How much collagen can I take?

by Hannah de Gruchy June 15, 2022

How much collagen can I take

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s a structural protein found in many of the connective tissues, including the skin, muscles, ligaments and bones. Collagen is responsible for providing structure to these tissues, helping to keep the bones and muscles strong, and the ligaments within our joints supple.

Perhaps the most well-known role that collagen plays however, is in the skin, where it keeps the skin supple, elastic, plump, lifted and youthful.

Dryness

As we age, the body begins to naturally lose its ability to manufacture collagen. A loss of collagen isn’t dangerous, the body will still produce enough on its own to perform its vital functions. But we may notice visible signs of such a loss, including less elasticity and firmness in the skin and stiff joints.

Some people therefore choose to take a collagen supplement, in order to top up their levels and support the levels of collage in their body. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how many milligrams of collagen per day is best, and how different types of collagen may have different benefits.

How much collagen - FAQs

Can I take collagen every day?

Yes, in order to notice any benefit, it's best to take collagen every day.

Can I take collagen twice a day?

Yes, if you find that taking a full serving in one go gives you unpleasant gastric symptoms, split the serving and take half, twice a day.

How much collagen should a female take? And a male?

Females and males can take the same amount of collagen per day – between 2.5g (2500mg) and 15g (15,000mg).

Can I take two different collagen supplements?

Yes, just ensure that you’re not exceeding the maximum serving size, and instead split the dose between the two different supplements, for example, a bovine collagen supplement and a marine collagen supplement.

Why take collagen every day?

As we age, we lose our ability to manufacture collagen. This, coupled with the fact that factors such as a poor diet, smoking, stress and exposure to UV light can damage our skin, means that we begin to notice the signs of collagen loss. These signs include fine lines, wrinkling and sagging in the skin and weaker, possibly painfully stiff joints.

Taking a collagen supplement daily can help to support healthy, more youthful skin and supple, freely moving joints.

What are the different types of collagen?

There are 5 main types of collagen, but most commonly, types I and III are found in our skin and types I and II are also found in the skin as well as the connective tissues around joints.

Marine Bovine Collagen cows fish

The majority of collagen supplements are manufactured using bovine collagen from the bones of cows or marine collagen derived from fish.

  • Bovine collagen is rich in collagen types I and III.
  • Marine collagen is rich in collagen type I and to a lesser extent, type II.

Collagen supplements are available in different forms, the most common being hydrolysed collagen, aka collagen peptides, which are derived from both bovine and marine collagen.

Hydrolysed collagen is the most ‘bioavailable’ form, which means that the body is able to absorb more of the active ingredients. Hydrolysed collagen has undergone a process that makes the molecules smaller and more easily absorbed by the gut.

Less common collagen supplements are made from undenatured collagen derived from chicken cartilage and porcine skin and bones.

How many mg of collagen per day is the right serving size?

Collagen Powder

Unlike other types of food supplement that contain vitamins and minerals or protein, there is no recommended daily intake of collagen. Therefore, how much collagen you should take each day depends on what you’re taking it for.

Some studies have been conducted that have made suggestions based on their findings, but the recommended daily amount of collagen does vary:

If you’re considering taking collagen supplements to support your skin, marine collagen does have a slight advantage over bovine collagen. So, look for marine hydrolysed collagen such as this marine collagen powder from Planet Paleo, rich in collagen type I that’s abundant in the skin. Marine collagen also contains collagen type II which is found in the ligaments and could be a good choice for joint health.

Glass of water

That said, bovine collagen is more similar to our own, so a bovine derived hydrolysed collagen supplement rich in types I and III may be more beneficial for your skin. It really does come down to personal choice an what works best for you.

In addition to this, studies suggest that between 10mg and 40mg of undenatured collagen per day can support good joint health.

There are no robust studies to support a recommended daily dose of gelatine. Gelatine tends to be consumed in our food (such as an ingredient in jellies and some sauces and soups) and it’s best to consume gelatine this way rather than as a supplement.

Can I take too much collagen? What are the side effects?

There are no known serious side effects to taking collagen supplements. However, taking a higher serving size may result in gastric symptoms including an uncomfortable over-full feeling, an unpleasant taste in the mouth and an upset stomach.

So, it’s best to start off with a lower serving size, and to gradually increase this over a number of weeks to see if you experience any discomfort.

Is 1000mg of collagen a day enough?

Happy women

Studies suggest that 1000mg of collagen per day isn’t enough to reap the benefits. 1000mg is 1g, and it’s generally accepted that the best daily serving of collagen is between 2.5g and 15g.

Organic collagen powder from Planet Paleo contains 7,500mg, or 7.5g of hydrolysed collagen from grass-fed, free-range South American bovine cattle per tablespoon.

The suggested serving is one or two heaped tablespoons per day. If you’re concerned about abdominal discomfort, start with one heaped tablespoon per day for a couple of weeks before increasing to two.

Taking collagen supplements may help to support a noticeable difference in the youthfulness of your skin and the suppleness of your joints. As with any food supplement, take collagen regularly for three months to see if you notice the benefits.

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Hannah de Gruchy
Hannah de Gruchy

Author

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


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