Even if you eat the perfect diet, it can be difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals recommended for long term health. Read on to learn about important vitamins and supplements men of any age should consider.
American men consume more calories than are needed for survival: according to the US Center for Disease Control, men put away a whopping 2,475 calories per day on average. That being the case, you would think men would also be getting enough essential vitamins and nutrients to support great health.
Due to genetics, location, food availability, and lifestyle, everyone has unique nutritional needs. For instance, if a person consumes a lot of leafy greens, they might have adequate potassium levels. But if that same person rarely gets any direct sunlight, he could be lacking in vitamin D.
There are other factors that help determine what nutritional supplementation you might need, such as family history, activity level, and stress levels. In addition, variables like alcohol intake, caffeine consumption, and even travel can play a role. For example, those that consume alcohol in excess are at particularly high risk of having B vitamin deficiencies.
There are thousands of products on the market, but we’ve done the exhaustive research to identify the five key supplements that can help men address common deficiencies, and the highest priorities. If you want to look, feel, and perform your best, these supplements are worth checking out.
It’s very common for Americans to be deficient in vitamin D — a 2009 article in Scientific American noted that over 75% of American teens and adults don't get recommended levels. Why is that a big deal?
For one thing, vitamin D may boost healthy testosterone levels in men. Further research is still needed, but this suggests that a lack of vitamin D could be a cause for low testosterone. Because low testosterone makes men prone to a variety of health issues, such as sleep, energy, metabolism, and sexual challenges, maintaining proper vitamin D levels may be a critical part of men’s health.
Low vitamin D also supports heart health and bone health. This is especially essential for older men, who may generally be more prone to challenges with nutrient absorption.
Magnesium is a mineral that is important for many bodily functions. It is critical for muscle function, protein synthesis, nerve function, and more.
As with vitamin D, you might be surprised to learn that people don't get enough of this essential mineral. According to the USDA, over 50% of the US population does not meet the recommended daily intake of magnesium.
One way to up your magnesium intake is to consume more foods that are high in magnesium, such as spinach, almonds, black beans, and bananas.
On top of increasing your consumption of magnesium-rich foods, supplementation may also be important. Research indicates that magnesium supplementation can support blood levels of testosterone, especially when coupled with exercise in healthy men. Another study found that those who took magnesium supplements supported muscular health.
Make sure to get the recommended dose of magnesium to promote strength, sexual health, and your all around well-being. According to the National Institute of Health, it is recommended that men who are 19-30 years old consume 400 mg of magnesium daily, while men aged 31 years old or more should aim for 420 mg. When supplementing with magnesium, the dose for adults should not exceed 350 mg unless prescribed by a doctor.
Fun fact: Although we call Astaxanthin the “Coral King” it is actually sourced from Himalayan water fed algae, not coral.
Astaxanthin is a powerful carotenoid with antioxidant properties and has a vibrant pinkish-red (coral) hue responsible for the color in foods like crabs, lobster, salmon, and shrimp. Astaxanthin has several beneficial properties as it supports the brain, heart, skin, and eyes. This antioxidant can also support athletic performance and recovery. Studies done on athletes have shown that astaxanthin can manage oxidative stress. Oxidative stress happens when there are more free radicals than antioxidants in the body. In this study, participants were given 6 mg of astaxanthin after eating high fat milkshakes (to induce oxidative stress) over a 4 week period and the levels of oxidative stress were lower in the 4 week period that the. Another study done over a 4 week period of training also noted higher levels of an antioxidant in blood samples of those who supplemented with 6mg of astaxanthin in comparison to those who got a placebo.
Omega-3’s are polyunsaturated fatty acids renowned for numerous potential health benefits. They have been shown to help support cardiovascular health, joint health, and more. If that’s not enough, they have also been shown to help support brain health.
Omega-3’s are important because consuming them helps people maintain the proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Most men consume far more of the omega-6 fatty acids —from foods such as refined vegetable oils — which can be unhealthy in high amounts. Men should aim to consume these fats in a more balanced ratio, meaning a greater intake of omega 3’s and cutting down on so many omega-6’s. Often, men consume up to 15 times more omega-6’s than omega-3’s.
Omega-3’s are famously found in fish, but they are also present in high amounts in foods such as flaxseeds, sardines, and walnuts. The American Heart Association recommends consuming fatty fish at least twice a week. If you aren’t getting enough omega-3’s from your diet, then you can get a powerful boost through supplementation with fish oil. Fish oil is rich in omega-3’s, and it’s recommended to supplement with at least 1.6 g/day if you do not get enough omega-3’s in your diet.
Keep in mind that not all fish oils are created equal. The integrity of the oils are impacted by how well preserved they are, so make sure you are sourcing your supplements from high quality suppliers.
Caution when taking fish oil with other medication such as blood thinners. You should always discuss supplementation with your medical team.
Many folks might find a multivitamin that targets common nutritional deficiencies to have everything you need in one convenient supplement. Getting the proper macronutrients like protein, fat, and carbs is just as important as getting the right vitamins and minerals. The typical diet may not always have the perfect amount of fruit and veggies so adding in a multivitamin can serve as the foundation to work on optimal health.
Probiotics are naturally found in the gut and promoted for their digestive supporting properties. There are thousands of probiotic strains out there and different potential benefits associated with each one. Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, and Saccharomyces are some of the most common and well researched strains. If you want to support your digestive health and immune function, you may also want to consider a probiotic. Probiotics can be found in certain foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and much more. If you don’t normally eat probiotic rich foods, then you may want to consider a supplement.
Men who want to maintain good health should exercise regularly, maintain proper hydration and sleep, and eat a varied diet rich in nutrient-dense foods (that includes wild-caught seafood or an omega-3 supplement). Sometimes that is easier said than done. Stress, quick and convenient food choices, and lack of physical activity can all cause men to become deficient in certain nutrients.
We are all unique, so it’s critical to find out which of these supplements will work best for you. This convenient online survey can help determine what you might be lacking nutritionally, and provide a personalized daily vitamin regimen.
Increasing the intake of vitamin D, magnesium, astaxanthin, omega-3’s, and introducing a multivitamin may help support energy, promote sexual health, and generally support men's health.