How Much Collagen Should You Actually Be Taking?

When it comes to beauty and muscle-building supplements, collagen is at the top. During the aging process, our bodies naturally lose collagen which may contribute to wrinkles, and loss of muscle mass and bone strength (via Healthline). Taking collagen can support and strengthen the body in a number of ways. People use collagen to promote hair health and muscle growth, and receive anti-aging support. But how much collagen should you actually be taking?

The global head of marketing at Skinade, Louise Marchesin shares, "It's been proven that the fibroblasts—collagen factories in our skin—will fire up when you consume between 5,500 and 6,500 milligrams of collagen peptides" (via Well + Good). This is congruent with one 2019 study in Nutrients which found it's safe and beneficial to consume up to 15 grams of hydrolyzed collagen daily. Smaller amounts (2.5 grams) may support skin and joint health, whereas larger amounts (5 grams) help increase bone density, according to Healthline. One 2015 study found that taking 15 grams of collagen peptides daily can increase body composition and improve muscle strength.

Additionally, the benefits of undenatured collagen can be felt at smaller dosages. Research suggests taking no more than 10–40 mg daily (per Healthline).

When is the best time to take collagen?

While adding collagen supplements can benefit your health, knowing when to take them is just as important. It's often debated what time of day allows for optimal absorption. Is morning the best, midday when you're drinking a smoothie, or should they be enjoyed during dinner time? There are certain health claims that taking collagen first thing in the morning is best because your stomach is empty, but according to registered dietitian Scott Keatley in an interview with MindBodyGreen, "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."

Others believe collagen is more beneficial during the daytime or evening, but there are no studies that confirm this (per MindBodyGreen). The verdict: There is no best time to take collagen. Instead of focusing on the 'when' for this supplement, Marchesin suggests focusing on getting the correct daily amount of collagen peptides (via Well + Good).

The exact dosage can be found on most collagen supplements. Healthline notes that the recommended dosage is often 1-2 tablespoons of powdered collagen or 1-2 gummy supplements.