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If you are trying to get healthy, you should take a look at some of these supplements for men. Most guys are busy. Between family responsibilities, work obligations, career maneuvers, a social life, hobbies, and leisure activities, there often remains little time to think about health in general or diet in particular. For many men, a multivitamin is their sole supplement, and their only experience with changing their supplement regimen was graduating from Flintstones chewables to Centrum. Beyond lies the great unknown.
On top of all that, the sheer number of products out there vying for your attention can induce a sort of choice-paralysis. Even a valiant attempt to wade through the volume of available information can often bring more confusion than clarity. How do you sift through all the options to find the primary supplements you should try? Many of these products do contain nutrients essential to physical health and well-being. But, unless you have a specific genetic deficiency or disorder, you are probably getting sufficient quantities of most vitamins and minerals in your normal diet. Some supplements can be especially helpful when you are sick and need to boost your immune system. However, they provide no significant additional benefit during times of good health. Once you clear away all the noise, you are left with seven supplements that men should try.
Supplements for Men: Benefits
A cautionary reminder is appropriate. Supplements are not magic elixirs to prevent the inevitable consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle. They are a “supplement” not a substitute for a healthy whole-foods diet. You will get more optimum nutrition from eating fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome foods than you will ever get from supplements alone.
Sadly, the reality is that we live in a fast-paced society with quick and easy food choices that are usually void of nutrients and often detrimental to our health. Our modern lifestyle tends to cause nutritional gaps in many men. Though we can (and should) get most of the vitamins and minerals we need through a healthy diet and a daily multivitamin/multimineral supplement, there are areas of nutrition where men may be lacking and would derive great benefits by adding certain supplements to their regimen.
What About Cost
The supplements for men you should try have a wide range of prices. Generally, supplements cost between $5 and $100. The differentiating factors are the quality of the product, how large a quantity you buy, and even the brand name. The good news is that there are supplement options available for most anyone, regardless of their budget. Plus, they are usually available in the places you already shop.
Seven of the Most Important Supplements for Men
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin because the human skin begins to produce it when exposed to the sun. Maintaining bone health is the primary role of Vitamin D, but it also helps with regulating insulin levels, lowering blood pressure, and supporting the immune system.
Many men work indoors during the day, and even spend much of their time after work inside. This lack of exposure to the sun causes many men to be deficient in Vitamin D. The heavy (yet necessary) use of sunscreen while outdoors also reduces the body’s ability to synthesize the vitamin. Though exact percentages can vary, most research indicates that a majority of North Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency. All this points to the necessity of men supplementing their diet with vitamin D.
When choosing you vitamin D supplement, vitamin D3 is the preferred form as this is an identical form to what your body manufactures naturally. The recommended daily dosage is 600-1000 IU. Unless you spend a lot of time in the sun, this is a supplement you should add to your regimen. You can buy vitamin D supplements for $5 to $30. Retailers like Target, GNC, and Amazon sell the supplements.
Probiotics are next on our list of key supplements for men. They are the naturally occuring, good bacteria that optimize your gut health. They provide a wide range of health benefits. Probiotics not only improve digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, but they also boost immune function by battling hostile bacteria and infection. Some of these good bacteria can play a role in heart health, reducing allergies, and weight loss. Following an intense dose of antibiotics, a health professional often prescribes probiotics to help rebalance the intestinal flora.
We can get some probiotics from fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, cottage cheese, and apple cider vinegar. Asian food such as kimchi and miso are also rich in probiotics. Unfortunately, most men probably don’t eat enough of these microorganisms to get the amount and variety of probiotics needed for optimal gut health.
A great way to supplement these good bacteria into your diet is through fermented drinks such as kombucha and kefir, which have incredibly high amounts of probiotics. You can also purchase probiotics in liquid, capsules, and powder form. Some of these are a particular microorganism to address a specific health concern. Others contain a variety of bacterial strains for a more all-encompassing benefit. Recommended dosage can range between 1-100 billion colony forming units (CFU) per day, depending on the microorganism. Your cost for probiotics will run from $10 to $50. It’s easy to purchase the capsules and powder online from Amazon or GNC, but it’s best to purchase the liquid in-store or at your local health food grocer.
Fish oil is the fat extracted from the tissue of oily fish such as mackerel, anchovies, tuna, and herring. This oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, primarily eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). From this inconspicuous source arises a multitude of wellness benefits. Fish oil promotes heart health by raising HDL cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, lowering blood pressure, and preventing plaque build-up on arterial walls. These omega-3 fatty acids also support eye health, reduce inflammation, prevent symptoms of cognitive decline. Researchers have linked skin and bone health to fish oil.
Unless you eat seafood regularly, a fish oil supplement should be on your radar. Getting the right product is very important when you are looking for a fish oil supplement. Make sure it comes in triglyceride (TG), free fatty acid (FFA), or phospholipid (PL) form, instead of ethyl ester (EE) which does not absorb in the body well. Also make sure it contains EPA and DHA, the best omega-3 fatty acids primarily. It’s always a good idea to ensure the product is third-party tested, so you get a pure supplement. The recommended dosage is 300 to 1,000 mg and is ideally taken with a meal to enhance absorption. A fish oil supplement typically sells for $5 to $50 and is available at Amazon, GNC, and Walmart.
Saw palmetto extract, taken from the berries of the saw palmetto palm tree, was eaten by Native Americans to treat urinary and reproductive problems, as well as indigestion, cough, and insomnia. Today it is primarily used to improve prostate health and increase testosterone. By improving prostate health, saw palmetto might also reduce the risk of prostate cancer. The increased testosterone levels can boost sexual performance, heighten virility, and help build muscle mass. Some people claim that saw palmetto had enhanced their immune system.
Since prostate health is a common concern today among men, adding saw palmetto to your supplement regimen is a no-brainer. When purchasing, make sure the extracts are 80 to 90 percent fatty acids and sterols. A typical dosage is 160mg twice a day. Saw palmetto is available at Amazon, GNC, and Walmart. It costs anywhere from $5 to $40.
Similar to vitamin D, a majority of the U.S. population fails to consume their daily recommended intake of magnesium. Magnesium is a vital mineral that is part of hundreds of biochemical reactions within your body, including energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movements, and nervous system regulation. This incredible mineral reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and regulates insulin. Magnesium is also utilized to combat depression and prevent migraines.
If your diet is rich in nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, and quinoa, you are probably getting plenty of magnesium. If not, you should consider a supplement. The forms that absorb well into the body are magnesium citrate, glycinate, orotate, and carbonate. A high-quality supplement will include these. The optimal dosage for a man is 400 to 420 mg. If you suffer from constant migraines, this might be just what you need. Expect to pay $5 to $80 for your magnesium. It’s available at Amazon, GNC, and Target.
Over the last few years, green superfoods have increased in popularity. Many of these greens are foods that we should be getting in our diet naturally, such as kale, spinach, chard, and broccoli. Other greens, such as barley grass, wheat grass, alfalfa, spirulina, and chlorella, are not usually a part of the typical American diet. These green superfoods contain phytonutrients which are necessary for sustaining human life, preventing disease, and promoting overall wellness. Additional benefits found in these greens is fiber and digestive enzymes.
Most men do not eat enough greens, even those that may be readily available like spinach and broccoli. We also tend to have a diet that is low in fiber. When the balance of the good bacteria vs. harmful bacteria is upset, green superfoods can help our bodies reset. Consuming more green leafy vegetable is likely necessary for most men, but a green superfoods supplement helps fill in the gaps.
You can purchase green superfoods in a liquid drink, powder, and capsule form. A powder is by far the most popular since you can add it to juices, smoothies, and other beverages. Some prefer capsules because of the convenience. There is no standardized dosage, but each product has their recommendations on the label. These green superfoods run the gamut from $15 to $70. You can purchase the powder and capsules online at Amazon and GNC, but the liquid drinks are best to get in- store at your local health food store.
Last on our list of supplements for men is creatine. Typically associated with athletes or extreme fitness buffs, creatine is actually a beneficial supplement for most men. As an amino acid, creatine supplies energy for muscle contraction. When used as a supplement alongside exercise, it increases muscle energy, performance, and growth. But, that’s not the end of its benefits. Creatine boosts brain function, and some studies have shown that it can combat neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Since most men should be exercising regularly, taking a creatine supplement enhances those muscular benefits. The improvement and protection of cognitive abilities is also a big plus. You naturally ingest creatine through the meat you consume. Unfortunately, domestic meat is low in creatine. Unless you regularly eat wild game, a creatine supplement is a way to go. You can usually buy it in powder form, and the recommended dosage is 4 to 12 grams per day, depending on body weight. The cost of creatine ranges from $5 to $85 and can be purchased at Amazon, GNC, and Walmart.
Some men question whether it is safe to take, but creatine is actually one of the most researched supplements out there. All evidence points to a safe and helpful product for an active man to include in his supplement regimen.
Supplements for Men: Beyond Vitamins
It’s time to move beyond the daily multivitamin. Filling your tank with gas is a necessary part of driving a car, but plenty of other vehicle maintenance and care is also recommended if you want your car to remain sleek, run smooth, and continue as a reliable source of transportation. Your body is no different. Keep eating that healthy whole-foods diet and popping that daily multivitamin. But, if you want your body to stay beautiful, fit, and running optimally, these are the seven supplements for men you should consider trying.
As long as we remember their purpose and don’t rely on them to miraculously counteract poor lifestyle choices, we can add supplements to our diet and see improvements in our overall health. This guide can help men navigate the world of supplements and make good decisions about their diet and health. Please consider trying each of these seven supplements and see what improvements you notice in your daily performance and well-being.
Tell us your favorite in the comments below, or let us know any other supplements for men you recommend.