Can Men Take Collagen? Benefits of Collagen for Men

Collagen has long been hailed as a miracle worker for maintaining youthful skin, strong hair, and healthy nails. But can men benefit from collagen just as much as women? The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, there are numerous benefits of collagen for men, ranging from improved joint health to enhanced muscle recovery and even potential anti-aging effects. Read on to discover why men should consider adding collagen to their daily routine.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a critical component of our body that plays a key role in maintaining the strength and structure of our skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. It is the most abundant protein in our body, accounting for about one-third of our total protein content. Collagen is also essential to wound healing and tissue repair. Unfortunately, as we age, natural collagen production decreases, which results in visible signs of aging including wrinkles and sagging skin. Understanding the importance of collagen and finding ways to boost its production can help us maintain a youthful and healthy appearance for longer.

Common Types of Collagen Supplements

Collagen supplements come in various forms, each containing specific types of collagen tailored to different needs and preferences. Collagen has five main types, each with unique benefits:

  1. Type I Collagen: Type I collagen is the most abundant collagen type in the body, found in skin, tendons, bones, and other connective tissues. It provides structural support and elasticity, promoting skin health, muscle repair, and bone strength.

  2. Type II Collagen: Primarily found in cartilage, type II collagen is crucial for maintaining joint health and supporting cartilage regeneration. Supplements containing type II collagen can help alleviate joint stiffness and discomfort, contributing to overall joint mobility and flexibility.

  3. Type III Collagen: Often found alongside type I collagen, type III collagen is important to skin elasticity and vascular health. It supports the structure of blood vessels and organs, contributing to overall tissue integrity and resilience.

  4. Type IV Collagen: Type IV collagen is a key component of basement membranes, which provide structural support to tissues and organs. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the skin, kidneys, and other organs.

  5. Type V Collagen: Type V collagen is found in various tissues, including skin, hair, and placenta. It plays a role in regulating collagen fibril formation and tissue development, contributing to the stability and function of these tissues.

In addition to these specific types, collagen supplements may also come in forms such as hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides, which are broken down into smaller peptides for enhanced absorption.

Benefits of Collagen for Men

Closeup of a man's hand holding a scoop of collagen peptides on top of a glass of water

Muscle Recovery

Collagen plays a crucial role in supporting muscle health and aiding in recovery after exercise. As men often engage in rigorous physical activities, supplementing with collagen can help promote muscle repair and growth, helping to improve fitness performance and faster recovery times. A study found that combining collagen peptide supplementation with resistance exercise training, using a dosage of 15 g of specific collagen peptides consumed daily within 60 minutes after training sessions, led to greater increases in body mass, fat-free mass, and muscle strength compared to exercise alone, with a higher abundance of proteins associated with contractile fibers observed in the collagen supplementation group.

Joint and Bone Support

With age, joint stiffness and bone density loss can become more prevalent concerns for men. Collagen supplementation has been shown to promote joint health by reducing inflammation and supporting cartilage regeneration. Additionally, collagen helps maintain bone strength and density, potentially reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. A randomized controlled study demonstrated that adding 10 mg/day of native type II collagen to a regimen of 1500 mg/day of acetaminophen led to significant improvements in joint pain, mobility, and quality of life in knee osteoarthritis patients, relative to those treated with acetaminophen alone, over a 3-month period.

Hair Health

Hair loss and thinning are common issues that affect many men as they age. Collagen is a critical component of hair follicles, providing the structural support needed for healthy hair growth. Supplementing with collagen may help strengthen hair strands, improve thickness, and promote overall hair health.

Skin Health

Collagen is recognized for its role in maintaining skin elasticity, hydration, and firmness. As men are also susceptible to visible signs of aging, collagen supplementation can help combat these effects by promoting collagen production and supporting skin structure. In a study, supplementation with 1000 mg of low-molecular-weight collagen peptides daily for 12 weeks improved skin hydration, elasticity, and reduced wrinkling compared to placebo, suggesting its potential as a skin-enhancing dietary supplement.

Heart Health

Emerging research suggests that collagen may have beneficial effects on heart health. In a six-month study, taking collagen tripeptide twice daily significantly reduced markers associated with atherosclerosis, suggesting its potential role in preventing and treating heart disease in healthy individuals. Collagen provides structure to arteries, helping maintain their elasticity and strength. By promoting arterial health, collagen may contribute to overall cardiovascular wellness, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.

Food Sources of Collagen

While collagen supplements offer a convenient way to boost collagen intake, it's also possible to obtain collagen from dietary sources. Some foods rich in collagen include:

  • Bone Broth: Made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue, bone broth is a potent source of collagen, along with other nutrients like amino acids and minerals.
  • Fish: Fish collagen, found in the skin and scales of fish, can be obtained by consuming fish such as salmon and cod.
  • Egg Whites: Egg whites contain collagen-building blocks like proline and glycine, which are essential for collagen synthesis.
  • Berries and Citrus Fruits: These fruits are high in vitamin C, which plays a significant role in collagen production within the body.

How to Take Collagen Supplements

When taking collagen supplements, it's essential to follow recommended dosages, which may vary depending on the type of collagen:

  • Type I Collagen Dosage: The recommended dosage for type I collagen supplements typically ranges from 2.5 to 15 grams per day, depending on an individual's unique health goals.
  • Type II Collagen Dosage: For type II collagen supplements, the recommended dosage may range depending on the specific product and intended use, but generally seek out at least 6mg of protein from type II collagen for optimal joint support. 

Collagen supplements can be consumed orally in various ways:

  • Mixing with Beverages: Collagen powders can be mixed into various beverages such as water, juice, or smoothies for easy consumption. Modern Dose's Joint Support, which includes Type II collagen, comes in stick packs to promote easy-of-use.
  • Adding to Foods: Collagen powders can also be added to foods like yogurt, oatmeal, or soups without altering taste or texture.
  • Taking Capsules: Collagen capsules are swallowed whole with water and are a convenient option for those who prefer pills.

Potential Side Effects of Collagen

While collagen supplements are generally safe for most people, some potential side effects may occur, including mild digestive issues and allergic reactions. It's essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting collagen supplementation, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Seek supplement brands that conduct third-party testing on their products as an added layer of quality and safety. Modern Dose products are always third-party tested. 

Wrapping Up

Collagen supplements offer numerous benefits for men, ranging from supporting muscle recovery and joint health to promoting hair, skin, and heart health. Whether taken in the form of powders, capsules, or protein bars, collagen supplementation can be a valuable addition to a healthy lifestyle. With proper usage, collagen supplements can help men maintain vitality and overall well-being as they age and produce collagen less.