The Best Men’s Health Supplements By Age Group

As young men grow older, their nutritional needs shift, and hormonal changes and lifestyle choices often make getting all their essential nutrients more and more challenging. In a perfect world, men should be able to fill all their micronutrient needs with what they eat. No vitamins or supplements needed. But in reality, a high percentage of men over the age of 20 prescribe to a typical western diet that is low in nutrient-dense foods, and the majority of them suffer from nutritional deficiencies. According to scientific findings published in 2014, 95% of the men in the United States over 19 years of age don’t meet their daily requirements for vitamin D, 61% lack magnesium, and 43% need more calcium. (1) These statistics show that even men that eat well-balanced diets may be missing out on essential nutrients.

Father holding his son on the beach

As you age, your relationship with food may change along with your body.

If you are a man trying to maximize your health and minimize the effects of aging later in life, it’s important to know how your nutritional needs evolve with every stage of life.

Hectic work schedules, high costs, and poor access to healthy, nutrient-dense snacks often make it difficult for men to get all their daily nutrients from just food.

Did you Know?
According to the CDC, men in the U.S. consume an average of 2,475 calories a day.

Luckily, studies have shown that supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals can help fill up nutritional gaps from a less-than-ideal diet. In honor of Men’s Health Awareness Month, we’ve mapped out the best men’s health supplements and common nutrient deficiencies by age group. (2)

Men in their adolescent & teen years (9-18 years old)

Before reaching peak bone mass around age 30, healthy adolescents and young adults absorb calcium and other minerals faster than they break down. After this, remineralization naturally slows down.

  • Focus on eating healthy calcium-rich foods, such as almonds, broccoli, kale, or figs. Teens should consume 1,300 mg of calcium daily. (3)
  • Consider supplementing Vitamin D during teen years, even if you have a nutrient-dense filled diet. Vitamin D is a relatively common deficiency among young men, and it is essential for helping the body absorb calcium to strengthen bones. (4)
  • As a teen, you should get at least 600 international units (IU) of Vitamin D daily. Before starting any vitamin D supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor or dietician about your individual needs and ask about testing your vitamin D levels. (5)
  • Are you getting enough potassium? Many fresh fruits and vegetables such as bananas and spinach are rich in potassium. Potassium helps you regulate the balance of fluids in the body and plays a vital role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. And having high blood pressure as a teen can impact later adult years. (6) Potassium supplementation has also been shown to help curb the risk of diabetes for young adults, particularly in higher-risk populations. (7)

male dribbling basketball in between his legs

Building up a ‘bone bank’ during adolescence helps prevent osteoporosis in later life.

Did You Know?
Calcium supplements are beneficial for boys who start taking it as early as eight years old. (8)

Men in their 20s

Chances are if you are a man in his 20s, you are either in school or working, which means you are combating stress, late nights, and probably have trouble making time for regular, nutritious meals.

  • Supplementing with B12 can help you cope with exhaustion by helping boost your body’s energy production.
  • Have you ever broken a bone? Because peak bone mass happens around age 30, it’s essential to keep up vitamin D intake as you did as a teen. Vitamin D is also critical at this age for immunity and hormonal support.
  • A little less calcium. Interestingly enough, guidelines say to lower calcium intake in your 20s from 1,300mg to 1,000mg. (9)
  • Are you on a diet? In 2010, researchers reviewed over 27 popular diet plans and found they all often lead to micronutrient deficiencies, but that taking a daily multivitamin supplement works well to fill nutritional voids.

Did You Know?
When you become deficient in key micronutrients you have a higher risk of developing debilitating health conditions and diseases later in life. (10)

Men in their 30s

If you are a man who finally turned the dreaded three-oh, you’ve probably realized there is some truth to feeling like you ‘peaked’ during your 20s. Most men begin to experience a gradual decline in testosterone after age 30. (11) Some of the most common complaints of men in their 30s include loss of interest in sex, unexplained weight gain, decreased stamina, lower energy levels, and muscle loss.

  • Make sure to get enough magnesium. Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation increases free and total testosterone levels (12), and lowers men’s risk of cardiovascular disease. (13)
  • Tone down the sodium intake! Studies show men in their thirties are the worst offenders for overdoing sodium intake. Men in their thirties consume an average of 4,700 milligrams of sodium on a daily basis, but the American heart association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams daily.
  • Bring on the Omega 3s for heart and brain health: According to data from a 2011-2012 Survey by the NIH, higher LC omega 3 levels in younger men are associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases later in life, including coronary heart disease. (14)

Did You Know?
Omega 3 fats have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of premature death for men. (15)

two pieces of salmon ready to be cooked on a table

Try having a fatty fish for dinner at least twice a week for a nice boost of omega-3s.

Men in their 40s

If you are a man in your forties, put even more focus on anti-inflammatory micronutrients, along with vitamins that can help fortify eye health.

  • How is your eyesight? One of the most common problems adults start to have in their 40s is trouble seeing clearly at close distances, especially when using computer screens often and other devices. This normal change in the eye’s focusing ability is called presbyopia, and it continues to progress over time. (16)
  • Make sure you are getting enough vitamin A and beta-carotene in your diet. Salmon, halibut, kale, spinach, and other dark green leafy vegetables, and orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots are excellent sources.
  • It is a good idea to continue taking magnesium into your 40s and beyond. On average, men consume only 80% of the recommended 400 mg of magnesium a day through food. (18)
  • And don’t forget about vitamin D. It’s almost next to impossible to get all the vitamin D you need from food in your 40s if you are eating a traditional western diet of processed and refined foods.
  • Are You Getting Enough Omega-3s? The American Heart Association recommends introducing a fatty fish to your diet at least twice a week for optimal health in your 40s. (19) You can also always get omega-3 fatty acids from a supplement such as a fish oil.

Did You Know?
A study found adults deficient in vitamin D are up to 80 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. (20)

man driving with glasses on

If you struggle reading in dim lighting or have trouble driving at night, it’s most likely age-related. (17)

Men in their 50s & 60s

Unforeseen health issues such as heart disease, arthritis, bone fractures, and vision problems often begin to manifest in men after they reach 50.

  • Calcium and Vitamin D are more important than ever. The daily requirement of calcium and Vitamin D increases for me at age 50. Both human and animal studies have shown how our gut’s calcium absorption begins to decline at 50. (21)
  • On any Rx Meds? There is also a chance prescription medications you take may affect your body’s ability to absorb calcium efficiently around this age. Be sure to discuss medications that you are on with a doctor and calcium supplementation.
  • Do you take a daily multivitamin? Studies have also shown multivitamins are especially beneficial for men older than 50. Ask your doctor about multivitamins for older adults. Not only do multivitamins help prevent conditions such as anemia, neural tube defects, and osteoporosis, but they may also be particularly beneficial for men regarding cancer prevention. (22)
  • Trouble sleeping? Right around the age of 65, you may notices changes in your sleep patterns, but studies suggest that supplementing with melatonin before bedtime can help you get better quality sleep. (23) Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking melatonin or long-term use.

Did You Know?
Magnesium deficiency is a common problem among adults who suffer from alcoholism. (24)

older man sleeping on a white couch

Studies show seniors tend to sleep lighter and for shorter spans, spending less time in REM sleep.

Men 71 years of age and beyond

Two large challenges of being a well-nourished man are the reduced need for calories and a loss of food appetite. This means when you are 71 or older, you need to get just as many nutrients, if not more, than your younger counterparts, but you require fewer calories and often never feel hungry. (25)

  • Up your Vitamin D and Calcium intake. When you hit 71, the National Institute of Health recommends increasing vitamin D intake from 600 to 800 IUs. Vitamin C recommendations also go up at 71 from 1,000 mg per day to 1,200 mg.
  • Consider a B12 supplement. As you reach your senior years, it becomes more difficult for your body to absorb B12. (26)
  • Antioxidants for ED. Rates of erectile dysfunction (ED) increase with age, and by 70, between 40 and 60 percent of men will experience ED symptoms. Luckily, studies have shown not smoking and eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help curb ED. (27)

pomegranate with seeds around the fruit

Studies have shown supplementing with pomegranate extract may also be an effective ED treatment option.

Important micronutrients for men’s health at any age

Though it’s tempting for anyone to eat fast and devour junk food every now and then, remember your health is reflected in what you choose to eat.

Trading sugary foods and refined carbs for high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help you feel more energetic.

Making smart food choices is crucial for optimizing men’s health at all ages. Studies have shown that a diet of nutrient-dense foods at various ages can lower a man’s risk of common male health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, prostate cancer, skin cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. (28)

The trouble is, the majority of men routinely eat poorly despite ‘knowing better’. Data from the International Food Council Foundation suggest that even though a majority of men are aware that shifts in their diet could be hugely beneficial to their health, less than half actually change the way they eat.

Talk to your doctor about supplementing your micronutrient needs

Remember that age really is just a number when it comes to supplementation. Your overall health, family history, stress levels, and risk of disease are more reliable measures of the possible effects of supplements than your current age.

It is always best to consult a doctor or dietician about your changing micronutrient needs to determine if supplementing is the best option for filling the nutritional holes you may have as an individual.

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