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Collagen for Men: Dosing, Benefits, and the Best Supplement to Take

There’s a question that many have been asking within the collagen community: Can men take collagen, too?

 

And it’s a fair question—most collagen supplements are marketed toward women wanting a youthful glow, fewer wrinkles, and long, luscious hair. But how can men benefit?

 

Will they go from balding to Hercules-looking hair? From frail to Pop Eye-like strength? And if so, how many grams of collagen do they need to get these results?

 

This article will answer your most pressing questions about collagen for men, including which collagen supplement is best.

But First, What Is Collagen?

Graphic of a 3D triple-helix collagen molecule

Collagen is a protein within your body—the most abundant protein your body has, in fact (it makes up 33% of it!). It’s considered the “glue” that holds your body together, thanks to the structural support it provides to the space surrounding your connective tissues (1).

 

Out of the 28 different types of collagen, there are two types that form over 90% of the collagen in your body: Type 1 and Type 3 Collagen (1).

 

Type 1 Collagen is found in your hair, skin, nails, cornea, bones, tendons, organs, and blood vessels, while Type 3 Collagen is found in your organs, blood vessels, muscles, and intestines (2).

Infographic showing the top 3 types of collagen: Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 Collagen

Why Men Need Collagen, Too

The great thing about collagen: Your body produces it naturally.

 

The not-so-great thing about collagen: Your natural production begins to decline once you hit your 20s.

Graph showing the percentage of collagen decline as one ages

So, at around age 20, collagen levels begin to decrease by about 1% each year (3). So by the time one is 50 years old, their collagen levels have been slashed in half. This steep decline—left untreated—can result in achy joints, brittle bones, thinning hair, sagging skin, and irregular digestion.


However, men and women age—and lose collagen—at different rates. Men lose collagen at a more consistent rate throughout their adult life, whereas women lose less collagen when they’re young, but experience an abrupt decline in their collagen once menopause rolls around (4, 5).

Collagen Dosing for Men

Collagen dosing for men depends on their age, current state of health, and what result they’re wanting to achieve.

 

When beginning collagen supplementation, I recommend two phases of supplementation: Collagen Loading and Collagen Maintenance.

 

Collagen Loading is an 8-week phase consisting of 20 to 40 grams of collagen powder daily. For optimal results, you’ll want to supplement with 40 grams (or 4 scoops) of collagen daily.

 

Collagen Maintenance is an indefinite phase consisting of 10 to 20 grams of collagen powder daily. For optimal results, you’ll want to supplement with 20 grams (or 2 scoops) of collagen daily.

Infographic showing the difference between Collagen Loading and Collagen Maintenance

7 Collagen Benefits for Men

When men add a high-quality collagen supplement to their wellness routine, there are 7 transformative benefits that occur:

1. Collagen Decreases Hair Loss

Nearly 50% of adult men are affected by baldness due to a hereditary condition called androgenetic alopecia—which results in not only a loss of hair but a loss of self-esteem, too (6).

 

So what can men do to prevent thinning hair and a receding hairline?

 

Well, the collagen content of young, healthy skin exceeds 75%. So, when your skin’s collagen content is at an adequate level, your skin stays smooth, firm, and strong. However, when that collagen content begins to dip to unhealthy levels, skin becomes thinner and drier (7). Which affects—you guessed it—hair follicles.

 

In one double-blind study, 90 men who were experiencing balding were given a collagen supplement or a placebo for 180 days. Within 6 months, the men taking the collagen supplement saw a significant increase in total hair count, total hair density, and terminal density (6).

2. Collagen Reduces Bone Loss

Bone loss is something that occurs naturally with age. It’s what makes bones brittle and porous, resulting in an increased risk of fracture and conditions like osteopenia and osteoporosis.

 

Whereas women experience a steep decline in bone mass in the years following menopause, men don’t experience bone loss until 65 or 70 years old (8).

 

In numerous studies involving those with osteoporosis, it was found that collagen peptides improve calcium retention while positively influencing bone metabolism. With just 5 grams of collagen peptides daily for one year, participants saw a significant increase in their T-score (the score that indicates bone health) (9).

3. Collagen Enhances Muscle Recovery

Collagen makes up 60 to 80% of the dry weight in your tendons. This high level of collagen helps your tendons endure the resistance from high-impact exercise (10).

 

In addition to this, collagen stimulates the proteins and nutrients of your extracellular matrix (ECM), helping to improve the strength, regulation, and regeneration of connective tissue. Thus, collagen plays an essential role in maintaining tendon health and lessening your risk of injury (10).

 

In one study involving 24 active males, participants were given either 20 grams of collagen peptides or a placebo daily. Muscle damage, inflammation, and bone turnover were evaluated. Muscle soreness among those taking collagen peptides was significantly lower at the 48 hour mark compared to those taking the placebo (11).

4. Collagen Reduces Joint Pain

Collagen is extremely beneficial in improving joint function while reducing joint pain (12). This is because collagen can be found in hefty amounts in your body’s extracellular matrix—an intricate meshwork of proteins that provide structure and stability to nearby cells (13).

 

Five different studies revealed exceptional results in alleviating joint discomfort and knee pain, while improving ankle and knee functionality and accelerating recovery from Achilles tendinopathy. These results were achieved by taking 5 to 40 grams of collagen peptides daily over the course of 3 to 6 months (14).

5. Collagen Supports Gut Health

Each year, digestive diseases account for over 100 million ambulatory care visits, 14 million hospital admissions, and 236,000 deaths in the United States alone. Common GI symptoms include heartburn, reflux, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation (15).

 

Luckily, there are two amino acids within collagen—glycine and proline—that radically improve gut health. Glycine, the most abundat amino acid in collagen, enhances the intestinal mucosal barrier, while reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Proline, on the other hand, upregulates the proteins in intestinal cells (16).

 

Fun Fact: The collagen found in your intestines is Type 3 Collagen.

 

To learn more about collagen and gut health, read this article next: Collagen for Gut Health: Why It Works and How You Can Benefit

6. Collagen Revitalizes Aging Skin

The collagen content in your skin exceeds a whopping 75%. However, as you age, that collagen content depletes rather quickly (7).

 

Which results in your skin going from supple, smooth, and elastic to thin, dry, and wrinkly—usually starting at around 45 years of age in both men and women (17).

 

Thankfully, a high-quality collagen supplement can reverse those frustrating signs of aging.

 

A recent review of 19 studies evaluated collagen supplementation in regards to skin wrinkles, hydration, elasticity, and firmness. It was confirmed that daily collagen peptide supplementation resulted in reduced wrinkles and improved skin elasticity and hydration in just 90 days (18).

 

*Note: The participants from the studies mentioned above were 95% women.

7. Collagen Aids in Weight Loss

As if collagen couldn’t get any more enticing, it does—boasting weight loss properties, too.

 

One 2019 study examined the weight loss effects of collagen supplementation among 90 healthy volunteers (including 17 men). They were given 2 grams of collagen peptides or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Those supplementing with collagen saw a significant decrease in body fat—without even having to change dietary or exercise habits (19).

 

For more tips on weight loss, read the following article: 5 Simple, Fad-Free Ways to Lose Fat After 50 (without dieting)

The Best Collagen Supplement for Men

Not all collagen supplements are created equal.

 

Your collagen supplement should check each of these boxes:

 

Be Grass-Fed Bovine Collagen

Have the Words “Hydrolyzed” or “Peptides” on the Label

Contain Type 1 and Type 3 Collagen

Have at least 10 Grams of Collagen Per Scoop

Be Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Soy-Free

 

To ensure you’re consuming the very best collagen, read the following article: 7 Important Things To Look For In a Collagen Supplement

How to Get the Best Results with Your Collagen

To experience better, faster results, your collagen powder should be paired with a few things: Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin B7, Magnesium, Hyaluronic Acid, and Boron Citrate.

 

In the modern diet, it can be tricky to get those vitamins and minerals consistently. That’s why we came out with a unique formula that makes getting all 7 of those nutrients simple and carefree, with just 2 capsules a day.

The Bottom Line

Collagen is a protein that all living things need in order to thrive.

 

And based on our findings, collagen is just as important for men as it is for women. Although men age at a more consistent rate than women (because they don’t go through menopause), it’s still vital that they upkeep their collagen levels with a high-quality collagen supplement.

Certified Health Coach and Head of Content at NativePath (aka I’m the gal responsible for ensuring that every blog we publish helps you live life a little more #OnThePath).

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Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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