By Dr. Josh Axe
Because it can help promote skin health, gut health and more, collagen often only gets talked about for women, but is it also good for men? Definitely! Of all the supplements that I take, collagen is at the top of my list.
Considering it’s the most abundant protein in the human body, benefits of collagen for men generally include helping to support exercise performance and recovery, joint comfort and mobility, overall maintenance of muscle mass, digestive health and much more.
Among both adult men and women, the body’s internal collagen production naturally starts to decline after someone reaches their 40s, and sometimes before then. While most men’s diets are lacking in collagen from food sources such as bone broth, taking a collagen supplement regularly is a great way to boost one’s intake of key amino acids and more that have far-reaching health perks.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a structural protein that helps to build and support healthy connective tissues throughout the body, including those that form the joints, ligaments, tendons, skin, bones, blood vessels and the lining of the gastrointestinal tracts and other organs.
As a complex protein, collagen is made up of smaller “building blocks'' called amino acids. It generally contains 19 amino acids and is an especially ample source of several that aren’t abundant in many other protein sources such as meat or fish — including glycine, proline and arginine.
These amino acids, which are found in certain collagen sources such as bone broth and also in collagen powder, are a valuable addition to your diet and supplement routine because they offer widespread benefits for healthy muscles, joints, skin, hair and more.
Benefits of Collagen for Men
Why is collagen good for men? Here are some of the many collagen benefits for men:
1. Supports joint health
Collagen helps to form joints, ligaments, tendons and cartilage, which means it greatly contributes to joint health, mobility and comfort. Consuming more collagen can help with exercise performance, recovery and general functionality, including as a man ages.
Among those who experience knee discomfort, consuming a collagen powder with specific ingredients has been shown to help reduce stiffness in as little as one week, plus it can decrease post-exercise discomfort and promote exercise recovery, which makes it easier to stay active.
2. Supports gut health, digestion and more
Collagen helps form the fascia that encases a number of organs, including the gut lining which contributes to overall health.
By supporting the overall health of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, it helps to maintain gut integrity. This is critical for both proper nutrient absorption, digestive health and more.
It can even play a role in supporting a healthy immune system. How come? Because the majority of a man’s immune system is actually located inside their gut, aka the gut microbiome that plays a pivotal role in health.
3. Promotes hair health and hair growth
Consuming protein and the amino acids found in collagen naturally encourages hair growth and thickness while reducing hair breakage.
4. Helps maintain healthy skin
Because the amino acids in collagen help to build and support healthy skin tissue, it’s beneficial for maintaining a healthy skin appearance. Supplementing with collagen that has certain ingredients (see our Multi Collagen Protein below) can improve the appearance of crow's feet around the eyes after about one month of use, and promote a generally healthy skin tone after about two months of use.
Best Collagen for Men
When picking out the best collagen for men, look for a supplement that features collagen peptides, also called hydrolyzed collagen. This type of collagen powder provides smaller and easier-to-digest amino acids that the body can put to work efficiently.
Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein supplements feature five types of collagen (types I, II, III, V and X from 4 food-sources: chicken, bovine, fish and eggshell membrane) in a hydrolyzed, bioavailable formula that supports absorption due to the positive effects of collagen fermentation. These non-GMO formulas are sourced from only grass-fed and pasture-raised, cage-free and cruelty-free sources, and are free of added sugar, additives and fillers.
Multi Collagen Protein comes in several flavors, including pure/unflavored, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry lemonade and cucumber lime. One scoop contains just over 10 grams of collagen and you can check the label for ingredients and benefits.
How to use collagen in your diet? Try using collagen powder by adding a serving to coffee, smoothies, soups, stews or a variety of other recipes, such as oatmeal or healthy pancakes. Because pure collagen powder is unflavored, there are loads of ways to easily add it to your regular diet, including in both sweet and savory recipes.
In addition to using a collagen supplement, you can obtain more from consuming bone broth, which is a viable source of collagen and gelatin (which is derived from collagen but has been broken down further).
Bone broth, and Bone Broth Protein powder supplements, are also beneficial for men due their supply of collagen cofactors which further support joint health, as well as certain minerals.
How much collagen should a man take?
A general dosage recommendation of collagen for men is 1 or 2 servings per day, or about 10 to 20 grams of collagen daily. Some men may want to work up to possibly taking 3 daily servings, depending on their overall diet and goals.
As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to starting any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including dietary supplementation.
Collagen powder serving sizes range from 1.5 grams to 10 grams per serving, depending on the form and type of product (for example powder versus capsules). For more help with dosing, read directions for the specific product you’re using.
Overall, collagen is very well-tolerated for most men to use, since it’s a protein source that’s made without dairy, gluten, nuts and more.
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat Dirt, Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine, Keto Diet, Collagen Diet and the just released Ancient Remedies.