No one wants to buy overhyped supplements, but most of us have done it at one point or another. At best, they’re disappointing, and at worst, they’re a total waste of money.
You might be skeptical of a supplement like collagen peptides. Taking a look at that list of supposed benefits might make them seem too good to be true.
However, for the most part, they’re legit.
As a protein source, they offer a range of amino acids, including proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline — three aminos that you won’t find in abundance in other animal sources. They’ve also been the subject of numerous studies, with the peptide form showing excellent bioavailability.
Keep reading for detailed insights into how and why collagen peptides work, and how to use them for real results.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It plays a crucial role in the structure of your connective tissue, supporting your skin, hair, muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments.
What makes collagen a unique source of protein is its amino acid content. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and collagen contains particularly high levels of the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. In fact, these three amino acids make up around 57% of the amino acid content of collagen[*]. While you may find an abundance of amino acids in other animal sources, nothing compares to collagen for these three.
Why are proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline so important? In order to maintain your collagen stores in your body, you need enough of its building blocks to keep synthesis humming. This is why taking collagen supplements is so beneficial for maintaining your body’s collagen; there is just nothing else that can supply these amino acids in the same quantity[*][*].
Collagen peptides (also referred to as hydrolyzed collagen or collagen protein powder) are a supplemental form of collagen that’s been partially broken down. The benefit of taking collagen peptides is that they’re more easily absorbed during digestion, which gives you more bang for your collagen buck.
The result of collagen breakdown is the liberation of peptides, which are short chains of amino acids. Dipeptides and tripeptides (made of two or three amino acids, respectively) are absorbed readily and sent into your internal circulation to get to work supporting collagen production[*].
How exactly do collagen peptides work? Read on for some of the most compelling evidence behind the health benefits of collagen supplementation.
We crafted Perfect Keto collagen using research-backed type 1 and type 3 bovine collagen to ensure it supports your skin, joints, muscle, and bones. It’s also available on Amazon with thousands of customer reviews and free shipping or Prime delivery.
There’s no shortage of scientific literature focusing on the potential benefits of collagen supplementation. As you’ll learn below, the most compelling areas so far include collagen’s role in skin, joint, muscle, bone, gut, and nail health.
For Skin Hydration and Elasticity
One of the most popular uses for collagen supplements is for skincare, specifically anti-aging.
In one double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 72 women aged 35 or older either received 2.5 grams of collagen peptides or a placebo for 12 weeks. At the end of the 12-week period, the collagen group showed significantly improved skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density as compared to the placebo[*].
This trial shows that even moderate doses of collagen can produce significant changes in skin health in as little as three months.
The reason these findings are significant is because surprisingly few supplements or cosmetic products offer any real cosmetic benefits in studies, let alone effects of such magnitude.
In a systematic review of randomized, placebo-controlled trials, researchers noted two studies using a relatively low dose of 3 grams of collagen tripeptide daily for 4 to 12 weeks. The study outcomes showed notable improvement in skin elasticity and hydration with the tripeptides, with a takeaway that oral collagen supplementation supports skin elasticity, hydration, and dermal collagen density.
This review highlights the benefits of taking collagen in its peptide form for enhanced absorption and bioavailability, rendering significant outcomes in skin health[*].
For Joint Pain
Joint health can become a serious concern with both aging and overuse. Many athletes that are in otherwise perfect health find that they can’t perform optimally due to joint health issues from wear and tear.
Collagen plays a crucial role in the health of your joints, as it’s the primary component of your connective tissue.
In a 24-week study, researchers examined the benefits of collagen supplementation in athletes with activity-related joint pain. One hundred forty-seven athletes participated, with 73 receiving 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate and 74 receiving a placebo containing xanthan. At the end of the trial, five parameters show statistically significant changes with the collagen group, including:
- Joint pain at rest
- Joint pain while walking
- Joint pain while standing
- Joint pain while carrying objects
- Joint pain while lifting
As you can see, all of these improvements relate directly to an athlete’s ability to function in their sport and training regimen.
Furthermore, the difference between the placebo and collagen group was even more pronounced for those with knee arthralgia (knee pain)[*].
This trial shows that after six months of collagen supplementation, healthy athletes experiencing activity-related joint pain can make significant improvements in pain parameters.
In another study, researchers examined the impact of collagen supplementation on osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a common, but debilitating, degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage of your joints wears down. In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 191 volunteers were split into three groups and given either collagen, glucosamine chondroitin (another supplement associated with joint health), or a placebo.
After 180 days, the collagen group showed significantly greater improvements in pain, stiffness, and physical function when compared to both the placebo and the glucosamine chondroitin groups.
This trial highlights the benefits of collagen not only in relation to placebo but also to a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement[*].
For Muscle Mass
Research shows that collagen supplementation may support the growth and maintenance of muscle in aging populations as well as recreationally active folks.
In one study, a group of elderly men with sarcopenia (loss of skeletal muscle due to age) underwent a 12-week guided resistance training program and supplemented with either a placebo or collagen peptides. After the trial, the collagen group showed significant gains in both fat-free mass (muscle mass) and muscle strength compared to the placebo[*].
This trial highlights the potential benefits of collagen in age-related muscle loss, especially when combined with resistance training.
In another trial, 25 active men consumed either 15 grams of collagen peptides or a placebo for 12 weeks in conjunction with resistance training. While both groups experienced an increase in muscle mass, the collagen group showed significantly higher gains in both muscle mass and strength[*].
This trial shows that in addition to supporting muscle mass in the elderly, collagen peptides may also improve muscle growth and strength in healthy young people. However, collagen still isn’t backed by as much research for these purposes compared to whey protein, so your best bet for maximizing lean muscle is to take whey (or a combination of whey protein and collagen).
For Bone Density
Research suggests that collagen supplements can play a role in preserving bone density and strength as you age. Specifically in postmenopausal women, a population most vulnerable to bone loss.
In one study, a group of 131 postmenopausal women with low levels of bone mineral density were administered either 5 grams of collagen protein or a placebo for a 12-month trial. At the end of the trial, the collagen group showed improvement in bone mineral density, along with a favorable shift in bone markers, indicating increased bone formation and reduced bone degradation[*].
When bone mineral density gets too low, conditions like osteopenia and osteoporosis develop, which are marked by significant bone loss and frailty.
In another study, a group of 51 postmenopausal women with osteopenia were given calcium and vitamin D (two nutrients that are essential for bone health) in addition to either a placebo or 5 grams of collagen for a three-month period. At the end of the trial, the group receiving calcium, vitamin D, and collagen showed significantly reduced bone turnover — indicating a role for collagen in bone preservation[*].
For Nail Strength
Some people claim that collagen supplementation has supported the growth and strength of their nails. While research in this category isn’t abundant, there is indeed some evidence that collagen may enhance nail health, specifically by reducing brittleness.
In one study, 25 participants took collagen peptides for 24 weeks, followed by four weeks off to assess the impact of collagen on nail health. Upon assessment after the trial, researchers noted:
- 12% increase in nail growth rate
- 42% decrease in the frequency of broken nails
- 64% improvement in nail brittleness
Furthermore, 88% of participants experienced the benefits four weeks post-treatment, indicating a lasting effect of the supplementation[*].
There are a handful of other claims that you may hear about collagen that are still needing more research. These include:
For Gut Health
There is some promising evidence that collagen may support gut health, but this has only been shown in cell studies (in vitro models outside of living organisms). Clinical trials are still lacking.
Many people associate collagen supplements with thicker, shinier, more beautiful hair. But surprisingly, at this time, these claims are anecdotal in nature.
To date, there is no scientific evidence supporting the role of collagen supplementation in hair growth and strength. Although some research supports collagen’s role in fingernail health (which may be relevant since nails and hair are both made up of keratin), it’s too early to extrapolate that information out to hair.
Most collagen products come in either a pill or powder. To achieve the doses used in clinical trials and studies, the majority of people prefer to take collagen as a powder due to ease and the ability to get more collagen in at one time. Because most collagen capsules contain around 500 milligrams per pill, you would need to take up to 20 capsules to use the optimal dosage according to most studies.
Generally speaking, the research shows that a dosage range of 5 grams to 20 grams per day is enough to provide significant results. For most people, 10 grams per day is the sweet spot. While you may start to notice changes within the first few weeks of taking collagen, the most noticeable changes will likely begin after three months of supplementation.
If you’re opting for the powder form, you can add collagen to your smoothies, soups, oatmeal, or even just mix it into a glass of water. There are plenty of delicious collagen recipes out there, here are some examples:
Keto Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Check out the full recipe here.
Keto Cookies and Cream Shake
If you’re looking for a way to treat yourself without falling out of ketosis, this shake offers a dessert-like flavor with keto-friendly macros. The best part is that it only has four ingredients; Keto Vanilla Collagen, Perfect Keto Double Chocolate Cookies, keto ice cream, and unsweetened milk of choice.
Check out the recipe here.
Low-Carb Peppermint Mocha
For a little hit of caffeine with your morning collagen, this mocha recipe uses Perfect Keto Chocolate Collagen to sweeten your morning pick-me-up.
Check out the recipe here.
Cinnamon Dolce Latte Breakfast Smoothie
To make a meal out of your collagen and coffee routine, try this satisfying smoothie that includes Perfect Keto Collagen Powder and Perfect Keto MCT Oil for a boost in ketones along with your breakfast.
Check out the full recipe here.
Using collagen as a dietary supplement is a proven way to keep your body’s collagen levels robust. With an abundance of the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, collagen peptides are by far the most effective way to get these amino acids into your body.
For most people, the powder form of collagen is optimal as it allows you to get more collagen in at one time without taking dozens of pills. There are also plenty of collagen recipes you can play with to make collagen a regular part of your routine.
In general, the research suggests somewhere between 5 and 20 grams of collagen daily should be enough to start seeing noticeable results in as little as four weeks, with significant changes around the three to six months mark.
If you’re looking for the best collagen peptides, Perfect Keto collagen is a high-quality, grass-fed collagen supplement that contains research-backed type 1 and type 3 bovine collagen. You can also check it out on Amazon to read customer reviews and receive free shipping or Prime delivery.