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How much collagen should you take per day?

February 23, 2024
5 minutes
Healthy Eating
Health tips

A healthy lifestyle starts with understanding what your body needs to achieve wellness. This goes beyond simply eating the right number of calories or restricting food groups. It also involves looking at what’s in your food and how it impacts your body.

Collagen is one of the things your body needs to feel healthy and well, and it’s something you can easily get from your food or through supplements. Here’s a closer look at how collagen impacts your wellness and what you can do to increase your intake of it while focusing on building healthy lifestyle patterns.

Understanding collagen basics

Collagen is a primary protein in the human body. It’s the primary building block for skin, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and blood vessels. It’s also part of the eyes and teeth. In addition, it plays a role in helping wounds heal, supporting your nervous system, and triggering the blood clotting response.

Different types of collagen

As of today, scientists have identified 28 different types of collagen, but the first five are the most common in humans. These are:

  • Type I: Found in skin, bones, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Type II: Makes flexible cartilage that supports joints and movement.
  • Type III: Located in the internal organs, blood vessels, and muscles.
  • Type IV: Found in the skin.
  • Type V: Found in the skin and hair as well as the corneas

The collagen found in supplements is typically one of the following types:

  • Hydrolyzed collagen: This collagen comes from meat and poultry sources and is easy for the body to absorb. It’s the most common supplemental form of collagen.
  • Undenatured collagen: Pulled from chicken cartilage, this form of collagen may support joint health.
  • Gelatin: Also from animal sources, this form of collagen is used for cooking more so than in supplements, for the most part.

Collagen and aging: why it matters for women over 40

The human body is capable of creating the collagen it needs if a person eats a balanced diet. However, natural collagen production decreases as a person ages. For women and those who were female at birth, the slowing production of collagen can lead to elasticity loss in the skin, which can also contribute to wrinkling. Lowering collagen levels can also cause changes in the hair, such as hair loss. Stiffening of the joints also occurs when collagen production decreases.

Another concern for women, specifically after age 40, is bone density loss. In a 2018 study from the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that taking a collagen supplement for one year greatly increased the bone density in female patients in both the neck and spine, which reduces the risk of bone loss and fractures. Age-related bone loss in women can start in the mid-30s, but it increases rapidly as estrogen decreases during menopause. While men can also have bone loss, it happens at a much lower rate for males. Thus, using collagen to support healthy bones after the age of 40 is quite beneficial for many females.

Collagen for men: supporting vitality and well-being

Like women, men produce less collagen as they age, but the impact of the collagen drops may not be as strong. Still, collagen can support overall health and well-being for males as well as females.

Men and those who were born male also experience improvements in skin, joints, and hair with collagen supplementation, but men are less likely to suffer from extreme bone loss. However, men who take collagen may notice faster recovery after workouts. They may also build muscle more quickly.

In other words, collagen supports vitality and well-being for men. Whether through supplementation or through diet, increasing collagen intake has few risks and many potential benefits for men.

How much collagen per day? Determining your collagen needs

The benefits of collagen supplementation are still being researched. As such, no official health authorities have stated recommended guidelines for dosage. Instead of looking for an official recommended dosage, you’ll want to check with the manufacturer of the collagen you’re taking, as well as your doctor, to determine a good dosage option.

Can you take too much collagen? The good news is that it’s hard to take too much collagen, and it doesn’t have any toxic side effects. However, some people report stomach discomfort if they take more than the manufacturer’s recommended amount.

Hydrolyzed collagen doses

As you analyze how much collagen per day, you’ll need to factor in the type of collagen you’re taking. For hydrolyzed collagen supplements, which are easier to absorb than other forms, most people take between 2.5 and 15 grams without noticing any side effects. A smaller dose focuses on skin and joint health, while a dose of around 5 grams can impact bone density. The larger dose works best for those looking to improve muscle mass and overall body composition.

Undenatured collagen

A dose of 10 to 40 mg of undenatured collagen appears to be safe for humans. This supplement could support improved joint health.


For gelatin, which is a food and not a supplement, add the recommended serving size to the food you’re preparing. You can use it in smoothies, sauces, and soups for added collagen in your everyday diet, but there’s no specific recommended amount.

Collagen-rich foods and supplements

It’s possible to get all the collagen you need from your diet if you’re careful about the foods you choose. Thankfully, foods rich in collagen are also great options for a balanced diet. Some foods that are rich in collagen include:

  • Bone broths
  • Chicken with its skin
  • Sardines
  • Organ meats

In addition, eating foods rich in vitamin C may help your body make more of its own collagen, which could boost your collagen levels, according to WebMD. These foods include:

  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Legumes
  • Peppers
  • Leafy greens
  • Citrus fruits

Try adding more of these to your diet to improve your collagen levels.

If you feel you could benefit from additional collagen, a supplement may be a good choice. These come in powders that you mix into coffee or other beverages, or they’re available as capsules. You may also find pre-made collagen drinks and liquid supplements to try. To choose the best supplement, consider the source and the type of collagen. If you prefer a plant-based diet, you can find vegan options.

Are you interested in tracking your food so you can make informed, healthy choices about your diet? Evidation can help! Start tracking your health and earning rewards with Evidation today.

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