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How Much Collagen Per Day? The Optimal Dosages
Straight to the point answer...5-20 grams per day - EVERY DAY.
But it depends on what type of collagen supplements you're taking and the quality of it. Keep reading for the in-depth breakdown for optimal collagen production and turnover...
For now...keep reading.
Collagen is termed an anti-aging supplement, but it's wayyyy more that the typical "skin, hair, and nails"
From improving skin health to supporting healthy joint functions, the benefits of collagen are many. To get the most out of your collagen supplement, it’s important to know how to take it and how much to take.
So how much collagen per day do you need?
It depends on a few factors, keep scrolling...
- Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It helps support healthy bones, joints, and skin.
- As you age, collagen production in the body declines. Consuming a collagen rich-diet and taking quality collagen supplements can help replenish what is lost through aging.
- Based on current research, we suggest consuming 5-20 grams of collagen peptides daily for maximum health benefits.
5 COMMON TYPES OF COLLAGEN
Although 28 types of collagen exist, five are commonly found in collagen supplements.
TYPE I: Makes up around 90% of the total collagen in the human body. It is found in bone, skin, and connective tissues.
TYPE II: A major structural component of joint cartilage.
TYPE III: Found in the skin, muscles, intestinal walls, lungs, and the walls of blood vessels.
TYPE IV: Is primarily found in the layers of your skin.
TYPE V: Found in the skin, hair, and tissue of the placenta.
While the research on collagen is still relatively new, we know collagen is here to stay. What we don’t know, however, is the precise amount needed for our well-being.
Unlike many nutrients, like calcium or vitamin D, which have specific recommendations on intake levels, there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for collagen.
Because there is no RDA for collagen, we must do our best to make an educated guess based on the information we currently have.
Here are two things that helped us narrow down how much collagen is needed daily.
One good place to start is to look at the diet of our ancestors. It is estimated that our ancestors consumed around 30% of their daily calories from protein. While it’s impossible to know for sure, we feel pretty confident saying that at least 10–15% of our ancestor’s total protein intake came from collagen.
Why? Because for centuries, cultures from all over the world have boiled bones, tendons, and other collagen-rich organs to make soups and extract their nutrients. Collagen-rich organ meats were also universally coveted, mainly for their dense nutritional value.
This means that if one of our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed 90 grams of protein daily, they consumed at least 9–14 grams of collagen per day.
We can also take a look at current research.
One 2019 study examined the maximum amount of collagen peptides that can be substituted for protein in the diet while maintaining indispensable amino acid balance.
Researchers determined that as much as 36% of our daily protein intake can safely come from collagen.
However, this only holds true if the remaining 64% of your protein comes from complete protein sources that contain all nine essential amino acids.
Let’s look at what this looks like.
- A person needing 100 grams of protein per day can safely consume up to 36 grams of collagen peptides.
- A person who needs 120 grams of protein per day can safely consume up to 43 grams of collagen peptides
Based on this information, it appears that the average person can safely consume between 10 and 40 grams of collagen per day from food and supplements.
To find out how much protein you need per day, check out our free protein calculator.
SO, HOW MUCH COLLAGEN SHOULD YOU TAKE PER DAY?
But let's break that down...
While you can meet your daily collagen needs through diet alone, it will be extremely tough. The amount of collagen you should take each day ultimately depends on the quality of your supplement and the type you’re taking.
HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN PEPTIDES (TYPE I)
Hydrolyzed collagen is broken down into peptides that are easy for the body to absorb and digest. It’s most commonly found in powder form, which can easily be mixed into coffee, tea, or other beverages.
One 2019 review of studies concluded that consuming 2.5–15 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptides daily may be effective for general health and wellness benefits.
Larger doses of 15-20 grams daily seem more beneficial for building muscle mass, supporting fat loss, increasing muscle strength, and reducing muscle soreness.
Based on these studies, it appears that the average person should consume at least 5–20 grams of collagen peptides per day.
UNDENATURED COLLAGEN (TYPE II)
Undenatured type II collagen is derived from chicken sternum cartilage. It has been processed at a low temperature to keep its peptides intact.
While further studies are needed, it appears that 40 milligrams of undenatured collagen per day facilitates a process called oral tolerance, which ultimately engages the immune system in the repair of its own joint cartilage.
COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS + WHAT THE STUDIES SHOW...
Collagen consumption is associated with many health benefits. Of course, eating collagen-rich foods is the best way to meet your daily collagen needs.
But let’s face it, most of us aren’t eating animals head to tail as our ancestors did. So if you’re not into organ meats and sipping bone broth throughout the day, you may consider a collagen supplement.
Here’s a look at how collagen works and how much may be needed to achieve your health goals.
COLLAGEN AND THE BODY'S NATURAL PRODUCTION
Your body produces its own collagen. However, production slows down around age 20 and declines by around 1.0%–1.5% each year.
Collagen supplements can function as the building blocks for the production of collagen and other proteins in the body.
Additionally, collagen peptides can bind to the receptors on the fibroblasts that produce collagen and signal the fibroblasts to ramp up their collagen production.
Lastly, collagen peptides can act as an antioxidant, protecting pre-existing collagen from oxidative stresses that can degrade it.
COLLAGEN FOR JOINT HEALTH
Your joints need collagen for healthy function. Collagen comprises articular cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends of bones where they come together to form joints. Articular cartilage is what keeps your joint moving smoothly.
Collagen helps your joints and articular cartilage absorb shock and stay flexible. Without enough collagen, your cartilage wears down. This reduces the amount of cushion and flexibility in your joints.
Collagen supplements may relieve joint pain and inflammation by supporting the repair and growth of cartilage tissue.
One 2021 review of studies found that oral collagen peptide supplementation in doses between 5–10 grams improved:
- Joint discomfort
- Knee pain
- Ankle and knee functionality
- Recovery from Achilles tendinopathy
COLLAGEN FOR SKIN
Collagen is a main component of the skin. It plays a major role in skin elasticity, strength, and hydration.
As you age and collagen production declines, you may begin to notice wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines.
Numerous studies have shown that collagen supplements can mitigate these effects, improving skin moisture, hydration, and elasticity.
One 2022 review of studies concluded that collagen supplements improve skin turgor, hydration, and elasticity, in addition to skin wrinkling and roughness.
Based on the current evidence, it seems that 2.5–10 grams of collagen daily is most beneficial for skin health.
However, further studies with consistent collagen doses may be required to determine an optimal dose.
COLLAGEN FOR BONE DENSITY
Your bones are primarily made up of collagen. As your body's collagen production declines, your bones weaken, making them more susceptible to breaks and fractures.
According to a 2021 study, long-term supplementation with 5 grams of collagen peptides can counteract losses in bone mineral density. Higher bone density generally means stronger bones that are less likely to break.
COLLAGEN IN THE DIET
Since collagen is found in the skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments of animals, then it makes sense to eat them if you want to increase your daily collagen intake.
The following foods are rich in collagen:
- Bone broth
- Organ meats, including liver, heart, tongue, kidneys, and brain
- Meat on the bone, such as chicken thighs, fish, whole roasted chicken, bone-in cuts, ribs, etc.
- Eggshell membrane
Additionally, eating foods rich in vitamin C encourages the body to make its own collagen. The best dietary sources of vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits
- Leafy greens
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli
Here, we'll provide answers to some commonly asked collagen questions.
SHOULD YOU TAKE COLLAGEN EVERY DAY?
The key to collagen is consistency!
Collagen can and should be taken every day to supplement and support your body's natural collagen production.
HOW MUCH COLLAGEN SHOULD I TAKE?
5-20 grams per day.
1-2 servings of hydrolyzed collagen peptides per day is ideal for optimal collagen production and turnover.
CAN YOU TAKE TOO MUCH COLLAGEN?
There is no upper limit on how much collagen you can consume per day, but consuming less than 40 grams per day is generally recommended. Taking too much collagen may lead to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
DO YOU NEED TO CYCLE COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS?
Collagen supplements do not need to be cycled. They should be consumed consistently for the best results.
Collagen is important for healthy skin, bones, and joints. As we age, collagen levels in the body decline. Collagen supplements can help replenish what is lost through the normal aging process.
As of right now, there is no RDA for collagen. Based on current studies, we suggest consuming a minimum of 5-20 grams of collagen peptides per day.
If you’re taking undenatured collagen, stick with around 40 milligrams per day. It’s always best to get your nutrients, including collagen, from whole foods like organ meats and bone broth.
However, we know this can be difficult. Supplementing a well-balanced diet with a high-quality collagen powder can be a convenient way to boost your intake of this powerful protein.
Our bovine collagen peptides are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides to support your joint functions and gut health, rebuild and repair connective tissues, strengthen skin, hair, and nails, and protect your lean body mass.