Collagen is one of the most important compounds in your body. In addition to strengthening muscles and bones, collagen helps your skin look and feel young for years to come. Even after you get older, certain collagen supplements can help you look better than ever and minimize wrinkle formation and other signs of aging. Collagen production decreases with age, making it more important to ensure your levels are adequate.
There’s just one question: how much collagen should you take per day to maximize your results and avoid side effects? Today, let’s take a look at the recommended daily maximum intake of collagen and break down where you can get extra collagen in supplementary form.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a natural compound produced by your skin and found in many foods, particularly protein-based foods and certain vegetables. You can find collagen protein in bovine bone broth and other animal sources like gelatin gummies.
Biologically, collagen is important because it helps make up the connective tissues in your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and skin.
In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body overall. Technically, there are many types of collagen. However, type I collagen is the most abundant and important form of collagen skin elasticity, joint health, bone density and bone health, and many more health benefits. It’s also the kind of collagen found in supplements like smoothies.
When we are young, our bodies produce plenty of collagen to spare. In particular, our skin cells make a lot of collagen, and a related compound called elastin. Combined, both of these compounds ensure that our skin looks and feels young, smooth, and reasonably springy. That’s why young people don’t usually have wrinkles or aging spots.
But as we get older, our bodies and skin cells start to produce less collagen. As a result, our skin cells start to degrade, and there is less connective tissue. Therefore, we start to see wrinkles accruing with time.
What Are the Benefits of Collagen?
In both its natural and synthetic form, collagen provides many physiological benefits and performs a lot of important roles. For example, collagen:
- Can help strengthen bones
- Holds the muscles, bones, ligaments, organs, tendons, and skin together
- Supports skin health and healthy hair. As you get older and your body makes less collagen, your skin becomes drier and more susceptible to wrinkle formation. Meanwhile, hydrolyzed collagen peptides allow your body to construct healthier hair cells.
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines
- Eases joint pain, because collagen contributes to cartilage strength throughout your body.
- Protects bones. Since your bones are mostly made of collagen, having extra levels of collagen will help keep them strong and regenerating even as you get older.
- Supports heart health. Collagen plays a key role in the shape of your blood vessels and arteries, which channel blood to the heart and back out into the body. If you don’t have enough collagen, you may be at a higher risk of certain cardiovascular issues.
- Supports muscle mass. Collagen helps your muscles function and grow properly. If you have enough collagen, you can also build muscle more readily when you work out and consume a lot of protein.
Because of all these benefits, collagen is found in all kinds of topical and oral supplements. You can find it in protein powders, pills and tablets, and topical skincare creams and serums.
If you want to start taking extra collagen to make up for the collagen your body no longer makes, you’re not alone! However, keep in mind that you need to take the right amount of collagen to avoid experiencing some side effects.
So, How Much Collagen Per Day Is Ideal?
There are many types of collagen supplements, but the majority of supplemental collagen comes in powder form. You can sometimes find it in protein powder or as one of many ingredients in a supplementary tablet or gummy. This hydrolyzed collagen is very easy for your body to digest, so you can have plenty of it without compromising your health.
According to certain studies, the recommended dosage is between 2.5 and 15 grams of collagen per day in total. Keep in mind that you'll probably get some collagen from your food if you follow a healthy diet. You should follow whatever instructions your chosen supplement recommends for the daily dose for the best results.
Of course, the exact amount of collagen you should take per day heavily depends on the supplement you pick. Gummy vitamins will have different guidelines than collagen powder, for example. Always follow the instructions on your supplement label, or any instructions provided by your doctor.
Bottom line: your body composition and body’s collagen may impact how much you truly need. But in most cases, standard dosages are fine for the human body and your gut health.
Does Collagen Have Side Effects?
You may occasionally encounter certain side effects if you consume too much collagen, even though collagen is generally considered safe. Some people experience mild symptoms like feeling full in the stomach, stomach aches, or an unpleasant taste when they take too much collagen.
While it’s unlikely you’ll experience any serious side effects, it’s still a good idea to stick to the collagen dosage guidelines described above. It’s not a good idea to take another collagen tablet or tablespoon of powder if you want your skin to look and feel younger.
The benefits described above will come over time as your body absorbs and starts to use the extra collagen. On top of that, your body can only use so much of this compound. If you are young and your skin cells make plenty of collagen already, you won’t see as many benefits or effects from collagen supplements.
One last thing: some supplementary collagen powders are made with food allergens like eggs or shellfish. Therefore, you should always research what’s in a new powder supplement before adding it to your routine.
How Can I Get More Collagen?
You can get different types of collagen in many supplements, including powders, capsules, and even gummies. At Hope Health, we offer a Collagen Peptides Powder to help you enjoy supple skin, stronger nails, and healthy joints.
You can also find collagen in lots of skincare creams, such as serums or moisturizers, but these only provide skin benefits and do not act like supplements. Topical skincare products don’t add to the collagen stores in your body.
For the best results, consider how much collagen you probably eat every day, then only choose one specific collagen supplement. For example, if you already take a protein powder with collagen, you don't need to start using gummy collagen vitamins in addition.
Taking collagen supplements is a great idea if you want to see anti-aging results, give your skin what it needs to succeed, and maximize your bodily wellness across the board. That’s why we offer supplements with collagen in many other healthy ingredients at Hope Health.