These days it’s harder than it used to be to fill up on the nutrients and vitamins your body needs through just your diet of meat and vegetables. There are more pesticides being used by farms, along with herbicides. These chemicals are used to keep the crops safe from insect damage and natural failure, but they can sap crops of their precious nutrients.
Meat doesn’t fare much better either, as many cows, chickens, pigs, and other livestock are fed a diet of genetically modified grains and non-organic food, simply because of how cheap they are. This means that the animals are less nutritious than they used to be, and there can even be dire consequences. Mad Cow Disease was the result of this practice.
Even though GMOs and pesticides have taken over much of the agricultural world, some farmers switch to organic farming. Organic farming produces fresh and organic fruits and vegetables that are grown without being exposed to growth formulas and chemical deterrents.
Even organic farming isn’t completely perfect, though, as the soil begins to lose its nutritional value over time thanks to being over-farmed and other environmental problems like acid rain.
Soil having less nutrients means that crops lack the nutrients needed to supply the body with enough vitamins and minerals.
Supplements for Men
One solution to getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs is to make use of supplements for men. The problem is that, much like how some food products contain GMOs, some supplements are not as 100% organic as they claim. It’s a good idea to do some research of your own and talk to your doctor before deciding on a supplement.
Choosing supplements for men also means having an understanding of what the male body needs to function properly. Even though both men and women need the same vitamins and minerals, how much of each they need can be different. Women need to have more iron because of the blood loss caused by menstruation. Men need a lot less iron because iron is a non-water-soluble mineral.
This basically means it stays in the system and can cause serious health issues such as cancer. It’s also important to balance how much iron someone takes in to reduce their chances of taking too much or too little. Too little iron can be just as dangerous as too much, but for different reasons.
Individual Supplements vs Multivitamins
Unfortunately, there is no single and simple rule when it comes to whether men should take individual supplements or a multivitamin. The creation of supplements can be an exact science, but it’s not so clear which supplement you should consider taking.
Several health experts are in agreement that taking a multivitamin should give you the amount of vitamins and minerals it takes to supplement a poor diet, but they also suggest supplementing on top of a multivitamin depending on individual needs.
Blood Tests for Vitamin Deficiency
Determining the right supplement for you will often come down to which minerals and vitamins you lack. There are blood tests that can be used to check for vitamin deficiency, but they are considered to be inaccurate because there isn’t any real indicator for what is a good nutrient level. Doctors believe that many people lack omega-3 fatty acids, but a blood test won’t tell you omega-3 levels.
There are tests that can show a lack of vitamins D and B12, so it’s important to discover more about your own levels of these vitamins and the recommended daily intake so you can supplement properly.
Important Supplements for Men
Not every man will be training like a bodybuilder, but most men will still need the same supplements to develop muscle and reduce the risks of vitamin deficiency. Boosting fitness and health levels begins with taking the right supplements for your needs, which can depend on your lifestyle, job, and activity level.
The average amount of protein a man needs is 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you weigh 180 pounds for example, then you should consume at least 270 grams of protein each day to boost your appearance and develop a stronger body. Given how difficult it can be to find this much protein in meat and fish, protein supplements provide a great way for men to get the protein they need without resorting to eating ten meals, which would be pretty bad for your health! However, there are plenty of different forms of protein supplements, and some of them are better than others.
The average protein bar contains around 25g of protein. These bars are great for between-meal snacks because the body isn’t able to quickly absorb the protein contained within them. Use them to keep you going between meals.
Whey protein is considered to be one of the best protein supplements. This protein supplement is found in the powdered form that can be turned into shakes or just combined with water. It is digested quickly, making it a great choice for pre-or-post-workout. Isolate protein powder is a form of whey protein that includes essential amino acids. These amino acids are used by the body to rebuild muscles and improve the health of skin, eyes, bones, and the heart.
Casein protein powder is slower to break down and be processed than whey protein isolate, making it a good choice to be taken before bed, supplying your body with a continuous stream of protein as you sleep. It works to help your muscles repair and recover during sleep because it contains amino acids.
Beef protein powder is derived straight from meat sources. It can be digested quickly and is a good choice for people who are allergic to milk-protein.
Soy protein is a great choice for vegans and vegetarians. This protein digests quickly and boosts levels of nitric oxide. It can also increase the release of growth hormone and help muscles recover.
Egg White Protein
Egg white protein can be digested faster than why protein, but is slower to digest than casein. It contains a mixture of slow- and fast-digesting proteins to keep muscles healthy and growing through the entire day.
Creatine is the protein of choice for athletes and bodybuilders, who use it as a pre-workout supplement. Creatine is sold in powdered form to help the body quickly produce energy. It allows bodybuilders to lift more and push out another few repetitions, which could be the key to building muscle. Creatine benefits athletes by giving them the bursts of energy they need to push themselves further and faster; it’s often a requirement of fast-action sports such as soccer and sprinting.
Creatine can also cause you to gain weight, but the first few pounds you will put on are just water weight. Any other weight you gain will most likely be in the form of muscle growth because it enables your muscles to take on heavier weights. The way creatine works is that it pulls water into muscle cells, which boosts protein synthesis (the creation of protein).
Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are needed to keep the heart healthy and maintain healthy levels of triglycerides. As the body is unable to produce its own omega-3 fatty acids, you need to get them from fish in your diet; including salmon, tuna, and herring. However, given that it’s not easy to eat fish every single day, you can get all the fish oil you need from a fish oil supplement.
Vitamin C is another important supplement men should consider taking. Vitamin C detoxifies the body, healing any damaged cells and removing stress. It also boosts immunity, reducing your chances of getting ill. Humans, much like guinea pigs and primates, are unable to produce vitamin C naturally. This is why vitamin C supplements are important to maintaining healthy immune systems.
Other Supplements for Men
As well as fish oil and vitamin C, there are other supplements men should consider taking. They include:
Because many people are suffering from a lack of vitamin D, supplementing with vitamin D3 is important to maintain the balance of calcium in the body, improve cellular healing, and keep the immune system healthy.
Calcium and magnesium is a good combination to consider as both vitamins are needed by the other to work properly. Calcium keeps your heart and bones healthy, while magnesium regulates bodily functions and keeps you at your best.
Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin for reducing fatigue, keeping your digestive system healthy, and stimulating the growth of the hair, skin, and nails. Vitamin B12 can also protect against certain forms of cancer, such as breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
Milk thistle is a powerful detoxifier that keeps your liver healthy. Studies have shown that milk thistle can also reduce cholesterol levels.
As well as eating a balanced diet, men should consider taking vitamin supplements to keep their body healthy. There are some supplements, such as creatine and whey protein, that are used to improve muscle growth and enhance athletic performance. Then there are supplements like vitamins B12, C, and D3 to give the body what it needs to fight illnesses, reduce fatigue, and boost cellular growth.
Given that many men aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables in their diet, supplementation presents the only option for getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to work properly.