How Much Collagen Should I Take For Weight Loss


How much collagen supplements should you take to lose weight? You’ve come to the right place. I’m going to address a few different topics in this article to get you started on the right path. Keep in mind that your body type and gender will influence how much collagen you need and how long it takes you to see results.


Collagen is a compound found in your skin and in the connective tissues that make up your tendons, ligaments, muscles, and more. It’s the most abundant protein in the body. However, over time, aging breaks down the collagen in your body and makes it more difficult to produce more.

Collagen helps provide structure to your skin and fortify your bones. It may also relieve joint pain. Because of its potential health benefits, collagen powder has become a popular supplement. Made from animal tissues, this nutritional powder is typically hydrolyzed, which means the proteins have already been broken down, making it easier for your body to absorb it.

What it’s used for

As your body ages, it loses collagen. By age 40, you can lose up to 1% of your body’s collagen each year

Other factors like diet, regularly smoking, consuming alcohol, and sun exposure also affect collagen loss

Loss of this protein is one reason why your skin loses structure and begins to wrinkle as you age. It may also affect the strength of your bones, joints, and more.

Thus, some common applications of collagen supplements include:

  • skin structure preservation
  • wound healing
  • anti-aging support
  • osteoarthritis, a common cause of joint pain
  • bone loss prevention
  • muscle mass improvement
  • hair and nail health


Collagen is a protein in your body that makes up many tissues and organs. Supplementing with the protein may help preserve skin health, muscle mass, bones, and joints.

Types of collagen

Collagen is an abundant protein, with 28 types having been identified to date.

Types I, II, III, IV, and V are the most common in the human body

It’s believed that the various types of collagen serve unique purposes. For example, older research has identified that types I and III present together in the organs and skin, while type II is typically found in joints and cartilage

As such, different types of collagen are typically advertised as part of collagen supplements.

Nonetheless, keep in mind that more research is needed to better understand how the various types of collagen in supplement form may influence human health.

Forms used in supplements

Similarly to how your body contains different types of this protein, so do many collagen supplements.

The most used types include

  • Hydrolyzed collagen (collagen hydrolysate). This type is derived from bovine (cattle), marine (seafood), poultry (often chicken or eggshells), pigs, and other animal sources, and it’s broken down into smaller and easier-to-absorb peptide particles.
  • Undenatured collagen. This is raw collagen derived from chicken cartilage.
  • Gelatin: This is cooked collagen, usually derived from animal sources.

The type used in your supplement of choice could influence the supplement form and its dosage instructions.

Note that there aren’t any vegan substitutes for collagen. Supplements may be free of dairy, gluten, or sugar, but collagen is only available from animal sources.


The most common types of collagen used in supplements are hydrolyzed collagen, undenatured collagen, and gelatin.

Why take a collagen supplement?

There are many reasons people add a collagen supplement to their routine—from beauty to overall health.

The protein is naturally found in many areas of the body, including the skin, muscles, joints, bones, and gut.

In fact, there are at least 28 kinds of collagen that we know of that exist in vertebrates, which includes us—however, collagen types I through III are the most common.

We actually produce collagen via our cells’ fibroblasts, but said product decreases over time with aging, and so many look for ways you can support the production naturally.*

Yes, enter collagen supplements. Here are the health support areas where you may see benefits once adding collagen peptides into your routine:

Skin health support

The research shows that these collagen peptides are able to support skin elasticity and dermal collagen density.*

The way this works is that hydrolyzed collagen peptides have been shown to help promote your body’s natural production of collagen and other molecules that make up the skin, like elastin and fibrillin, within the fibroblasts.


While this is a new area of study for collagen supplements, research has found that levels of certain types of collagen are lower in individuals with digestive challenges.*

It turns out that one of the main amino acids in collagen, L-glutamate, supports digestive health because it’s a major fuel source for the cells in the intestine.*

Our gut lining cells also use proline and glycine for energy, and these are two additional amino acids found in collagen.

Joints & bone

Collagen type II is a common structural component of our joints. One randomized clinical trial found that people who took a type II collagen supplement for 180 days saw support in their physical function and helped improve joint mobility and comfort.

As for bone health, it’s a more time-intensive benefit to track—simply given how long the bone turnover timeline is—however, this study found that postmenopausal women showed enhanced bone density at 12 months after consuming collagen peptides daily for a year.


Collagen is not a complete protein because it’s missing tryptophan, one of the nine essential amino acids, but it still delivers close to 20 unique amino acids and can support muscle mass, according to researchers.

In one small human study, men who took collagen daily while participating in an exercise program gained more muscle mass than those who only did the exercise program.


Health support areas where you may see benefits once adding collagen peptides into your routine include improved skin health, digestive health, joint mobility, and muscle mass.

How much collagen should you take?

Unlike with some other vitamins, minerals, and supplements, the science is relatively young and still emerging for collagen peptides. (It may seem like collagen has been around on the market for a while now, but relatively speaking—it’s a newer supplement option!)

So while you may find definitive recommendations on intake levels (like a Recommended Daily Allowance, or RDA) and status biomarkers for things like vitamin D (depending on your age, sex, nutrition needs, and lifestyle, of course), it’s just not the same for collagen at this time.

To share more on the state of collagen science, mbg’s vice president of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, weighed in: “Collagen research publications actually date back to the 1940s, which sounds like a long time. Search PubMed, and you’ll find 400-plus peer-reviewed journal articles relevant to ‘collagen peptides’ dating back to 1965. But clinical trials leveraging oral collagen peptide supplementation for a variety of health outcomes have only been completed in the past two decades, with the majority (around 30 human clinicals) completed in the past 10 years. We are learning in real time, which is honestly exciting and cutting-edge.”

So while we might not have an RDA for collagen (like we do with vitamins, minerals, carbohydrate, fiber, protein, and fat), a growing number of clinical studies point to specific, effective dosages based on outcomes—and can help us understand how much collagen we should be taking every day.

As for the amount of collagen peptides you are getting from your specific supplement, look for the grams of collagen per serving—it should be on the label. (Remember: Not all collagen supplements are made the same! Options may have anywhere from 40 milligrams to 20 grams of collagen per serving. That’s quite a range.)

Collagen and protein dosage overall.

Remember that collagen is a specific type of protein. Now, there is no official daily recommendation from health organizations (yet) for specific forms of protein like collagen; however, for healthy adults, you need at least 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for muscle mass maintenance.

From there, protein needs increase based on activity levels: For highly active adults, you should consume 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

If you have a specific health condition, your daily protein needs may be even higher (due to increased protein turnover and healing needs in the body), in which case, please defer to your doctor.

However, remember that collagen is not a complete protein. As an incomplete protein (meaning that it does not contain all nine essential amino acids; it has eight of them), you should pair it with other protein sources to get your adequate intake of the essential amino acids.

Ferira explains it this way: “The notion of intentionally pairing complementary proteins to maximize amino acid consumption (e.g., rice and beans) is a daily nutrition endeavor for vegetarians and vegans. The same concept applies here for everybody with collagen, which can absolutely contribute to your overall nutrition approach to meet daily protein needs.”

In fact, a 2019 study found that as much as 36% of daily protein could come from collagen peptides while simultaneously achieving essential amino acid requirements!

Collagen dosage based on benefit.

Additionally, we also know there are specific doses of collagen based on your desired result. (Remember how we were talking about specific benefits above? We’re revisiting that now.)

Here let’s look into the collagen peptide dosage based on the benefit, as science has found positive results in these dose ranges per health-support area.*

  • Skin: Studies show that a range of 2.5 to 10 grams per day can be beneficial for skin support.*
  • Muscle: Studies show that 15 to 20 grams per day can help muscle mass, muscle strength, and soreness after exercise.*
  • Joint: 2.5 to 5 grams per day has been shown to help joint support—however, if you are taking UC-II specifically, you only need 40 milligrams per day.*
  • Bone: The available research suggests that 5 grams per day provides bone support.*

When should you take it?

For some supplements, the when is important. (You’re not going to take a sleeping supplement first thing in the morning, no?)

As for collagen, you may hear conflicting information about when the best time to take the supplement is—be it morning, midday, or evening.

Let’s break this down.


Some claim that the morning is the best time to take your collagen supplement as you’ll be digesting the supplements on an empty stomach.

However, this doesn’t seem to matter according to experts. “The bulk of the breaking down of proteins actually happens in the small intestine, so full stomach, half-full stomach, or empty stomach—there will be little difference,” says Scott Keatley, R.D.

Ferira adds, “Collagen peptides are just that: peptides. That means they are already delivered to your digestive tract in a more digestible, bioavailable format than straight protein. So, typical protein digestion steps that require stomach acid and enzymes plus additional proteases in the small intestine simply don’t apply here.”


Others love a midday collagen break as a snack or snack component. How well your collagen supplement fills you up ultimately depends on what you take it with, according to Galligan.

“On their own, collagen supplements are unlikely to fill you up because of the small volume of each,” he says. However, having something with fiber and fat in it, like a smoothie with nut butter, along with your collagen supplement will help satisfy your appetite better than a sugar- or carb-based snack,” says Albert Matheny, M.S., R.D., CSCS.


Some people claim collagen is more effective at night because your body is naturally recovering while you sleep, and by syncing up with that recovery cycle the amino acids will be put to better use. But again, this is just a hypothesis.

“There are no controlled studies that address this issue,” Galligan says. “However, the popular literature is in agreement that collagen supplements seem to work equally well when taken at bedtime or in the morning.”

As Ferira puts it, “Collagen peptides are efficient when it comes to absorption in the gut and utilization by the various cells and tissues in your body, any time of the day.”

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