You know how the saying goes: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be young at heart. In fact, in today’s world of health, men over 40 have a giant advantage, one that will keep them from acting their age for decades to come.
Supplementing your diet with micronutrients is vital to your wellbeing, especially when you start to hit midlife. Studies have shown that micronutrient deficiencies are common in adults and are the root cause of complications later in life. By using micronutrient supplementation, you can experience various health benefits including improved skin, immune function, longevity and more.
Instead of checking in and out of the hospital throughout your 40s and beyond, get your nutrition dialed in with these nourishing supplements.
Common Health Issues for Men Over 40
Men can be fickle beings. As they age, all of those youthful, fun nights and trips to the drive-thru can catch up with them. There are many health problems that begin to plague men over 40, and they’re all quite common.
The top health risks for males in their 40s and beyond are the usual suspects that you’ve probably heard of before: heart disease or heart attack, high blood pressure, respiratory diseases, obesity, low testosterone levels or impotence, diabetes, liver disease, and certain types of cancer like prostate or skin. Also, many men face sports-related issues such as decreased athletic performance or lack of strength. These symptoms are frequent — a little too frequent — among older men, yet they can easily be avoided with simple supplementation.
As men approach this stage of life, physical health isn’t the only concern to be aware of. Depression, suicidal thoughts, alcohol abuse and tobacco are all scenarios that can affect a person’s mental state. Poor habits and self-destructive behaviors are just as crucial to cure as the physical ailments to ensure a long, healthy life.
The list of common health issues is long enough to make anyone go nuts! Thankfully, there are micronutrients — vitamins, minerals, herbs — that can keep you both happy and healthy during your fitness journey.
Best Supplements for Males Over 40
Zinc is a vital and potent micronutrient that many men over 40 are deficient in. On the bright side, when supplemented correctly, it’s been shown to help boost your immune system and provide strong antioxidant effects1.
While you can find zinc in food, it doesn’t nearly cover the recommended daily amount for an aging male2. Luckily, some supplements add zinc in with their other active ingredients.
An essential trace element, magnesium is normally abundant in humans. However, research has shown that some of the common issues listed above can lead to magnesium depletion. Plus, it aids in calcium absorption as well as 600 other reactions3 in your body.
This is some potent stuff; you’ll want to make sure you get plenty of magnesium into your system through clinically-tested supplements.
Products like Testro-X have clinically-proven dosages of zinc, magnesium, ashwagandha, boron and forskohlii root extract.
When you’re a man over 40, calcium deficiency can be a huge problem. Your heart, muscles, nerves and bones depend on healthy doses of calcium daily.
While there are tons of calcium supplements out there, make sure you choose products that are both high in quality and quantity i.e., getting your minimum daily requirement.
L-citrulline is an amino acid that can reduce muscle fatigue and soreness after your workouts. If you find yourself cripplingly sore after leg day, it might be worth adding L-citrulline to your supplement stack.
A study of 18 men published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that participants experienced reduced fatigue and increased ATP levels after 6 grams of daily supplementation.
Another study discovered that participants had a 40 percent reduction in muscle soreness 24 hours after a personal training session.
Mom was right — fiber is good for you. It’s widely known that fiber plays a vital role in our overall wellbeing, but it’s even more prevalent as men age. Maintaining a high fiber intake will keep your blood sugar under control, enhance weight loss (if you’re obese) and increase skin health.
For fiber, it’s best to both supplement and to consume regular amounts in your diet. Stay regular!
6. Vitamin D
Perhaps the most common nutrient for Westerners to be deficient in, vitamin D is pivotal for men over 40 to be healthy. One study5 found that this particular vitamin is responsible for bone health and the prevention of some cancers, autoimmune diseases and heart disease.
While the ideal source of vitamin D is sunlight, sometimes that isn’t in the cards. Nevertheless, there are some incredible vitamin D and D3 supplements on the market today, so you’re in good hands.
7. Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
Folic acid creates new red blood cells. Sounds important, doesn’t it? It also steers you clear of hearing loss, another common dilemma with men over 40. Instead of saying, “What?” every time somebody says something, supplement your diet with B9, and you will hear pins drop.
(Note: Vitamin B9 is also helpful for women who are pregnant, as it preserves the brain health of infants. Just an aside for those women over 40.)
8. Coenzyme Q10
A fun one to say out loud, Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10) is, in a nutshell, a compound that can generate energy in your cells. Thankfully, your body produces CoQ10 naturally. The bad news is that production starts to slow down as you age. This affects your performance in the gym, which you don’t want.
By supplementing CoQ10, you can reduce oxidative stress6 in your cells, resulting in reduced fatigue and increased exercise capacity. Win-win.
Selenium is an understated nutrient with a big job. From boosting thyroid function7 to preventing mental decline8 and protecting against heart disease9, this powerful antioxidant keeps you healthy in a plethora of ways.
What’s awesome about selenium is that it’s often included in various multivitamins geared exclusively to men over 40.
10. Creatine Monohydrate
The sworn supplement of bros everywhere, creatine monohydrate is just as important later on in your lifting days as it was back when you were a youngster swinging weights everywhere.
In a 2007 study10, following resistance training in older individuals, creatine monohydrate (along with CLA) helped improve strength and body composition.
In short, you’ll look sexy as an older man. (And isn’t that the purpose here?)
11. Vitamin B12
Another crucial vitamin, vitamin B12 has a wide range of benefits for men over 40. While it might have aided with your hangover back in the day, this red blood cell creator also supports bone health11 (avoiding osteoporosis as you age) as well as improves mood12 and depression13.
Be happy in your prime adult years by ensuring you’re getting enough Vitamin B12.
Potassium is actually an electrolyte. Like many electrolytes, potassium regulates fluid balance, helps promote nerve signals and improves muscle contractions. Eighty percent14 of the potassium in your body can be found in the muscle cells, so having healthy amounts of potassium running through your system is key to sustained training performance for many years.
Humans need a crazy amount of potassium (4,700mg per day). This particular nutrient almost needs to be supplemented with a high-dose product.
13. Turmeric Root Extract
Turmeric — and, more specifically, the curcuminoids15 found in turmeric — are good for one very overlooked area: inflammation. Everyone in the western world deals with chronic inflammation one way or another. Turmeric helps your body fight off that excess inflammation, leaving it for the times when it’s actually needed.
Here’s a trick: The bioavailability of turmeric is vastly improved by adding black pepper, which has piperine, a compound that helps absorb curcumin by more than 2000 percent16. (Some supplements combine turmeric and black pepper.)
While there are many products on the market, only some contain clinically-proven dosages of B vitamins and turmeric root extract.
14. Forskohlii Root Extract
A somewhat unknown herb, forskohlii root comes from a tropical plant related to mint. It’s main claim to fame is weight loss, and research17 has definitely backed this up. To go further, forskohlii root also stimulates fat18 to release from your fat cells, eventually bringing them into the bloodstream to be burned for energy.
So, whether you are younger than 40 or older, everybody should test forskohlii root extract.
15. Ginkgo Biloba Leaf
Ginkgo biloba is a Chinese tree that contains potent antioxidants. The leaf, in particular, can fight inflammation19, enhance circulation20 and assist in brain function21. Ginkgo biloba leaf is an important ally to have against all of the degenerative diseases out there.
For men over 40, it may be high time to search for a quality ginkgo biloba leaf supplement.
A trace nutrient that provides a slew of healthy advantages, boron has a terrible name. While it lacks a snappy handle, boron makes up for it by helping your bone strength, keeping your muscles firm and boosting concentration. There have also been animal studies that low levels of boron are directly linked to symptoms of diabetes.
Boron also helps free up testosterone from the SHBG molecule, which leads to more free testosterone.
Dealing with health problems isn’t worth it. Supplementing boron is.
17. Collagen Protein
Collagen has become something of a buzzword recently. Maybe it has to do with the fact that, according to researchers at the Journal of Biological Chemistry22, “Type I collagen is the most abundant protein in humans.” Replenishing your protein with the exact same kind is smart, and supplementing with a collagen protein that has a whole host of other nutritious goodies is even smarter.
Collagen is an excellent source of bio-available proteins and aminos acids.
18. Ashwagandha Root
Used in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha root is an ancient herb that has been used for centuries. The biggest effect ashwagandha has on men over 40 is increased testosterone production. While reducing cortisol levels (less stress) and decreasing symptoms of depression, ashwagandha supplements improve strength23 and increase reproductive hormones24 in men.
19. Saw Palmetto
Another supplement that spurs testosterone production, saw palmetto is utilized in many other supplements as well. Low sperm count, low sex drive, hair loss, diabetes, inflammation, even prostate disorders25 and prostate cancer — saw palmetto is often included as a natural treatment for all.
While you may find a laundry list of saw palmetto supplements, the best way to find one that’s right for you is to read the label. See if it has clinical studies behind it, make sure it’s approved by the FDA, and check the dose amount so you know you aren’t getting skimped.
20. Glucosamine Sulfate
Glucosamine sulfate is a mouthful to say, but it’s worth the supplementation when you’re a man over 40. This compound is responsible for improved joint health26, a major issue for older men. Specifically, if you are at risk for osteoarthritis, glucosamine sulfate is known to delay symptoms and stop degeneration27.
Keep your joints moving with the flow by finding a solid glucosamine sulfate supplement today.
Bonus: Alpha Lipoic Acid
Surprise! Here’s another one for you!
Alpha lipoic acid is a proven antioxidant, it’s a scavenger of free radicals (which means it’s anti-aging), and it restores glutathione levels, something that’s hard to do without intervening intravenously. Plus, ALA also excretes toxic heavy metals and stores the carbs you eat in either your muscles or liver, not in your fat cells.
This is huge for your health, so find some quality ALA.
While you could supplement with all of these and more, the trick is to listen to your body. As an aging male, you want to be cognizant of how you feel: mentally, physically, even spiritually. By being in-tune with your body, mind and spirit, you will know which supplements are right for you.
Hopefully, this gives you enough information to move forward and take action. Supplement a few of these micronutrients today and feel the difference, both in the gym and in your everyday life. Here’s to your continued fitness success!