There’s such a sea of supplements on the shelf of health stores everywhere. Everywhere a man turns, he’s hit with one recommendation after another to help him maintain good health, build muscle, lose weight, become smarter, and extend his life beyond the limits of what nature intended.
Common Health Issues Men May Experience Due to Poor Diet
Some of the most common health issues men experience are directly due to our diets. This can either come from eating too much processed, calorie-dense junk food including the “empty” calories we get from sweets, snacks and refined grains, to name a few. Alcoholic beverages also contain no nutrition, lead to dangerous weight gain, and obviously place unneeded stress on our liver and hormonal processes.
Here are some common male issues that can be helped by over-the-counter supplements
Atherosclerosis happens when lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides are oxidized and attach to walls of our heart and arteries. This problem is further compounded when calcium and other biological material in our blood stick to those oxidized lipids. This not only raises a man’s risk of heart and kidney disease, it also leads to performance issues in the bedroom.
Other health conditions can contribute to atherosclerosis but the main issue that causes it is poor diet and imbalanced cholesterol. Oxidation occurs naturally in the human body and “anti-oxidants” in our food are used to remove natural and chemical oxidants we take in through our food. Antioxidants can be consumed through diet or supplementation with common antioxidant vitamins and compounds, and healthy fats like omega 3s.
Sexual dysfunction is a major issue for men as they age. Atherosclerosis is a condition that’s a major contributing factor, but overall health is important to keep a man’s favorite body part working correctly. Not having the right vitamin and mineral levels correct can cause impotence, as well as low testosterone levels. Alcohol and drug use also cause sexual problems.
Low testosterone can affect men of all ages, but primarily hits men over the age of 40. The age when testosterone levels typically decrease. There are a number of herbs (discussed later) that can help increase male sexual health and performance.
Men are nearly twice as likely to die from all cancers, excluding skin cancer, than women. It’s believe that poor diet and lifestyle choices such as binge drinking, drug use, and smoking tobacco are the main culprit. Poor diet is also a big reason men die more often from cancer.
Lack of vitamins, antioxidant compounds found in vegetables, and poor omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acid balance can exacerbate cancer due to increased oxidation and inflammation in the body. A quality multivitamin, supplementation with omega 3s, and taking in known antioxidants like milk thistle and others can be a big ally for men looking to reduce their cancer risk.
Don’t buy supplements indiscriminately
I would definitely recommend reading as much content as possible before adding any supplement to your diet. With that said, there are some tried and true supplements that all men will benefit from. If you’re interested in being the healthiest and best performing man you that you can be, continue reading to learn more about the best supplements all men can use to help achieve goals and kill it each and every day.
The idea that we can take a pill and get the vitamins and minerals lacking from our diet is a topic that’s constantly under hot debate. Some studies say they’re complete garbage, while others point to a multivitamin’s quality being the biggest concern. The fact is that we feel better when we’re getting all the nutrition we need.
Optimum Nutrition currently offers the highest quality multivitamin on the market. They’ve blended the perfect ratio of essential vitamins and minerals we need together, while taking extra care to include supplements that make us perform better as men. With their proprietary amino blend, male phytonutrient stack, and virility blend of libido-boosting ingredients like saw palmetto, damiana, oyster, and panax ginseng.
Yes, some, perhaps much of what we take in through multivitamins will get wasted, but if you choose quality and avoid garbage like Centrum (aka “bedpan bullets”), you will benefit from their use. Best, when you take a complete male multivitamin, you check off a lot of other boxes for essential nutrients like folic acid which reduces Alzheimer’s and heart disease risk, and selenium to promote thyroid health and reduce cancer risk.
2. Omega 3s
If you take nothing else, make sure you get your daily dose of high-quality fish oil in the form of an omega-3 supplement or straight cod liver oil. I’ve discussed this cure-all before at length. Omega 3s protect our heart, brain, joints and entire body by inhibiting oxidation in our blood vessels, plaque deposits in the brain, and by helping slow the onset of joint problems as we get older. Krill oil is vastly superior and 2.5 times more bio-available than all other forms, but more expensive, too.
3. Protein Powder
Protein powder isn’t necessary if you’re inactive, but chances are you wouldn’t be reading this article if you’re the sedentary type. Our body needs and benefits from increased amino acid intake after strenuous workouts. However, if you exercise vigorously every day, protein powder should be in your supplement tool chest. Whey protein is best, as detailed in this popular roundup. Hemp protein is a new contender in protein quality, as it’s vegetarian friendly and is a complete plant-based amino source (see recommendations here).
Curcumin contains curcuminoids and is found in abundance in turmeric. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory that can help with sore joints and muscles, and has even shown promise at curbing osteoarthritis pain. This makes curcumin a perfect replacement for dangerous NSAIDs and prescription painkillers to be taken post-workout. Make sure to follow label directions, as there is a point of diminishing returns with curcumin.
5. Glucosamine + chondroitin
Glucosamine with chondroitin is a must have for any man moving into his early 30s and beyond. If you work in a hard labor job or do strenuous exercise on a regular basis, start taking this formulation regardless of age. Typically, 1500 mg of glucosamine is recommended daily, mixed with 150 mg (10%) chondroitin. Studies have shown a synergistic effect when the two are combined. Vimerson Health offers the top pick on Amazon, adding turmeric and MSM to their formulation for even more joint relief.
Probiotics have been talked about extensively for a few years now. They’re present in a lot of the foods we eat, including dairy, sauerkraut, kimchi, and many types of fruits and vegetables. Probiotic supplements are the next best thing, particularly if you have gut issues such as autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive problems (most people do). If you don’t have the time or desire to eat more probiotic-rich food, don’t waste your money on cheap probiotic supplements, as these “good” bacteria are sensitive to temperature, light, and time in general. Choose supplements like Garden of life, with 100 billion active CFU and 20 or more active bacterial strains.
Branch Chain Amino Acids are essential supplement gear for any man who takes his physical health seriously. It’s true that a quality protein shake will contain most or all the essential aminos we need to build lean muscle and stay healthy overall, but quality BCAAs are inexpensive and ensure nothing is missing. They aren’t just responsible for building strong muscles; amino acids are used as the building blocks of all cells in our body including the brain, organs, ligaments, and bones.
8. Milk thistle
Most people never think to take milk thistle unless they have liver issues, drink too much alcohol, or are abusing performance enhancing drugs. However, our liver is under constant stress, performing up to 500 jobs all day and night long. Milk thistle, with its active ingredient “silymarin” has so many proven benefits inside the body including anti-aging, diabetes prevention, antioxidant function, along with heart disease and cancer prevention.
Very few men get the 7 to 10 servings of fruits and veggies they need every day. Vegetable greens are largely considered the most important plant to eat. Greens such as kale, spinach, lettuce, celery, broccoli and many others, are nutrient-dense and low in calories. A quality greens shake such as top-rated Amazing Grass can help to up your vitamin A, C, and K intake. Concentrated greens are also a meat and dairy-free source of iron, calcium, and added probiotics.
10. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the core vitamin of every human being’s existence. It occurs naturally in very few foods including fish and eggs, and in fortified foods such as milk, bread, and cereals. Our bodies can also synthesize vitamin D from the sun, favoring men who spend a lot of time outdoors in direct sunlight. Most men are at least partially deficient in vitamin D, particularly in the cool seasons. Even a slight deficiency long term can cause problems with our immune system, bone integrity, muscle strength, nervous system health, and our ability to absorb several key minerals including potassium, magnesium, and iron.
Boron is an essential mineral that benefits both sexes in terms of helping to improve bone density, increase muscle mass and strength, maximize brain function, and prevent infection. Men get huge benefits from boron because it helps to maximize testosterone production and prevent prostate cancer. Getting at least 20 mg/day can help your body kill off prostate cancer cells before they become full-blown cancer.
Calcium deficiency is more prevalent than most men think. We need loads of calcium to build and protect bones. It’s also essential for proper contraction and relaxation of our heart. Many of the dietary sources of calcium, like dairy, aren’t consumed as much as they once were. Worse, soil depletion from over-farming has reduced the calcium content in green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, nuts and orange juice. Sardines, canned salmon and crustaceans like oysters and mussels also have lots of calcium but aren’t desirable to a lot of men. Nature’s Bounty is one of the most affordable ways to get all the calcium you need every day.
Chromium is an extremely important mineral used by the body in the metabolism of sugar, fat, and protein from our diet. It also helps to regulate blood sugars by helping cells use the sugar and fat storage hormone, insulin. Given its purpose, it’s a given that chromium can help to prevent diabetes, which leads to cholesterol imbalance, high triglycerides, nervous system damage, and more. Basically, chromium helps regulate a healthy metabolism and improve a man’s use of energy.
Zinc helps our bodies in many ways including generating hormones, facilitating cell growth, boosting immune function, and assisting digestion. Men who take zinc supplements mostly know this mineral for its sexual and reproductive benefits. Taking more zinc every day won’t just help you make more babies, it can increase semen output significantly! Take up to 11 mg/day of zinc in supplement form to ensure you’re always the best version of you that you can be.
Creatine is an essential ingredient in the human body regenerating ADP (Adenosine Triphosphate). ATP is what gives our muscles the big kick they need to generate power and speed when exercising (Ie., running from a Sabre toothed tiger!) Taken alongside glutamine and adequate protein intake, creatine helps muscles recover faster during a workout and to become stronger more quickly. Creatine also helps to preserve lean muscle when on a calorie restricted diet.
You can readily find glutamine in almost every pre and post workout supplement on the market. The reason is it has a powerful effect on muscle and ligament recovery. While bodybuilders take it to help build bigger muscles, glutamine can help speed recovery in any athletic endeavor. It will also help men working intense labor jobs feel less sore when they wake up in the morning. Take 5 grams before each workout and 5 grams after. Some athletes also like to take a 5 gram dose with a whey protein shake when they wake up and before going to sleep.
Caffeine has proven itself effective at improving mental and physical performance throughout the years. Some men prefer to get their dose through natural means, such as coffee, tea, or chaga mushroom products such as the super popular Four Sigmatic lineup. By the way, chaga is loaded with antioxidants, too! Nonetheless, if you find you’re slouching during your workouts or throughout your work day, there’s nothing wrong with taking it in supplement form. For performance benefits, recommended doses start at 1 mg per kilogram of body weight, up to 3 mg per kilogram. In my opinion, the less you can get away with, the better, and try not to take it every day if you can help it.
Consuming the supplements listed on this page will make you loads healthier guys. Don’t get trapped into the “eat healthy and you’ll be okay” mantra that’s written everywhere online these days. No diet is perfect, and while you won’t absorb 100 percent of every supplement you take in, the last thing any of us needs are performance issues or sub-par health.