Collagen powder was one of 2019’s biggest beauty buzzwords and for good reason. It’s smarter to ingest these types of supplements than apply topically. After taking it for almost 3 years straight, I can definitely notice a difference when I stop using it for a bit. However, it wasn’t a direct road to figuring it out. One of the bones I have to pick with the new trend of ingesting certain is serving size. What’s really needed all around when it comes to results, and what’s amount is healthy for us? Depending on your goals, let these tips be your guide to what to really expect when taking collagen.
The General Benefits Consensus
Collagen is one of the most important supplements you can take to help slow down aging. It’s also super helpful for athletes or the workout enthusiast since it helps build strong connective tissue (including hair/nails), which translates into getting fewer injuries! 3 years in, I’m almost completely convinced collagen powder is holding my skin together in a city like New York. Here’s why: in a stressful, polluted city, your skin is the first to go. If you’re not well equipped yet, that is. Every once in a while I get lazy or forget to order another refill, and notice an immediate upturn of fine lines. Immediate meaning around a week. I’m also less sore a few days after intense workouts!
How Much, and When?
Depending on your reasons for taking it, the serving size varies. Those with active lifestyles will want to stick to the higher amounts, and those looking for solely cosmetic benefits are lower. Since I take it for both being active and for beauty, I stick to the higher doses.
5-10 grams (1/2 scoop)
Your body will start producing more glycine/proline, which creates collagen. This is a good starting place for anyone completely new to it. Try it for a few weeks at this dosage to see how your body reacts, and then adjust if needed!
10-15 grams (1 scoop)
You’ll start feeling this first in the energy you have in the morning. I like to add it to my coffee for that reason! It also helps promote better gut health, digestion, and all the goods: skin/hair/nails. The latter take the longest to start seeing results, IMO. I noticed my nails first about 2 months in, followed by skin and hair around 3-4 months in. I’ve also noticed I have far less breakage at the crown of my hear from bleaching my roots and willing to bet taking it for 3 years plays a big part in that. I don’t regularly take biotin either, as a reference.
30 grams (2 scoops)
As a former trainer, I can attest to this supplement’s power in upping your fitness game. This serving size is where you want to be if you’re looking for all-around athletic healing benefits. Once it’s built up in your system, you’ll start to notice you’re less sore after workouts. For the chronically injured, you’ll start to feel relief after 3-4 months of consistent use. It’s also a great supplement for older folks for that same reason. If you’re an evening workout kind of person, a second scoop at the end of the day is a great way to break up your dosage for better results since you’re going to sleep. For morning sweat enthusiasts, add it to a beauty mocktail or tea at night and coffee during the day.
…does the limit exist?
YES. If you’re taking 4 scoops a day, you’re fine, but you really don’t need more than that. Why? When your body starts overproducing collagen, it can result in stretched, thickened, and hardened skin. So, take it easy. It’s a slow worker, but it does work magic in the end. It will be one of those things that just hit you one day looking in the mirror at your skin or after a workout.
My Top Collagen Product Picks
I’ve sampled a few over the years, and the following brands and satellite products are ones I’ve been personally impressed by.
Photos by Mari Uchida