postmenopausal women. This included increased bone formation and reduced bone degradation6.
I highly recommend Life Extension Bone Strength Collagen Formula for bone health, as it contains collagen, vitamin D3, magnesium, silicon, dried plum extract, and boron.
Collagen Dosage: 5 g daily
You should use around 5-10 grams daily to improve hair health. For those taking collagen to improve hair health, you can't go wrong with Youtheory Collagen Advanced Formula, which features collagen, biotin, and vitamin C.
Collagen Dosage: 5 to 10 g daily
Research suggests taking a larger dose of collagen, 15 to 20 grams daily or more, to increase muscle mass and improve muscular strength. At the end of the day, collagen is a protein, and protein builds muscle.
One study had young men take 15 grams of specific collagen peptides daily or a placebo while performing resistance training three times a week. After 12 weeks, the men using collagen significantly increased body mass, fat-free mass, and muscle strength more than the placebo group7.
Dosage: 15 to 20+ g daily
Clinical trials in patients with type 2 diabetes found that 5 grams of collagen improved blood sugar control by lowering HbA1c levels and increasing insulin sensitivity. Users on 2.5 grams of collagen had a 15% reduction in fasting blood glucose levels, whereas users on 5 grams of collagen led to a drop of 41%8.
Collagen Dosage: 5 g daily
This table will help you find the best dosing for your goals.
2.5 to 5 g daily
Arthritis & Joint Health
10 g daily
15 to 20 g daily
5 g daily
5 to 10 g daily
15 to 20+ g daily
Blood Sugar Control
5 g daily
Several different factors affect the ideal daily collagen intake. Some of these factors include:
There are 28 types of collagen in the body, but there are main types typically found in supplements. The five main types of collagen are:
It's important to note that the vast majority of collagen supplements contain Type I and Type II.
Aside from the different types of collagen, there are also different forms of collagen supplements. These include:
Standard collagen supplements contain regular collagen powder extracted from bovine, porcine, chicken, and fish. Regular collagen has larger molecules than hydrolyzed collagen, so it takes longer to break down. It can come in various forms, including powder, pills, or liquid. Head to our article on Pills vs Powder to learn more about the different collagen forms.
The most popular type of collagen supplement is also known as collagen peptide powder. It is a processed form that breaks down the collagen into smaller peptides. This process improves bioavailability because the body can absorb the peptides faster and more efficiently. It uses various sources, including chicken, marine, and bovine collagen.
Undenatured collagen is a powdered, glycosylated form of Type II Collagen (UC-II) not broken down or exposed to heat, acids, and enzymes. It is derived from chicken sternum cartilage.
Collagen protein powder is a type of protein that is a natural, dairy-free alternative to whey and other types of protein. Although it is not a complete protein due to the lack of tryptophan, collagen protein powder should be used in addition to regular protein sources and not your sole source of protein.
The two main ways we get collagen are from food and collagen supplements. In this section, we will show you the best sources to help you meet your collagen daily intake.
We primarily get collagen through food because it is derived from animal sources, not plants. Below are the best types of food to eat to increase your collagen.
While all these foods contain collagen directly, other foods indirectly help with collagen, including berries, dairy products, eggs, aloe vera, broccoli, and anything rich in copper, zinc, and manganese.
While some foods contain collagen, the best and most efficient way to get your daily dose is with a supplement. As mentioned above, collagen supplements come in various forms, including powder, protein powders, pills, and topical products. Unfortunately, the FDA does not regulate collagen supplements, so not all products are created equally.
The best collagen for men is Primal Kitchen Collagen Peptides. Each serving contains 11 grams of unflavored bovine collagen peptides derived from South American cattle. It contains a mixture of type I and type III (found in blood vessels) specific bioactive collagen peptides. Each serving has roughly 40 calories and 10 grams of protein. The powder dissolves nicely without leaving any grit and can easily be mixed with any food or beverage.
Primal Kitchen Collagen Peptides is keto-certified, whole 30 diet approved, gluten-free, and contains zero soy, whey, or dairy. It the best oral collagen peptide supplementation tested for purity, heavy metals, and other contaminants. They also offer a subscribe-and-save option for an extra 10%.
For an in-depth ranking of the best collagen supplements, check out our article the 9 Best Collagen Supplements.
Below are some of the most common questions related to how much collagen to take per day.
Most people do not need to take 20 grams of collagen a day, as that is an excessive dose. However, depending on your body's needs and health status, most people can tolerate 20 grams daily without side effects.
No, 1000 mg is only 1 gram of collagen. Most experts and collagen supplements recommend at least 2.5 grams a day.
Women can safely take anywhere from 2.5 to 15 grams or more of collagen daily.
While most people do not experience side effects, there is a chance you have negative side effects, particularly digestive problems. If you have digestion issues, consult your doctor and start with a low dose.
Although you can't overdose on collagen, too much can cause potentially harmful side effects. Collagen is similar to protein powder, so too much can cause digestive and kidney problems, among other issues.
Yes, collagen supplements are designed to be taken daily.
So, how much collagen should you take daily? The exact amount will depend on several factors, primarily your desired goal.
A general rule of thumb for how much collagen you should take is to consume a smaller dose of roughly 2.5-5 g for skin and joint benefits and higher doses of 10-20 g daily for building muscle and improving body composition.
To improve overall health, stick to the 2.5 to 15 g daily range. Studies have shown you can safely consume up to 36% of your daily protein intake worth in collagen without affecting your amino acid balance, which could mean 20 to 40 grams or more of collagen supplements daily. The exact answer will not be the same for everyone, so be sure to take the proper dose to maximize your desired benefits.
For help finding the perfect collagen product for your goals, check out our article 9 Best Collagen Supplements To Support Bones, Joints, and Skin.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
December 08, 2023
December 07, 2023
At SFS we strive to equip you with the tools and knowledge needed for your fitness journey. Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases, killer workouts, actionable fitness content and more. As our motto goes - "You don't have to get ready if you stay #alwaysready!"