Is Collagen Keto-Friendly?

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Collagen is one of the most popular supplements nowadays. 

It is a high-quality protein that has all the essential amino acids the body needs. 

It is one of the main components of the skin. As you age, you lose a percentage of your natural collagen. This makes your skin look less hydrated and more wrinkled. 

It is also present in your joints. As your natural supply of the protein decreases, this can also affect your joint health. 

To get all the health benefits of this nutrient, you can add it to your diet by eating certain foods or by taking supplements

However, you might wonder if it’s keto-friendly. 

In this article, you’ll learn everything related to collagen on keto. 


What is collagen?

It is a type of protein found in connective tissues, skin, tendons, bones, and cartilage. 
There are over 28 types in the human body. However, four types are the most common:

  • Type I - Found in all connective tissue (the most common).
  • Type II - Found in joint and intervertebral discs. 
  • Type III - Found in skin and blood vessels. 
  • Type IV - Found in the kidneys, eyes, and ears. 

This nutrient is present in natural sources like gelatin, bone broth, organ meats, and the connective tissue of animal proteins (chicken, fish, beef, and pork). 

You can also take it as a supplement, in the form of a powder, pills, or gummies. 

These products are sometimes called collagen peptides, and they can be an easier way to consume this nutrient if you aren't getting enough through natural food sources. 


Collagen supplement nutrition facts

Now let’s go into more detail about the nutritional facts. 

Does collagen have calories? Does it count as protein or carbs?

Keep in mind that the exact nutritional values of each supplement might vary from brand to brand. 

Serving size: 1 scoop (14 g)

  • Calories: 50 kcal
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Net carbs: 0 g
  • Total carbs: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 12 g

As you can see, it contains only protein and calories. You don’t get any fats or carbs from it. 

This makes it ideal to include when following a ketogenic diet since it can help you reach your daily protein requirements. 




Is collagen good for keto?

Yes, it is a keto-friendly option. It is completely carb-free (depending on the brand, so check the label), and it can make it easier to reach your protein requirements. It does not contain fat.

Also, it may help improve joint health and provide you with better-looking skin. 

However, there is still more research that needs to be done to find the long-term benefits of taking this type of supplement. 


Keto collagen benefits

There are many reasons to take this on keto or any other diet. Here is a list of some of the benefits you might get: 

  • Better skin1
  • Healthy hair and nails2
  • Reduced joint pain3
  • Muscle growth and recovery4 
  • Increased bone strength5 
  • It can promote good heart health6


Keto collagen side effects

There are not a lot of side effects to be worried about. However, like any other supplement, there are some that can arise. 

The majority of them are related to digestion. Consuming this supplement may increase the risk of digestive issues like stomach cramps, bloating, constipation, gas, and diarrhea. 

If you are prone to stomach problems, start with small amounts. Instead of having one whole scoop, start with one quarter and build it up until you reach the complete scoop (or scoops). 


Types of keto collagen

You can consume it from natural sources like bone broth, gelatin, or animal connective tissues. 

There are some things you need to consider before adding these foods to your ketogenic diet. 

  • Bone broth. Check that it is low in sodium. It should have less than 150 mg of sodium per serving. Watch your servings if it is high in sodium. 
  • Gelatin. If you are consuming sweetened gelatin, ensure it’s sugar-free to prevent it from affecting your ketosis levels. 
  • Animal tissues. Sardines are high in collagen and can also increase your daily protein intake. 

If you find it very hard to include food sources of this nutrient, you can opt for a supplement. 

Remember that you can take it in pill, gummies, or powder form. Just be sure to read the nutrition label to check for any carbs. 

Here are some brands of collagen that are keto-friendly:




What can you eat with keto collagen protein powder?

One of the easiest ways to have it is to pour some in your morning coffee. However, there are other ways to have it that can add some variety in your diet. 

Since it doesn’t have any fat, be sure to balance the meal by adding healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, or olive oil. 

Here are some options you can try adding keto collagen peptides to:

  • Avocado smoothie: avocado, almond milk, vanilla, and stevia 
  • Blueberry smoothie: blueberries, coconut milk, and stevia
  • Parfait: Greek yogurt, raspberries, and chia seeds

Any way you decide to include it, make sure you measure the portion size of each ingredient to stay within your daily portions. 

Did you know that Vitamin C can help increase natural collagen production in your body

In addition to supplements, make sure you are eating keto-friendly foods high in vitamin C, like lemons, limes, red bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes. 


FAQ about collagen on a keto diet

If you still have questions related to this topic, here you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions. 

It does not contain any carbs, so it might not break a fast if you’re combining keto and intermittent fasting. However, protein can convert to glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. So, if you are looking to maintain your keto fast, a better option might be coconut oil, MCT oil, or ghee. 

Yes, people with diabetes can benefit from taking this supplement. It can help provide protein, which helps support muscle mass, prevent joint pain, and regulate blood sugar levels.

Yes, you can mix it with protein powder. However, collagen powder already contains protein, so it may not be necessary to mix the two. 

Protein can convert into glucose, which can affect ketosis levels. For that reason, make sure you control your protein intake. 

Yes, they are both keto-friendly options that won’t affect your ketosis levels. Having it before a workout can provide you with an energy boost to have an arduous training session. 

Yes, mixing these together can help increase consistency with these supplements. Both work when you take them regularly. So, if you have a hard time remembering to take them on their own, you can always take them together. 

It might stay in your system for up to 24 hours. However, this can depend on your digestive system and speed. Some people have a faster digestive system than others. 



1. Quan T, Fisher GJ. Role of Age-Associated Alterations of the Dermal Extracellular Matrix Microenvironment in Human Skin Aging: A Mini-Review. Gerontology. 2015;61(5):427-434. doi:10.1159/000371708.  

2. Hexsel D, Zague V, Schunck M, Siega C, Camozzato FO, Oesser S. Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017;16(4):520-526. doi:10.1111/jocd.12393  

3. García-Coronado JM, Martínez-Olvera L, Elizondo-Omaña RE, et al. Effect of collagen supplementation on osteoarthritis symptoms: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Int Orthop. 2019;43(3):531-538. doi:10.1007/s00264-018-4211-5  

4. Zdzieblik D, Oesser S, Baumstark MW, Gollhofer A, König D. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28;114(8):1237-45. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515002810. Epub 2015 Sep 10. PMID: 26353786; PMCID: PMC4594048.  

5. Elam ML, Johnson SA, Hooshmand S, et al. A calcium-collagen chelate dietary supplement attenuates bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteopenia: a randomized controlled trial. J Med Food. 2015;18(3):324-331. doi:10.1089/jmf.2014.0100  

6. Tomosugi N, Yamamoto S, Takeuchi M, Yonekura H, Ishigaki Y, Numata N, Katsuda S, Sakai Y. Effect of Collagen Tripeptide on Atherosclerosis in Healthy Humans. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2017 May 1;24(5):530-538. doi: 10.5551/jat.36293. Epub 2016 Oct 6. PMID: 27725401; PMCID: PMC5429168.