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September 28, 2023
In the supplement industry, there is a misconception that collagen is only for women since it's used in hair, skin, and nail products. But, considering it's the most abundant protein in the body and plays a crucial role in building muscles, tendons, ligaments, and more, it begs the question: "Can men take collagen too?"
The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, we might go as far as to say that men not only can take it but should take it, especially since there are plenty of quality collagen supplements designed for guys. We're about to dive into the research highlighting the best collagen benefits for men.
Table of Contents:
Collagen is the most prevalent protein in the body, with nearly 30% of all our body's protein. We naturally produce collagen from the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, joined in a triple-helix structure called the collagen helix.
This unique triple-helix structure helps strengthen and support our muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, skin, and other connective tissues. Essentially, it provides the structural support for our tissues and elasticity to keep them firm.
For a more in-depth look at collagen, check out our article: What Is Collagen? Everything You Need To Know.
There are 28 types of collagen in the body, including five main types. Nearly 90% of all collagen is Type I, which provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Type II can also be helpful to men because it provides joint support, although most supplements contain multiple types.
Collagen can be found naturally in foods with connective tissue, like chicken, fish, and beef bone broth.
Aside from the fact that it helps strengthen protein tissues, men can use collagen supplements to improve flexibility and cushion the joints, essential for injury prevention. Collagen supplements, usually derived from bovine or marine sources, are available in various forms, including powders, pills, and liquids.
If you're interested in learning more about collagen's various forms, head to our article: Is Collagen Powder Or Pills Better?
Collagen is great for anyone, so most of the benefits of collagen supplements for women also exist for men. Men lose roughly 1% of their collagen production a year as they reach their twenties, so a supplement can help in several areas.
It's a fundamental protein and the most abundant in the body, so why wouldn't you take it?
If you were to ask a young man in the gym what the most essential supplement is for muscle growth, they will likely answer protein. As a protein, collagen is essential for supporting muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.
In addition to building muscle, collagen can help prevent joint pain, which is vital for weightlifters and athletes. Finally, it can provide a natural glow to your skin, keep your hair healthy, and generally keep you looking young.
To add to the reasons to take it, several men have shared their success stories with collagen on Reddit, with one user saying: "I'm a dude. I like it. Helps my gut - helps me sleep better." (source)
Another Redditor stated, "I take 40-60 grams a day. Helps with skin plumpness, tone, hair. Helped my tendons greatly... Also great for teeth." (source) Some users didn't hesitate to state the obvious, with one user, "You have skin right?" (source)
In this section, we will dive into the research to find the benefits of collagen supplements for men.
One of the top benefits of collagen for men is muscle growth and building muscle mass. One serving of 14 grams of collagen peptides has 12 grams of protein, making it a great way to add extra protein.
One study tested how collagen peptide supplements affect muscle growth with resistance training in patients with sarcopenia (muscle loss). The results showed that collagen led to significant improvements in fat-free mass, muscle strength, and a loss in fat mass1.
If you are an active male, you've likely dealt with joint pain at some point. Fortunately, several studies have shown that collagen plays a key role in supporting joint health by promoting cartilage and connective tissue health.
One study examined how collagen affects athletes with joint pain. After 24 weeks, the results showed significant improvement in pain, mobility, and inflammation2. Hydrolyzed collagen is the best type to reduce joint pain because it can penetrate the deepest tissues.
Another benefit of collagen for men is reducing muscle soreness after exercise. One study examined the effect of consuming collagen peptides before and after exercise on muscle damage.
The results showed that consuming 20 grams a day of collagen supplementation for just one week improved muscle soreness and countermovement jumps compared to a placebo3. So, if you're looking for something to support muscle recovery, collagen could be a great option!
There is collagen in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to the belief that it may support the gut lining and digestion.
A two-phase study examined collagen peptides' effects on digestion in healthy women. After eight weeks of 20 grams of collagen peptides daily, the women had significantly improved gut health. Over 93% of the women reported reduced digestion issues, such as bloating and other mild digestive symptoms4.
Regardless if you're a man or woman, you can benefit from improving your gut health.
Having healthy skin and maintaining a youthful appearance should not be limited to women - men need skin support, too!
Skin is made of collagen, providing structural support, elasticity, and hydration. Several studies have shown the positive effects that collagen has on skin health. Collagen's hydrating factor contributes to the skin's natural glow, helping maintain a youthful appearance.
Further, improving skin hydration and skin elasticity helps keep the skin tight to eliminate wrinkles or fine lines. Collagen intake also helps strengthen, rebuild, and repair damaged hair follicles and promote hair growth.
Collagen supplements are generally safe when you follow the proper dosage, although there are potential side effects. Side effects depend on the dosage, supplement quality, and purity.
Some of the risks include:
Be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before starting collagen. You should avoid collagen supplements if you match the criteria below:
If you look at how companies market collagen supplements, you will notice they advertise that the supplement helps restore and replenish the existing collagen in our bodies. The different types of collagen (Type I, etc.) and the source are crucial to how the supplement works.
There are four primary sources from which collagen is derived to make supplements: bovine (cows), marine (fish), porcine (pork), and poultry (chicken). Bovine collagen is generally considered the best source because it is absorbed roughly 1.5 times more efficiently than other types.
Further, hydrolyzed collagen peptides, processed and broken down into smaller bits, have the best bioavailability because the body can absorb the smaller particles more efficiently.
When we consume these collagen supplements, our bodies break down the collagen into the base amino acids, which are absorbed into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, the body can use the amino acids to repair existing collagen and support collagen synthesis. They also help repair muscle, improve skin elasticity, support joints, and promote overall health5.
This is important because we lose roughly 1% of our natural collagen a year, and our only other source is fish or animal meat. A healthy diet high in protein and bone broth is ideal, but a collagen supplement would pay dividends for years.
Our pick for the best collagen for men is Primal Kitchen Collagen Peptides thanks to its high-quality, natural ingredients free of preservatives or additives. Each serving contains 11 grams of unflavored bovine collagen peptides derived from South American cattle ranches.
Their peptides are a mixture of type I and III (found in blood vessels). Each serving has roughly 40 calories derived from the ten grams of protein, and the powder dissolves easily without leaving any grit in your shaker cup.
Finally, Primal Kitchen Collagen Peptides is keto-certified, whole 30 diet approved, gluten-free, and contains zero soy, whey, or dairy. It is tested for purity, heavy metals, and other contaminants, so you can trust you are getting a top-quality, safe product. Primal Kitchen also offers a subscribe-and-save option for an extra 10%.
To learn more about this product and others, check out our article: 9 Best Collagen Supplements To Support Bones, Joints, and Skin.
These are the most commonly asked questions related to collagen for men.
The recommended dose of collagen good for men is between 15-20 grams daily, typically one to two servings. Check out our article on how much collagen per day for more information.
Since men lose around 1% of their natural collagen a year in their twenties, the best time to start is the early to mid-twenties.
Children and people with allergies, medical conditions, kidney issues, digestive issues, or if they take medications, should not take collagen.
Although there is limited research, collagen is likely good for the prostate because it helps support the tissue inside the prostate gland.
No, collagen does not increase testosterone but may help increase muscle mass and support muscle tissue.
There is a misconception that collagen is only for women since it's commonly used in hair, skin, and nail supplements, but it has a wide range of health benefits for both men and women, especially athletes and gym-goers.
Some of the top reasons men should take collagen include promoting muscle growth, helping muscle recovery, joint support, gut health, and more. If you want to build the strongest muscles possible and maintain a youthful appearance, you should consider a collagen peptide supplement.
Guys, ready to support muscle growth and joint health, while improving your skin and hair? Check out our article 9 Best Collagen Supplements To Support Bones, Joints, and Skin to find your perfect fit.
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