Does Collagen Make You Gain Weight?

December 29, 2023

Did you know that around 45% of people worldwide are on a mission to lose weight (1)?

If you’re a part of the roughly 3.5 billion people on this mission, you probably catch yourself wondering whether or not certain foods, drinks, or supplements can make you gain weight. 

And as of late, more and more people have been wondering whether or not collagen can lead to weight gain. If this is a concern of yours, I’m happy to put your mind at ease: There’s no direct link between collagen supplementation and weight gain.

In this article, we'll dive deep into the science behind collagen, bust the myth of collagen-related weight gain, and show you how collagen might actually help your weight loss journey.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen—which is often referred to as the “building block” of the body—functions as a  primary structural protein. 

Think of it like the foundation of a building…

Without a strong foundation, the building would lack structural support and stability—leading to sagging floors, cracked walls, and buckling roofs.

The same goes for your body and collagen: Without ample amounts of collagen, your bones become brittle, skin becomes dehydrated, and joints become stiffer. In other words, fractures become frequent and aging seems to accelerate.

And just like a house begins to show wear and tear once it reaches 25, 50, and 100 years old, the body begins to show wear and tear around your mid-20s to early 30s.

This is where a high-quality collagen supplement can make all the difference.

In the realm of skin health, collagen contributes significantly to elasticity and hydration. As we age, collagen production naturally decreases, leading to dryness and the formation of wrinkles. 

But collagen doesn't stop at skincare—it plays a vital role in joint and bone health too. It helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage—the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. (Lower levels of collagen can lead to degenerative joint disorders like osteoarthritis. This is why many people turn to collagen supplements to help support joint health and reduce pain.)

Beyond skin and joints, collagen is essential for overall health too. It provides structure to arteries that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Without enough collagen, arteries might become weak and fragile, which could lead to more serious health issues.

In a nutshell, collagen significantly impacts not only how we look but also how we feel. It maintains skin elasticity, fuller-looking hair, strong nails, flexible joints, strong bones, a healthy gut, and a whole domino effect of health benefits.

A woman pouring a scoop of NativePath Original Collagen Peptides into a blender full of fruits and vegetables

Stronger Inside, Radiant Outside

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, it’s essential for the health of your bones, joints, skin, hair, nails, digestion, and more.

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How Many Calories Does Collagen Have?

Let's start by examining the nutritional composition of collagen supplements. 

Collagen supplements are generally low in calories, typically ranging from 20 to 40 calories per serving. The primary appeal of these supplements lies in their protein content, providing around 10 grams of protein per serving. It also contains specific amino acids like glycine and proline.

Here’s a closer look at the nutrition label for NativePath Original Collagen Peptides.

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Does Collagen Make You Gain Weight?

Barring any medical conditions, weight management comes down to the balance between the calories you consume and the calories your body uses for various functions like basic metabolism and physical activity. If you consume more calories than your body needs, the excess is stored as fat, leading to weight gain. Conversely, if you consume fewer calories than your body expends, it begins to use stored energy, primarily in the form of fat, resulting in weight loss. 

Collagen won't cause weight gain unless you're consuming enough to exceed your daily calorie needs. It would take about 200-400 calories' worth (6-11 scoops of NativePath Collagen per day) of collagen on top of your regular diet for a significant amount of time to actually see a difference on the scale.

NativeNote: If you are struggling with losing weight, it's best to consult your healthcare provider or registered dietitian to determine any underlying causes and plan an appropriate course of action.

What Does Research Say About Collagen and Weight Gain?

If you just started taking collagen and are, in fact, seeing the scale move up, there are a few possible reasons…

Water Retention

Collagen may cause you to retain water in your skin and its cells because of its role in supporting capillary walls. Capillary walls are thin barriers around your blood vessels that allow nutrients and oxygen to pass from the blood to surrounding tissues while removing waste products.

Collagen helps keep the walls strong and prevents them from leaking, which can lead to increased water retention (2). However, there’s no connection between these benefits and difficulties with weight management.


When it comes to bloating, there's solid evidence supporting the positive impact of collagen supplementation. In one 2022 study, a group of women experiencing digestive discomfort supplemented with 20 grams of collagen daily for six weeks (3). Remarkably, of the 14 women who completed the study, 93% of them experienced a reduction in digestive issues, including bloating. This was all accomplished without the need for other lifestyle changes.

Bone Mineral & Cartilage Density

It’s important to remember that weight gain isn’t just automatically fat gain. In fact, the human skeletal system—bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons—accounts for about 20 percent of your body weight (4). If you see the scale changing after taking collagen, it could be an increase in your bone mineral density or an increase in joint cartilage (which is a very good thing!). 

One study showed that women who took 5 grams of collagen for one year experienced significant increases in bone mineral density and bone formation with a reduction in bone degradation (5).

Another study observed the long-term effects of collagen on 30 individuals with early knee osteoarthritis. Subjects were randomized into one group receiving 10 grams a day for 48 weeks and a control group receiving a placebo. After 48 weeks, individuals who supplemented with collagen experienced a notable 8% increase in knee cartilage.

A hand pouring a scoop of NativePath Original Collagen Peptides into a coffee mug with a French Press in the background

Good Health Starts With a Strong Foundation

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, it’s essential for the health of your bones, joints, skin, hair, nails, digestion, and more.

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Can Collagen Support Weight Loss?

Explore the concept of using collagen for weight loss and its effectiveness.

Help With Appetite Control

Collagen supplements could possibly help curb your appetite due to the satiety that results from both the extra protein combined with the fullness from increased hydration  

Since collagen is primarily protein, consuming it means you are probably eating more protein than you usually would. High protein diets not only stimulate the release of our fullness hormones like leptin but actually suppress the hunger ones like ghrelin (7).

May Boost Your Metabolism

Simply eating more protein causes your body to burn more calories because it stimulates your metabolism. This effect, known as thermogenesis (or the thermic effect of food) states that protein burns more calories than fat or carbs in your body (8).

Can Increase Muscle Mass

Building muscle is an essential component of weight loss. That’s because muscle burns more calories at rest, increasing overall calorie expenditure. 

Taking collagen supplements may help your efforts by increasing muscle mass. Remember, collagen is the main structural protein in your muscles. One study showed that those who took collagen during a 12-week weight training program improved lean muscle mass when compared to those who didn't take it (9).

Kat Kennedy
Article by

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy is the Fitness and Nutrition Editor at NativePath. With a NASM CPT, NCSF CPT, and NCSF Sports Nutrition Certification, she has a passion for giving people the tools they need to feel healthy, strong, and confident.

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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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