As we all know, diet and nutrition both play important roles in one’s health. Obtaining adequate vitamins and minerals has profound effects on your mental and physical performance, happiness, and appearance. Everyone needs to work hard at eating healthy, but men in particular have unique dietary needs that are not always met through their diets. Sometimes supplements can be used to help ensure that your body’s micronutrient needs are met on a daily basis no matter what.
Supplements can also be used as tools to improve, as well as maintain, certain aspects of a man’s health. They can sometimes be used to improve athletic performance and enhance the effects of working out. They may help support musculoskeletal health, circulatory health, digestive health, immune system health, and much more.
How Supplements May Help Men
There are all sorts of different supplements that provide a myriad of benefits. Some supplements are particularly beneficial to a man’s health. Supplements may target and enhance certain aspects of a man’s health, and some may provide overarching health benefits.
It is important to learn about the different supplements available to you in order to make an educated health decision on which would benefit you.
Common Health Issues Men May Experience
Men have unique diet and nutritional needs that are not always met on a daily basis, and sometimes supplements can help to address this. Studies show that this issue is more prevalent in men than in women, and results in more health problems. Men die at higher rates than women from the top ten causes of death, and many of these issues are related to diet and nutrition.
Just by being a man, you are at a statistically higher risk for stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, suicide, and more.
Here is a list of health problems that men more commonly suffer from:
Heart Disease – Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States? According to the CDC, one fourth of the male deaths in the US in 2013 were due to heart disease. Prevalent risk factors include high levels of LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking.
Stroke – Men are at a higher risk of having a stroke later in life than women. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in men in the US, according to the CDC. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is restricted and brain cells die due to lack of oxygen. This results in symptoms such as slowed speech, loss of balance, paralysis, confusion, and more.
Depression – More than 6 million men in America suffer from depression every year. Physical and mental health go hand in hand, and when your body is not in a state of health it often affects your mind – and vice versa. Men in Westernized societies die from suicide at consistently higher rates than women, and depression is one of the top causes of suicide.
Diabetes – Men are twice as likely as women to contract type two diabetes. Primary risk factors include being overweight, and having a larger percentage of belly fat on your body than anywhere else. Type two diabetes significantly affects your health and is rarely reversed.
Liver Disease – Risk factors that contribute to liver disease include being overweight or obese, diabetes, high alcohol consumption, and more. Symptoms of liver disease include chronic fatigue, yellowing of the skin and eyes, abdominal swelling and pain, itchy skin, nausea and vomiting, dark urine, and more. Liver disease can progress to liver failure, which is a life threatening condition.
Cold and Flu – Studies suggest that men react differently to colds than women. A surgeon at the University of Kansas Hospital, named Kim Templeton, points to the fact that the female hormone estrogen slows down the progression of viral infections such as the flu and cold. Therefor, men experience stronger viral symptoms and have a harder time functioning when they become virally ill.
Erectile Dysfunction – Erectile Dysfunction, or ED, is a condition that inhibits a man’s ability to maintain an erection.
High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is a condition in which blood is being pumped throughout the body at high pressures, which can damage arteries and cause things such as aneurysms and enlargement of the heart. According to the American Heart Association, a higher percentage of men suffer from high blood pressure up to age 45.
High Cholesterol – Men who are 45 or older have a higher risk of developing high cholesterol. High cholesterol refers to having a high amount of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol. Having a large amount of LDL cholesterol can block your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. Risk factors for high cholesterol are consuming large amounts of saturated or trans fats, being overweight or obese, high carbohydrate consumption, lack of exercise, and more.
Digestive Problems – Men more commonly suffer from digestive problems such as GERD, acid reflux, heartburn, ulcers, and constipation. GERD, acid reflux, and heartburn are all issues that are related to indigestion, and constipation is related to irregular digestion. Ulcers are caused by an imbalance in gut bacteria.
10 Supplements for Men to Consider
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria that support your digestive health by helping your body to break down food. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that naturally occur in your gut. In addition to helping your body break down food, they also assist in the uptake of essential nutrients. There are two different kinds of probiotics that are beneficial to digestive health. These include:
Bifidobacterium – This form of probiotic helps to regulate the digestive system. They naturally live in the intestines and are also found in certain dairy products. As one of the best supplements for men, bifidobacterium is great for gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS, constipation, traveler’s diarrhea, and more.
Lactobacillus – This form is found naturally in fermented foods and yogurt. This form of probiotic is more commonly used as a supplement. It is great for helping the body to breakdown and digest lactose, which is the sugar found in milk. Lactose is otherwise difficult to digest and contributes to bloating, gas, and indigestion.
Probiotics are good supplements for regulating the digestive system and improving nutrient absorption. They can be used to replace bacteria that has been lost in the intestines due to use of antibiotics. They may also ward off “bad” bacteria that can sometimes over colonize the intestinal tract. These “bad” bacteria, if allowed to overpopulate, can cause bloating, diarrhea, irritable bowel disease, constipation, premature aging, hair loss, acne, and much more.
How Probiotics May Help Men
Probiotics can have an effect digestive problems that are commonly experienced by men, including acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, ulcers, and more. They help to regulate your digestive system by balancing out the bacteria in your gut. Your digestive system is home to 80% of your immune system, which means that your digestive health plays a large role in your overall health and well-being.
Taking care of your digestive system is extremely important to your health. It is so important to your overall well-being that holistic health practitioners focus on the digestive system as the basis of health. Your digestive system is also termed the “second brain,” due to the fact that it has 100 million neurons, which is the second most neuron-abundant system of the body.
How to Take Probiotics
The best time to take a probiotic is with food. Because probiotics are live cultures, they need moisture, warmth, and an energy source. If you take them on an empty stomach, they will have warmth and moisture, but lack an energy source. When they have an energy source, more of them will live to provide your gut with their digestive health benefits.
Probiotics Side Effects
Probiotics can sometimes cause diarrhea if too much is taken too quickly. If you are sensitive to probiotics, you can take them in smaller doses and gradually increase your dosage. Most people do not experience any negative side effects from probiotics. However, there are always risks involved so it is recommended you speak with your doctor before taking probiotics.
What are Multivitamins?
Multivitamins are essential vitamins and minerals in a compact and easily absorbable format. Multivitamins can come in the form of a pill/capsule, chewable, gummy, dissolvable tablet, powder, and more. Most multivitamins include a compact combination of vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, iodine, borate, selenium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, calcium, beta carotene, iron, and molybdenum, among others. They may boost the immune system, which helps the body fight off illness and disease. If they are taken daily they can help fight vitamin deficiencies and ward off the related diseases and disorders. Every one of these essential nutrients provides unique health benefits.
How Multivitamins May Help Men
By providing your body with essential micronutrients every day, multivitamins can help you avoid vitamin deficiencies and also enhance your health. They are a well rounded supplement that provides a variety of micronutrients which are often formulated to have synergistic benefits. Men can benefit from the addition of a multivitamin into their daily diets in many ways.
More often than not, a man’s diet does not provide every micronutrient that his body requires for his daily nutrition values. Taking multivitamins can help ensure that a man will consume all of the vitamins and minerals that he needs on a daily basis.
How to Take Multivitamins
Multivitamins should not be taken alongside a calcium supplement or with calcium-rich foods such as milk. An overabundance of calcium being digested alongside a multivitamin inhibits the body’s ability to effectively absorb the essential nutrients of the multivitamin. Essentially, calcium can reduce its effectiveness. A multivitamin can be taken at any time of the day with or without food, but should not be taken in doses larger than the recommended dosage.
Multivitamins Side Effects
Multivitamins do not usually cause negative side effects. Some people may experience mild side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. There are some extremely uncommon more serious side effects that may afflict someone with a particular health complication.
Fish Oil/Omega 3
What is Omega 3?
Omega 3 is a fatty acid that is essential, which means that the body must obtain it from your diet. This essential fatty acid can not be synthesized by the body from scratch. Some foods are higher in Omega 3 fatty acids than others. These foods include fish, some grass-fed animal fats, nuts, flax seeds, and vegetable oils. There are three kinds of Omega 3 fatty acids; they are abbreviated to EPA, ALA, and DHA.
EPA and DHA – Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are long chain omega 3 fatty acids that are used by the body in the heart, brain, and eyes. All of these organs contain the highest amount of omega 3’s in the entire human body.
ALA – Alpha-linolenic acid is the natural precursor to EPA and DHA and can be found naturally in foods such as chia and flax seeds. Less than one percent of consumed ALA is actually converted into the more useful forms EPA and DHA.
The more useful Omega 3’s, EPA and DHA, are naturally found in fatty fish, marine algae, shellfish, and omega 3 supplements.
How Omega 3 Helps Men
Omega 3’s are a heart healthy and brain healthy fat. For your heart and cardiovascular system, Omega 3’s are capable of reducing triglycerides, or blood-fat, in the blood. For the brain, Omega 3’s help to build brain cell membranes, and promote new brain cell formation.
Your heart and your brain are two of the most important organs in the body. The fact that Omega 3 fatty acids support the health of both makes supplementing with Omega 3’s a powerful health support.
How to Take Omega 3
Omega 3’s can be taken any time of the day, but is most efficiently absorbed when taken with food.
Omega 3 Side Effects
When used correctly, Omega 3’s do not typically produce any notable side effects. If taken in large doses, Omega 3’s can have side effects such as belching, loose stools, nausea, and heartburn.
What is Zinc?
Zinc is an essential mineral that can be found naturally in some vegetables, meats, and seafoods. Zinc is extremely important to health at a cellular level. It is required as a biochemical catalyst for more than 100 enzymes needed for cell growth and function. It plays a large role in protein synthesis, function of the immune system, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. It also is important to your sense of taste and smell! Without zinc, your body can not maintain a steady state, otherwise known as homeostasis in biology.
How Zinc Helps Men
Zinc enables the male body to produce testosterone, which is a male growth hormone. Testosterone is essential to a man’s health throughout his life, from puberty to old age. During puberty, testosterone stimulates a boy’s body to change into a man’s. During adulthood, testosterone maintains the strength of a man’s muscles and bones, and also maintains his sex drive. It is important to the health of the male reproductive organs as well. Low testosterone is common in men past the age of 30, because testosterone levels often decline. Many of the benefits of zinc are linked to the benefits of testosterone, but there are other benefits to zinc as well. Zinc deficiency is also very common, affecting more than 2.2 billion people worldwide.
How to Take Zinc
Zinc supplements are most effective when taken 1 to 2 hours before a meal. Follow the dosage instructions that come with the supplement for safety and effectiveness of the supplement.
Zinc Side Effects
Zinc may sometimes produce mild side effects such as upset stomach or nausea, and these side effects may be mediated by taking zinc with a meal. Rare side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, or metallic taste.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is not found in many foods and is a fat soluble vitamin that is produced endogenously when sunlight hits the skin. Sunlight encourages the creation of vitamin D in the body, which is essential to bone health and emotional health. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphorus, helps reduce inflammation, and supports bone growth. Vitamin D is absolutely essential for the normal development of bones and teeth.
Vitamin D deficiency is common. According to a study conducted by multiple scholars in medicine, 75% of teens and adults in America are vitamin D deficient. The risk factors for vitamin D deficiency affect many of us. They include pollution, living in highly populated cities, and having more melatonin in your skin.
How Vitamin D Helps Men
Vitamin D deficiency comes with a wide array of bad health effects, and making sure you get enough vitamin D can help to avoid such deficiencies. It is a strong men’s supplement for supporting health in diverse ways.
How to Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D supplements are best absorbed with meals high in fat, which is usually your largest meal of the day. Vitamin D, if taken in higher doses, should be taken with vitamin K2 to ensure that calcium does not build up in arteries and soft tissues.
Vitamin D Side Effects
Vitamin D may have negative side effects if taken at a dosage that is too high for you. These side effects include headache, upset stomach, nausea, etc. If taken at proper doses, it does not typically cause any side effects.
Calcium with Magnesium
What is Calcium?
Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for health in many ways, including blood circulation and cardiovascular health. It is the most abundant mineral in the body and is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation. Without calcium, your muscles could not function and contract. Calcium is also necessary for intracellular signaling, nerve transmission and hormonal secretion, and strengthening bones and teeth.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is required for the production of energy and necessary for certain biochemical reactions. These include processes such as protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose regulation, glycolysis, and much more. It is required for structural bone development, and the synthesis of DNA and RNA. This essential mineral plays a vital role in active calcium transport and potassium transport across cell membranes, which are the processes of nerve impulse and muscle contraction.
How do Calcium and Magnesium May Help Men?
Calcium and magnesium have synergistic benefits. When combined, they enhance each other’s benefits. The benefits of both minerals combined creates one of the best supplements for men, addressing overall health and helping avoid deficiencies in these two minerals.
How to Take Calcium and Magnesium
There are two different types of calcium that are used as supplements. Calcium carbonate is a type that has to be taken with food, but calcium citrate can be taken without food and still be effective. Calcium supplements sometimes interact with other supplements and medications. Multivitamins are ineffective if taken alongside a calcium supplement. Magnesium is best taken between meals, because it needs stomach acid to be best absorbed. Magnesium can also be taken before bed. Many products combine calcium and magnesium; to take these, simply follow the included instructions.
Calcium and Magnesium Side Effects
Calcium and magnesium may produce some minor gastrointestinal side effects for some people. These include diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach, and vomiting. Although if it is taken as directed, this supplement should not cause an negative side effects and is a good men’s supplement.
What is Chromium?
Chromium is an essential trace mineral that the human body requires for basic functions, such as digestion and absorption of food. Chromium helps to transport blood sugar from the bloodstream into your cells to be utilized as energy. It is also used to turn fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into energy. Chromium also enhances the effects of insulin in maintaining the metabolism regulating blood sugar. Chromium also helps to raise good LDL cholesterol. In the US, an estimated 25% to 50% of the population is chromium deficient. According to the National Institutes of Health, an adult male requires 30-35 mcg of chromium daily.
How does Chromium May Help Men?
Chromium is necessary for basic functions of the human body, and taking chromium as a supplement enhances these functions and helps fight the deterioration of them as well. Chromium is necessary to the process of turning food into fuel for your body. Taking chromium supplements can help fight chromium deficiencies, and also support the health of your metabolism.
How to Take Chromium
Chromium can be taken with or without food at any time of the day. Follow the instructions on your chromium supplement for dosing.
Chromium Side Effects
Common chromium side effects include mood changes, irritability, changes in sleep patterns, and sometimes headache. Chromium, when taken as directed, does not usually cause negative side effects.
Green Tea Extract
What is Green Tea Extract?
Green tea extract is derived from the tea plant, which is scientifically named Camellia sinensis. Green tea is prepared through steaming and pan-frying the leaves, bud, and stem of the plant and then drying them. This process conserves the antioxidants, green tea catechins, and polyphenols. The process also happens to produce tea that is, well – green! Green tea extract is taken from green tea and harnesses its health properties to be taken as a supplement in a purified form. The extract is easily absorbed by the body and concentrated to provide more benefits, and often less caffeine, than a cup of green tea.
How Does Green Tea Extract May Help Men?
Green tea extract has the antioxidants and polyphenols of the tea plant in a concentrated and easily absorbable form. It helps fight free radical damage, works as a powerful antioxidant, and aims to help skin, hair, and nails. Green tea extract, with its powerful antioxidants and polyphenols, is one of the most effective supplements for men.
How to Take Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract should be taken with water and can be taken with or without food. It should be taken with water because of its caffeine content, to counteract the dehydrating effects of caffeine. There are decaffeinated versions available, however.
Green Tea Extract Side Effects
The side effects associated with green tea extract are typically due to caffeine content, and can be avoided by using a decaf green tea extract. Caffeine side effects include anxiety, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, etc.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that occurs naturally in eight different chemical forms. Alpha (indicated as α-) – tocopherol is the vitamin E that meets human requirements. Vitamin E has distinctive antioxidant properties that support health of the human body. Vitamin E in involved in the function of the immune system, cell signaling, regulation of gene expressions, and metabolic processes. It is also important to the circulatory system and health of your blood. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is known to slow the effects of aging. It is found naturally in poultry, eggs, fruits, nuts, certain oils, and more. Vitamin E is also great for the skin.
How Does Vitamin E May Help Men?
Vitamin E is one of the top supplements for men due to its overall health support.
How to Take Vitamin E
Because vitamin E is fat soluble, it is best absorbed with food. Vitamin E can also be taken without food, but its effects will not be as apparent.
Vitamin E Side Effects
Vitamin E does not usually produce notable side effects if taken according to the directed dosage. Long term high dosage use may produce some moderate side effects such as diarrhea, dizziness, headache, etc.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables and is crucial to one’s health. Known for its immune-boosting effects, it is a water soluble vitamin that is also a powerful antioxidant. It is used by the body to form and support connective tissues, such as skin, bones, and blood vessels. Foods that are naturally rich in vitamin C include bell peppers, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, broccoli, papaya, and more.
How Does Vitamin C May Help Men?
Vitamin C revitalizes your health in a variety of ways. It is one of the best men’s supplements because of its ability to support the immune system and produce collagen. It helps keep your body strong and resilient.
How to Take Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, so it can be taken any time of the day with or without food. It is often found in multivitamins and many other health products. Be aware that this vitamin is already abundant in most foods, so pay attention to dosage instructions so that you do not consume too much vitamin C.
Vitamin C Side Effects
In some people, vitamin C can cause side effects such as upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, and headaches. Most people do not experience any negative side effects from taking vitamin C at the correct dosage.