Type II collagen (often written as type 2 collagen) has created a lot of talk in recent years.
Study after study has underscored its efficacy in treating osteoarthritis and typical joint pain. And that’s no surprise! As we’ll dive into soon, type 2 collagen is responsible for our joint cartilage and can even help repair damaged cartilage and restore some mobility!
Don’t rush to the store quite yet! It’s important to know where type 2 collagen comes from before taking it—kind of like advice! I’ll also resume referring to it as type II collagen, as is common among researchers and top manufacturers of any collagen type.
What Is Type II Collagen?
Like all collagen types, type II collagen is a protein that comprises the bulk of connective tissue in both humans and animals! It’s essential for optimum health and joint integrity.
A big reason for this is that it’s a major component in our cartilage. In fact, type II is the collagen type that comprises 50% of the cartilage in our bodies and 85-90% of joint, or articular, cartilage.  It’s even the basis for hyaline cartilage, a pearl-gray glasslike cartilage found on the surface of joints, as well as our ribs, nose, trachea, and larynx. (Admittedly, I had to look that last one up; it’s the muscular organ that holds our vocal cords!)
But you may know type II collagen as chicken collagen.
Sources Of Type II Collagen
That’s right! One primary source of type II collagen is chickens. This is why you’ll sometimes see it referred to as chicken collagen.
Chicken skin and chicken bones can be boiled down into a broth, or stock. Now gelatin, it can be cooked down and further refined to make collagen peptides, the most refined and most nutritious form of collagen.
Making your own chicken collagen is possible, but creating it in a homemade broth is expensive, time consuming, and doesn’t guarantee you get your chicken collagen in peptide form. That’s because collagen peptides are created via a process known as hydrolysis, which can only be achieved by cooking collagen, whether in meat skin or bones, for extended periods so that the amino acids break down into a highly digestible form. As such, making chicken collagen from bone broth (and certainly purchasing it as bone broth collagen) is unlikely to provide the results you’re looking for. 
Another source of type II collagen is… drumroll please 🥁… YOU! That’s right, as I mentioned earlier, your body produces this unique and important collagen type all on it’s own. But, because our bodies stop producing collagen around age 25, it’s important to replenish it with vitamin C and collagen supplements. Vitamin C helps stimulate collagen synthesis , and collagen supplements provide highly concentrated, high-quality collagen directly back into our bodies to help us stay youthful and pain free!
Though type II collagen can come from cows, the most common source of type II collagen in supplements is chickens.
Health Benefits Of Type II Collagen
“Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.” – Mary Schmit, popularized by Baz Luhrmann in “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”
Whether you want to dance the funky chicken on your 75th anniversary, hit your 10,000 steps, or just make it through the day pain free, you’re going to want your knees in good shape. And all your other joints, for that matter. And that’s where chicken collagen comes in.
1. Protects against osteoarthritis
Articular cartilage plays a significant role in joint mobility. Osteoarthritis, a debilitating disorder, is caused when cartilage breaks down, causing the joint bones to rub painfully against each other. Type II collagen has been shown in studies to support the cartilage in your joints, effectively protecting them from osteoarthritis and allowing you to live a better life with less pain and more mobility.  This is thanks to the prevalence of chondroitin and glucosamine in chicken collagen.
There’s even evidence to suggest that collagen type II may be beneficial in treating rheumatoid arthritis when orally ingested. 
2. Builds strong, lean muscles
Collagen is a protein, and the most prevalent one in our bodies, at that! While we primarily associate it with improved mobility, skin and hair texture, and gut health, it is also a great way to develop healthy muscles. A 2019 study showed that collagen can help increase muscle mass among recreationally active men. 
Not a man? Not into building muscle mass? No worries! Just because collagen is protein and can be used to build muscle mass, you’re not going to turn into Arnold. With a slim-and-trim fitness routine, collagen can help you build lean muscle that helps you tone up without bulking up.
3. Decreases non-pathological joint pain
Because of its ability to reduce inflammation, chicken collagen has been shown to help reduce non-pathological joint pain when exercising. Non-pathological joint pain refers to pain that’s not caused by illness, such as arthritis. Subjects who typically experienced joint pain during physical activity reported that they could exercise for longer without pain after taking type II collagen regularly. Additionally, the speed of recovery after exercising decreased. 
4. Assists in weight loss
The fact is, our collagen levels are on the decline and there’s little we can do about it—except supplementation! So, it’s safe to say that, even if you don’t have joint issues, a little collagen here and there won’t hurt (in fact, I found zero studies reporting negative side effects of collagen).
But because of its comparatively high protein content and very low calorie count, a tasty collagen powder can work perfectly as a healthy between-meal snack, helping you resist the urge to give into those break room donuts. (I know! It’s so nice of Colline to bring them, but seriously… Why tempt us? Why even do that?!)
How To Use Type II Collagen
While there aren’t necessarily right and wrong ways to take collagen, there are more optimum ways of getting your supply of type II collagen.
The most common way to take any collagen type is in a powdered supplement. Compared to the pre-infused collagen waters out there, collagen powder is far more effective, and WAY more affordable!
Aim to take collagen every day to maintain high levels of collagen in your body. Also, try getting creative. You don’t just have to add it to water or coffee, you can enhance your smoothies with collagen, add it to baked goods, or even make hearty meals like pizza and chili. Just keep in mind that if you’re cooking with collagen, you’ll need a high-quality collagen peptide that can withstand heat. And honestly, you should just opt for high-quality collagen as a general rule anyway.
How much collagen should I take?
Efficacy can have a lot to do with dose. When it comes to collagen, you need to go by needs and goals. If you’re just taking collagen for general health, one scoop or so should do you just fine. If you’re looking to use collagen as a weight loss aid, aim to use two scoops so that you get enough energy to stave off cravings and enough protein to help support your workouts. If you have access to other collagens, such as I, III, or V, two scoops will also help with hair, skin and nail growth, or gut and digestive health, depending on the collagen type.
When should I take collagen?
Truthfully, there’s no “best time” to take collagen. But personally, I put it in my morning smoothie or coffee, into my protein shake after workouts, and often throw a scoop into water or almond milk as a healthy snack—instead of nom-ing on Colline’s donuts. (Now, maybe if she made these three-ingredient protein donuts, it’d be a different story. 🤤)
Best Type II Collagen
Great! Time to buy a good collagen. Just a quick, Google search and… Wow, there are a lot of choices! 😱
Relax, not all collagen powders are made equally, and choosing the right collagen type and source can help you tremendously with your goals.
My personal recommendation, and the collagen I’ve been taking daily for seven months now is SkinnyFit’s Super Youth Collagen. After trying numerous other types of collagen powders for joint issues, I sampled Super Youth and haven’t looked back (and have even started writing for their blog! 😊) Here’s why I haven’t looked back:
- Best hydrolyzed collagen on the market—Super Youth collagen uses the highest quality of hydrolyzed collagen peptides. Not only does this make the amino acids easier to absorb, but it means it can withstand the heat of coffee of cooking.
- It works!— After only a few months, my knees and hip started to feel much better. I take an aggressive three scoops per day to help handle the pain.
- Contains five types of collagen—Unlike every other collagen type I tried previously, Super Youth has five different types of collagen. So even though I started taking it because of high-quality type II collagen, I’ve been able to reap the benefits of collagen types I, III, V, and X as well!
- Also, to be quite frank—it tastes awesome! No other collagen comes in the delicious flavors as Super Youth, and I’ve found it helps me drink more water throughout the day and add heaps of flavor to things like smoothies, without adding heaps of calories or other ingredients I may not be looking for.
Whether you’re trying to get type II collagen or another collagen type, Super Youth is certainly going to be your best bet when it comes to hitting your goals for health and whole-body wellness.
Mentioned In This Post
SkinnyFit Unflavored Collagen
Look and feel younger with Super Youth Multi-Collagen Peptides! This versatile collagen powder includes 5 collagen types from 4 natural sources to restore youthfulness from the inside out.