Men’s health needs are pretty specific—especially with age. If you’re looking to maintain good health, keep your muscle tone in check, or amp up your hormones (like testosterone), nutrition and supplementation is key.
If you’re a man in your 20s, establishing a healthy routine and daily supplement regimen now is smart; you’ll give yourself a real chance at staying strong, energized, and healthy in the long run.
Older men may be noticing more noticeable drags in energy levels and even libido. This is especially true if you live with an illness, like autoimmune disorder or even prostate cancer, or if you don’t have a solid workout or sleep schedule.
Another culprit for older men is low testosterone. This is also referred to as andropause (essentially, it’s the male version of menopause, and it’s caused by dropping testosterone levels). This can cause confusing and frustrating issues like erectile and sexual performance problems, hair loss, weight gain, low sexual drive, and other issues.
However, no matter your age, if you’re not eating well and focusing on nutrition, you are putting your health, your sex life, and your quality of life at risk. The good news is that these all-too-common issues can be corrected or reduced with the proper nutrition and supplementation for you. It’s time to start feeling better and taking action.
The Importance of Proper Nutrition for Men
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, men have more muscle and are typically bigger than women, so they require more calories throughout the day. Moderately active men will want to focus on eating 2,000 to 2,800 calories per day. The food you eat should be healthy, though!
The Academy also says, “For energy and disease prevention, men should eat whole grains such as brown rice, oats, barley, fruits and vegetables. These foods are high in fiber, help manage hunger and fullness and help fend off certain cancers, such as prostate and colon.”
In fact, research has shown that “eating patterns that include relatively high intakes of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains are linked to a significantly lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke, conditions that rank among the top 4 leading causes of death in adults living in the United States.”
Plant foods (like dark, leafy greens), lean protein foods (like chicken or turkey), and dairy products (like plain Greek yogurt) are all important sources of micronutrients that can help ensure your health and prevent disease.
Of course, you may still not be getting everything you need from your foods, (especially if you’re vegan or have digestive issues). This is where men’s health supplements come into play.
What Are Dietary Supplements?
According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, “Vitamins and essential minerals are components of enzymes and cofactors the body needs to accomplish the everyday miracle.” They help the heart, the blood vessels, the digestive system, the bones, and the brain—along with everything else.
Supplements can help fill the nutritional gap, and can include everything from vitamins and minerals and herbal supplements to amino acids and enzymes. They also come in plenty of forms—capsules, powders, soft gels, gel caps, and liquids. Some popular ones you likely see or take include fish oil, folate, creatine, vitamin D, or calcium.
Men’s Supplements for Nutritional Support
First things first: a high quality multivitamin is one of the best ways to fill in any gaps in your nutritional intake. It can also help you sleep better, manage stress, and feel more energized throughout your day.
According to one large study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Compared with placebo, men taking a daily multivitamin had a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of total cancer.” The study looked at 14,641 middle-aged and older men and found that multivitamins “significantly but modestly reduced the risk of total cancer during a mean of 11 years of treatment and follow-up. These data provide support for the potential use of multivitamin supplements in the prevention of cancer in middle-aged and older men.”
Vitamin D is actually a hormone, so it’s no surprise that one study found that lower levels of vitamin D were associated with a higher prevalence of hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone.
Vitamin D also helps your body stay strong and healthy. A review in PLoS One found that vitamin D may affect the body’s response to infection, keeping the immune system healthy and active. If you’re not getting enough sunlight—and most people are not—a vitamin D supplement is probably your best bet.
Protein Powder (& Collagen)
Are you mostly seeking men’s supplements for fitness? Protein is a man’s best friend, as it optimizes muscle growth and promotes weight loss. In fact, research has found that men lose up to five percent of their total muscle mass per decade, starting around the age of 30; for this reason, you’ll want to add a protein supplement to your daily routine. And if you work out, you’ll need to increase your protein supply even more, since a 2011 study found that “more protein should be consumed during periods of high frequency/intensity training.”
There are a few different kinds of protein (whey, casein, soy, and pea, for example), and you can easily take them daily or in a pre-workout drink. A physican within the BodyLogicMD network can help you determine the right protein for you.
Absolute Protein is a pre-workout supplement that comes in vanilla or chocolate and includes, “the lowest possible levels of naturally occurring sugar (carbohydrate) and fat” with “only the leanest nutrients based on their biological merit.”
You should also add a collagen protein to your mix. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and it’s found in the muscles. Bad news? It starts to dwindle with age; boosting your collagen supply can help you keep your joints, muscles, and sexual prowess intact.
Looking for more daily energy, stamina, and power? BodyLogicMD’s Pure Lift offers a powerful combo of vitamins A, B, and C, micronutrients, adaptogenic botanicals, and adrenal concentrate to address the body’s response to stress, promote healthy energy levels, and support proper adrenal gland function.
Be sure to use only professional-grade supplements; these are made with high-quality, well-sourced ingredients. BodyLogicMD offers only professional supplements, ensuring your supplements contain only the good stuff—no fillers and no toxins.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You probably hear all about these—and with good reason. Omega-3s actually support everything from your brain to your heart, and taking them can have a major impact on your longevity and health.
A 2012 study found that “Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to healthy aging throughout life. Recently, fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have been associated with fetal development, cardiovascular function, and Alzheimer’s disease.” Your body can get a lot out of a fish oil supplement.
Looking for men’s supplements for sexual health? For older men who may be experiencing a lag in libido (and other low testosterone symptoms), zinc is actually considered an aphrodisiac, as it can help support steady testosterone levels and sperm count in men with low testosterone or sperm count.
Maca root was also found to have a major effect on sexual desire in men. According to a BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine review, it helped kick up sexual desire after six weeks of use. And because it’s an adaptogen, it can help your body respond to stress, which can restore balance to your adrenal system and help your body get back to stasis.
Everyone can benefit from a probiotic, and that’s because your health and wellness comes from the inside; what you eat has a major impact on your health, and it all starts in your gut. Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that influence reactions all over your body, including your brain. If you don’t feed your gut the good stuff, you are at risk of getting hit with all sorts of issues, including autoimmune diseases and adrenal fatigue. Your gut makeup (or gut flora) can also be influenced by everyday actions, too, like stressing out or not getting enough sleep.
Probiotics (which contain the ‘good bacteria’ your gut needs to balance out the bad bacteria) can do plenty of things for your health, including supporting healthy weight loss, immune health, metabolic health, and mental health as well as preventing diarrhea and lessening allergy symptoms.
By taking probiotics, you might even be able to reduce the issues caused by illnesses like Crohn’s disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. A 2015 study found that probiotics “may help to restore normal bacterial microflora and effect the functioning of the GI tract by a variety of mechanisms.”
Oh, and for all you guys who hit the gym: one study found that probiotics helped to reduce problems in immune function after exercise. This means your body will be better prepped to make gains.
Though inconclusive, one study found that, “Saw palmetto is an herb used to treat the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In vitro studies have found that saw palmetto inhibits growth of prostatic cancer cells.” Another study found a slightly more conclusive result: “Saw Palmetto might be useful for the treatment of individuals with prostate cancer.”
Boron may also promote prostate health, a must-have for any man over 40. One study found that boron, “has demonstrated preventive and therapeutic effects in a number of cancers,” including prostate, and “may help ameliorate the adverse effects of traditional chemotherapeutic agents.”
It goes on to state that, “dietary boron is inversely correlated with prostate cancer incidence.” Referring to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the study found that, “the risk of prostate cancer was 52 percent lower in men whose diets supplied more than 1.8 mg/d of boron compared with those whose dietary boron intake was less than or equal to 0.9 mg/d.” Additionally, it was found that boric acid inhibits human prostate cancer cell proliferation in vitro.
A Note on General Health
In the end, the most important thing that men can do to is pay attention to their health. One study found that men tend to ignore their health issues: “It has been established that males are less likely to seek medical assistance for managing their health. They are also less likely to follow medical prescriptions and sometimes refuse long-term therapy. Since American males typically visit the doctor or wellness centers to a limited extent, they often do not receive consultations involving general health tests and preventative therapy. Moreover, it has been shown that men are more likely to disregard pathological conditions and pain, and are more likely to delay medical therapy.”
Because of this, it’s key that men avoid being reductive about their own needs. In short, don’t assume that you’ll be fine! If you’re not feeling well, see a medical provider.
Make sure you’re eating healthy food, engaging in moderate amounts of cardio and toning exercise, keeping excess weight off, sleeping at least seven hours per night, managing your stress and anger levels, drinking loads of water, and seeing a doctor regularly. If you need support in your health journey, find a physician within the BodyLogicMD network can help.
Charlotte is a patient care coordinator specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She is committed to helping patients who struggle with the symptoms of hormonal change and imbalance explore their treatment options and develop effective strategies to optimize wellness.