Best Supplements for Men Over 50    

Have you reached the milestone of 50? If so, your nutrition matters now more than ever. Your body begins to change as you get older, therefore, you must adapt how you fuel it in response. Making sure you get all the vital nutrients is just one way of ensuring you live your best life after 50. Exploring the realm of dietary supplements is a simple yet effective step in doing so.

What are supplements?

Dietary supplements are products designed to do just that – supplement your diet. They aren’t created to replace a well-balanced nutrition plan, rather strengthen it.

A supplement could be the answer to securing certain nutrients and vitamins integral to your health if they’re missing from your food. While it’s always encouraged to consume a wide scope of nutrient-dense whole foods, different components can sometimes get missed when doing so.

The supplement industry is huge and constantly expanding. There are pills, powders, and capsules for everything from essential minerals like zinc and magnesium, to fish oil, collagen, protein, and creatine. These products should be seen as individual pieces of a bigger puzzle that is your well-balanced diet.

Supplements are created to be used as part of a bigger picture. Taking them allows you to feel safe in the knowledge you’re providing your body with that specific nutrient. Some are even exclusively developed to help men’s health, in the form of men’s multivitamins and testosterone boosters.

Why should men over 50 take supplements?

Supplements should not replace a well-balanced diet. Nor are they intended to be used that way, which is why we always advise you to start with a solid grasp of healthy eating and nutrition.

Additionally, supplements themselves aren’t usually developed to treat specific diseases, therefore shouldn’t be relied on to do so. Instead, they are to be used as a tool to watertight your diet, which may help prevent certain conditions as a result.

This is especially important for men over 50. Once you reach this age, there are lifestyle alterations such as careers, family life, levels of activity, and stress that alter your nutritional needs. You may discover you require greater amounts of protein to maintain your hard-earned physique, or additional vitamin D if you spend more hours indoors [1].

You should also factor in how your body has changed and reacted to the way you’ve used it over the years. For example, men over 50 will already be experiencing a natural decline in testosterone; which can lead to muscle loss, reduction in bone density, and lack of virility [2] [3].

Alternatively, you may find your joints and connective tissue become inflamed and irritable more regularly [4]. Therefore, taking a supplement proven to help relieve and prevent these issues might be appropriate.

 

Best Supplements for Men Over 50

Below are the best supplements for men over the age of 50 based on current evidence. Each one has been selected for its specific purpose in benefiting men’s health and is backed by numerous scientific studies.

Scoop of creatine monohydrate

 1. Creatine

Creatine (Cr) is an amino acid that naturally occurs within the body’s cells. Roughly 95% of your natural creatine is stored as phosphocreatine inside your muscles, while the remaining 5% resides in your liver, kidneys, and brain [5].

According to a paper published in Pharmacological Reviews;

“When supplemented with exogenous creatine […] phosphocreatine, become elevated. The increase of these stores can offer therapeutic benefits by preventing ATP depletion, stimulating protein synthesis or reducing protein degradation, and stabilizing biological membranes.” – (Persky & Brazeau, 2001) [5].

As explained above, creatine supplementation is called upon to build explosive power by supplying greater amounts of phosphocreatine for ATP regeneration. Recent research suggests its actually power over strength that can lead to a longer life, which makes maintaining explosivity even more important [6].

Additionally, Creatine is also known to enhance muscle strength, growth, and bone density. Cr supplementation can also reduce muscle breakdown while protecting cognitive function and brain health [7]. Both of these are vitally important for the wellbeing of the over 50 man [8].

Creatine is one of the most rigorously tested supplements on the market. Studies prove its effectiveness time and time again, which is why it’s so widely used and encouraged in athletic circles [9].

Men of all ages can benefit from creatine supplementation. This is especially true for those over 50, who may be experiencing a natural decline in muscle mass, bone density and athletic performance [10]. While it may be lower testosterone and lifestyle changes that are the cause, creatine can become part of the solution. In fact, studies show that testosterone is just one of the hormones that affect your natural creatine stores [5].

Mens Multivitamin

2. Men’s Multivitamin

While it’s encouraged all men follow a well-balanced diet, a multivitamin makes sure all micronutrient bases are covered. More specifically, a men’s multivitamin may prove better suited to your needs than the regular kind, which is aimed at both sexes.

According to The World Health Organization, more than two billion people worldwide experience essential vitamin and mineral deficiencies [11]. Shortfall vitamins identified among the US population include the likes of integral vitamins; A, C, D, and E. Other minerals such as; choline, calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium have also been found to be below recommended levels [12].

Considering vitamin D and magnesium are linked to testosterone, deficiencies in these micronutrients can be detrimental to virility after 50. Muscle function and bone density may also be affected as a result of reduced testosterone alongside insufficient magnesium and calcium intake. As a result, you may put yourself at greater risk of musculoskeletal injuries such as breaks and fractures; as well as muscle breakdown, low mood, low libido, and other issues related to low testosterone [13] [14] [15] [16] [17].

Research shows that many men turn to a multivitamin to counteract these deficiencies by filling in the gaps in their nutrition. Scientists say this is a healthy option too, considering men do not routinely surpass tolerable upper limits [18]. Keeping a track on nutrient intake alongside your men’s multivitamin is the safest way to use these supplements.

[Related Article: Best Multivitamins for Men Over 50

Man tipping omega-3 capsules into his hand

3. Omega-3s

The standard Western diet is typically rich in omega-6 from red meat. Yet, many men find themselves routinely imbalanced where omega-3 is concerned.

Omega-3 plays many pivotal roles within your body. Firstly, they can help reduce risk factors for strokes and heart disease, two leading causes of death across the globe [19] [20] [21]. By balancing your omega-3 intake, you may limit the chances of falling victim to two of the planet’s most frequent killers.

Secondly, sufficient omega-3 intake is linked to significantly lower chances of developing both prostate and colon cancer [22] [23]. As a result, adequate omega-3 intake could again help stave off one of the leading causes of death for men over 50.

There are many more reasons why you should supplement with some kind of omega-3. But for men in the over-50 bracket especially, omega-3’s ability to enhance bone and joint health cannot be overlooked. Research suggests that omega-3 intake can improve bone strength by increasing the amount of calcium within them, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis [24]. Other studies also indicate that omega-3 can help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis, another issue common in men over 50[25].

Tub of protein powder tipped onto its side with contents spilling out

4. Whey Protein

Age-related muscle loss is a natural process called sarcopenia, which typically begins when a man hits 30.

According to recent research, you begin to experience a reduction of around three to six percent each decade post-30. And while this isn’t going to instantly sever your muscle mass, it’s still significant enough to monitor [26].

An important step to slowing down sarcopenia is to shore up your protein intake. This is the essential macronutrient you need to survive, and the very thing each cell and muscle in your body is muscles are made of.

In their research paper titled Protein Intake and Muscle Function in Older Adults, Deer and Volpi wrote;

“While exercise remains a fundamental tool for maintenance of muscle mass and function with aging, nutritional interventions involving protein intake patterns and supplementation have emerged as important approaches to managing sarcopenia.” (Deer & Volpi, 2015) [27].

Whey protein is one of the most bioavailable protein supplements available today. This means they can utilize and absorb it much better than other high-protein alternatives. Another attractive case for whey protein is its versatility, as its flavored powder form makes it very easy to consume in both food and protein drinks.

However, the call for men over 50 to utilize whey protein goes beyond versatility. As you get older the amount of protein you need to consume to build and maintain muscle increases [28]. This is due to muscle tissue being more resistant to growth cells, therefore, consuming a high-quality whey protein can help you bolster your daily intake.

Additional benefits of a high-protein diet include; better bone health, reduced body fat, lower blood pressure, and increased strength [29] [30] [31].

Man writing testosterone and chemical formula on piece of glass5. Testosterone Boosters

Unfortunately, once you reach 30-40 natural testosterone production begins to slow down [32]. Additionally, many men who surpass the age of 40 can also experience testosterone levels as low as 242 ng/dL. Alarmingly, this is less than the average baseline of 280 ng/dL. and is therefore considered low [33].

Much like sarcopenia, age-related testosterone decline is inevitable. Yet, there are ways to slow down its process and blunt the effects.

Exercise, lifestyle factors, and nutrition are all key components that can influence testosterone levels. And since this article only covers dietary supplements, we will talk specifically about the latter – nutrition.

The reason you should consider testosterone when making dietary choices is the repercussions on your wellbeing. Low testosterone has an extensive list of symptoms, which include impactful situations such as [34];

  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Increased body fat
  • Low libido
  • Decreased sexual performance
  • Irritability
  • Low mood
  • Brain fog
  • Poor sperm count
  • Reduced sense of wellbeing

As discussed above in the men’s multivitamin section, the food you eat can directly influence your testosterone production. Certain vitamins, minerals, and other compounds can alter and accelerate your production, while others can hold it back.

Testosterone booster supplements are designed with the sole intention of providing your body with these accelerating nutrients. A high-quality testosterone booster will contain ingredients backed by scientific research, proven to either benefit testosterone production, or other aspects of masculine health.

For example, many top-tier testosterone supplements contain essential vitamins, minerals, fibers, and amino acids that can benefit male hormone health. These include ingredients such as;

  • Vitamin D [35]
  • Vitamin B6 [36]
  • D-Aspartic acid [37]
  • Zinc [38]
  • Magnesium [39]
  • Indole-3-Carbinol [40]
  • Boron [41]
  • Ashwagandha [42]
  • Asian Ginseng [43]

These supplements are not to be confused with illegal, anabolic steroids. They should also not be mistaken for testosterone replacement therapy, that can only be legally administered and prescribed by a registered medical professional. Instead, testosterone boosters are hormone support complexes, created to naturally supplement a well-balanced diet and raise testosterone production.

 

References

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[2] Publishing H. Testosterone, aging, and the mind – Harvard Health. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Testosterone_aging_and_the_mind. Published 2019. Accessed March 22, 2019.

[3] Peterson, M., Belakovskiy, A., McGrath, R., & Yarrow, J. (2018). Testosterone Deficiency, Weakness, and Multimorbidity in Men. Scientific Reports, 8(1). doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24347-6

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[12] 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans – health.gov. (2019). Retrieved from https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/

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[19] The top 10 causes of death. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death

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[28] Phillips S. M. (2015). Nutritional supplements in support of resistance exercise to counter age-related sarcopenia. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.)6(4), 452–460. doi:10.3945/an.115.008367

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