How Much Collagen Per Day? Here’s What You Should Know
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. This type of protein provides structure and integrity to the body and its cells—preventing wrinkles, joint pain, and other age-related changes.
Our ancestors easily obtained enough collagen via their diet by eating the whole animal. Today, things are a little different. Most of us select chicken breasts or other lean meats that don’t necessarily contain collagen-rich connective tissue.
So, what does this mean? It means that many of us aren’t consuming enough collagen in our daily diets. However, collagen powder supplementation provides an easy way to obtain this necessary protein and ensure our body functions as it should. So, how much collagen per day do you need? How much collagen per day for hair growth and skin health? What is the recommended daily collagen intake? Why is it important? Let’s find out!
Is Collagen Really Beneficial?
Surprisingly, most individuals lose up to 1% of the body’s collagen each year by the time they are 40 years old. This might explain why around this time, many individuals complain about joint pain and begin to notice more prominent wrinkles.
On top of this, other lifestyle habits, like smoking, excessive sun exposure, and alcohol consumption, may speed up this loss of collagen. Luckily, collagen supplementation might offer the missing piece toward ageing like fine wine, providing various skin and hair benefits.
Collagen for Hair Growth
The major protein found in hair is called keratin. This type of protein is actually partially made up of the amino acids found in collagen. Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins. However, once protein enters the body, it is usually broken down into its amino acids to be used for various functions and structures. Thus, when you consume collagen, it can contribute to the necessary amino acids to support keratin production.
In fact, it’s no secret that many spas and salons offer keratin treatments to improve and repair damaged hair. Ultimately, this protein provides the hair with strength and prevents breakage. Research further shows that collagen, particularly collagen from marine sources, can even act as an antioxidant—protecting your hair follicles from harm caused by free radicals (a natural by-product of metabolism).
Additionally, collagen may prevent hair thinning, which frequently occurs with age and the associated loss of collagen. Inevitably, a healthy dermis is of the utmost importance in preventing hair loss since the hair grows from the skin. Studies show how taking collagen daily prevented signs of skin aging, which may spill over into promoting healthy hair growth at any age.
Collagen for Skin Health
Your skin is considered the largest organ in the body. The primary function of the skin is to protect your body from germs and bacteria. In fact, the skin is actually your very first line of defense! Thus, taking care of your skin is undeniably important.
One of the most popular benefits of collagen is that it may help enhance your skin's health and appearance. Research even demonstrates how when women consumed three to 10 grams of collagen per day for 69 days, they had improved skin hydration and elasticity.
Collagen does this by providing the body with essential collagen, as well as by potentially promoting the production of elastin and fibrillin—which also reduce wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, and enhance overall skin health.
Collagen for Overall Health & Wellness
Collagen isn’t only beneficial for strong hair and radiant skin. It also can help strengthen your nails, leading to less breakage. It may further improve gut health, enhance heart health, improve muscle mass, prevent bone loss, and relieve joint pain, particularly in those with osteoarthritis.
Daily Collagen Intake: How Many Mg of Collagen Per Day?
So, now that we know the benefits of collagen, let’s dig into how much collagen per day is ideal.
First and foremost, it’s essential to know that collagen isn’t a complete protein. This means it’s missing other amino acids that are critical for proper body functioning. In other words, it’s always important to obtain protein from a variety of sources, such as lean meats, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and beans. This ensures you get all the essential amino acids, also known as the amino acids that the body can’t make.
Surprisingly, there are various different types of collagen supplements as well, with specific ones being more beneficial for specific outcomes. Below, we take a look at the types of collagen supplements you should be aware of, as well as how much collagen per day you should take for hair growth and skin health (and what type is best!).
Types of Collagen Supplements
Popular types of collagen supplements include hydrolyzed collagen, undenatured collagen, and gelatin.
Hydrolyzed collagen, also known as collagen hydrolysate, is sourced from cattle (bovine), seafood (marine), poultry (chicken), and other animals. Undenatured collagen, on the other hand, is sourced specifically from chicken cartilage.
Gelatin is actually a cooked form of collagen, which is usually sourced from animals. It’s derived from boiling connective tissues, like skin, ligaments, tendons, and bones, in water. Many individuals frequently use this type of collagen to create gummies or use it as a gelling agent in recipes.
Within these collagen supplement types are different types of collagen, including Types I, II, and III. Each of these types of collagen actually serves different purposes throughout the body and is found in varying abundance in the above types of collagen supplements.
How Much Collagen Per Day for Hair Growth?
Many sources indicate that anywhere from 2.5 to 15 grams of collagen is optimal for hair growth. In one study, researchers evaluated the supplement with Peptan® F collagen peptides and concluded that it promotes stronger and healthier hair, even helping increase the hair’s mechanical strength by 13%.
Type I and Type III are furthermore considered the best types for both skin and hair. You can find these types of collagen more abundantly in hydrolyzed collagen, particularly in marine and bovine sources. Marine contains Type I and bovine contains Type I and III.
How Much Collagen Per Day for Skin?
For skin health, the recommendations are actually very similar to hair growth. In other words, if your goals with taking collagen supplements include improving both skin and hair health, there’s good news! The amino acid hydroxyproline is also an essential component of skin health.
Furthermore, collagen Types I and III have been shown to improve skin elasticity, hydration, and collagen Types II, V and X have been shown to improve joint health and reduce pain and inflammation. Again, recommended daily collagen intake falls between 2.5 grams and 15 grams.
What Happens If You Take Too Much Collagen?
Overall, collagen is considered to be a safe and non-toxic supplement. This means that, generally, no adverse effects will happen if you take too much.
When Should You Take Collagen Supplements?
The truth is it doesn’t matter. Rather, this comes down to what works for you and your lifestyle. You might decide to have one scoop in your coffee in the morning and another in your green smoothie at lunch. Others might sneak a bit of collagen into another recipe throughout their day. Again, find what works for you!
Discover the Power of Collagen!
Take a look at your protein sources. Do you get enough collagen? The likely answer is probably not. In fact, most people can benefit from incorporating more collagen into their diet. When it comes down to how much collagen per day you should take, again, aim for between 10 grams and 15 grams to meet your daily quota.
At the end of the day, collagen supplements can provide what your diet is missing and help improve various health factors. If you want radiant skin and healthy hair, collagen is proven to do just that. As with anything, consistency is key. Start including collagen in your diet today so you can reap the benefits of it down the road!