While 2.5 grams of collagen peptides per day is enough to maintain younger-looking skin and prevent cellulite (a), it may not be enough to alleviate aging pains due to joint inflammation—which is also a common problem for serious athletes. According to research 10-12 Grams a day is the recommended amount to support most active adults, helping the body grow stronger connective tissue and provide pain relief while maintaining optimal health overall.
People generally believe that a more strenuous workout requires a higher protein dosage. This is true to a certain extent. Our bodies can tolerate up to 25 grams of protein per meal. (a) But is this really necessary to get the same results? How much collagen should you be taking for fitness routines, versus other wellness needs such as skin and digestive health?
What are the recommended daily doses for collagen?
- To help with signs of aging (skin hair and nails)
- For joint pain & inflammation
- For heart and digestive health
- For healthy weightloss
In this article you will learn:
How much collagen should I take for fitness?
- For endurance training.
- For cross-fit training
- For strength & power workouts
What type of collagen should I take?
- Type I, II & III
- Bovine Versus Marine Collagen
- Should I buy a tub or a pouch of collagen peptides?
Can I take more collagen if I am not seeing results?
- Yes you may take more or less if you are not seeing results. Determine how much protein you can digest at a time
What are the recommended daily dosages for collagen?
For sedentary adults, 200-300 calories a day from protein sources is plenty to maintain a healthy weight level and BMI. For collagen, a minimum daily requirement of 2.5g - 5g is all the body needs to support skin hair teeth and nails for adults between the ages of 35 and 55. ( a, b)
More active adults may need 600-700 calories from protein sources to stay ‘in shape’. (a) For active adults, dosages of 12 - 15 grams of collagen is sufficient to help with muscle growth, bone health, and provide relief from joint pain. (a) (b) Depending on how much strain you place on your muscles and joints, more collagen may be required to help fuel the natural recovery process.
RECOMMENDED DOSAGES FOR COLLAGEN PEPTIDES
These are scientifically dosages based on common lifestyle needs.
How much should I be taking for inflammation and joint pain?
Collagen is responsible for regenerating connective tissue to support the cartilage between joints. Stronger connective tissue means more mobility and less inflammation overall. As we age, collagen synthesis slows which leads to common signs of aging such as joint pain and a decrease in elasticity of ligaments and tendons. Osteoarthritis, or the loss of cartilage between bones, is one potential disorder that may result. While taking collagen cannot reverse or treat arthritis, multiple studies show that it can provide essential pain relief and lower inflammation. (a, b)
For Adults: To see positive effects such as pain relief and improve joint health, research suggests adults take approximately 8-12 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptides per day. (a,b) This is the equivalent of one pouch or one scoop of unflavored collagen.
For Seniors: While there is still limited research showing collagen supplements help relieve arthritis, one recent study involving elderly subjects with knee pain suggest that dosages of 5 grams of type collagen helped with pain relief. (b) A second study showed that as little as 2 grams per day was enough to provide pain relief for older adults suffering from Osteoarthritis (a)
Overall we can suggest 10-12 grams is enough to support both forms of join pain due to aging and normal exercise routines. At a minimum 5 grams per day should be sufficient to see desired results, however the recovery time may be improved with the increased dosages.
Tip: "Simplify your routine": While a single use pouch or packet is certainly ideal on the go, consider adding unflavored collagen into other simple foods like pancakes, oatmeal or soup for a cost effective way enjoy a nutritious meal. Always remember to practice consistency, and remember to take collagen supplements for 3 weeks to help with joint pain. (b)
How much should I be taking for skin and hair?
Aging is a simple fact of life, and so is the decline of the collagen our bodies naturally produce. At age 30 our bodies can no longer naturally provide enough collagen to effectively heal skin. (a) From 30 onward it's up to us to provide a simple way for the body to continue healing itself.
For Improved Skin health and Elasticity
The good news is that If you are looking to improve skin elasticity and eliminate wrinkles you may only need to add a minimal dose of collagen in your coffee. Studies show that over the course of 4 weeks, a 2.5-gram daily dosage might be all the body may need to reduce wrinkles and fine lines (a). Although a minimum dose of 2.5 grams is enough to get the results you are looking for such as younger appearance, and smoother skin, most people prefer to take 5 grams per day as a personal preference in order to see results more quickly, even in as little as 2-3 weeks.
For Stronger-Healthier Hair
2.5 grams of collagen peptides is sufficient to help fight damage to hair follicles, and prevent hair thinning and greying as well as several other effects of aging (a). As a personal preference, women usually take one to two pouches or scoops per day or the equivalent of 5-10 grams of collagen.
How much collagen should I take for cardiovascular and digestive health?
Collagen is an essential part of the structure of all arteries in the body. Like the cartilage in joints it can be repaired and strengthened when the body has access to sources of collagen. According to a recent study, 16 Grams of collagen is enough to prevent atherosclerosis in healthy adults. Studies on middle aged adults showed a significant reduction in 'artery stiffness' due to 16 gram daily doses of collagen. These subject also showed increased levels of HDL or "good cholesterol" , a central component in the prevention of heart disease.(a)
Collagen has been shown to help repair stomach tissue and gut lining. Studies suggest 5 grams is sufficient to maintain proper gut health and speed up your metabolism (a).This can even help with weight loss. Due to healthy fat content, and high amino acid count bovine sourced collagen peptides provide an excellent opportunity for Keto Dieters to get the most out of their meals.
How much collagen should I take as an athlete?
Collagen peptides are proven to help athletes naturally produce stronger muscles, ligaments and bones and speed up recovery. As a nutritional supplement containing 8 of 9 essential amino acids, many athletes prefer to include it with other protein supplements such as Whey for a complete amino acid spectrum.
For Endurance Training
For endurance athletes 10-12 grams of collagen is enough to keep your joints and tissues strong and sturdy while preventing inflammation. (a) Two of the biggest challenges faced by endurance athletes during early stages of training are hydration, and cramping due to insufficient nutrition. Taking vitamin C with collagen peptide supplements serves a duel purpose for cardio training by helping keep the body hydrated and providing a feeling of fullness.
While it may be tempting to try staying full using nothing but water and peptides, Collagen should not be used as a supplement to protein bars or actual food and rather as a complement to help aid in digestion and absorption.
Unlike whey protein powder which is the preferred post workout supplement, flavored collagen peptides are highly bioavailable and can be taken during extended excercises such as running or bike riding, helping provide hydration and support repetitive movement. Most runners and cyclists prefer to include collagen in their post workout routines as Bovine sourced collagen is proven to help with athletic recovery. (a)
For CrossFit Training
In a 24-week study involving 147 athletes, 10 grams of collagen had a significant effect on relieving joint pain, when compared to the placebo group which had none. (a ) This study involved aerobic exercise and heavy lifting as well as other aspects of cross training.
CrossFit involves athletic proficiency in the following ten general areas: "cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.” Because cross-fit tends to focus on mobility under intense pressure, collagen supplements can be an excellent way to expedite the daily healing and rebuilding process for joints and muscles between each workout.
For Strength & Power
TYPE III collagen is essential to helping the body naturally produce creatine.(a) While dosages of 15g are enough for most strength training without other protein sources, for power athletes and weightlifters 15 grams of collagen should be added to other protein supplements such as whey to increase the dosage to 25-30g per sitting.(b) 1 pouch or scoop of unflavored collagen and one scoop of whey make an ideal combination to support almost any power workout. For best results, try using a supplement pouch or stick pack that contains vitamin C.
While many protein rich meals contain far more than 30 grams, studies show that muscles can only synthesis up to 25-30 grams at a time (a) (b). A good recommendation for athletes that wan to bulk or build lean muscle is to try to try a 2 to 1 ratio of whey to collagen, or ensure about one third of the protein is from a collagen source. This can help fuel the body's natural creatine production mechanisms while helping you feel less sore from inflammation (a) (b).
Can Collagen Improve Sleep?
Many fitness enthusiasts prefer to take collagen before bed as part of their post workout. Collagen contains the essential amino acid glycine which among many other uses, has been shown to help improve sleep quality (a).
Can I take more collagen if I am not seeing results?
Absolutely! You should take more collagen if you feel you need more to maintain your nutritional needs. While lower dosages are great for losing weight while maintaining overall health, higher dosages may be required to build lean muscle as part of a high protein/high carb diet. For best results with regard to weight loss simple fruits and veggies are ideal. Collagen is also high in healthy fats, which are excellent for keeping skin naturally shine and hydrated. For building muscle and gaining weight other proteins sources may be required.
Feel free to double the dosage if you want. We know that these products can be expensive so in order to keep from burning a hole in your wallet you may want to try using pouches as apposed to Jugs. Try a rewards program that will help you save while working towards your health and fitness goals. You can also take multiple scoops a day, with any meal, or turn any basic drink into a healthy treat.
What type of collagen should I be taking?
There are three types of collagen the body produces naturally; Type I, II and III. (a) While supplements containing Type I and III collagen are both proven to improve skin health, supplements with Type II could be used to support the tougher cartilage in the body and are often considered by serious athletes as well as people suffering from joint pain or arthritis as they age.
Here is a quick summary of the 3 most abundant types of collagen produced in the body:
- Type I: skin, tendons, ligaments, bone, and tissues
- Type II: touch cartilage throughout your body, vitreous humor of the eye
- Type III: skin, muscles, and blood vessels
Where does collagen come from?
There are two primary types of collagen available for consumption. Bovine collagen is sourced from healthy cattle hides while marine collagen is extracted from fish.
Marine collagen is slightly more bioavailable and slightly less potent than bovine. It is also more oily and has some specific advantages for skin and brain health. It is composed primarily of Type I collagen.
Bovine collagen is more potent than marine collagen and the consistency is more easy to tolerate for first time collagen users. Unlike marine collagen which is primarily good for skin and hair, bovine has been proven to help athletes recover and provide pain relief (a). Also unlike marine collagen which is only composed of Type I bovine contains both Type I and Type III collagen.
After setting your goal, know that its okay to take larger or smaller amounts of collagen if you need to. Consider combining unflavored collagen to your other favorite foods, or drinks to make your routine easy to follow.
Overall 10-12 grams is enough to support the majority of life style needs and in the end it comes down to you to maintain discipline and consistency if you want to achieve health related goals.
Make your path to health attainable by starting with one pouch or scoop per day, and adjust your dosage depending on how your needs change.
Above all, stay positive, and enjoy the little things... like a Raspberry Limoncello Prosecco on a Sunday afternoon.
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