Listen up, men… No matter how well you think you eat, how much exercise you get or how little stress you face in your everyday life, after a certain age, your body simply starts to function at a different rate. And that decline, subtle as it may be, can take many forms. From something complex like a dip in natural biochemical processes, to something simple like getting less sleep at night, your body goes through normal changes like it does at any other stage in life.
The hard truth is, you’re not Superman (anymore), and try as you might on your own, there comes a time when you should consider supplementing your diet with key nutrients that can help you fight back against the aging process. Remember, just because the changes you face after the age of 50 are normal doesn’t mean you have to simply lie back and take it.
Nutritional supplementation has advanced at an impressive rate, and the science driving this growth has revealed several key benefits for men over 50 who choose to supplement their diets. The right combination of supplements can help:
- support your immune system
- fill in the nutritional gaps in your diet
- boost your energy and increase your overall well-being
- maintain a healthy sex life
- promote a healthy heart and strong cardiovascular system
- fight back against common (older) men’s health concerns
Top 10 Vitamins & Supplements for Men Over 50
It may be the most critical mineral of them all, involved in more than 350 biochemical processes throughout your body. Magnesium helps regulate everything from your metabolism to blood pressure. While it’s naturally found in a lot of fresh produce, that produce is grown in nutrient-depleted soil, driving down the magnesium content. Eat more leafy greens, nuts and beans, but consider adding a magnesium supplement to your daily routine as well.
It should come as no surprise that the “sunshine vitamin” made this list. It should be on every “Top 10 Supplements” list. Research continues to show its broad application for human health. An aging body can’t synthesize it from the sun like it once could, so supplementation of around 2,000 IU a day becomes increasingly necessary as you age.)
While there always seems to be contradictory headlines about new studies showing fish oil supplements don’t help, the consensus is actually pretty firm that omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA found in fish oil do help promote heart health and overall cardiovascular function. In other words, don’t let the primetime news hype fool you. If fatty fish like salmon and mackerel aren’t regulars on your dinner plate, it's safe to assume an omega-3 supplement could be beneficial.
As you age, your body slowly begins to lose its full ability to absorb and utilize key nutrients. B vitamins are one of the main culprits of this natural decline. Of those, however, B12 might be the most critical. While you likely still eat enough of foods that contain B12, your body can’t absorb it like it used to, making supplementation worth considering.
More and more research is demonstrating just how closely linked proper digestion is to… well, almost every key bodily function. You want a healthier body? Start with a healthy gut. Gut health has been linked to several critical health concerns, many of which start to pick up after the age of 50. Sure you can get probiotics from foods like yogurt, but not nearly in the same quantity as a high quality probiotic supplement.
Taken just before bedtime, these three key amino acids can help support your body’s natural production of growth hormone, which, as you might’ve guessed, declines with age. Growth hormone released by the pituitary gland is important for repair, regeneration and recovery of tissues throughout your body. Growth hormone is also linked to healthy testosterone levels, which can help promote healthy sleep and normal recovery from stress.
Your body naturally produces coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), but as the pattern goes, this natural production declines steadily with age. It’s a critically important nutrient for cellular energy… and which organ requires a whole lot of energy to function at its peak? You guessed it, your heart. There’s a reason CoQ10 is one of the most popular supplements for both men and women over the age of 50—you gotta protect your heart.
What do you miss most from your younger years? Your agility, flexibility and relative lack of joint discomfort? Glucosamine and chondroitin promote healthy joints and connective tissues, which can help you maintain your level of physical activity with as little distraction or slowing down as possible. If you want to stay active, these two joint supplements (often found together in a combo formula) should be at the top of your list
Gentlemen, it’s no secret your prostate requires your attention as you age. Sometimes, it won’t let you not pay attention to it. If you’re waking up to go to the bathroom several times a night, don’t be alarmed. Your prostate naturally grows as you age, putting pressure on your bladder. Saw palmetto is a potent herb and a natural source of fatty acids and plant sterols that promote a healthy prostate.
Alpha lipoic acid, or ALA, is an antioxidant fatty acid produced naturally in the body and found in foods such as red meat, liver, brewer's yeast and green plants. Research shows that ALA helps regenerate other antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E and glutathione and can help promote everything from heart and liver health to blood sugar metabolism—all keys to aging gracefully (and healthfully).
Do you take any of these men's health supplements?