Benefits of collagen for men

by Hannah de Gruchy April 10, 2023

Benefits of collagen for men

The most abundant protein in the human body, collagen, plays an essential role in the health and vitality of our skin and joints. It keeps our skin plump and youthful and our joints well lubricated and mobile, as well as looking after the integrity of our blood vessels, bones, and muscles.

However, as we age, we gradually lose our ability to manufacture new collagen fibres, and as a result, we begin to notice fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging in our skin, and our joints may feel stiff and sometimes painful.

Collagen supplements offer a way of topping up our collagen reserves, helping to keep us looking and feeling more youthful. Considered a beauty supplement by some, collagen is now an integral part of the world of skincare and beauty, that is often associated with females, with males being overlooked somewhat.

But collagen supplements are just as beneficial for male bodies and can help to restore skin firmness, suppleness, and freedom of movement in the joints.

Collagen for men: Fast facts

  • Collagen is an important protein, essential for plump skin and supple joints.
  • A loss of collagen is part of the normal ageing process but results in visible signs of skin ageing and a loss of joint mobility.
  • Taking a collagen supplement can benefit the health and vitality of the skin and joints.
  • Bovine collagen is derived from cow bones, while marine collagen is made using fish skins and bones.
  • Supplements can be just as beneficial for topping up collagen levels in men as for women and may lead to more youthful skin and joints.

Collagen benefits for men

Collagen benefits - handsome face man

The benefits of taking a collagen supplement for men are just the same as for women.

In terms of skin health and anti-ageing benefits, products designed to slow down the visible effects of ageing are no longer simply the preserve of females. Slowly, it’s becoming much more mainstream for males to also want to outwardly preserve their youthful appearance, and we celebrate that.

Studies consistently show that collagen helps to improve the elasticity, plumpness and hydration of the skin – all helping to reduce signs of ageing. One found that oral collagen “increases skin elasticity, hydration, and dermal collagen density”. Another concluded that collagen “can be used as a functional food ingredient to improve human skin hydration, elasticity, and wrinkling”.

Collagen benefits - men exercising

Further to this, a meta-analysis of 19 separate studies found that “ingestion of hydrolysed collagen for 90 days is effective in reducing skin ageing, as it reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity and hydration.

Separately, and on the topic of muscle mass and fitness, since collagen is a protein, taking a daily supplement can also help you reach your protein intake targets, which is especially useful if you’re very active or sporty, or you’re training for a particular event.

On average, male bodies tend to have higher muscle mass levels than female bodies, with more connective tissues. So arguably, taking a collagen supplement which is rich in the building blocks of protein – amino acids – could be even more beneficial for men.

One small study found that taking a collagen powder alongside resistance training resulted in more significant gains in muscle mass and strength and an increase in fat-free mass, than just training alone.

Joint problems are common among people who have led an active life, and studies have found that taking collagen in supplement form helped to improve joint mobility and comfort in those with painful, stiff knees.

Best collagen supplements for men

There are five main types of collagen – types I, II, III, IV, and V. Types I and II are the most abundant, with type I making up around 90% of the collagen in the body and is found in the bones, skin, and tendons. Type II is found primarily in the cartilage in the joints.

Most collagen supplements are derived from animal sources, as it’s also present in the skin and bones of animals. Bovine collagen, made using the bones of cows (and sometimes other animals such as yaks and bison) is rich in collagen types I and III, whilst marine collagen is made using the bones, skin, and fins of fish is rich in types I and II.

Since both bovine and marine collagen are rich in type I, both are considered beneficial for the skin. Marine collagen offers the added benefit of type II which helps to support the cartilage in the joints and also has a smaller molecular size, making it easier for the body to absorb. Bovine collagen is preferred by some as it’s considered more similar to human collagen. But it’s all down to personal choice and your targets.

Best bovine collagen for men

Pure bovine collagen - Planet PaleoPure collagen powder from Planet Paleo is produced from free-range, grass-fed South American cattle and contains hydrolysed collagen. Collagen in its natural form is too large to be absorbed by the human body. This bovine collagen has been "hydrolysed" or broken down into smaller molecules for use in supplements to improve its bioavailability.

Bovine collagen is rich in amino acids that can help rebuild cartilage and connective tissue improving skin, joint, and digestive health. It is easily absorbed by the body and can support skin elasticity, hydration, and reduce wrinkles.

This is pure hydrolysed collagen and nothing else. It is free from artificial fillers and binders and contains no gluten, lactose, GMOs, or soya. This product is manufactured using the highest quality bovine collagen from cows that haven’t been exposed to growth hormones or harmful pesticides.

Best marine collagen for men

Marine collagen Planet Paleo

Also from Planet Paleo, marine collagen powder is made using wild, sustainability-caught fish, caught off the coast of France and contains easily digestible hydrolysed marine collagen.

Marine collagen is a type of collagen that is easily absorbed by the body. It can improve the skin's appearance by increasing elasticity and hydration, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and promote joint health by helping to rebuild cartilage and other connective tissues.

Marine collagen can also aid digestion by improving the gut's lining and promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Best vegan collagen for men

Vegan collagen – Planet Paleo

Despite most collagen deriving from animal sources, there are options if you’re vegetarian or vegan. Planet Paleo’s vegan collagen Nutrient Factors contains a unique blend of fermented amino acids (the building blocks of collagen protein) along with antioxidant-rich botanicals and vitamin co-factors important in the manufacture of collagen within the body.

The formula contains silica, zinc, and vitamin C which have been shown to support collagen production and boost overall skin health. It also contains bamboo extract, a natural source of silica, that can help to strengthen hair and nails. Vegan Collagen Nutrient Factors is an ideal option for those who follow a plant-based diet but still want to support their body's natural collagen production and improve the health of their hair, skin, and nails.

Like all Planet Paleo products, it’s free from artificial preservatives and fillers, as well as lactose, gluten, soya, and sugar.

Taking a daily collagen supplement

Deciding to supplement your diet with collagen can help to restore and maintain skin youthfulness, joint mobility, and suppleness. As with all supplements, try taking collagen daily for four to 12 weeks to see if you notice any significant benefits.

There is no recommended daily serving size, but most literature suggests taking between 2.5g (2,500mg) and 15g (15,000mg) a day. Similarly, there are no known side effects, but some people experience an upset stomach and bloating when they first start. Therefore, we recommend starting with a smaller serving size, and gradually increasing it each week.

It’s never too early or too late to start topping up your collagen levels with supplements, as well as eating a diet rich in the nutrients that naturally support collagen production. Making this lifestyle change can positively impact both your well-being and your looks.

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Hannah de Gruchy
Hannah de Gruchy


Health and wellness author and biologist specialised in sustainability, nutrition and eco-living.

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