Unveiling The Top Health Supplements for Aging Men
The first thing I want to say about supplements is they’re just that, supplements. They’re no replacement for a good diet and exercise. They’re not a magic pill or a quick fix.
That doesn’t mean that I’m anti-supplement. I do take some myself.
Once we’re over 50 we start to have some issues with being able to absorb certain nutrients, which means we require more of those nutrients to get what our body needs.
Or we have to take something to help us absorb them better.
You’re not looking to be exactly where you were when you were 22 years old. But the reality is you’re trying to squeeze a little bit more out of your day, optimize yourself a little bit more, and science is always emerging with new and improved ways to look at things.
So let’s go ahead and let’s dive in.
The Power Of Amino Acid Supplements
The first one is one that you can find just about anywhere. It’s called an essential amino acid.
Now, I do not recommend taking essential amino acids throughout your day, as some people recommend. Why? Because that triggers you with a constant kind of mild insulin response, almost as if you’re eating food all the time.
But what I would recommend you do is whenever you eat protein, whether it’s with a protein shake or it’s with your dinner or it’s with your salad with lunch and you have some chicken on it, you want to have a scoop of essential amino acids.
What these essential amino acids do (because of something in it called leucine) it makes the protein that much more bioavailable.
There are very interesting studies that demonstrate that you can have up to 4X the amount of protein synthesis from the protein that you’re consuming by enriching that meal with having some EAAs on the side.
That’s the issue is as we get older, we don’t utilize protein as well. So we end up losing muscle.
It’s a pretty natural response, but our metabolism is largely associated to our muscle. So if we’re losing muscle, we’re having metabolic slowdown.
So what do we do?
We improve our ways of getting more protein synthesis. In this case, EAAs are an exceptionally inexpensive way to get that.
Okay, that brings me to my next one.
Creatine Is Not Just For Bodybuilders
I want to look now at creatine.
It is found in red meats, seafood and poultry. Those of you who want to reduce your meat intake should be especially interested.
As we age, muscle mass and bone density start to degrade. They carried out a meta-analysis on resistance training for older adults between the ages of 57 and 70, with some of them supplementing with creatine and others taking a placebo.
The studies varied between 7 and 26 weeks and included over 300 people.
The results were a greater increase in muscle mass, strength and functional performance with those taking creatine.
This includes increased lower body muscle mass, which is particularly difficult for us older guys to build.
Studies on the benefits of creatine in non-training older adults are a bit mixed, but overall there does seem to be some benefit to maintaining muscle and physical performance.
Up Next Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures by aiding the body in absorbing calcium.
It has also been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers like prostate cancer and there’s evidence to show it may help in boosting testosterone.
If you are someone who doesn’t spend much time outside, then a vitamin D supplement makes sense. The recommended daily dose is generally considered as 600 IU, with daily intakes of up to 2,000 IU being considered safe.
Vitamin B – Especially helpful For Older Adults
B12 is a vitamin that we have more trouble absorbing over 50 and is mainly found in meats, seafood and eggs, so depending on your dietary choices, you simply may not be taking in enough.
B12 is necessary for red blood cell production, DNA formation, nerve function and metabolism with deficiencies leading to anemia, nerve damage and fatigue.
As far as the recommended daily intake goes, it’s 2.4 micrograms. One study in older adults found that it took 500 micrograms to normalize B12 levels in 90% of the participants and some needed as much as 1,000 micrograms.
This is a supplement that can interfere with certain medications, so make sure you consult with your doctor, especially before going over the daily recommended dosage.
Magnesium – A Great All-Rounder For Older Men
About 50% of people in the US and Europe get less than the daily recommended amount of magnesium.
Every single cell contains and needs magnesium.
Some of the benefits of having optimal levels of magnesium can be increased exercise performance and not just in athletes, but in older people too.
It can help reduce high blood pressure, slow aging through its anti-inflammatory benefits, reduces insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
The daily recommended dose for men is generally considered to be 400 to 430 milligrams per day.
As with any supplement always consult with your general practitioner first, just in case some of them may be contra-indicated with your current medication. This is especially true for middle age men and women