March 01, 2019 6 min read

In this article

    Here at Amandean, where we obsess over collagen to a precision unknown to, well, anyone else we've met — and one of the subtle questions we deal with is: how many collagen scoops of collagen should you mix into your drink?

    The answer can be complex, starting with Bill Clinton-style "what is the definition of 'is'" type questions, but over the years, we've formulated a series of rules of thumbs that we're happy to share. Here they are.

    A formula based on one's personal requirements

    Before we jump in, keep in mind that we're structuring this as a very simple formula: based on each of your personal requirements: if you want X, then add 1 scoop, but if you want Y, remove one scoop, etc — so you may need a pen-and-paper or at least iPhone calculator to keep track of the addition and subtraction. Sometimes, adding one plus one can be complex — like I recently read a book that some people claim is the greatest book of the 20th century, called something like “1983” or "1984" and the space cadet author, George Someone, kept on insisting that 2 + 2 = 5 throughout the whole book. I'm sorry, George Someone, I got an A+ in Dr Cavallaro's AP math class and I am 100% sure that two plus two is four, even once we factor in the bizarre assumptions of quantum physics. C'mon, I can't believe what passes for literature these days. Pshah, kids!

    So, with your calculator in hand, here's our recommended way to figure out how many scoops you should take:

    1. Rule of thumb

    First, let's start out with the recommendation you just put one scoop of collagen into one cup of coffee or other beverage. (Like good logicians, we will question these assumptions later.) If you read no further, that's probably a good take-away and rule of thumb to remember. It's a good mid-point, average number for the average needs of the average health average person. If in your heart, you know you are really just an average guy or girl, then stop here!

    2. Training & exercises

    Second, if you exercise a lot, add in one scoop to the previous, starting number. (Try to follow along with the math worthy of AP calculus: 1 scoop plus 1 scoop is a total of…. 2 scoops.) Why should add a second scoop if you exercise? When you exercise, you need protein — and guess what collagen protein powder is? A protein! That's why they call it a "protein powder." (It's also a powder, in case that wasn't clear.) The reason to add in more protein, if you exercise a lot, is that extra protein helps your muscles recover faster, and also helps build lean muscle. Extra collagen taken right before or after your workout is best - but the timing of when to take your collagen is the subject of another formula, and probably another article.

    3. Eating habits

    Third, take a stab at estimating, or calculating, both how much protein you eat AND how much protein you want to be eating. Do you eat enough protein, or not quite and you need to eat more? Only you, and your nutritionist, dietitian, or doctor, can answer that question. (Alas, here at Amandean, we still don't have the ability to read anyone's mind.... yet. Stay tuned for some Collagen AI coming, one day!).

    So, if you think you eat on the high-side of your target protein intake, then remove one scoop from the running total. But if you think you eat on the low-side of your target protein intake, the add a scoop to the running total. And if you think you’re eating precisely your target protein intake, then don’t update the running total just yet.

    4. Results

    Fourth, determine how quickly you want to see results. Of course, collagen protein powder is not magic so if you eat an entire container it won't mystically make your skin perfectly smooth the following day. (Note to all those at home: do NOT eat a whole container of collagen protein powder in one sitting, under any circumstances! Even if you silly enough to think 2+2=5 — hi, George! — do not do this!). But, if you take, say, two scoops of collagen per day you will see results faster than if you were to take one-quarter of one-eighth of one teaspoon of collagen every third day. So, to simplify it: if you want to see results quicker, add one scoop to the current running total.

    5. #HealthIsWealth

    Fifth, look at your budget. If you think that it may be too expensive to buy lots of collagen all the time, then subtract one scoop. It may slow down when you see results, but it will last more calendar days. If, for example, you go from 3 scoops to 2 scoops, then your collagen container will last 50% more calendar days, assuming you take collagen every day. Of course here at Amandean we buy into the mantra that #HealthIsWealth so what better investment is there than your long-term health? Okay, there’s water. And shelter. And clothing so you’re not naked. And heat so you don’t freeze to death. And the core food essentials so you don’t die of starvation. But other than water, shelter, clothing to prevent nakedness, preventing freezing to death and preventing starving to death, what else do you need? Just #HealthIsWealth! (Yes, that is an allusion to a scene in one of my two favorite movies and you’re smart for having realized that!)

    6. Frequency

    Sixth, consider how often you take collagen. If you take it every day, then leave the running total unchanged. But if you take collagen every other day (or even less frequently than that), then add one scoop to your running total. This way, since you didn't have it for a while, you get a bigger bang!

    7. Coffees & drinks

    Seventh, how big is the drink you’re adding it to? Let’s say you’re mixing it in to coffee, the most common mixer for collagen protein powder — what to do if you drink one of those tiny Italian-style espressos that has about a sixteenth of an ounce of coffee? And while we’re at it, what’s up with those Italians who drink this coffee so fast (“espresso”... related to the English “express”... meant to be drunk fast!) in cups that are nano-sized for micromidgets. The memories I have of all my trips to Italy were all these Italians standing at standing cafes drinking coffee in tiny cups quickly like they’re shots of tequila in a spring break bar. And standing cafes? Only in Italia!

    But if you drink a tiny espresso and put in, say, three scoops of collagen — your “coffee” will be about 95% collagen powder and 5% coffee, so it will be less liquidy, more powdery, and quite a challenge to drink. So, if you are drinking a tiny drink, such as an eensie weensie espresso, we’d recommend chucking all the above math and just using one scoop total.

    8. Safe number

    Eighth, look at the running total, and see if the total number of collagen scoops is greater than three. If it is, then before pouring it into your drink, consult your doctor or nutritionist and, until you consult them, keep the maximum number at three. I personally put in four scoops, but I'm not your average guy and I have the full support of my doctor but do not do that just because I happen to do so, I beg you. In the pseudo-code that software developers plan out software in:


    ((RunningSubtotal >= 4) and (DoctorConsulted == False))


    (RunningSubtotal = 3)

    9. Collagen stick packs

    Ninth, are you using one of our collagen travel packs? In which case, ignore all the above and just mix in one packet into your drink. Each packet contains 1g more of protein than your average scoop does, so no need to try to remember calculus to calculate how much to put in. No more, and no less, and the Paradox of Choice is averted.

    10. Hot & cold

    Tenth, are you adding collagen into a hot drink or a cold drink? Well guess what? Collagen peptides are soluble in both so it doesn't change the calculation, so stick with the same number. RunningSubtotal = RunningSubtotal.

    So what number did you come up with?

    That's the precise amount we recommend putting into your coffee. Mathematically calculated!

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